The Power of the Crowd



It’s the last 6 days of the Kickstarter campaign to fund my next album. We’re in the home stretch. I am currently at $22,000 of my $30,000 minimum goal. $30,000 is the absolute minimum to record and release the album to Kickstarter backers. Reaching a higher goal would grant me the ability to tour, make videos, and record even more music.

Today I did some calculations based on reaching my minimum goal of $30,000 and my dream goal of $50,000.

I am not famous, but I do have fans. Twitter, Facebook and my email list put that number at about 5,000. That’s not many people human population wise. But the small may be mighty!

Since 677 wonderful people have already backed the project (THANK YOU!!) I’ve based my calculations on 4,323 (5,000 – 677).

If 4,323 of you wonderful people back my project for $2 (get a digital download of the whole album for $2) I will have enough to record and release my album to Kickstarter backers.

If 4,323 of you extra super amazingly wonderful back my album for $7 I will have enough to reach my dream goal, tour, make videos, breathe, eat, and make more music.

$2 would be great.

$7 would be amazing.

That isn’t much money when it’s broken down that way. That is the power of the crowd.

Your power.




This is how I feel about my new album, and about your support!

Gratuitous celebrity endorsement:

p.s. I have evacuated from my NY apartment that was on the border of the flood zone. I’m staying with friends in a no-flood zone. The winds are getting a bit gusty. The storm surge has already begun. I have pancake mix and maple syrup. And whiskey. Hoping for the best.

More blogs!

Whew! What a ride. Lots of blogs written. Still a few on the way and I will post those as they pop up. I’d still love it if you wrote about me and the tour but I can’t answer questions anymore as I’ll be ON A PLANE TO AUSTRALIA!!! (I will announce ONE Melbourne show soon.)


I wrote a guest blog for – they are amazing, if you are a musician or a programmer you should check them out. Big things coming!

My guest post:

That post got picked up by, a popular music and tech blog:


And here are blogs written not by me:


Katelan Foisy wrote about me – the post includes a super rad portrait of us drawn by Jim Hensen BEFORE WE WERE BORN.


This blog made me cry in a good way and reminded me why I make music and work so hard to connect:


In which I talk about being LOUD:


Photo by Fairytale Vegas



And this is an interview I did about makeup for!

Ogle my makeup kit and find out what makes me sparkle.

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.