Anniversary of Sorts.

3 years Ago today I wrote on this wordpress blog that my brother Alex and I were going to try and get gigs. Next Friday on the Feb 22nd will be his funeral mass. I’m still doing music but it’s not going to be the same with out him. I love you Alex, I miss you.

Tax Strategies for Musicians?

First off let me be clear that this is not about cheating taxes or grey areas. I have had to pay the IRS for legitimate mistakes and I certainly don’t want them looking at me funny for questionable filing. The other thing is that I am not a professional musician by trade. I have a day job that I will probably keep until I quit, die or they outsource me.

OK, now with that disclaimer out out of the way I’ll get down to it.

I’m writing this this because I did some freelance computer work last year and lost about 50% of that in taxes (so much for encouraging small business.) Now lets say by some good fortune I make over $1000.00 this year doing gigs and selling merchandise. If I claim it on my personal income tax as misc. income I know I will lose half (due to self employment taxes for FICA and SS).

Now as a “part time” musician and I have yet to make any income however, that may change in the future as Alex and I have been rehearsing for upcoming gigs. We are lucky that we have good relations with local promoters/booking agents and can get some “starter” gigs so that’s not a worry (That usually the biggest hurdle right?). Now most of these are of the low/non paying local music scene type deals (is there any other kind?) but that doesn’t mean that we don’t incur expenses. Gas and Tolls obviously but what about gear and software? If I decide to sell my Axiom 49 and buy an Axiom Pro or a new Subwoofer is there anyway I can deduct it as a business expense?

Its one thing to keep accounts on Quickbooks but should I incorporate? If so what kind? Now obviously there are plenty of working musicians out there for whom it obviously makes sense to incorporate (wedding/event bands and other pros), but is this the path that “itinerant” musicians should take? When should your “expensive hobby” be treated like a business? What do other “Not famous at all but occasionally make a buck musicians” do?   Obviously answers from U.S. folks are preferred but it always interesting to hear how things are handled in other countries.

Ghost of Old Bands past #dejavu

An old band mate (Static Opera) contacted me after many years and we had the longest chat on the phone. After we covered over what’s been going on in our lives for the past 18 years (Married, Kids etc), we did what we always did; talk shop and Gear.  Turns out after we parted ways he became an Audio Engineer, toured with the Genitorturers for a while, got married had family,  amassed huge collection of gear, had Ebay-A-thons and then realized how much of PITA HW can be and switched to software synths. He’s big into Reason/Record. Thats Sweet since Reason was my first love of Soft-Synths. (I had played with stuff like Cakewalk but I wan’t feeling it so I stuck w/ hardware.)   In many respects is was like hearing my story in a different voice. (Except for the Audio engineer and Touring with the”The World’s Sexiest Rock Band” part).

It was really great to talk to him and find out what he had been up to but in no time we were talking shop about gear and software, comparing notes as it were.  It was as if  we had never been apart for too long. Thats cool because I don’t have too many people I can blab on about Waveforms, samples and modulation CV routing and Thor patches without eyes glazing over. It seems lately my past has been coming back to haunt me but in a good way. Perhaps 2010 is the year of re-connecting, so far so good.

Here’s Justin’s Myspace if you want to hear what he has been up to.

Hmm Its BROKEN!

Damn it! The M-Audio Expression pedal I special ordered arrived at my local Guitar Center. I gleefully opened it in the store to check it out & it was BROKEN! a little plastic piece the connected the the pedal to the rocker arm cracked. and the pedal flopped about wildly. The look on my sales guys face was pretty funny/sad. (he felt bad for me) Now I know this is only a $25.00 part but I was very disappointed. I retunred it for another one, which also needd to be special orderd. I hope it makes the trip, I know I will have to gentle with it. Well at least I didn’t have to travel far to return it.

Does eveybody post a BS post?

as the first post? Or do they just launch right into whatever screed they have tooling about in their brain? Anyways I will see how long blogging holds my attention, or whether I keep it on this site of move it to my real website @ http://www.3rev.net   I also have a blog on live.com but Microsoft is so passe and tbh the firewall @ my work keeps me form posting on it properly so WordPress it is!  On this site I hope to pontificate/spout off at the mouth on subjects that are mostly music related but will also cover art, politics, religion and fatherhood. (like a million other blogs out there). But you WILL like what I write because I’m just that pompous.  BTW you can follow me on twitter @3rev  and check out my music on Soundcloud   http://soundcloud.com/3rev  or myspace (rarely used  http://myspace.com/3rev)  Of ocurse I will be redundant and post these on the links section. But for now I have to get back to work.. stay tuned!

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