Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Happy Frappy | Guster

There has been many times in my life when I question exactly what I’m doing. From an early age, I always had some sort of project, goal, or obsession that I focused all of my time and energy into. That hasn’t changed.

I wonder sometimes what keeps me going. Why I go to sleep every night with a song in my head, and why I wake up the next morning an hour before I have to leave for school just so I can write about music. There’s something that keeps me going, day after day, year after year, in spite of whatever obstacles come my way.

I forget sometimes that I live in New York City.

When you’ve lived here long enough, the glitter seems to fade from the sidewalks and skyscrapers, and you find the corner coffee guy much more interesting than the tourists in Times Square. I came to New York because I wanted to feel the energy. Four years later, that energy hasn’t faded.

It isn’t until I leave New York that I realize how truly amazing it all is. I run a magazine that I started in one of the biggest cities in the world. I think about years from now when I can tell my kids that at 21 years old, I was living my dream in New York City, listening to bands play live every night of the week.

But that isn’t why I started a magazine – to hang out, meet, or interview future rock stars. It wasn’t even to gain notoriety in this constant changing world. It wasn’t that at all.

I’ve always been taught that life needs passion. My parents both left their houses at age 18 to find a better future. They came from nothing. My dad was driving cabs while attending business school. My mom hitchhiked through Europe until she landed in London and met my dad. They married eachother after just months of meeting eachother, despite their families concerns. They were the first of their families to move to America. To see how far they have come is nothing short of inspiring.

Although it was never said explicitly -- my parents taught my brother, sister and I that we must have a goal. Without a goal there is no direction and without direction there is nothing to achieve. I’ve always felt that I needed to do something extraordinary with my life. I know I got that from them.

That’s why I started this magazine – because I wanted a challenge and I knew that my life wouldn’t mean anything unless I did it. And in spite of being constantly connected to my email, in spite of the negative reactions, the long nights, the credit card debts, and the inevitable disappointment that I won’t take over the world – there’s a reason I get up in the morning and I reason I can sleep soundly at the end of the night. My life means something. Unfortunately, I don’t think everyone’s does.

I’ve learned to channel the negative into the positive, and if that doesn’t work, put on a good song. Is it just me, or does everyone have a happy song? The minute that you put it on, the rest of the world just seems to float away, and everything is ok, even for just three to four minutes.

My happy song isn't by a band du jour, and may consider me unhip, or whatever. I don't care. Guster was the first band that I fell in love with, drove to different states to see play live, and the first interview I landed where I felt like I had made it. But it’s their songs, and it's “Happy Frappy” that remind me that music is like no other art form.

It completes. It transforms. And it makes you feel alive.

  • Guster - Happy Frappy


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