I came to publishing magazines as a result of the intersection of three personality traits. First, I love to share things that excite me. I get that from my dad, who is always pushing something, using hyperbole to describe a horseradish sauce, a sugar cookie or a TV show. He doesn’t rest until he’s cornered you with a product sample, and you are best advised to nod your head and say, yes, “Cash Cab” really is a clever show. I’m like that, too. Ask me about the comedy of Bo Burnham, and you likely will not escape any time soon.
Second, I have an entrepreneurial streak. While my classmates in grade school were content to coast on the kindness of friends and family for school fundraisers, I pounded the pavement and knocked on doors. I’ve always loved making a sale.
Third, and this was the catalyst, I’ve always loved music. At the age of 9, an older, cooler cousin introduced me to The Beatles, and that changed my life. I began what became a quest to devour as much 20th century pop music as I could. By the time I was a teenager, nothing was more important than listening to every record that Rolling Stone raved about, or every artist that someone who I liked name dropped in an interview. I talked about music endlessly.
In college I joined the radio station and worked for the local record store, the Gallery of Sound. There I got involved with a publication they were producing, and suddenly I had a career path.
Eventually my interest in discovering new music took a backseat to other passions, specifically sustainability. In some ways, obsessing about obscure bands while the fate of humanity hung in the balance seemed trivial. I didn’t exactly abandon listening to music, but it was no longer central to my life.
A year or two ago, my friend George Miller, who has been publishing JUMP, a magazine devoted to covering Philadelphia’s music scene, approached me about taking over the publication. I was reluctant and a bit skeptical. But George is a pretty good salesman, too, and I began to consider it more seriously. Maybe it would be fun.
I began to delve more deeply into Philly’s music scene, and was blown away. These guys are all from Philly? No way! But it’s true. Right under my nose has been a treasure trove of music.
In this issue, we have our first foray as publishers of JUMP. It’s an editorial partnership with Philly Music Fest, a four-day event exclusively featuring local musicians. The idea for the festival was hatched by Greg Seltzer, a music enthusiast who rightly believes that Philadelphia is experiencing a golden age. It’s incredibly exciting to be part of this event.
Ten years ago when I decided to focus my life almost entirely on sustainability, it was in some way because I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. As I venture back into working directly on a music magazine, I think it might be for the same reason.
While I don’t plan to lose the thread, or sense of urgency, regarding sustainability, it’s time for me to plug back into joy. To let it out, and let it in. To have some fun.
I hope you enjoy reading the JUMP Philly Music Festival section as much as I had putting it together. Can’t wait to see those shows. And please join us at Union Transfer on October 6th for an issue release party of JUMP. Nothing, Swirlies, Big Bit and Smut will all be playing. I hope you join us, but either way, don’t miss out on the fun.