The Legalities Of Touring

Originally published on June 19th, 2018.
Article is property of musicthinktank.com.

Band or Business?

If you’re selling merch or getting paid for shows, then your band has officially become a business. If you start getting a lot more than you put in — as in, you’re netting over $400 — then you are legally required to pay taxes on that. Thankfully, there are some easy write offs in this case: vehicle maintenance, travel expenses, and food.

Now, if you’re selling merch, you and your bandmates may want to talk amongst yourselves about whether or not you want to register the band legally as a business. You may have to adhere to certain laws — for instance, if at any point you were making a killing and had people working for you full time, you may have to get them insurance coverage, like any other small business. So think carefully before you make this official, because while it may be a good idea on one hand, it could be a lot more than you bargained for.

Read the rest of my financial tips over at Music Think Tank!

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Soberly Spiritual – How a Substanceless Life Can Play Into Faith

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Originally published on May 4th, 2018.
Article is property of Progressivechristianity.org.

Spirituality through history has never been completely free of substances, and that includes Christianity. Despite the Moral Majority’s efforts to demonize all drug use outside of prescription medication, and some religions’ desire to prohibit different kinds of medical care, it’s hard to get away from the use of alcohol in the Bible. Those of us raised in modern-day churches most likely know the story of Christ turning water into wine, as well as his benediction at the last supper in which he used wine as a metaphor. The Apostle Paul even tells his student Timothy to drink some wine for his stomach, using it as medicine.

However, with all of that said, alcohol and substance use should never be expected of a Christian. Some believers, upon reaching the “aha” moment of understanding alcohol isn’t sinful, have a tendency to become pushers on those who don’t want to partake, or even worse, they become irresponsible in their usage.

Friends, this is unbiblical. Some people are simply uninterested in drinking. Some simply follow the wisdom in Peter’s words to be “of a sober mind” and enact that mindset in a very literal, teetotaler way of life. They find their lives as Christians are best enhanced when they are substance free!

Read my personal opinion on Christian sobriety here!

Financial Lifehacks For Musicians

Originally published on April 12th, 2018.
Article is property of Musicthinktank.com.

Healthcare

I remember quite a while ago reading about Rock for Health, a now-defunct organization that worked hard to get professional musicians healthcare. When music does pay bills, it doesn’t leave much left over. Healthcare as we’re defining it here it is more than doctor’s visits and emergency surgeries, but things such as over-the-counter medication, glasses, prescription medication and birth control — in the United States it’s all incredibly expensive. All of this can be upwards of $1,000.

Companies like TuneCore and the Music Health Alliance are doing their best to offer advice and healthcare assistance to touring musicians, because so many insurance companies don’t want to take a big risk on someone whose income is so sketchy. If you feel like saving, there are preventative measures you can take now to reduce healthcare costs in the future. One example that’s spendy but potentially could benefit your bank in the long run is LASIK surgery. Another would be disease preventative shots. Insurance is vital in the case of emergencies however, so take a good look into these resources and take advantage of them if you can.

Read the rest of my musician lifehacks here!

US Artists Touring Abroad: What You’ll Need and How to Procure It

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Originally published on March 12th, 2018.
Article is property of Soundfly.

For many artists, it’s a dream to see the world through the windshield of their vehicle. Touring and making a living on the road is an exciting way to travel, meet people, develop deeper relationships with your cohorts, etc. And for American artists, it’s a dream come true when they’re finally able to take their live show overseas.

But for so many, it remains a dream for way too long. There’s a defeatist mentality among aspiring American musicians, who just assume that you need to be successful here before touring abroad. Well, I’m here to tell you that’s not true.

Playing music in other countries is far from impossible for independent artists, in fact, it’s often easier for the non-represented, but it does require a lot of knowledge and research beforehand. There are some things you need to look into before booking a tour — a checklist of preparations, if you will. So read this through, take note, and when you think you’re ready, go for it.

Read the rest of my tips here.

5 Albums To Roadtrip To This Winter

Originally published on January 10th, 2018.
Article is property of Musicthinktank.com.

The “holiday season” as it’s called is a time of change and contemplation, as well as travel. A lot of us end up traveling for the holidays, driving for long periods of time through snowstorms and fog to see our loved ones. Some of us just use the winter time to go skiing or see new places that thrive in snowy environments. Whether you’re riding along with your snowbird parents or just going by yourself, a fun part of preparation is what you’ll be listening to.

Road tripping, moving, simple holiday travels — the soundtrack to your journey will often stay with your memories of it. Here are some of my favorite winter-travel tunes.

Read why I think “A Charlie Brown Christmas” holds up here.

17 of the Greatest Televised Moments in Music History

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Originally published on November 21st, 2017.
Article is property of Soundfly.

Did video kill the radio star, or did it just kidnap them for a while?

Either way, mobile streaming seems to have stolen all of our beloved video stars with irrefutable might. But today, as we welcome back one of the strangest global holidays, World Television Day, let’s reflect on the irrefutably mighty influence that television has had on the development of music in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Popular music’s journeys via the variety of entertainment platforms built to allow it to reach vast audiences greater than any one nation could contain have shaped the way trends arise, thrive, and inevitably wane. Whether through special-event appearances, music videos, soundtracks, or entire channels (once) dedicated to the artform, television has always been one of the biggest proponents of these cultural progressions. Some moments in particular have stuck out from the ordinary and had a greater influence or made a longer lasting impression on us than others.

So today, on World Television Day ’17, we’d like to commemorate 17 of the greatest moments in American-music-television history. Follow us chronologically as we explore the last 50-plus years and rehash some of the best, most awkward, and memorable times music stole the small screen and our hearts in the process.

Read my music-based World Television Day article over at the Flypaper blog!

What’s The Appeal of Children’s Music?

Originally published on November 15th, 2017.
Article is property of Musicthinktank.com

Something I’ve noticed getting older is how many of my favorite musicians growing up have found a new home in children’s music. Well, maybe home isn’t the right word, but they’ve forayed into that corner of the music world for various reasons.

A lot of my favorite artists who are doing this are those I grew up with — those that taught me about grabbing the world by the horns, coming up with my own thoughts and beliefs, and questioning authority. They haven’t discontinued their projects to sound differently, of course, but a plethora of side projects seem to have come out of newer times in their lives. With so many of them making this transition, or at least trying it out, I have to at least wonder if I’m missing something. Or will I become like them?

Read about why I think artists switch to children’s music later in life by clicking here!

The COMPASS: Boise, ID

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Originally published on November 15th, 2017.
Article is Property of Soundfly.

Boise’s local record store, The Record Exchange, has been nationally recognized time and time again. It’s been featured in Paste MagazineConsequence of Sound, and now Flypaper! They’ve hosted in-store events by everyone from Anti-Flag to New Transit to Silversun Pickups. Growing up, I bought tons of my favorite records here, and I continue to go there at least once a week in search of new favorites or something rare.

The Record Exchange also sells some great novelty items. Weed socks, Jesus action figures, dirty greeting cards, ironic T-shirts — you name it! They buy used music, so if you need some extra cash and don’t mind getting rid of some older tunes, this is the place to go!

Thank you to Soundfly for letting me write about my favorite place! Read about my favorite places in the Boise music scene here.

How the Internet Has Changed the Game for DIY Artists, Myself Included

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Originally published on October 30th, 2017.
Article is property of Soundfly.

In 2011, I went on my first tour, and I was extremely grateful that my father had let me borrow his GPS to get from place to place. (Also, we lost it.) At the time, I marveled at bands who had done this for years before me, especially in the ’80s and ’90s, with a physical map and without a cellular phone. I recall Todd Bell (of Braid) telling a story on the Washed Up Emo Podcast about a time the band drove to Boise, only to have to stop and call the promoter from a payphone to tell him that they’d be late due to snowy conditions.

On the contrary, when our van broke down on that first tour, I had the luxury of texting the promoter from the middle of nowhere. In this day and age, I probably could have just sent him a Facebook message.

In 2017, I use my smartphone to navigate my way to the next town. When I’m not driving, my bandmates and I use our smartphones to get caught up on the band’s social media, further conversations about touring or with our record label, listen to music via streaming platforms, and stay connected to our personal lives. We don’t need to compromise our routines just because we’re on the road.

Read the rest of the article over at Soundfly’s Flypaper blog!

5 Skills That Will Make Your Marketing Resume Soar To The Top

Networking

Originally published on October 18th, 2017.
Article is property of Careermetis.com.

There is a lot to experiment with in the marketing world. Like I just said, it’s huge and covers a variety of occupations. Anything you learn could end up helping you at one point or another, and the more you know, the more opportunities you will be given.

A little goes a long way. So get on the ball, learn some new things, and get your name to the top!

Read my five steps here!