10 Cities Nomads and Roaming Musician Should Check Out

In recent years, digital technology has made it possible for many types of professionals to enjoy the same nomadic lifestyles that working musicians have had for years. Today, many people who work from their laptops can essentially go on tour.

And some do. A growing number of people have adopted what’s known as a digital nomad lifestyle: They work as freelancers or remote employees; get paid in dollars (or euros, or pounds); but live in fun, exotic places where their money goes farther than it does back home.

Modern musicians are in similar positions because they can write, record and promote their music from more or less anywhere in the world. That’s what solo artist / session drummer / composer / producer Deane Ogden figured out for himself years ago, and that insight has shaped his career (and greatly influenced his music).

Beyond creative growth, nomadism can make financial sense for a musician. Rents in Bali, for example, can be cheaper than rents in New York by an order of magnitude. It’s actually cheaper to live in paradise.

That’s the big takeaway from a recent post we found on HolidayMe’s website. They took a look at the top ten cities for digital nomads around the world and broke them down according to affordability and access to a high quality of life.

A place like Chiang Mai, Thailand, or Santiago, Chile, might be the perfect spot for any musician looking to stretch her dollars a little farther and open herself up to new cultures and experiences.

posted by Dave

Saving Money At Music Fests

Rock music lovers tend to frequent every music festival in their local vicinity and then some, so finding ways to save on the costs of a good time are always welcome. This info graphic provides valuable information on how music festival aficionados as is based on the typical quirks of those who love spend their leisure time rocking out with others of their kind. It’s located here: and is recommended reading for those who want to maximize their entertainment dollar so that they can afford to see as many shows as possible.

When you are planning your fest, it may be a good idea to think ahead. Three days in the sun can really wear you out. Afterward you are going to need some serious torpor, hibernation, or estivation (source). So you might want to plan on taking a day off from work to rest after attending a multiple day concert. This can help you transition back into the work week after a big fest.

One of the major expenses of many people who regularly attend music festivals is fashion. Face it, you won’t be wearing your office attire to see a show, but you also don’t have to sacrifice your electric bill payment for a new outfit. Vintage styles make wonderful festival wear, and you can amend them to suit your own unique tastes as well as mix them with contemporary clothing. You can usually find fun clothing at second hand and vintage shops, and doing so will give you the added benefit of not looking like every other festival goer who shopped at the latest trendy boutique the day before the event.

Prices at food and beverages at festivals are generally highly inflated, so packing your own can provide you with significant savings. Be sure to check with the event organizer’s policy on bringing your own alcoholic beverages. Most would rather that you didn’t, but stocking up on sandwiches and snacks will prevent you from falling victim to the usual food and drink vendors as well as save you the misery of having to stand in line for overpriced sustenance.

Depending on your personality type and unique quirks, the info graphic provides other useful information for those looking to make their festival experience as financially painless as possible. Ride sharing, finding coupons and other discounts and forgoing baby sitting expenses for your future rocks stars by bringing them along for the fun are all tips that you will find here. Happy music festival-going, and remember that the most important thing is to enjoy the tunes and the good company.

If the weather is especially hot or if you are camping during the fest you may need more extensive rest. A few days by the pool can be a great way to transition back into real life!

posted by John

Best Videos From Pitchfork 2011

Here is a link to some of the best videos of the 2011 Pitchfork Festival. Tune Yards were pretty great and DJ Shadow sound was off the hook. Although I wish they would have given him a later set so we could have enjoyed the visuals a bit more.

Overall I don’t think that I am alone in saying the highlight was TV on the Radio playing Fugazi’s “Waiting Room”… When they kicked off that infamous bassline everyone was silent / stunned and didn’t quite realize what was happening at first.. Then everyone erupted into a volcanic storm of cheering and dancing. People were “freaking out”.

Enjoy these videos and make sure to sign up at my other site if you haven’t already!

Best Videos of Pitchfork 2011

posted by Bill

Rachel Ries :: Without A Bird :: Now Available on Rock Proper

We are very excited to announce that Rachel Ries had decided to release her ground breaking album “Without A Bird” for free download on Rock Proper.

This is the album that help to earn her the 3Arts Chicago Award (which came along with a nice cash prize). Rachel is one of the first folk / rock musicians to earn this prize.

Download it here now:

>>Without A Bird<<

I got Rachel on the phone a 3rd time to tell her how excited I was about this decision. You can check out that quick conversation here:

>>Rachel Ries Interview :: Announcing the Digital Release of “Without a Bird”<<

[remember you can “right click” and “save as” to download to your computer]


Also make sure to check out her sweet new website:

posted by Kobrick

A Music Career Out of Jelly and Jam? Rachel Ries Interview 2

So, I got such good feedback and had such a blast talking to Rachel recently that we decided to do another mini-interview. If you haven’t listened to the first one, make sure to go back an check it out!

This time around Rachel talks about her secret recipe for making some extra cash on the road.

>>Rachel Ries Interview :: The Sequel<<

[remember you can “right click” and “save as” to download to your computer]


Also make sure to check out her sweet new website:

posted by casey

"One of those kids who always sang…" :: an interview with Rachel Ries

I was very excited to get one of my favorite Chicago musicians on the phone today to talk a bit about her early career and how she got started in music.

It turns out, Rachel could communicate musically before she could read and write. She has been doing great things in Chicago (and around the country). Recently she won a Chicago Arts Award worth $15K!

Check it out!

>>Rachel Ries Interview<<

[remember you can “right click” and “save as” to download to your computer]


Make sure to check out Rachel’s new website:

posted by casey

Just A Little :: Samuel Stiles Song Series :: Post 6

Here is my version of a song written by The Beau Brummels. It’s one of my favorite pop tunes of all time from the 1960s.

>>Just A Little<<

[remember you can “right click” and “save as” to download to your computer]


I tried to recreate it note for note.
Hope you enjoy!
This track was recorded to a Tascam 1” analog tape machine. The beastly MS-16.
Samuel Stiles plays: Vox, Backing Vox, 1953 Kay acoustic guitar, 1972 Fender Telecaster deluxe, Bass, Drums, Tambourine.

Please check out my new

posted by Samuel Stiles

New Mama :: Samuel Stiles Song Series :: Post 5

This is the first of many songs that I will do for a charitable cause that is very dear to my heart.

>>New Mama<<

[remember you can “right click” and “save as” to download to your computer]

As many of you may know, I work with adults with developmental disabilities. When I lived in New Orleans, I worked specifically with people diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. This is an affliction that has a broad range of accompanying disabilities.

Some of you may not know that Neil Young has two sons with Cerebral Palsy. I have always been inspired by his music and his charitable efforts to fund The Bridge School.

Every few months I will be covering a Neil Young song and ask each of you to kindly donate money to help children and adults with Cerebral Palsy.

I will NOT ask this of you for this song.

This is simply the first installment of the series and to give you a heads up to this charitable venture in the future.

Enjoy and thanks for listening!

This is my version of one of my favorite Neil Young songs.



New mama’s got a sun in her eyes
No clouds are in my changing skies
Each morning when I wake up to rise
I’m livin’ in a dreamland.

Changing times,
all the reasons,
that turn to lies
Throw them all away
Head in hand,
gift of wonders to understand
And open all the way.

New mama’s got a sun in her eyes
No clouds are in my changing skies
Each morning when I wake up to rise
I’m livin’ in a dreamland.


released: 20 September 2010
This song was recorded to an Tascam MS-16 analog tape machine using only Cascade ribbon microphones.

Samuel Stiles plays: acoustic guitar, banjo, piano, vox, shaker, stomps, tambourine, and claps.

Please check out my new

posted by Samuel Stiles

Lonesome Road :: Samuel Stiles Song Series :: Post 4

This is my version of an old, southern, Mississippi Delta spiritual. The song was first recorded by “Cryin” Sam Collins in 1927. It is a year in time that I have become quite fascinated with. I have modified the lyrics slightly from the original.

>>Lonesome Road<<

Recorded to a 1953 Webcor Royal Coronet Tape recorder and the ribbon microphone that accompanied the machine.

Samuel Stiles: Vox, Classical Guitar, Banjo, Shaker

You will be hearing two separate takes of the song fused into one. I performed the song once with guitar and voice, and then again with banjo and voice.

Both times, I was listening to a shaker recorded for a click track. I couldn’t decide which version I like better, so I just got experimental and fused them into one. On the left speaker, you will hear the guitar/voice take, and the right speaker you will hear the banjo/voice take.

While tricky, I am proud of the way it turned out.


Please check out my new website:


I’m walking down that lonesome lane
Hung down my head and cried
I weeped and I cried under a willow tree
‘n’ my fate’s in the deep blue sea
My mama’s dead, papa can’t be found
And my brother’s on the county road

You did cause me to weep you did cause me to mourn
You did cause me to leave my home

I cried last night and the night before
And I swore not to cry no more
I got no money and they call me no honey
I have to weep and moan
In eighteen hundred in that ninety nine
He got killed on that streetcar line

You did cause me to weep you did cause me to mourn
You did cause me to leave my home

Your fast mail train comin’ round the curve
It done killed my little blue-eyed girl
Her head was ground in that driver wheel
And her body it done never been seen
Says I done been to that long plank walk
And I’m on my way back home

You did cause me to weep you did cause me to mourn
You did cause me to leave my home
Beauty caused me to weep Beauty caused me to mourn
Beauty caused me to leave my home

posted by Samuel Stiles

Rock Proper Hits Germany

Yesterday I did an interview for Deutschlandradio Wissen, a nationwide German public radio station. I am told that Deutschlandradio Wissen is the German equivalent of the BBC Network/NPR.

Here’s a 6 minute sample of what turned into about an hour an a half interview:

Deutschlandradio Wissen Radio Interview


The reporters who contacted me, Christian Grasse and Jochen Dreier, are both passionate radio-journalists from Germany. They are also open source and creative commons fanatics. Two years ago Christian and Jochen launched their own netlabel,

Now they want to bring together their two passions and introduce the creative commons movement to a wide range of people. They are working to gain exposure for the rapidly developing internet music scene that creative commons has spawned.

Here is a quote from Christian and Jochen, “Because for us, creative commons and open source means a culture of sharing and that there is always a further development of a creative product and we like to see this in (radio) journalism too.”

Last week they featured a very interesting Chinese Netlabelist:

posted by casey

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