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What is the best neighborhood in Los Angeles for musicians / music career. Single-Channel Preamps
Old 5th May 2016
  #1
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What is the best neighborhood in Los Angeles for musicians / music career.

Koreatown / Hollywood / Echo Park / Long Beach?

I’m a 25 year old guy moving to L.A. and I’d like to know what the best place to move is, based on rent prices, crime rate, jobs and lots of musicians willing to start a band with influences of Imagine Dragons, Coldplay, Muse, Foster The People, The Neighbourhood, etc.
Old 5th May 2016
  #2
Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Topanga Canyon are all great, yet pricy. I'd pick Topanga Canyon. The rest of LA is a third world sh*thole, sorry.
Old 5th May 2016
  #3
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All those are good. Just make sure you use a vintage Neve preamps and you should be good to go. Unless you are an API guy. Then you might wanna stay on the west side.
Old 5th May 2016
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Topanga Canyon are all great, yet pricy. I'd pick Topanga Canyon. The rest of LA is a third world sh*thole, sorry.
Topanga -- pricy? I bought a car once from Count Gregor von Bismarck, who lived on a Topanga mountaintop. I commented on the beautiful view, and he said, "Reminds one of the Isle of Capri, does it not?"

Topanga's also not where you want to be if you want to network. I went to a party at Foghat's bass player's house (he does VO, which is how I met him) and everyone there was looking me up and down and saying stuff like "Are you new to the Canyon? I don't recall seeing you down at the store." Like Deliverance, only they let me keep my britches on.
Old 5th May 2016
  #5
I would stick close to the club scene if you want to meet/network with musicians. There are areas of West Hollywood that are relatively affordable and relatively safe. Some people like Echo Park. I was never on of them but you might love it. Check these places out in person. More affordable living can be had over the hill in the valley. Studio City, Burbank, Sherman Oaks are all family nice but a bit further than you will usually want to be and Long Beach is definitely further than I'd want to be from the action.
Old 5th May 2016
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Topanga Canyon are all great, yet pricy. I'd pick Topanga Canyon. The rest of LA is a third world sh*thole, sorry.
Wow. I grew up on the Westside near Roberson and La cienega where my fathers modest 3 bedroom house is now worth more than 1,5 mill. Suffice to say the neighborhood is not a **** hole. Also the ****ty neighborhoods are not necessarily full of immigrants. Some are just low income! I find your comments borderline racist as you just happen to pick all white areas. Good areas in L.A. are many as are BAd. Get your facts straight!

Musicians are currently moving to Culver city, Calabassas, Pasadena and Burbank. Really you gotta get out here and look. I suggest a visit first!
Old 5th May 2016
  #7
I would take Prince' example, and work from where I grew up. Many musicians I know have moved out to Joshua Tree, and other desert areas, because it's just way too expensive to live in the metro area, now the 7th most expensive city in the world, if I remember recent reports correctly.
Prince ran a successful music career from MN, and gave back to his community, rather than move to LA and play the celeb game.
Come visit for a month and re-evaluate.
Old 5th May 2016
  #8
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Speaking as a fellow twenty-something, I feel like you almost have to pick whether you want to be primarily west side (Culver City / West LA / Santa Monica) or east side (Silver Lake / Echo Park, even Downtown if you like the city atmosphere) since driving from one end to the other is a real commitment. My wife and I chose west side by default since she's been in a program at UCLA and we have loved our experience here, but if you're really into the more hipster pop/rock band scene, I'd actually suggest going east side - it's the "cooler" area, and our friends who live there love it. If you have any friends here already, ask where they'd suggest.

If you don't feel like picking a side and want to be a little outside of the city itself, consider the Valley. Sherman Oaks / Studio City / Burbank are all great options with more of a suburban feel.
Old 5th May 2016
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tchgtr View Post
Many musicians I know have moved out to Joshua Tree, and other desert areas, because it's just way too expensive to live in the metro area,
Can you try to describe a little your friends' experiences living farther off the beaten path? I'm looking at a move to the LA area myself, but don't necessarliy need to be "in the thick of it," and I'd love to get a sense of what daily life is like, practically and culturally, and if there's any work at all.
Old 6th May 2016
  #10
Well...some of these folks used to live in the Venice area, which is basically at the beach, but I think all of that is too expensive now, as folks in the SF Bay area are also finding. These are independent artists, mind you, and not studio musicians. The desert is where Coachella happens, and civilization is rapidly encroaching even out there, where summer temps are commonly in the hundreds. Even some well-known names are there, but I hesitate to name-drop in this situation.
Did you see the Sonic Highways program on HBO? When they came to LA to cover the music scene here, they quickly dispensed with the LA music factory scene, and went to the desert, because some of Dave Grohl's early influences came from that area and recorded at Casa de La Luna. From my experience they talked to the right people.
Like many places, the actual amount of work available is not nearly enough to support a large population of artists, and you better really love it to hang in as long as will be needed to work through the various types of BS to be encountered in the biz. Hence my initial advice.
Living near the ocean is more fun, and there are lots of beach cities that have entertainment centers. However, it's very hard to work your way into these places as an entertainer, and living in those areas is quite expensive.
If you have something going where you are, I advise developing that. Make your mistakes and learn the craft where you have support. LA is a hard place to be broke, when surrounded by so much affluence.
Old 6th May 2016
  #11
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Echo Park...Highland Park...Atwater Village...Silverlake if you got the dough...
Old 6th May 2016
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
Echo Park...Highland Park...Atwater Village...Silverlake if you got the dough...
Los Feliz here. I got in before the prices shot up. I am kinda locked in becuase of it. Lol could be a lot worse. I have three major grocery stores in walking distance , bars, restaurants, two great theaters ( the famous Vista) and the Los Feliz three. Griffith Park right up the street.

Silver Lake, Atwater, Echo Park, Hollywood all 5 minutes away, downtown 10 minutes by car or subway.

I am not gonna lie it's more expensive than it used to be, and on that note things have changed a lot here on the east side. Areas that were formerly considered ****ty and gang infested are becoming hip and trendy.
I think a lot has changed since Jim Williams lived up in the LA region. Can't fault him either Carlsbad is pretty chill and nice.
Old 6th May 2016
  #13
There are two ways to go.
Stay put in a regional centre - which often means forming or joining a band to have any national/international success and recognition.
Or..... move to a music capital. That choice being the tougher way to go, but on the upside you are where it's all happening and where there a bunch more like minded people hanging out.
I've always chosen the music capital.

I must say, whenever someone posts a moan on Gearslutz about their region being too quiet, not enough work, no like minded musicians - I often post "duh, move to a recognised music centre". Like LA, Nashville, Austin, London.
I realise that music capital option is much more expensive, more risk laden and more stressful - but it's also where there are more creative people and more opportunities.
Either way, those two options are completely viable. It just depends on the type of person you are and what are your needs.
Old 6th May 2016
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Topanga Canyon are all great, yet pricy. I'd pick Topanga Canyon. The rest of LA is a third world sh*thole, sorry.
wtf u must be trolling. What 25 year old kid has that kinda money. Lmfao. If you have that kind of money you can easily buy your connections from wherever your at. Personally, I don't think you need to be in LA to be successful in music in the state it's in right now. I lived in LA a few years ago. It's all internet these days. That's all you need. You could be in North Dakota and do the same exact thing when your a nobody. Just make good music and use the internet to become noticed. Don't get me wrong though, once your on that level, that professional level, then yes it's the best place.


Quote:
Originally Posted by musicianof1 View Post
I would stick close to the club scene if you want to meet/network with musicians. There are areas of West Hollywood that are relatively affordable and relatively safe. Some people like Echo Park. I was never on of them but you might love it. Check these places out in person. More affordable living can be had over the hill in the valley. Studio City, Burbank, Sherman Oaks are all family nice but a bit further than you will usually want to be and Long Beach is definitely further than I'd want to be from the action.
The valley would be my choice. As its a lot nicer than the 'city' of LA most of LA is pretty dirty, and the nicer areas cost wayyy too much. The valley is cool because it isn't too expensive and isn't dirty like when you live in the hollywood area. I lived in the valley when I lived there. I'd move back there if I could. I love LA theres a certain feeling you get down there you just don't get anywhere else. Feels Magical.

I love studio city and sherman oaks both very nice places to live I think those are more pricey. Anything by ventura blvd probably pricey. But nice! I lived in Van Nuys / Panorama city From there I used to Go into downtown LA to the city to talk to my friends who were making multi millions from music. Lol.

By the way I saw the biggest roaches I've ever seen in my life on hollywood blvd 1 block down from the strip. I used to stand out there and promote my music. One night I saw a family of Roaches each the size of a small mouse. lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edelrhoads View Post
Koreatown / Hollywood / Echo Park / Long Beach?

I’m a 25 year old guy moving to L.A. and I’d like to know what the best place to move is, based on rent prices, crime rate, jobs and lots of musicians willing to start a band with influences of Imagine Dragons, Coldplay, Muse, Foster The People, The Neighbourhood, etc.
The Valley and drive into the city if your on a budget. Its more laid back, less dirty, less crime and not too far away. You need a car in LA don't even think about using public transportation or you'll waste your whole day. Move to the valley and drive where you need to go
Old 6th May 2016
  #15
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it's a tough thing considering cost of living in most places. LA, Portland, Seattle, Bay Area - all of these cool west coast towns are getting very expensive.

I know a really successful indie musician in Portland who's thinking of moving outside of town because it's just getting to expensive on a musicians salary. And he's placed quite a few songs on TV (has a decent income stream from that). I can't imagine living in any part of LA and being a full-time indie musician.

Even here in Seattle we're seeing rents rise faster than anything else. 1 bedroom 1 bath in any decent part of town will run at least $1,700, but many now are over $2,200 a month just for a very average apartment.

But back to LA, and slightly off topic, if you do move there to focus on music, be sure you can find a job that won't kill your passion to create music. Sometimes doing what you have to do can take away your energy from doing what you want to do. It would suck to move there, then out of necessity work a job that just kills your energy to do what you originally intended.
Old 6th May 2016
  #16
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Silver lake echo park has soul. The ppl I met there inspire me and they were inspired. I agree you'd want to stick to west Hollywood for the clubs and rehearsal spaces, but I miss echo park the most. Great vibe/energy there. It's kinda like Pittsburg meets Berkeley meets Portland meets dirty ass LA, and the musicians are hungry there.
Old 6th May 2016
  #17
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Bushwick.
Old 6th May 2016
  #18
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The real LA experience is Latino, which I am not. I started in Hollywood and because I found I preferred Latino areas I moved east, constantly east. That is the story of LA, neighborhoods gentrifying and old established families selling their property, making a bundle and moving on. I watched it happen to Silverlake, then Echo Park, then Downtown. Knowing what I know I would be thinking about Boyle Heights/East LA. That's where the artists are moving because Downtown is just too expensive.
Moving to Los Angeles was the best thing I did for myself as a young man and moving away when I retired was the best thing I did for myself as an older person.
It's a high pressure city with high pressure lifestyles, perfectly suited for artistic endeavor. You can find people that are into anything you can imagine. You want to form a band that is Sun Ra meets ABBA? You'll find others that want to as well.
The talent pool is second to none, you have to move to New York or London to match it.
I ended up in the music industry as a career, not as a musician (although I did that for many years and have toured the world) but as a creative in the concert industry. That is another benefit to moving there. I could not have done what I did on that level in very many cities in this world.
Move and prosper, take the leap.
All this being said, I would start in Echo Park, there's tons of musicians there and it hasn't spun completely out of control price wise, yet.
Old 6th May 2016
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reborn View Post
Wow. I suggest a visit first!
I don't need to, I was born there and lived there until 2004. I got a pretty good handle on that place. Call me Snake Plisken, I "Escaped From LA".

It was a quality of life decision, the best I ever made. YMMV.
Old 6th May 2016
  #20
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There are a lot of 20-something musicians in my neighborhood (Hollywood/Hollywood Hills). My impression has always been that the Indie Rock scene was more centered on eastern LA (Silver Lake, Echo Park, Eagle Rock, South Pasadena, etc) than western (which is very pricey, unless you go further south). I could be wrong, though - I am not involved in the band scene anymore.

LA is getting more expensive by the day and rents are way, way up. Not as bad as NYC or SanFran, but getting there.

Crime and homelessness are also rising. If it's a big concern for you, the LA Times has a crime map somewhere on their website that shows you all the hot zones for crime. I feel way safer here than I ever did in NYC, but you still have to cautious if you are walking around at night or early morning.
Old 6th May 2016
  #21
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hi jim, i think he was talking to the OP about the visit - and i am always jealous when i see your location !!! beautiful down that way

so, greeting from the ****e whole known as venice HAHA ... it has become very expensive to live near the beach these days .. i have been here for 15 years and have seen the rise ..

since all the Cool People live on the Eastside .. i will just say, it is nice by the beach .. ride a bike to listen to mixes .. but i grew up near water and it makes me feel better ..

before the beach was .. Sun Valley, Northridge, Canoga Park, Playa Del Rey, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Farmers Market Area, and now here ..

really depends on what you are going to do for Work !!! and where .. commuting in this city can be a Bear .. i work freelance so i go to where the work is .. next week is hollywood, then downtown area .. who knows where next ..

best advise anyone ever gave me was .. try to like the Area you come Home to at Night .. means alot when the city starts to get on your nerves ...




Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
I don't need to, I was born there and lived there until 2004. I got a pretty good handle on that place. Call me Snake Plisken, I "Escaped From LA".

It was a quality of life decision, the best I ever made. YMMV.
Old 19th May 2016
  #22
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I so desperately want to get out of the IE. Coming from New Orleans, and after experiencing the initial sticker price of living in So-cal, its all i could afford.

Damn you guys are rich.
Old 12th June 2017
  #23
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Yep, gotta go where the music scene is otherwise you'll feel isolated in much of that town.
Old 12th June 2017
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Topanga Canyon are all great, yet pricy. I'd pick Topanga Canyon. The rest of LA is a third world sh*thole, sorry.
Old 29th June 2017
  #25
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Im a pro player and LA native but I lived and worked in London half my life so I understand getting started in a music capital. Hollywood is the center of the music industry. Not just LA but for the world still. London NYC and Nashville being obvious centers as well. So be near Hollywood if you want to meet people in music especially in your 20s. The largest concentration of pro musicians are in North Hollywoods warehouse studio district so noho could be good. Silverlake and Echo Park are filled with indie musicians as well. Burbank, Studio City, Atwater, Weho, are satellites of Hollywood so good as well. Sherman oaks has a lot of musicians not too far. All these neighborhoods are pretty safe compared to inner city like south central. Sometimes you can find rent controlled places in Hollywood. Also think about your Uber costs to & from Hollywood when youre having a few. Good Luck

Last edited by manfish; 29th June 2017 at 12:09 AM.. Reason: sppellling
Old 26th May 2018
  #26
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So, interestingly, this is the first Google result if you search, "musician neighborhood Los Angeles". I felt like the suggestions were kind of all over the place, so I made a rough attempt to tally the votes. It looks like most people are advocating for either Echo Park/Silverlake, or Hollywood/Weho and its "satellites" in the Valley. There were also a few sparse suggestions for West LA (Culver City, Santa Monica) or the northeast (Highland Park, South Pasadena, Eagle Rock). Anyone disagree with these groupings/interpretations or anyone care to cast additional votes?

North Hollywood, Koreatown, and Downtown are all places I would have expected people to suggest, but were pretty much ignored. Just a little too far from the music centers indicated here, I'm guessing? Thoughts, comments?

Here were the votes:

Echo Park 7
Silver Lake 5

“Stay home” 3

Hollywood 3
West Hollywood 3
Sherman Oaks 3
Studio City 3
Burbank 3
Atwater Village 2

South Pasadena 2
Highland Park 1
Eagle Rock 1

Culver City 2
Santa Monica 1
"West La" 1

North Hollywood 1
Koreatown 1
Downtown 1
Longbeach 1
Calabassas 1
Bushwick (NYC) 1
Old 6th September 2018
  #27
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EAST ("Silver Lake adjacent")
>Echo Park 7
>Silver Lake 5
>Atwater Village 2
|||||||||||||||||||||
>South Pasadena 2
>Highland Park 1
>Eagle Rock 1

CENTRAL ("Hollywood adjacent")
>Hollywood 3
>West Hollywood 3
|||||||||||||||||||
>Sherman Oaks 3
>Studio City 3
>Burbank 3
>North Hollywood 1
>Koreatown 1

WEST
>Culver City 2
>Santa Monica 1
>"West La" 1

MISCELLANEOUS
>“Stay home” 3
>Downtown 1
>Longbeach 1
>Calabassas 1
>Bushwick (NYC) 1
Old 5th April 2019
  #28
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Hollywood is the center of the music industry/business, but Silverlake/Echo Park/Atwater Village is where the “heart” of the scene is right now. If you’re asking this question, then Silver/Echo/etc. is likely where your crowd is. It also probably has the most music venues for up-and-coming acts, if not certainly just the “most relevant” ones.

I would note as someone who hates commuting and doesn’t own a vehicle, Hollywood is really the only place on this list where I can commute to almost everywhere I theoretically may want to go with minimal trouble (venues in WeHo and Echo Park/Silverlake, venues and studios in Hollywood and nearby valley, maybe NoHo for practice space or studios, etc).

I’m not sure why anyone asking this question would live on the West side (Culver City, Santa Monica, etc.), it just seems to be removed from almost everything right now and not an easy commute by any means. But nice vibe for sure.
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