20 February, 2017

Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay
The video which accompanies this blog post was performed at the same place as the last blog post. Which is Kinney Creek Brewery in Rochester, Mn. My friend Dedrick Benz was playing with me, and unfortunately I had a bad camera angle, so you don’t really get to see him.

This is a song I wrote thirty or forty thousand years ago...eh give or take. If I remember right the humans were just starting the agrarian journey. The song is all about escapism. I think we are all escapist of one variety and density or other. By that I mean to say we each have our own thing that we do to get through the day, week, month, bad times. For some it’s drugs, booze, sex, eating, buying stuff and I’m not making a judgement call on any of them or the people who do them. I’m just saying we each have our own thing that we do and to deny it is to not really know yourself. For me it’s the road. The road for me represent hope, new beginnings, transformations, regeneration. It’s like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. What new journey lies ahead?
So for myself my escapist tendency is to regenerate and start again.
This is a song about that.

16 February, 2017

Couple of great gigs this weekend.

Albeit a tad late here it is. Monday’s blog.

    This weekend I had a couple of gigs One which was expected and one which was not expected. Each one had it’s wonders and happiness. I have included a brief video which has stuff from the first gig at Kinney Creek. Next week there will be another video.  My pal Dedrick Benz from birder fame played with me on the first one but wasn’t able to for the second one because of previous obligations.
    The first one was at a place we play at quite a bit called, Kinney Creek Brewery. **LINK** While physically intimate in size it is large in character and spirit. They make all of there own beer and some pack quite a punch at around 4.5 % to around 8%. They also have two life size Jenga games, a life size Connect Four, and a game called Hammer Schlagen which you really should try. It’s great fun. This happened on Friday from 7-10.

    The next day I played the same hours but at a joint called, ‘Five West’ **LINK** Five West is located almost outside of town by the county road which circumvents our city. Olmsted County 22 if you’re interested. It’s in a new building which is made to look sort of like a garage you might bring the car in for a tune up at. By that I mean to say the walls on one side are all garage doors which in the summer (presumably) they go up and you can eat and drink outside. A larger place than the previous gig they have 13 televisions on sports channels and a large full bar. Now don’t confuse this with a sports bar although it does have high ceilings and can get loud too. It is a place you will want to dress up a bit to go to. The food is among the best in the city, and so are the drinks. They have a daily happy hour, a late night happy hour, and they serve breakfast. I have tried the shrimp tacos and loved them.
    It’s a little hard to do sound here because they pack quite a crowd and it can get a little noisy. All of that aside though. I had a brilliant time, and the little children who were there did too. I had a few of them dancing to the music. I just love when that happens. I think I should take some cues from the Okee Dokee Brothers, and Jack and Kitty Norton and learn some children’s songs not to mention writing a few. I got quite a few compliments at this place but didn’t get any video from the gig itself but I did get some photo’s. Which will be included in this post. 

My set up at Five West

Well, here’s to you. I wish you all the best in everything you do. Lets not forget to mention happiness and groovitude as well.
Here is the first of the two videos I’ve worked out. Both are from the Kinney Creek Gig. This one is a song called, “I’m not laughing now” by the great Cam Waters.

Next weeks will be a video of a tune I wrote about a billion years ago when the dinosaurs were still roaming around.
Both of these videos were recorded at a bar with a full crowd, so it is intimate, warm, and does have some crowd sounds.
Trevor Marty

06 February, 2017

Tax Season, and not Politics.

     What am I going to write about this Monday? I’m not to sure, but I can tell you what it’s not going to be about. It won’t be about politics. Now, this doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion. I do. It just means that I am sick of it all and want to begin focusing on others things too.

    Well, it’s tax season and I could be writing about taxes. I could do a tutorial about how to do it yourself, but I won’t. How about I just say what I do and well leave it at that.
It’s not the most exciting of topics, but it’s necessary.
Taxes well. Here’s how I do it. I keep the receipts for everything that I’ve bought for music and/or house and car fixing. The house and car because I drive to the gigs so that counts and I have a separate room where I do music stuff.
  • strings,
  • office stuff,
  • instruments,
  • instrument repair, that sort of thing.
  • paper for the printer,
  • printer ink,
  • envelopes,
  • stamps,
  • staples,
  • folders.
    Anything that can be used for the office part of the music business. What’s that you ask? Clothes? Yes, if you use the cloths for your shows and the shows only. Sure. If not then no. Gas or mileage? For what I do I have to choose and it’s still better for me to write off the mileage. That means every time you go to the store to buy staples or strings. Every time you go to a gig, or go to get gas, or go to a place that has music and you want to investigate playing there. Yes, all of those things are included. I am terrible at this. Terrible with a capital T.
Then you want to collect and keep track of all your profits.
This includes:
  • Tips
  • Fees
  • Sales as in cd sales, dvds, ect. Don’t forget the sales tax
    If you keep track of all of these things you’ll be fine. Now let's say you’ve got a gig that you play at a lot and you’ve earned $600 dollars or more from this joint over that calendar year. They will need to send you a little paper which states that they paid you whatever it was they paid you for the year. It’s called a 1099. You see they probably haven’t taken any taxes out and if that’s true then you’re going to be responsible for paying taxes on that income. That is unless you can offset it with all of the things you’ve bought for the business and can count the whole year as a loss. Hey don’t worry if you’ve made a profit that only means that you’re a success. Groovy. Congratulations. I am officially jealous.

    All of these things go into a nice little folder/bag/shoe box/sewn up underwear type of thing plus any W2’s you might have from standard jobs which you have worked that year. It all goes to a tax person. I bring mine to a very nice lady whom we lovingly call, ‘The Great Omnipotent Tax Mama’. As we go into her office we bow on our knees for exactly 5 minutes while offering candied bacon to her majesty. I’m kidding. I’m kidding.

    Now this is by no means a complete list of things you should do. It’s just one musicians slant on what happens at this time of year.
Do your homework, and check around for good accountant. It doesn’t have to be a crazy stressful time. Especially if you have candied bacon.
See you next week

30 January, 2017

Tiny Desk Concert Contest III

Hello Gang-

It is so great to see y'all. I hope everyone's doing well. The weather here in Minnesota is still cold, but it could be way worse. It's just snowed a bunch and it was a wet heavy snow so it's been warmer. Believe it or not snow helps to insulate and makes everything warmer.
Well for the third year in a row I've entered the Tiny Desk Concert Contest that NPR sponcered. My entry was just under the wire and is just below, so you'll be able to watch it.

The song is called, "Powder" and was written about a friend of mine who disappeared in the powder drugs. She lost herself and I've no idea what happened to her. I wrote this song in response to it.

I hope you are having a great and wonderful day.
All my best.

Trevor Marty

16 January, 2017

Two Great Announcements

Hello gang-

How are you today? I’m hoping that this finds you healthy and happy as ever!! (Notice the double exclamation point)
Well, two pretty assume things happened this week.
One I got a mention by the Minnesota Music Coalition. They liked a blog post with it’s respective song, “Grandma’s Kitchen” LINK. Two I’ve just joined forces with a local lady  to help with her grant. I can’t give away to much information on that at the moment, but I will very soon. Stay tuned here!

The Minnesota Music Coalition (LINK) is a local organization which helps to support the community of creative music makers here in Minnesota. They do wonderful things with workshops, mentoring, micro grants, and lots more. Drop by and tell them I sent you. No, you won’t be getting a discount or anything, but it’ll still be fun. http://www.mnmusiccoalition.org/

The person I am joining forces with is a talented writer, singer from Minnesota who found me and asked if I’d be able to help with her grant and goal. Which I am very excited to do. We’ve had one meeting and since that I’ve been busy at work mastering her songs.

With the beginning of the new year I think we’re all thinking and hoping somehow that it’ll be a much better one than last year. Making smallish goals that will help ourselves and the world as humanity keeps rolling along.  For instance I donate money to different organizations every year. Some of the ones I’ve donated to are Minnesota Girls Are Not For Sale, Nature, NPR (I’ve been a member for many years), and a few others.  I don’t have money coming out of my ears or anything but I figure every little bit helps, so I give what I can. I usually try to stay away from obviously political organization.  This year I’m thinking about UNICEF, and Heifer. Both are wonderful organizations which help people around the globe.

The first UNICEF is a UN organized group which helps children all over the world. They have a huge amount of information on their website. They help to immunize children of poverty in endangered situations, and educate them. There’s really so much on their website please go and learn how you can help.  https://www.unicef.org/

The second is a great place to donate because what ever amount you donate gives some family a lift in the form of a farm animal. For instance $20 dollars will give someone a flock of chickens or ducks, $120 buys a sheep, a goat, $30 will get some family honeybees. These gifts are like helping someone with a small business, because with the animals they can sell the product. Whether it’s eggs, wool, milk, or honey. It’s all explained better on their website. https://www.heifer.org/

The van comes along slowly but it comes along. I’ve just made an appointment to have the back heating and air conditioning unit taken out. I will be bringing it to a local Midas to help me get the heating and air conditioning out. It will either need for them to take the whole thing out or they did tell me that some vans have a sort of turn off valve. Now what I’m talking about is the freon which acts as the coolant. It’s very toxic to the environment, animals, and people so I’m  in favor of having them take the whole thing out. However if there is a turn off valve then I can take care of it so long as I can turn it off. I’d hate to accidentally cut one of the pipes which are holding it and spew it everywhere.
Other then that I am just starting to get the electric sorted out. Fuses, batteries, on/off switches, inverters and the like are all to be put into the van. Elissa and I are planning on building shelves, a bed, a sink, and somehow putting a toilet on board somewhere. It’ll be a marvelous adventure.
Slowly we chug along.

Well, that’s it for this week.
Have a blast in your life.

Peace and Groovitude. 

26 December, 2016

Memories, A Table, and Baby Drool

    Right now I’m sitting cross legged at my grandmother’s kitchen table which she hated. The cross legged bit not me sitting here. It was given to me by my mother. There just wasn’t room in her apartment for it. I still find it very comforting to sit here. I feel somehow protected and connected to my grandmother as if she’s still around puttering in her kitchen or taking care of some neighbors baby as they go to work.  
    She was proud of this table and chairs it cost her a small fortune.  Well money for her was difficult to come by, so when I say a small fortune I mean...well why not ask a single parent they’ll explain it.  The table sat in the kitchen of her trailer home and the whole family will remember it.  Most of the time when everyone was there the kitchen strained to hold everyone and eventually it burst wide open like a colorful water balloon. Spilling people, children, and laughter into the living room on card tables or with TV trays as they sat on her floral sofa.  
    Almost everyone in my family was raised around this table or sat at it as adults. It has two leafs,  is oak (I think) and is an oval. The legs are solid ‘turned’ beautifully and are a dark brown color as is the table. It’s still large enough to hold all of our memories. All of the tears, and laughter all of the children, baby drool, coffee spills, smashed peas and even sunlight, and rainy days are still here squished into this table. It’s almost a world onto itself where you can still hear the chaos of our big family while you sit typing a blog. My wife and I are building our own laughter, smashed peas, coffee spills and the like right here in this world at this table. We’ve even given it a name, “Grandma’s Table”.  I know it’s so creative right.
    Most mornings find me here sitting. This morning is no different. I sit in the dark at 540 in the morning with no sound but the clicking of computer keys and the smell of coffee. I’m thinking about the table and memories from this last year.  I had a terrible bicycling accident last December and found myself in a wheelchair for the first three months of 2016.
    For the next three to four months I’m going to be having ‘year memories’ that’s what I call them anyway. That’s memories which come from big experiences which are burnt into you. Weddings, births, deaths, first times for anything are all examples both tragedy and happiness count for ‘year memories’.
    I think we must remember these things when they come. We must allow and welcome them as travelers from our past. Give them some coffee or tea and cookies. Let them sit at the table and tell you their story. For the next few months my travelers will most likely be telling me a story of tragedy and healing as I sit at Grandma’s Table. 

Here's a song I wrote about an experience around that table, and there's a link below where you can purchase that song.


19 December, 2016

Happy Holiday's and The Electric Plan

Dearest Fellows-

     This weekend was terrifically cold and so with wind chills going as far as 40 below zero I decided it would be best if I didn’t hang out to long outside and work on the van.
I did shovel it out of snow, turn it on, and drive it out of it’s stuck spot. Then I looked around it, wished it well, and promised to return in a few days when the temperature gets back above zero.
We have a lot to shovel out and last year I was in a wheelchair (go here for that story) and wasn’t able to do any shoveling. Elissa did everything which was wonderful. This year I plan to shovel all of it. That’s what I did Saturday. I shovel ours and helped with two other places down the block. Saturday was only like 10 below so it was way more doable.

     The holiday season is coming upon us quickly and this demands more time, so I hope to get out to work on the van this week but I’m not sure it’s going to happen. There are lots of things that are also demanding my time, and I hope the weather gets a little bit warmer. I mean if it’s at least at zero I can get a few things done.
     The plan then is to get heavy gauge electric wire and run it from the solenoid and the starter battery to the house batteries with a giant fuse in between and the whole mess grounded to the frame. You can see why I hope for the temperature to warm up a bit since I’ll be crawling under the vehicle on the snow. (My shed isn’t tall enough for van.) From the house batteries I will connect a lighter gauge wire to a DC fuse junction box. The kind you find in cars. At that point I’m a bit lost, and don’t entirely know what to do. I think I’m going to need to connect a couple of dc cigarette type plug in to that fuse box, but I’m not sure. I do know however that we will be needing an inverter. Here’s the one we’re thinking about getting. You’ll notice that it’s sort of small. Well this is why. We aren’t full time boon-docking yet. We are only going to be “trying it out” and thus won’t have the same demands as other folks do. We won’t be putting a refrigerator on it, we won’t be using hair dryers, toaster, or coffee makers. We will only be charging a few devices once in awhile also when we upgrade I’d like to be upgrading to solar charging and get the right inverter for that. This will be connected to the house batteries with the same heavy gauge wire and have a B.A.F. (Big A$# Fuse) between the batteries and the inverter. The whole thing will have a large red On/Off switch, so we can turn the whole mess off if we so choose.Here's that link.
     Well that’s about it for this week I wish you a happy, healthy, and wonderful holiday season. Remember this can be the hardest and most depressive time of the year, so give someone a hug and let them know they’re loved.

All my best

A photo just for fun.