I've written a good bit about Couch Surfing in my past travelogs. After all, it has been the single most valuable resource to me as I've traveled the country, taking my show on the road.

In short, CS is an online social network - a community of like-minded travelers and hosts - built on the values of generosity, hospitality, and reciprocity. In my many travels I've had the great privilege of staying, playing (music, kickball, and/or board games!), eating, drinking, partying, conversing, watching movies, roadtripping, ridesharing, (water) surfing, geo-caching (..and so on!) with dozens of Couch Surfers all across the country. Each has been a joy to meet and spend time with, and time was the only expense - they never charged me a dime! Instead, we engage in mutual exchange, teaching and sharing stories and experiences, skills and recipes. 

Most of my hosts have been far more generous and accommodating than I ever would expect of them. They became tour guides, personal chefs, entertainers, and instant friends in strange lands. Thus I have been really bummed that over the past three years, living in NYC, I've been unable to host Couch Surfers myself, to reciprocate all of the generosity and hospitality I've received from the community. 

But right now there's a chance for me to pay it forward in a different way! Allow me to introduce you to SOFA, a Munich-based magazine all about Couch Surfing

The three lovely ladies in the video below are putting their heads and hands together to make an amazing digital magazine for the iPad. They are now raising money through the popular arts-based crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. 
Please check out their campaign and consider supporting their efforts to bring more attention to this great resource for travelers (and all kinds of other interesting people) the world over, to share many of those stories, experiences, skills, recipes (and more!) of this worldwide community, made up of people from every country and culture with access to the internet! 

From the looks of the video they've created, their magazine is going to be really flippin cool. So have a look and consider throwing a few bones their way. You need they! Or.. wait.. um.. THEY NEED YOU!
 
 

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In the weeks leading up to the release of my debut full-length album, Heliotropism, I was seriously considering whether I should make it available as a free download in addition to selling it on iTunes and Amazon.

My gut told me not to. I had put a ton of work into this album (with still much left to be done at that point) and it just felt wrong to give it away for free. The album's worth to me was - well, it was priceless! How could I not charge at least $10 for it?? 

But my head had different ideas.

I mean it's not like this was the first time that I had encountered this pickle. I had previously asked and resolved these questions regarding my shows and guitar lessons. In these instances, my decision had been that I'd rather have people see me play or be taught than allow finances to become an obstacle. My recorded music was the last bastion of Capitalist aspiration. But why should my music follow a different model?

I worked through these questions with my friends and DIY-musician-cohorts Greg (of Among Giants) and Zach (of Lost Trail), with only about a week left before my album release. They reminded me that at this stage in my career, I just need to have as many people as humanly possible listening to my music. I couldn't let anything be a barrier, including money. 

They both recommended to me a website called bandcamp where I could host my music for people to download for free or donate whatever they could. I was still hesitant, but I figured it was inevitable that I'd decide this for my music - sooner or later. I succumbed and began throwing together my very own bandcamp page.

On September 15, I finally released Heliotropism on iTunes, Amazon, and youtube. Then on September 17, the anniversary of the Occupy movement, I made the album available to download for free on bandcamp. And over the course of "12 Days of Heliotropism" I also released the rest of my original albums.

Now you can download it all - my entire catalog of original music - for free! Or leave a tip :)

Enjoy!

 

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10/24/2012

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After two and a half years displaying only the words "coming soon..." this website finally has a page that actually explains what it's all about!

Check it out in the menu above :D

I have at least 4 or 5 other topics I've been meaning to write about, but it's taken me a long while to adjust to working a nearly-full-time job. Now that I've gotten my shit together, I'll be pumping 'em out over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!