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#2294205 - 04/20/11 12:02 PM Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life
Dglavko Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 546
Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I thought I'd post a new topic as it was evolving out of this one:

http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2293343/3

If you could do it all again, or were just starting out now, or find yourself an empty nester about to select a (warm) place to relocate for part of the year, where would you go (weather, vibrant live music scene, and styles of music, cost of living all considered)?

Personally, I am seriously thinking about spending my winters in Austin for just those reasons. Based on my limited very limit travel experience to Austin (SXSW, once), I get the impression that Toronto (where I live) is not nearly as friendly for the number (altho' quality is another issue) of live music venues (at least for roots and blues scenes) AND winter weather, although it does have a very very talented jazz community. Perhaps my perception is skewed by the excitement of a one off festival experience (SXSW), perhaps not?

Your advice?

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#2294211 - 04/20/11 12:08 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: Dglavko]
CEB Offline
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Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 6531
I always thought I would forget worrying about music work and move to New Zealand or maybe Austrailia but I don't know this earthquake situation has me 2nd guessing New Zealand

The nature pictures from New Zealand sure look nice.


Edited by CEB (04/20/11 12:09 PM)
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#2294216 - 04/20/11 12:22 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: CEB]
stillgigging Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 08/20/10
Posts: 1413
Loc: Perth, Scotland
Don't know how it works for you non European citizens but if you've an EU passport I've ex bandmates doing well in:

Holland (jazz/rock guitar player but he does a bit of everything)
Germany (blues singer/guitarist who writes originals)

and a few years back I'd a retro punk acquaintance based in France.

Once you're on to the main bit of Europe our countries are a drive train/ride (like states in the US?).

We also get medical treatment/benefits on a parity with locals. I know politics is off limits - just saying.


Edited by stillgigging (04/20/11 12:24 PM)
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#2294217 - 04/20/11 12:22 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: CEB]
Jim Alfredson Offline
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Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 5081
Loc: Lansing, MI
If I was retiring and had a little nest egg, I'd go to Costa Rica. I'd bring one Hammond/Leslie, a MIDI/usb controller, a few mics, a laptop and interface with a DAW and soft-synths. Oh, and I guess my wife. smile

The real estate is cheap, the people are wonderful, the food is incredible, the environment is amazing and inspiring.
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#2294218 - 04/20/11 12:27 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: CEB]
montunoman Offline
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Registered: 06/15/07
Posts: 743
Dglavko,I think Austin would be good for what you do(Blues,roots. The winters aren't really warm- but much better than Canada. The summers are really hot.

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#2294222 - 04/20/11 12:38 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: montunoman]
ProfD Offline
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Registered: 05/11/06
Posts: 8317
Loc: Wash DC Area
For me, there is no place like 'home'. Decent quality of life. All (4) seasons. Diverse music scene. I have no complaints. cool
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#2294228 - 04/20/11 12:45 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: ProfD]
therealvicz Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 341
Loc: Shropshire, UK
This place looks pretty cool...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyoDUoH7BZc
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#2294229 - 04/20/11 12:45 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: montunoman]
Joe Muscara Offline
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Registered: 02/21/05
Posts: 15405
Loc: Houston, TX
I've often said that if I weren't so tied to Houston, I'd move to Austin. That being said, musicians flock to that town, it's more expensive than Houston (but still cheaper than a lot of places, I bet), and winters get a bit chillier there than here.

I wonder if the quantity of musicians there makes it that much harder to stand out, get a gig, get yourself established. It's a friendly competition mind you, most people there are too laid back, but everyone does need to eat.

Cost of living in Texas is pretty good last I checked. No state income tax helps, and housing costs are pretty low.

I'm originally from New York and I've become spoiled by these Texas winters. However, the last two were record-setting cold. They were still warmer than up there, though. smile

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#2294231 - 04/20/11 12:50 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: montunoman]
Dglavko Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 546
Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Austin's topping my list at the moment, although I think I'd have to find a way to head north to much cooler Ontario cottage country for summer - which starts in Austin early April it seems - 95 degrees all this week!

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#2294236 - 04/20/11 12:56 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: Dglavko]
AnonymousInvent Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/15/11
Posts: 68
Loc: Florida
Melbourne, Florida. Nice weather (a bit hot in summer - and summer is long). Pretty decent music scene. Then there's Orlando an hour away with a lot of music going on. Additionally, statewide, there are many places to hear and play good music: Daytona Beach, Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville etc. It's worked fine for me. One note of caution, I grew up in Minnesota and didn't realize how much I would miss the change of seasons. FL only has 2 seasons, really.
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#2294239 - 04/20/11 01:06 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: therealvicz]
stillgigging Offline
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Registered: 08/20/10
Posts: 1413
Loc: Perth, Scotland
Originally Posted By: therealvicz
This place looks pretty cool...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyoDUoH7BZc



I love this. Cheers for posting.
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#2294240 - 04/20/11 01:08 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: AnonymousInvent]
CrimsonianKing Offline
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Registered: 01/21/11
Posts: 1443
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: AnonymousInvent
Melbourne, Florida. Nice weather (a bit hot in summer - and summer is long). Pretty decent music scene. Then there's Orlando an hour away with a lot of music going on. .


Disagree, DO NOT come to Orlando, if you decide florida is the place to go, South Florida is the place to be, anywhere close to miami. Central florida's music scene is deader than dead. I regret every minute of my life for having moved here, but oh well...
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#2294247 - 04/20/11 01:17 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: montunoman]
keyman27 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/23/10
Posts: 268
Loc: United States
New Orleans comes in first place for music scene, and last place for quality of life.

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#2294324 - 04/20/11 03:54 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: keyman27]
richwhite9 Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/03/07
Posts: 2634
Originally Posted By: keyman27
New Orleans comes in first place for music scene, and last place for quality of life.


You don't like Nutria in your Gumbo?




Nutria: the righteous fur.

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#2294325 - 04/20/11 04:02 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: richwhite9]
ksoper Offline
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Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 2583
Loc: Murfreesboro,TN,UNITED STATES
I'd love to live in NOLA, but only if I could live in the Quarter. My second choice would be Vegas. I'm pretty sure I could find work in either city and eat very well.

K.

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#2294328 - 04/20/11 04:17 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: CrimsonianKing]
D-Bon Offline
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Registered: 12/30/06
Posts: 7491
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Originally Posted By: CrimsonianKing
Disagree, DO NOT come to Orlando, if you decide florida is the place to go, South Florida is the place to be, anywhere close to miami. Central florida's music scene is deader than dead. I regret every minute of my life for having moved here, but oh well...

How close to Gainesville are you? I have a musician friend who lives there and is dying to get out.

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#2294330 - 04/20/11 04:25 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: D-Bon]
CrimsonianKing Offline
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Registered: 01/21/11
Posts: 1443
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: D-Bon
Originally Posted By: CrimsonianKing
Disagree, DO NOT come to Orlando, if you decide florida is the place to go, South Florida is the place to be, anywhere close to miami. Central florida's music scene is deader than dead. I regret every minute of my life for having moved here, but oh well...

How close to Gainesville are you? I have a musician friend who lives there and is dying to get out.


A little on the far side, about 2 hrs away, give or take a few mins.
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#2294332 - 04/20/11 04:32 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: CrimsonianKing]
D-Bon Offline
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Registered: 12/30/06
Posts: 7491
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
He moved there for the "music scene" and regrets it. Apparently the kids there dream of moving to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Too bad Williamsburg was over 10 years ago.

I've seen a few shows at The Social in Orlando. Good sound but cramped layout.

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#2294334 - 04/20/11 04:40 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: ProfD]
NoahZark Offline
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Registered: 11/06/05
Posts: 3524
Loc: Maryland, USA
Originally Posted By: ProfD
For me, there is no place like 'home'. Decent quality of life. All (4) seasons. Diverse music scene. I have no complaints. cool


Exactly how I feel about our hometown as well, PD, which explains why the Washington DC metro area has remained my home for all 43 years of my life (except time away for college and graduate school). One other benefit of the DC area, which seems increasingly important these days: DC really doesn't get weather or geological disasters. No earthquakes. No hurricanes. No mudslides. No brush fires. No (serious) floods. Very rare tornadoes. The worst we seem to get is the occasional dumping of snow in winter, but we generally get off light there as well (especially compared to our neighbors to the north).

Noah

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#2294335 - 04/20/11 04:43 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: D-Bon]
CrimsonianKing Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 01/21/11
Posts: 1443
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: D-Bon
He moved there for the "music scene" and regrets it. Apparently the kids there dream of moving to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Too bad Williamsburg was over 10 years ago.

I've seen a few shows at The Social in Orlando. Good sound but cramped layout.


The Social is a nice place, so are some bars in the Disney area and around the neighborhood. There's a lot of country music here, but not really my thing. And yeah man, i dream of moving back to South Florida but a lot of my friends are hurt from money, they say it's not good down there right now.
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"The purple piper plays his tune, The choir softly sing; Three lullabies in an ancient tongue, For the court of the crimson king"

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#2294343 - 04/20/11 05:45 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: ksoper]
FunkKeyStuff Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 1287
Originally Posted By: ksoper
I'd love to live in NOLA, but only if I could live in the Quarter


I live in NOLA and you couldn't pay me to live in the Quarter.

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#2294350 - 04/20/11 06:00 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: FunkKeyStuff]
Adan Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 1992
Loc: San Francisco
I would hypothesize that high quality of life and vibrant music scene rarely go together. Austin might be an exception in that regard.

I lived in DC and liked it alot, but it's very expensive and it's generally not the kind of place a person just picks up and moves to without a specific reason.

New Orleans, from all I hear, has taken a big hit on the quality of life side due to recent disasters. Still one of my favorite places to visit.

I lived in North Carolina and thought there was tons of good music there. The general pace of life was too slow for me. The traffic was also too slow.

Seattle and Portland have good music scenes, but are not especially warm or affordable.

California is the state I know best. Unfortunately, most of it is very expensive. Santa Barbara is gorgeous, but pricey. Santa Cruz is actually a city I'd recommend taking a good look at. Much warmer and more affordable than SF, but still enough of a city. I assume it's got a decent music scene, though maybe not anything special.
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#2294352 - 04/20/11 06:11 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: Adan]
D-Bon Offline
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Registered: 12/30/06
Posts: 7491
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Originally Posted By: Adan
I would hypothesize that high quality of life and vibrant music scene rarely go together.

This. Though it depends on how you define "vibrant."

And since Seattle (and arguably Brooklyn), there really hasn't been a significant new music scene in any city in this country.

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#2294354 - 04/20/11 06:20 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: AnonymousInvent]
SK Offline
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Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 4056
Loc: North America
One off the wall, inexplicable musical oasis is Charlottesville, Va. It's a very nice moderate sized town, a good mix of open minded types, and UVA has a first rate jazz department. I played there just last week.

What makes it special: years ago, some top NY players moved there and had an influence on the area. So C'ville has a big cross section of styles and a healthy jazz scene. I've played gigs there with drummer Bob Moses, trumpeter John Dearth, etc. I did a clinic at UVA with Uri Kaine, so you never know who's coming through. Dave Matthews is from there, as well as his late sax player, Leroi Moore, and his drummer, Carter Beauford. C'ville is like the Bermuda Triangle of music in Va..
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#2294359 - 04/20/11 07:00 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: SK]
D-Bon Offline
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Registered: 12/30/06
Posts: 7491
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Originally Posted By: SK
Dave Matthews is from there, as well as his late sax player, Leroi Moore, and his drummer, Carter Beauford. C'ville is like the Bermuda Triangle of music in Va..

We'd all be better off if Dave Matthews had disappeared.

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#2294361 - 04/20/11 07:09 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: D-Bon]
SK Offline
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Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 4056
Loc: North America
Originally Posted By: D-Bon
Originally Posted By: SK
Dave Matthews is from there, as well as his late sax player, Leroi Moore, and his drummer, Carter Beauford. C'ville is like the Bermuda Triangle of music in Va..

We'd all be better off if Dave Matthews had disappeared.
OK. The point was a lot of musicians come from that town.

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#2294362 - 04/20/11 07:10 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: SK]
allan_evett Offline
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Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 2626
Loc: Westville, IN
Charlottesville is a great town. We have family there, and throughout VA and MD; so the Baltimore/DC/Chesapeake area and the Maryland shore are favorites as well. My wife and I sometimes talk about settling back east someday. We'll see... If that ever happened Ellicott City, MD would be my dream town, if we could swing the housing costs. In my travels, my three favorite small cities have been Ellicott City, Burlington, VT, and Fort Collins, CO. Currently we live 20 minutes from Fort Collins; not a bad deal at all. Not sure I'd recommend it as a warm place to relocate, though the winters are definitely milder than Chicago; the lack of high humidity is also refreshing. FoCo has a very vibrant arts scene, and the original music scene is very active. However, it's not a place to relocate for a jobbing musician; Denver is better for that. But if you don't mind the 40-55 mile drive to play out, Fort Collins is beautiful (lots of historic architecture, jaw dropping scenery to the west, the CSU campus), and has a very cool vibe overall.
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#2294364 - 04/20/11 07:16 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: SK]
Mr. B. Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/26/09
Posts: 294
Loc: South Texas, U.S.A.
Joe I don't know where you were last winter in Houston, but it was one of the warmest on record. The winter before last got damn cold for down here. We had a bunch of hard freezes on the Galveston coast and in Houston.
Believe it or not, Oklahoma has a great music scene. I moved down from Enid, northern Ok. It's a city now and almost 30 years ago the music scene was really active and I spent 15 years there. It get really cold in the winter, black ice, snow, 0 degrees F.
Down here in Houston you have to drive for ever to get to venues, but the biggest bands and internation acts come through all the time. There are plenty of very large open air venues and one is able to check out any type of music they're into.
I used to go to something in Houston every week end till three severe auto accidents put a sort of end to it. I have had outings with my classes in the evenings. Opera's, symphonies, jazz, rock etc, then we have an oral discussion in class.

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#2294374 - 04/20/11 07:44 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: SK]
D-Bon Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 12/30/06
Posts: 7491
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Originally Posted By: SK
OK. The point was a lot of musicians come from that town.

I know. wink

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#2294376 - 04/20/11 07:46 PM Re: Best place to live/relocate for music scene/quality of life [Re: allan_evett]
D-Bon Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 12/30/06
Posts: 7491
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Originally Posted By: allan_evett
Currently we live 20 minutes from Fort Collins; not a bad deal at all.

The guys from ALL (formerly Descendents) live there and have a studio, The Blasting Room.

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