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Old 04-03-2012, 03:29 PM
20 posts, read 42,728 times
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Hi! My husband and I are in our late 20s/early 30s and have lived in NYC for about 10 yrs. Same story as so many others - it's been grand, but the cockroaches, the winters, the lack of privacy, the gray, the unfriendly faces, the rat race, and the unbelievably high cost of living are driving us out. I'm from the Pacific NW and we've both been dreaming of moving out west for years. We are both classically trained professional musicians who have been getting more and more into the indie/acoustic music scene recently, and it's feeling less important for our careers to stay in NYC. Before we have kids, we want to find a place we can live in that feels more like a home - but a home that we can still feel like a part of the "action" and continue pursuing a music career. We both teach privately for supplemental income.

So that's the background info. My sister lives in Austin, and we've been visiting for years, and every time we go, we fall more in love with the place. It just seems to be evolving so quickly and there are so many young, creative types, who are friendly and welcoming - frankly, it feels like heaven. I know the summers get oppressively hot, and the allergies can be a problem. Other than that, though, it seems pretty perfect...

I am not half as interested in LA for two big reasons - traffic, and less of a vibrant tight community. Also, I've spent so much time in NY among the fame-hungry types, and while we both want to succeed as much as possible in the music industry, the image-driven "pop" side of things does not attract me as an environment I want to live in. However, I have heard that Austin has a fairly insular local music scene. I am worried that if we choose Austin, we'll end up feeling a lack of big opportunities and growth as musicians outside of ATX. LA is supposed to be "the place to be" as a musician, but nowadays so much is online, it doesn't seem as necessary, but who knows. Does anyone here have any feedback? Thanks so much in advance for any help or advice! I think we're both just so in love with Austin, I'm worried that we're overlooking something.....apologies for the looooong post.
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Old 04-03-2012, 03:52 PM
Location: Austin, TX
1,285 posts, read 2,615,314 times
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I think as long as you are a friendly person, willing to go to other performers' shows and commiserate with them. You' ll do fine. But, you have to remember most people you meet will be Texans and/or southerners. We have a different way of interacting, a little more "down home", modest, and supportive of each other. It's not "fakey-fakey", "complainy", or people who tend to have their "nose in the air". Not gonna work for you if you're any of these types (and be honest with yourself if you are). Other than that, you'll be fine!
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:33 PM
20 posts, read 42,728 times
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We are not any of those things, which is one of the reasons I am saying we want to leave the nyc area. I am from the pacific northwest, and most people in the Pac NW have the "down-home" mentality as well, IMO. My question was regarding the potential for growth and opportunities for musicians in Austin to build careers outside of the local scene. We are trying to choose between LA and Austin, although we are much, much more interested in Austin as a community. I am curious if anyone has any experience with the music scene in Austin and if people are actually making careers for themselves as musicians there and beyond. Thanks to anybody who can help!
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:09 PM
Location: South Florida
314 posts, read 790,612 times
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I've only been to Austin when I was lil kid but from researching a lot about Austin I would pick Austin 1,000 times over LA. I am possibly relocating to Austin later in the year and I can't wait.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:44 PM
Location: Austin, TX
16,787 posts, read 47,105,550 times
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I lived in LA when I was younger and would definitly recommend Austin over that. However, if you are thinking of teaching to help support your music career you should be aware of this, the State of Texas prior to last year was one of the lowest spending states in the US on public education. Last year it cut even more out of the State budget for schools the current two year budget. Many schools have had layoffs and few are hiring. In addition, while Austin has a lot of live music everwhere you go, most of the musicians aren't getting paid all that well. There is lots of competition and people moving to Austin every year hoping to get started in a music career.

Thanks Perry for screwing our kids' future (education)
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:43 PM
Location: Austin, TX
1,826 posts, read 2,658,086 times
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My brother is a musician in LA and is looking at moving to Austin as well. LA has a very similar rat race to NYC, but you will have a slightly larger place in which to enjoy it...only you'll spend much more of your life in traffic for the privilege.

Having a formal, classical background might give you a bit of an edge over the competition, particularly in teaching, but it is true that TX doesn't pay its teachers what CA or NY do -- though the cost of living is sufficiently lower as to off-set that. I have a buddy who was a teacher in Tulsa who just got hired by KIPP in Austin and that meant a significant raise compared to what OK was paying!
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:00 PM
129 posts, read 218,431 times
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To the OP, Have you been to L.A. yet? way different vibe than NYC. Beaches and sprawl. It has traffic and people like any other large metropolis but, that's where the similarities end. If you want a "career" in music L.A. no question and there are absolutely beautiful places in SoCal without a doubt just more expensive.

My wife and I moved to Austin in '06 with the same desires as you smaller city, closer friends and creative life. We bought a home, now have a child and it's worked out. I'm a songwriting guitarist with my own studio and I've played quite a bit here in various projects live/studio but, I'm ready to move on for more opportunities, more people to collaborate with and frankly to make more of a full time living IN music because here it's NOT an industry. You can get a gig, play live and tour but, it's limited with the exception of SXSW.

The comparison is really apples and oranges Austin is a wonderful place to live and the people are THE best/friendly no question but, a full time career in music (depending on your overhead/expenses) without touring is slim although it could serve as a home base. L.A. has the industry. If you're looking to "supplement" your income w/teaching and have another day gig it could work out. Good luck!

P.S. yes it's crazy HOT don't let anybody tell you differently the clincher is the high humidity leave your winter clothes behind and should you move here, get ready to sweat
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:54 PM
Location: Hutto, Tx
9,249 posts, read 25,705,042 times
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I have some old friends who are Musicians in the area and a friend who is married to a man in a relatively popular Austin band. My old friends started out in Houston and as their careers grew, they went to San Antonio. They DO collaborate with other musicians. The other friend who is married to the musician, that band also does/has done songs for soundtracks in movies made in Austin by Robert Rodriguez. So, yes, I'd pick Austin over LA but I think once you get here that it would help for you to get contacts, ala what ImonFiya says.
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:16 PM
Location: Austin, TX
2,102 posts, read 4,369,729 times
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You guys should contact the people at the Austin Music Foundation with your questions about Austin's music scene.
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:20 AM
Location: Austin, TX
1,826 posts, read 2,658,086 times
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I also have several musician friends in LA and not one of them earns a living unless they're touring. They all have day jobs. I guess if your situation is such that you have a shot at a real career then LA is worth a look, but you'd be in a better position to know that!
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