NYC local vs online music scene

Anything about MUSIC but doesn't fit into the forums above.
noizdawg
KVRist
39 posts since 6 May, 2019

Post Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:24 pm

There is no right answer, just wondering if anyone has any current feedback. I've lived around the coasts. Lived in NY for a long time. Moved away when it got too expensive. Thinking about moving back, however:

Cons:

- it's more expensive than ever, plus if I move back, I promised I'd live in the middle of it all, not uptown or in a far out part of the boroughs; this means I'll probably need a second job or a new main job, meaning less time for music;
- I've got a nice studio setup now; I have to face the reality that, while I can play my subwoofer at any hour now where I am, I would probably get minimal or no use out of it, and have to rent a studio space; I do feel like having the sub on makes mixing and mixing while producing much more efficient for me; not to mention, while I don't use a lot of space now, I don't have to worry about reflections too much in my room size;
- having moved away, and visited, I am not sure anymore whether being "in it" all the time is so great, or if it's better to get re-invigorated from an occasional trip, and that's enough (I am about 2.5 hours out where I am now);

Pros:

- I'd be able to get to events on weekday nights more easily (unless I get a different job of course);
- I am probably missing out on real life connections;
- Some say all music is online nowadays, and regions having their own sound isn't a big thing anymore; but then I check out some local events, and even if the music is online, I definitely see stuff that I haven't heard before (not that it's my favorite, but probably stuff that's mind-opening vs. mind-numbing like online can be);
- this is more of a neutral, but maybe I could earn a bit doing some in-person gigs, either recording/mixing, throwing events, DJing, etc. - probably all pipe dreams, so I don't consider it a Pro.

Anyone else in a similar boat who moved out and in (or vice versa) from NYC, especially recently?

noizdawg
KVRist
39 posts since 6 May, 2019

Re: NYC local vs online music scene

Post Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:28 pm

Oh, also - interesting tidbit (to me) - I watched the Twister Sister documentary recently, and I was surprised to learn that for all of their 10 or so years touring, they NEVER ONCE played in a Manhattan club! All of their concerts were upstate, Long Island, or New Jersey, and they were making quite a good living. According to them, playing in Manhattan meant a small crowd, small stage, and little chance of profit - it was basically just a place to say you'd played and get exposure, but to them, it wasn't worth it.

Rock isn't my main thing anymore, I am into electronic/hip-hop/dance genres mostly, plus soundtrack stuff.

noizdawg
KVRist
39 posts since 6 May, 2019

Re: NYC local vs online music scene

Post Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:42 pm

Hehe - I was expecting a flaming sheiser storm of responses, but only crickets. Ah well.

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telecode
KVRian
1037 posts since 24 Mar, 2015 from Toronto, Canada

Re: NYC local vs online music scene

Post Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:07 pm

I guess you need to wait until.someone who is in NYC and in the scene can answer your question. Given that your question is highly geographic, perhaps might be better to try some avenues that are geographic in nature. Lookup music related events in NYC and try to connect.
Just a keep on a goin' a forward, without a single ounce of fear

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Forgotten
KVRAF
3360 posts since 15 Apr, 2019 from Nowhere

Re: NYC local vs online music scene

Post Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:17 pm

You can get in and out of the city easily, so why do you have to be in the middle of it all? (I assume you mean midtown or downtown Manhattan).

If it was me I'd consider Brooklyn over Manhattan or maybe even think about Jersey. Having a second job really seems like a sucky solution.

noizdawg
KVRist
39 posts since 6 May, 2019

Re: NYC local vs online music scene

Post Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:49 pm

If I was an hour away, I'd agree... but at 2.5 hours, each way, even going for a weekend day spends a lot of time on travel. I know then, why not move to Jersey - but in my experience, the cost savings moving out from Manhattan don't really make it worth it for each additional 20-30 minutes of travel time.

I looked at Brooklyn - saw some places I liked online in the storied "up-and-coming" Bushwick - but then I look at the crime maps and the Google Street View, and I'm sorry, I guess I am not young enough anymore to be gullible enough to believe the part of Bushiwick I saw (granted it was the southeastern part) was worth near-Williamsburg prices... When I lived in Manhattan for 10 years, I only went to Brooklyn five times. I know people love it. For some reason, to me, it feels like a suburb. I WANT to love it!

Kinda feel the same about Jersey. Overpriced for the extra commute it adds, and I just don't like it at all.

Stepping back - I think my overall thing was - NYC vs online - not NYC vs commuting to NYC. :) As in, is it so important still to be in NYC. Sometimes it seems obvious, yes, you wouldn't meed the characters or connections otherwise, would you. Other times, it seems like, I wouldn't have money to spend on gear or going out at all then... maybe a second job or a more stressful first job...

Anyway I thank you for at least responding. I guess it's an internal torment, really. For example, I dream of starting some events for open mic night, or maybe a trance DJ night, or performing with some analog gear. But how likely is that to happen... sure it's easier to meet people to do things with on Reverb Nation or other online resources. But it also seems like, let alone playing for free - you almost need to pay to perform! (not really I guess, but feels like it's getting there) And how realistic is it that I am going to have time setting up and practicing a set for any of those ideas. (I know I know - I should just do those things locally... but I can't picture more than 2 people showing up, in some country tavern... kind of depressing even thinking about entertaining such ideas.)

I've also thought about just doing a short term rental for 1-3 months... but those are expensive, unless it's a room share... and I wouldn't want to be in a multi-roommate situation. (not to mention keeping equipment safe/clean from prying hands, or noise concerns with roommates above and beyond neighbors in general...)

noizdawg
KVRist
39 posts since 6 May, 2019

Re: NYC local vs online music scene

Post Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:51 pm

telecode wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:07 pm
I guess you need to wait until.someone who is in NYC and in the scene can answer your question. Given that your question is highly geographic, perhaps might be better to try some avenues that are geographic in nature. Lookup music related events in NYC and try to connect.
Oops, didn't even see this response until after the last one! (my last one was towards the reply above it) you're right. I was just feeling the waters on here to see if anyone jumped in. I don't dare post the same on GS, I know I'll get flamed there, haha.

Very good point though, one I need to remind myself... just pick and actually ATTEND some more events in person (even if just for entertainment) and see how it goes. The last few times I visited, I had too much fun just having a night out!

Edit: Was thinking about it more, and wanted to say one more time, such a great and simple point... get to some events, attend some events, see if it clicks. It's on my list of todo items, but gets clouded over as it were. Thanks!

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Forgotten
KVRAF
3360 posts since 15 Apr, 2019 from Nowhere

Re: NYC local vs online music scene

Post Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:39 am

Well my wife's cousin needed to be in the city for work if possible and chose Brooklyn as the next best thing. He felt like he was getting a better deal on living costs (he was somewhere near midtown on the Brooklyn side), but eventually moved to Hoboken to get a bigger place. His thing was the size of the place he was living in and he stepped it up each time.

Haven't lived near enough to NYC for years to be able to go often, so I only really know from the perspective of my wife's family members who live in the area.

Local Man
KVRian
616 posts since 31 May, 2017

Re: NYC local vs online music scene

Post Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:55 am

I think in general it is foolish for artists and musicians to pay the huge premium on fashionable urban living at this point.
The bohemian movements that defined these places arose out of entirely different economic and cultural realities. They are now long gone and only live on as a mythology promoted by real estate developers in order to entice more tech yuppies. These cities are now defined by a leisure class that is artsy but that are not artists. Actual artists have to work 3 and 4 jobs (you're lucky if it's only 2) in order to support themselves. Do you think that your productivity and the quality of your work would not be compromised by such a burden?
Personally, I grew up in LA and I wish that I would have left a decade ago. Familial obligations are the only thing keeping me here now.
I fantasize all the time about moving to a smaller city like Pittsburgh or Memphis or Montreal or really anywhere that you can afford to live comfortably and still have the time and space to create with a free and open mind.
And of course LA isn't even close to being as problematic in terms of cost living as New York is.
Anyway that is my take on it. As the cultural carpet baggers take over places like NY and LA, artists need to spread out to survive and maintain their crafts. Otherwise we toil just to become background decoration, like the graffiti art murals that only serve to raise property values on adjacent luxury condos.

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telecode
KVRian
1037 posts since 24 Mar, 2015 from Toronto, Canada

Re: NYC local vs online music scene

Post Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:47 pm

Don't some really cool artists live and work out out really weird places? The Butch Vig guy from Garbage/Nirvana fame worked out of Wisconsin. Justin Vernon works out for Vermont. No? I think it's the artists and not the place that make it what it is.
Just a keep on a goin' a forward, without a single ounce of fear

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noizdawg
KVRist
39 posts since 6 May, 2019

Re: NYC local vs online music scene

Post Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:41 pm

Local Man wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:55 am
I think in general it is foolish for artists and musicians to pay the huge premium on fashionable urban living at this point.
The bohemian movements that defined these places arose out of entirely different economic and cultural realities. They are now long gone and only live on as a mythology promoted by real estate developers in order to entice more tech yuppies. These cities are now defined by a leisure class that is artsy but that are not artists. Actual artists have to work 3 and 4 jobs (you're lucky if it's only 2) in order to support themselves. Do you think that your productivity and the quality of your work would not be compromised by such a burden?
Personally, I grew up in LA and I wish that I would have left a decade ago. Familial obligations are the only thing keeping me here now.
I fantasize all the time about moving to a smaller city like Pittsburgh or Memphis or Montreal or really anywhere that you can afford to live comfortably and still have the time and space to create with a free and open mind.
And of course LA isn't even close to being as problematic in terms of cost living as New York is.
Anyway that is my take on it. As the cultural carpet baggers take over places like NY and LA, artists need to spread out to survive and maintain their crafts. Otherwise we toil just to become background decoration, like the graffiti art murals that only serve to raise property values on adjacent luxury condos.
Yep, very true. (Warhol's famed studio was right on Union Square north... nowadays, where would he have to locate to have the size space, before he got well-known of course?) The reason SoHo was the place to be WAS because it was cheap, and pretty much nothing else.

Funny you mention that about LA. Being an outsider, I could see both the draw but also the history and unsustainability when I visted over many years and lived there a short time. (and it is expensive, because then for sure you need a reliable vehicle, with the high reg costs and gas prices to boot) I guess for me, I like dense urban areas, but they're all expensive now. In hindsight I can see why so many moved to Berlin. I could have back in '08, now I wish I had, I suppose.

I love that last line, sounds like it should be a quoted remark quite often! (and it strikes home to part of what I am unsure of - these new acts I see from Brooklyn, small experiemental groups, etc. - IS IT the new stuff the way the "new stuff" used to start underground? OR is it just whatever the people who can afford there like to work on and put out? :) And the "real stuff" is whatever people in the midwest or whatever cheap suburb they live in are putting online? This is quite a conundrum for me since I've visited the city lately, to be honest. I question what's "real" (or both are "real", is the right answer, perhaps... just that it's a lot less expensive to do something "real" online!).

noizdawg
KVRist
39 posts since 6 May, 2019

Re: NYC local vs online music scene

Post Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:44 pm

telecode wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:47 pm
Don't some really cool artists live and work out out really weird places? The Butch Vig guy from Garbage/Nirvana fame worked out of Wisconsin. Justin Vernon works out for Vermont. No? I think it's the artists and not the place that make it what it is.
Butch Vig works out of LA though ever since he "made it", no? Or does he still work from Wisconsin?

Good point though, and similar to what I was saying above. And maybe it says more about me than anything, that I still feel like there is some value or secret sauce to being a music person in the city vs anywhere else... (especially since, I am pretty sure when I lived there, I must have thought many times, wouldn't it be nice to live somewhere cheaper, where I wouldn't have to work as hard, and have time to work on more music stuff! lol)

Local Man
KVRian
616 posts since 31 May, 2017

Re: NYC local vs online music scene

Post Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:22 pm

noizdawg wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:41 pm
Local Man wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:55 am
I think in general it is foolish for artists and musicians to pay the huge premium on fashionable urban living at this point.
The bohemian movements that defined these places arose out of entirely different economic and cultural realities. They are now long gone and only live on as a mythology promoted by real estate developers in order to entice more tech yuppies. These cities are now defined by a leisure class that is artsy but that are not artists. Actual artists have to work 3 and 4 jobs (you're lucky if it's only 2) in order to support themselves. Do you think that your productivity and the quality of your work would not be compromised by such a burden?
Personally, I grew up in LA and I wish that I would have left a decade ago. Familial obligations are the only thing keeping me here now.
I fantasize all the time about moving to a smaller city like Pittsburgh or Memphis or Montreal or really anywhere that you can afford to live comfortably and still have the time and space to create with a free and open mind.
And of course LA isn't even close to being as problematic in terms of cost living as New York is.
Anyway that is my take on it. As the cultural carpet baggers take over places like NY and LA, artists need to spread out to survive and maintain their crafts. Otherwise we toil just to become background decoration, like the graffiti art murals that only serve to raise property values on adjacent luxury condos.
Yep, very true. (Warhol's famed studio was right on Union Square north... nowadays, where would he have to locate to have the size space, before he got well-known of course?) The reason SoHo was the place to be WAS because it was cheap, and pretty much nothing else.

Funny you mention that about LA. Being an outsider, I could see both the draw but also the history and unsustainability when I visted over many years and lived there a short time. (and it is expensive, because then for sure you need a reliable vehicle, with the high reg costs and gas prices to boot) I guess for me, I like dense urban areas, but they're all expensive now. In hindsight I can see why so many moved to Berlin. I could have back in '08, now I wish I had, I suppose.

I love that last line, sounds like it should be a quoted remark quite often! (and it strikes home to part of what I am unsure of - these new acts I see from Brooklyn, small experiemental groups, etc. - IS IT the new stuff the way the "new stuff" used to start underground? OR is it just whatever the people who can afford there like to work on and put out? :) And the "real stuff" is whatever people in the midwest or whatever cheap suburb they live in are putting online? This is quite a conundrum for me since I've visited the city lately, to be honest. I question what's "real" (or both are "real", is the right answer, perhaps... just that it's a lot less expensive to do something "real" online!).
I'm glad you took that the right way. I was just trying to be honest but I was afraid I was being a little too dismissive of your dilemma and insensitive to your priorities maybe.
But again, I'm glad you got where I'm coming from.
And I get where you are coming from because the quality of life in dense cities is well worth much of the sacrafices. But at some point it just becomes untenable.

It's funny you mention the car thing because even though I was born and raised in LA, I hate driving (other than open road, road trip kind of stuff) and I didn't even learn how to drive until I was in my late 20's. So for me living somewhere walkable and with great public transportation is a dream. But with a family with 2 small kids and living on artist's incomes (my wife is a visual artist and teacher), most of the places that fit that bill are out of consideration right now.
The big problem ultimately is supply and demand. This is a huge country, yet there are only a handful of dense, diverse, centers of culture. And since the trend of "urban living" has steadily grown over the past 2 decades, those few places are beyond saturated.
I've thought a lot about Chicago as a compromise between livability and cost of living but like I said before, the roots are too deep here at the moment to even explore anything like that.

noizdawg
KVRist
39 posts since 6 May, 2019

Re: NYC local vs online music scene

Post Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:02 pm

Again, well said! Boston and NYC are both especially saturated... D.C. too I suppose. I wonder about Chicago sometimes. Also, Seattle seems not too expensive, yet. (never really thought of it as a dense city though, but of course has so much history musically) Sometimes I think, maybe Nashville (but very focused on certain types of music, or maybe not so much anymore).
Then you have funny spots like Vegas - which was cheap, but now is more like an LA suburb... and devoid of culture.

Something else I keep in mind - I think it was a Hemingway quote that said something to the effect - "no matter how much you move around, you can't move away from yourself". :)

At least it sounds like you are in a happy relationship - I think that helps a lot to bridge any gaps in environment no matter where one lives. (maybe I am taking the grass is greener outlook on that too, though! heh)

I loved driving in LA, but at night when there was no traffic... a surreal experience, I found it. Traffic did indeed wear me down very quickly!

Anyway, good thoughts and much appreciated feedback. I am kind of isolated where I am so just getting some thoughts like you had actually helps quite a bit.

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telecode
KVRian
1037 posts since 24 Mar, 2015 from Toronto, Canada

Re: NYC local vs online music scene

Post Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:06 am

Come to Toronto. Biking and Uber is the big thing for downtown. No one owns cars. Downtown living is cool. Quality life is cool. Public transportation is the worst. Weather is cool. Music scene is happening if are into hip hop and EDM. All other clu s closed.
Just a keep on a goin' a forward, without a single ounce of fear

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