MonthMarch 2011

GarageBand + My iPad = AWESOME!

A couple of days ago I downloaded the GarageBand app for my iPad and I’ve really fallen in love with it. I think I just found my songwriting idea creation tool of choice.

I’ve always thought that because it was so ahead of its time, the iPad was the tool that you acquired first and worked out how to use it later but now, after playing around with GarageBand, I can see how this will totally revolutionise how I use my iPad.

At the moment I am still at the “mucking around with it” stage but even so, I composed a short piece to celebrate my GarageBand app acquisition. I call this piece GB on the IP and you can find it below.

It’s only an 8 bar phrase repeated twice but hey, it’s a start.

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I can assure you that more songwriting ideas will be coming…

Peace,

Corey :)

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A Word Of Advice – Do Your Taxes Yourself!

I think that the end of the financial year (which in Australia falls on June 30th) is a very stressful time of the year for a lot of people.

For me it’s stressful because (being a small business owner) it’s the time where I get out my receipts folder (or shoe box as was my filing system for a number of years) and spend days pouring over every receipt I’ve collected over the past twelve months and catalog my spending and purchasing habits for the previous year into a spreadsheet which will be then sent to my accountant for processing.

If you’re wondering why I’m writing about this now to you and not at financial years end well, I am at this very moment, waiting on hold to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) for the second time today. The first time was this morning but I gave up after 46 minutes listening to the most mind numbing music I’ve ever heard.

(Somehow I don’t believe it when the recorded voice on the phone says “thank you for holding, your call has progressed in the queue, you will be answered by a service representative shortly”)

Anyway, the reason for my correspondence with the ATO is that for the past couple of years I’ve had problems with my tax, well more precisely, the getting of all of my necessary information together to send off to my accountant.

This was because I allowed a bookkeeper to get my information together rather than doing it myself as I had done in other years. It seemed like a good idea at the time but it turned out be a big (and expensive) mistake.

Now, I’m no financial whizz or accounting genius but compiling all the necessary information needed for the yearly trip to the accountants office was not that hard for me (especially being a sole trader). I just need to be a little bit organised and have the ability to set aside some time to complete all of the necessary tasks but a couple of years ago I thought to myself in a flash of inspiration, “why don’t get someone else to do it?”

I soon realised however, that once I gave all of my receipts and other bits and pieces to the third party I was then working to another persons schedule and their ability to manage their own time, events and so on.

Now I’m not going into the full story of what happened but let me just say that after two years of delays, a couple of bookkeepers, a multitude of phone calls and a lengthy time in my accountants hands later, my tax information is now complete with the result being that I owe the tax office a bit of money.

It’s my hope that I can pay off my tax debt in instalments, hence why I’m waiting on hold to the ATO and hence why you’re reading this.

Being placed on hold has given me a lot of time to think about this present situation and my thoughts are that all of this wouldn’t have happened if I done what I’ve always done every other year and finished my taxes myself. I think this time my need to be in control of my own affairs has been vindicated in a big way.

This will eventually become an expensive mistake for me to learn from, and learn from it I will.

Has anybody else had any issues with small business finances, dealing with bookkeepers and/or accountants? Let me know, I’m on hold… I have all the time in the world to listen.

I suppose I’m also being given a first hand lesson in patience and tolerance and that is what I am grateful for.

Peace,

Corey :)

CD Project Update #17 – It’s On The FlashDrive

Today I’m going into Chapel Lane Studios to pick up my 8GB flash-drive with Stig Lindell’s keyboard parts on it all mixed and lined up ready to be taken back to Anthony Stewart at Red Brick Music to be integrated into his system.

Today is also the day that Darren Zaza goes back into the studio and overdubs his electric guitar parts to “We Can’t Be Together Anymore.” Last Wednesday he completed his guitar parts to “Jigsaw.”

I can’t wait to hear what he has done with both songs as I haven’t been able to get to the studio due to prior recording commitments.

Lately I’ve had more and more people ask me when the CD is going to be finished.

I’m hoping that by the start of the new financial year (July 1st, 2011) I will have a finished CD in my hands and ready to be launched onto an unsuspecting public but, as with all good goals though, it’s best to not set them in concrete.

I’ll keep you posted as always.

Peace,

Corey :)

FIGJAM Website/Blog Now Online!

After procrastinating for what seemed like forever, I finally got up off of my ass and put up the FIGJAM website/blog online.

It’s an attempt to realise another one of my musical goals for 2011 of expanding my live music opportunities for FIGJAM by updating the promotional material and making more of an effort to chase up work for the Duo/Band.

What has also taken a long time to work out is how FIGJAM is going to be promoted. Do I promote it as a band that can scale down to a duo or, as a duo that can scale up to a band?

Now, this may sound trivial but it’s not when you consider that promoting a duo is different to promoting a band and therefore I need to work out how I’m going to spend my non-existent promotional budget.

the way I see it is that co-ordinating Darren and myself for gigs is easy but if I went down the path of promoting a band I have to take other members and their commitments into consideration and in the past that has been my number one challenge (and for most of the time, a headache).

So, in light of all that, FIGJAM is a duo that can expand into a band if need be.

For more information go to www.figjampartyband.com

Peace,

Corey :)

Never Again Will I Be Afraid Of Words

One of my primary songwriting goals of 2011 is to never be afraid of words again.

Ideally, what this means for me is that by conquering my fear of words or, more accurately, the fear of my words (and therefore me, as a person) being judged by others, I will be able to increase my songwriting output by finishing all of my half completed songwriting ideas because at the moment a distinct lack of lyrical material is what is standing in the way of me completing my current batch of songwriting ideas.

I have no real idea how I came to the conclusion that writing lyrics is not one of my strong points but that is how I was seeing myself as a musician first and a lyricist (a very distant) second.

I know that the above statement is not true however, I have said it to myself so many times now that my subconscious believes it. It’s like I’m fulfilling some sort of prophesy about my (lack of) songwriting process.

The biggest problem I have with my with lyric writing process is that I self censor far too early in the piece. I need to give myself the permission to put down on paper whatever comes to me, to write what is inside of me no matter whether I consider it crap or not and no matter how bad it might look on paper.

For some reason I’ve succumbed to the belief that I have nothing of value to say to the world through my lyrics. What a way to sabotage my songwriting and my creativity as a whole.

Yes, I’m pretty good at that.

Even though words have the power to change things and therefore, need to be treated with the respect they deserve, they can’t hurt me and my so called fear of them should not silence me.

The best thing I can do is to roll up my sleeves and just write. I know that by doing this I will conquer my fear of words.

One song at a time…

Peace,

Corey :)

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Help! I Think I Have A Case Of Fringe Fatigue

With the 2011 Adelaide Fringe Festival in full swing there’s a lot of competition around for the attention (and the disposable income) of the general public.

There is so much going on in Adelaide at the moment it’s very easy to develop “Fringe Fatigue” (I know I have) and if you ever needed proof that we in Adelaide are spoilt by too much choice then check out the sheer amount of posters that have been put up around the place.

I mean, there are so many posters on display, especially for the comedy shows, adorning what seems to be every square metre of space in the city. For me, it’s an attack on the senses, like my optic nerves are being assaulted by the faces of comedians desperately peddling their latest show.

I was involved with the Fringe last Friday and Saturday night (February 25th and 26th) with The Synchronicity Police doing two shows in the Balcony Bar of the Colonel Light Hotel. At last years Fringe we did one show at the Queens Arms Hotel with about 130 people in the audience so we had a rough benchmark to aim for.

However, this year we didn’t even make 100 people for the two shows combined.

I thought we did everything possible to promote the shows with the little budget we had but we couldn’t reach last years numbers. This really upset me and it’s probably why I’m writing this post with a hint of cynicism clouded with a dash of fatigue.

Anecdotally, I’ve heard from other Fringe acts that attendances have been down from last year. I have also heard from punters plus friends of mine who have been given the arduous task of reviewing multiple Fringe acts for magazines such as Rip It Up that great shows have had small audiences, smaller than they should be.

There have also been others that have said that this phenomenon has been happening since the Fringe became an annual event while there’s another group who blame the after effects of the GFC (the Global Financial Crisis for those of you who live under a rock).

Whatever the “reasons” are there seems to be a real downward trend in audience numbers or, maybe we’re all turning into (exclusively) comedy fans or, I should’ve worked much harder and done a better job at promoting my own Fringe shows. That sounds more like it.

Oh dear, I’ll stop venting now. I think it’s time for a cup of tea and a lie down.

Peace,

Corey :)

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