San Francisco Show

My recent show in San Francisco was life-affirming. It was beyond wonderful to play with those musicians, in that venue, for that beautiful audience.
The show was so packed people were hanging from the rafters!

SF show


Meredith Yayanos – theremin and violin

Murray Campbell – Oboe and violin

Jennifer Rannells – voice

Set list:

Ritual song – Kim starts solo, band walks in with candles
The Forest
Jewel at the heart of everything
to be touched
hand to mouth
anyone at all
Je M’en Fous – Zoe and Kim duo surprise
The World is Mine

Encore #1 – Ritual song #2
Encore #2 – Kim solo – The Well

We set the stage with candles. We cast our first spell. The songs flowed from there. The set started quiet and moody and ended with bombastic songs like HBIC and World is Mine (both coming out on my next album!)
My sister Zoe showed up as a surprise for my mother’s birthday and we performed together for the first time since 2009! It was very silly and very fun.

The encores focused the set back into a spell casting ritual with a guitar loop and layered vocals, accompanied by violins and bells.

After the show people thanked me for the spells.
We all ate delicious pie that my sister Alex made.
I was overjoyed, renewed, and loved everyone.
I will be coming back to San Francisco in the summer! Stay tuned!

New Energy

We took the stage, excited, nervous. We’d never played together before. I’d been rehearsing with the drummer, Nick, once or twice a week for a month, and had rehearsed once with Sand, the bass player, but this was our first show together. Nick and Sand shook hands. We set up, we soundchecked, we played.

We rocked.

We really did. It was loud and fun and energetic and amazing. We sounded tight and together and … like a real band.

my band

I love them.

Jim was doing his live projections. The audience, small as it was, went wild.

For our last song – my newest song – I got down off the stage, away from the glaring lights, to dance in the audience and I could see people’s beaming faces.

This energy is what makes my life worthwhile. To play live, to cast the spell, to communicate this ephemeral magic with whoever is in the room. This is the essence of why I do what I do.

After our set the promoter came to hug me – he’s seen me before, backed my Kickstarters, he already loves what I do, but this time he was ecstatic. “Congratulations!” he said “I’m so excited for your new band! You sounded amazing!”

A young man in the audience approached me, “I think your music makes people horny. I made out with two people during your set and saw other people making out,” he thought for a moment and added, “that’s something the indie scene is really missing.”

People of Earth, I am so happy to fill this niche.

My job is to make you feel. Any feels. And if turned-on is what you are missing in your music scene, then I am here for you.

Come to my shows, fall under the spell, make out!

Kickstarter Presents A Day of Music

Kickstarter Concert

I’ve been running Kickstarter projects since the site was still in invite only beta back in 2009. I’ve funded albums, a vinyl record, tours, individual concerts, the Infinite Minute, an animated video that circuitously launched my career as a sound designer/film composer, and I have backed many Kickstarter projects myself, watched art and design come to life with my help.

Crowd-funding is a wonderful option in our new economy. Though it is sometimes flawed and a lot of work, it is mostly amazing, connecting, and powerful.

I’m so excited and honored to be playing this mini-festival of music on June 13th. The day starts at noon with a record fair curated by the legendary WFMU. I play at 5pm sharp. I hope you’ll come celebrate with me, check out the fancy Kickstarter HQ, browse some records, hear some fantastic live music, and feel the love.

RSVP here:

Facebook event info here:

And please invite your friends and family. It’s FREE!

Final Shows of 2012

Sitting in the recording studio doing final mixes on my new album! It sounds SO GOOD!

Here are my two final shows of 2012:


November 28th – NYC
The Delancey
9pm $5


December 13th – San Francisco
DNA Lounge
8pm $8-10


Right Side Up

 The Story

This is how it goes (or how it went for me) you start a band and you get in a car and you drive around the country many many many times until after a while people start coming to shows. And then more people come. And after a few years of this the empty rooms have become full rooms and you can afford things like food and rent.

Then your band breaks up.

Then you start over as a rocking solo artist and you drive around a little bit but nobody is coming to your shows and you know that you don’t have it in you to drive around the country again for three years. So in Portland Oregon you drink a lot of whiskey and re-invent the concept of touring.


You realize, from your years of experience (and by use of your vast intellect,) that touring is backwards.

Booking a gig and then promoting and hoping people will show up is crazy. CRAZY.

We don’t think of it as crazy because we take it for granted that crazy people (called musicians) all over the world will risk their livelihoods and happiness on the off chance that empty rooms will stop being empty and people will come to shows.

And then you realize that you are one of the crazy people. Have some more whiskey.

At this juncture, out of money and out of whiskey, you realize there are two options:

OPTION A) Quit touring, be a recording artist who never plays live. Or get a day job, nobody likes you anyway.

OPTION 2) Do something you don’t think anybody has ever done before at your level: pre-sell the concerts, the tour, the everything. You’ve got the fans, you know they support you, you raised $20,000 to record your album. SOMEBODY likes you!

You know you’re crazy anyway. Might as well do something crazy about this crazy situation.

Yeah. We know for all your mild mannered cuteness that what you really want to do is change the world.

So do it. One show at a time.

They’ve got your back.


by Shami Kiely
Thursday, July 21st
New York City

The Kickstarter will be up for two weeks. The show will be all ages. Tickets are only $10. Everyone who attends gets a limited edition poster with art by Molly Crabapple. The show will be webcast so you can watch from anywhere in the world. The show will also be recorded and every single person who pledges will get a download of the set played live. I want to play for you!!!!


I want to do this in other cities! Contact me to bring the show to your city: kim (at)

Crowd Sourced Concert

This idea has been skittering around my skull for a while now. I think I’ve been flirting with it for years.

The idea is still a little nebulous, but it is taking shape as I’m facing the giant blank wall of booking tours. The surface of this wall is absolutely smooth, with nothing to hold onto to help the climb. It leaves me feeling stupid and ineffectual. I should know how to do this, but it’s a struggle every time. How do I book the good venues, how do I get people to the shows?

And I think, “If only I had help.” And people keep offering help, but not ‘real’ bookers, with networks and contacts for venues all over the country or world. But maybe I don’t need one booker. Maybe I can have a different booker in every city. And maybe that booker can be you. Or your mom. Or your friend, Sassafras. Or all of you.

I’ve been doing house concerts for years and what I’m thinking of is a little bit like a house concert, in the way that the hosts are the promoters are the audience. But these could happen in all kinds of venues.

What if the concerts were crowd sourced? Maybe one person has a venue contact, someone else does great sound, your cousin likes to hang posters, your dog can interview me for the local paper.

I put on a great show, the problem here is not lack of talent or appeal, the problem is that I am only one person. And hard as it might be to admit: I can’t do everything. At least, I can’t do everything all at once all the time.

So what if I came up with a number? I can break it down. I can say how many people need to attend a show for me to break even.

And what if I pre-sold those tickets before I even booked the show?

It might be crazy, it might not work, but it might also be the only way I can tour. Because I am an artist, busy making the art, and managing about a million things in my career. I do it all myself: the websites, the posters, hanging the posters, the booking, the social media, the blogs. I don’t know any other artists who do as much as I do alone. I know some amazing and successful artists that work very very hard. Not a single one of them works alone. And this is why: because it’s impossible. It is impossible to have a successful career without help. It cannot be done. I know, because I’m here, working with every ounce of everything and not getting anywhere until someone helps. I get intermittent help here and there. Someone books a show, someone else puts up posters. Even something as simple as a retweet, or a mention in a personal blog. And then my career moves forward.

It’s so simple. Help = movement. And I’m too self sufficient for my own good, too good at working by myself. Which doesn’t work. Not really. I need the crowd, and not just as passive audience, I need the crowd management team, the crowd bookers, and the crowd promoters.

I’ve always done things differently, found a new angle, tried a new way. I pride myself on discovering new paradigms. But the truth is that while I have done things my own way I have also spent years waiting for the right person to “discover” me, to think I was worth something, to believe in me.

And what I’ve realized is that the right person has discovered me. The right person is you.

This post, as you have discovered, is not a finalized thought, it is just the beginning of a thought. I hope you’ll join the discussion.


I realized a few things
1.) I do know someone with a successful career who does everything on their own. Jason Webley does everything on his own. But he’s the only one I know who does. And I love him, but he’s crazy.
2.) I do have help. I have a lovely assistant who mails things for me and really does all the things I have ever asked and does them well. My real problem is not getting help when I need it. Not knowing how to ask for help and not knowing how to let people help before it’s too late.
I didn’t mean to lie. Or leave anyone out.