Be there, or be... lame.

Be there, or be... UNHAPPY!


Come party with us in Santa Barbara Saturday, June 13th, 8pm.  All ages welcome!  Playing with great band, Martyrs.  

Muddy Waters
508 E. Haley St.
Santa Barbara, CA  93103

happy problem EP out now on iTunes!

Debut CD available on iTunes!

BEFORE WE START: This new email format is rockin’ my world, as you can tell, but I learned the hard way that these emails don’t forward with the pictures in them.  (Arghs.)  SO, if you’re forwarding this missive to a friend, might I suggest that instead you send them to our BLOG page?  Then they’ll be able to read it all for themselves and see the purty pictures too!

And now we begin…

Yes, it’s that time again.  Time to sit at your computer, grab a cup a’ joe, (or a pint a’ bitter might work better for this experience), ready your hand on the scroll bar, and squint at this screen for the next ten minutes.  Ahh, yes.  It’s that time when I regale you with tales from my inner-mind, with subjects so utterly random and facts so useless that you can nary help but say, 

“Why?  Why do I read this thing every month?  Why do I lock my office door and turn off my phone so I won’t be disturbed as I pore through this endless drivel?”

You will also wonder, 

“Is that the correct spelling of “pore” in this context?  Because I feel like I always see it spelled that way, but really it makes more sense to spell it “pour,” as in “pouring over” something.”

And mostly you will ask yourself,

“Why don’t I have anything better to do right now?”

Well people, I can’t help you there.  But I CAN say that I’m glad you’re here with me, to spend a little time each month, to hear about all the goings on of the happy problem and everyone’s favorite snarky gal, the Punky Chef, to watch me fight with myself and with imaginary you–

We’re not fighting with you, Sam–



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HELLO!  I’ll be back to you soon with news of the happy problem and more of the frighteningly random thoughts from my brain that you all seem to love(!), but FIRST!

We’re very excited to announce this years’ winner of the Maribel Garcia Community Spirit Award – Cornell Senior Joran Sequeira.

Joran Sequiera

Joran Sequeira

The Maribel Garcia Community Spirit Fund awards one Cornell student each year for making “a remarkable contribution to the spirit of humanity.”  Our goal is to honor our late friend by “thanking” those who creatively invest emotion, respect, and learning in the community of Ithaca, immediately around them, and from there out into the world community.  Previous recipients include Ding Kong (’07) who created cooking classes for inner-city kids in an effort to promote self-empowerment and healthy lifestyles, and Jessica Houle (’08) who worked with low-income families in the area’s mobile home parks to bring education, environmental awareness, and the arts to the residents, and thus build a strong feeling of pride and possibility within those communities.

In thinking about our late friend Maribel and the indelible, unique spirit she projected in life, which still remains now after her death, we are happy to present the 2009 Maribel Garcia Community Spirit Award to Cornell senior Joran Sequeira.  Joran has brought her vision and leadership to the Cornell Elderly Partnership (CEP), working passionately to dissolve the stereotypes and stigmas placed on the elderly and to promote better understanding, respect, and appreciation for this important segment of the human population.  

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Wow, and I thought it was hard to get MY name into the months… jeez.  Okay, first order of business:

the happy problem in Hollywood Thursday!


Thurs. April 2, 2009  7pm
the happy problem LIVE
Space 15 Twenty
1520 Cahuenga Blvd.
Hollywood, CA  90028
7pm The Kris Special
8pm the happy problem


Yes, siree!  Another great night coming your way with the happiest of problems, (that’s US, by the way.  Pay attention, people!)  


If you don’t live in LA, I apologize for sending all of these announcements out, but we do hope to hit the road as soon as possible, so I just like to let y’all know what we’re doing here in the weird city of lost time…


Lost time, Sam?


Oh you have no idea.  The joke about Los Angeles is that you’re lying in the sun enjoying yourself and then you fall asleep and wake up and it’s ten years later.  Time has a very strange way of moving and not moving out here.  Kinda like when you look at a car wheel spinning and it looks like it’s going backwards but you know it must be going forwards.  Here in LA, you think you’re going forwards but sometimes all you’re feeling is the momentum of standing still.

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Click hear to see our name on the CORRECT playlist!

Click here to see our name on the CORRECT playlist!

SUNDAY, MARCH 15: Well kudos to 98.7 FM in Los Angeles for having the very good taste to play our first single “Happy Happy Happy” on their New Music Show tonight, (coming after such little-known bands as U2, Depeche Mode and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs), but they got our name wrong! We are certianly not happy people now! Ah well. Still very exciting to share the airwaves with Bono…


Tune-in tonight to LA’s  STAR 98.7 fm at 9pm for their New Music Show and check out the happy problem’s first radio air-play!


And 9pm is ALSO the time we’re playing at Spaceland this Wednesday.  Doors are at 8, admission is $8, but REPLY HERE to get on the $5 guest list with all of your friends!  And we’ll be followed by lovely ladies Smith & Pyle at 10pm (Shawnee Smith from the “Saw” movies and Missi Pyle from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” among others), and awesome punkers Hotel St George at 11pm.  It’ll be downright HAPPY!


Click here to go to the myspace page and RSVP for Wednesdays show!

Click here to go to the myspace page and RSVP for Wednesday's show!

spaceland poster



Yes, in sweep the winds of March and with them come many changes!  The very first email to you with PICTURES (“Ahhh…” you say in awe), the very first monthly email title not with “Sam Shaber” mixed into it, but with “the happy problem” instead (“Oohhhh…” you say, impressed), and the very first show for the happy problem at the edgy, hip, and oh-so-cutting-edge rock club, Spaceland, (“Yaaaaayyyy!” you scream with ECSTASY!)


Just humor me, people.


But seriously, we are very excited to be playing this hallowed and quirky room, complete with alien blue lame tinsel curtain behind the stage and tricky parking outside.  Spaceland is one of those rooms where the odd rock star can be found drinking with friends on a dark night, where actors with bands bring their “A” list pals to cheer on their first live music performances (oh so LA, eh?), and where the bands who on that stage grow from opening acts to headliners, find themselves soon on much bigger stages, from festivals to Conan O’Brien.


Ooooh, Aaahhh, Yaaaay!


Exactly.  And what better night to play said hallowed venue than March 18th?  Aaahhhh–


Um, what’s so great about March 18th, Sam?


What’s so great about March 18th?  What’s so GREAT about March 18th?  Well, March 18th is only the day they celebrate MOTHER’S DAY (okay, in Nigeria).  and March 18th was the day, in New York City in 1922, of the very first public BAT MITZVAH (that’s the girl version, for those “goyem” out there…), AND March 18th was also the day, in 1766, when the British Government repealed the STAMP ACT from us poor, downtrodden little colonies.  I mean, how GREAT is March 18th?!?




March 18th is also the birthday of fab divas QUEEN LATIFAH, VANESSA WILLIAMS, and IRENE CARA!  It’s the birthday of GROVER CLEVELAND, JOHN UPDIKE, and someone named BIRGIT CLARIUS who is listed here on Wikipedia as a “German heptathlete, born in 1965.”  AND it is the birthday of John Kander, composer of classic musicals “Cabaret” and “Chicago,” and one of the ushers at my parents’ wedding in 1969.  They call him “Johnny,” in fact.  And I’m sure if I ever met Mr. Kander, I would call him “Johnny” too. 


But perhaps the most exciting thing about March 18th is that it is also the day, in 1989, that a 4,400-year-old mummy was found in the Pyramid of Cheops.






Okay, I’m definitely having fun with this new picture thing…

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Click here to see "Privileged" on the CW!

Click here to see "Privileged" on the CW!

“Cryin’ Shame” by the happy problem was featured this week on the CW drama “Privileged.”  Click the picture to check it out – we’re in the first minute of the show.  And you can watch the full episode at 

But beware… you just might get hooked!




Yes, the happy problem are playing – nay, CELEBRATING – this Wednesday in Los Angeles at the comfy Molly Malone’s pub on South Fairfax.  Why are we celebrating?  Well, after a very successful pair of showcases at the 2009 NAMM Conference last weekend, (National Association of Music Manufacturers), we’ve picked up two big endorsements, with GHS Strings and awesome Rocktron Pedals!  So we want to share the moment with all of you, and as party favors, we’re giving away FREE CDs to the FIRST 20 PEOPLE in the door!  So come on down and party with us this Wednesday, or if you live elsewhere, spread the word to your peeps in La-La-Land.  Tickets are only $6, and an awesome time is guaranteed to all.

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009  11pm
(Yes, get your “disco naps” in that day, folks.)
Molly Malone’s
575 S Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Price: $6
Come celebrate the happy problem’s success at this years’ NAMM Show! First twenty people in the door get a FREE CD!

And stay tuned for the February posting, where I will discuss the utter absurdity of women’s purses that cost $2875 and look like this:

Sammie say "Whaaa?!??"

Sammie say "Whaaa?!??"

You could feed a VILLAGE in – well, somewhere – for what that indigo vomit costs.  I mean, really people.

Love and see you Wednesday,
Sam & Co.

Ahhh, yes.  Here we are, people.  It’s a new year, and somehow, it feels like a new century, no?  A century finally starting where the real one never did.  A century of triumph and doubt and liberty and poverty and peace and war.  Ahh, yes.

Wait a second, THIS century feels just like the LAST century.  Hey!  No fair!

Sorry.  You’re right.  Except one thing is for sure – CHEAP FOOD STILL ROCKS.

Excuse us? 

Oh yes, bring on war and peace, poverty and affluence, liberty and prison, one thing never changes: the vibrant glow of someone who just found great CHEAP FOOD.

Um, Sam, aren’t you going to tell us something about your new band the happy problem?  Like, promote an upcoming show or something?

Oh, right.  Okay yes, the happy problem is ROCKING my WORLD at the moment, and we are very excited to be  heading soon to Pasadena and Anaheim for some really cool shows!  And you can find out all about us at www.

James, Nick, Sam, Pedro

James, Nick, Sam, Pedro


That’s better, thank you.

Can I talk about cheap food now?

Fine.  Jeez.

All-RIGHT!  Because I have got a DOOZY of a F.O.O.D. column for you this month!  (Is that how you spell “doozy?”  Doozie?  I know it’s not “Dozy” because that would rhyme with “cozy” and that might describe our upcoming show at the Old Towne Pub in Pasadena on January 13th, but it does NOT have anything to do with cheap food.)

listen for the happy problem playing inside...

The Old Towne Pub: listen for the happy problem playing inside...

Please go on.

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