My music rut has been broken!

I am more than willing to admit that I can easily get into a music rut. I have the tendency to listen to a song or album over and over and over again if I really like it. I am pretty sure I spent years of my youth with American Pie on repeat….except the repeat technology wasn’t so good then. It took much more effort to rewind the tape at the end of the song. I even got fancy and recorded multiple tracks on a tape, so I could listen 2-3 times before having to rewind. Ah, kids these days don’t know what they are missing (and just to clarify….I was not even born when the song first came out…it was just a gem I discovered one summer in grade school).

At least my music neurosis nearly always revolve around good music (I am proud to say I was never into the New Kids On The Block!). Well, for the past few months not only have there been just a small handful of bands that have come out of my speakers (minus my morning dedication to WFPK), but I have been spoiled by those same bands because I have had the pleasure of seeing them live…some of them more than once and some more even more than twice!! I’m talking to you Walk The Moon, Ha Ha Tonka, The Features, Langhorne Slim, Ben Sollee, and The Head And The Heart!! In fact, this blog has been quiet because I can feel you all rolling your eyes when I bring up any of the aforementioned bands….I know I have made it known how much I love them.

And some pretty amazing things have happened with those bands since the beginning of the year – Walk The Moon has just exploded, especially with the ‘young people’…makes me still feel young. haha Langehorne Slim launched a PledgeMusic crowd-sourcing campaign that was fully funded within days and he just released a new album that has broken the Billboard top 200!

But let’s move to the fun amazing things that are connected to me. 😀 In January, I started working with Ben Sollee as his social media and Team Sollee coordinator. It has been a fabulous ride that allows me to use my brain for something other than mommy stuff!! I actually get to use my good ole’ Bellarmine University Communications degree for something other than trying to interpret baby babble. Woohoo! Plus, it gives me a chance to help an independent musician whom I fully support and respect. Then Ha Ha Tonka was playing at Uncle Slaytons around my birthday (I had gotten to know them when I interviewed them), so my hubby helped organize a group of friends to come to the show and to my shock and dismay, Ha Ha Tonka called me up on stage, mentioned the blog and lead everyone in singing happy birthday to me. These guys are great and always so kind and friendly whenever I see them (I promise I am not a groupie, but I have seen them 3 times in 5 months and even went 8 hours away to see them….don’t worry, it coincided with an already planned trip!!). Lastly, The Head And The Heart. I started following them very early in their career…just as they were self-releasing their album (before they got picked up by subpop). And I still have trouble believing how all of the pieces just magically fell into place and it is hard to write about them because it just really doesn’t seem real. All I know is that I was able to have dinner with the band before their Louisville show at Headliners, gave Charity a ride to the show from dinner and shared bourbon on the tour bus with Josiah after the show. An entertaining twitter convo was also thrown in there. All of the above groups are just so real and genuine. I am afraid the bar has been set pretty high for any and all future groups that I fall in love with!!

So, you can see why I was pretty content with my musical rut (and see how I am totally trying to justify my craziness!!). Except, I was starting to feel like a fraud for not posting about the newest and greatest music out there! And something new just jumped out at me. The Lumineers. I had heard of them and even heard some of their stuff on WFPK, but for whatever reason I hadn’t paid that much attention to them. Until I was watching tv with my 6 year old daughter and a commercial came on and she said “i know that song”. It was familiar to me, too, but I had to shazam it. And what do you know, it was Ho Hey by The Lumineers. I checked them out on spotify and immediately order their cd. And now, because of my neurosis that we have already established, my kids and I know just about all the words to the whole cd. We’ve had it for 3 days. I love them, I love them, I love them. My only problem is that they aren’t scheduled to come to town. I guess that gives me some time to figure out how I can make friends with them, too. Enjoy this earworm….

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Too many hats?! Nah!

For the past few months, I have felt this blog staring me down and questioning my loyalty! I can’t believe I haven’t posted in so long…but it isn’t for a lack of trying or desire. I started many, many posts, but they just never felt right. So many rockin’ things have happened and if I told you about all of them right now, you would either call my bluff or roll your eyes in disgust. Seriously. I will eventually get them all out, but in little doses.

Recently, a friend forwarded me a link to a ‘music writers wanted ad’ from louisville.com (props to that amazing Bellarmine alumni network!!). My thoughts of ‘sure, why not’ quickly turned into thoughts of ‘oh shit…what have I done?’! I pushed my fears and insecurities aside, hyped myself up on some good coffee and got to work. Below is my first (of many, hopefully) articles on louisville.com.

WFPK fuels the Louisville music community

Upon hearing of my new endeavor, a friend questioned me about how many hats I wear. It made me laugh. If you know me, you know I am always doing something. I get it naturally…my Dad is the same way. He is due to retire this year and I have had so many people say to me, ‘how is that going to work?!’. haha Don’t get me wrong, I love downtime. I don’t particularly like running the kids from practice to practice. But, I use my time wisely. Last night, as #2 was practicing baseball, I sat at the ballpark and wrote the louisville.com article. If I sit down to watch a movie at home, more often than not, I am also folding laundry. It just me…it is what I do.

Everyone functions differently and I have many people look at me like I am crazy when they hear about all the things I am involved in. And, as I was pondering that ‘how many hats’ question, a realization hit me. I LOVE live music. There is just nothing better, in my opinion, than a good, high energy, live show. I am always speechless when people tell me that they love music, but can’t stand live shows. How is that really even possible? A live show caters to all of your senses and puts them into overload. I get there, let my mind go, and soak in all that there is to see and hear. It is like a whole body experience and it is heaven! After a show, I feel like I am flying high sans the drugs. It.is.the.best. And my realization was that: that is how I do things…in overload so of course live shows call my name!

I hope you take a minute to read the article I wrote because it is closely tied to live music in Louisville. And I NEED live music to continue to function!

what’s up with local music?

Louisville has always had a strong local music scene.  We are (generally) supportive of musicians and have some great music events (like Forecastle – “where the world gathers to experience the best in Music, Art, and Activism” and Abbey Road on the River-“biggest Beatles Music Fest in the world!)  And we can’t ignore the HUGE influence of 91.91 WFPK, most listened to AAA station in the country that hosts of so many fabulous shows (Live Lunch, Waterfront Wednesdays, etc) and home of the top Music Director in the country, Kyle Meredith (who also produces/hosts The Weekly Feed, an hour long syndicate in 16 markets). So, we have it good. And local musicians benefit from the strong radio presence….they get airtime!!

But, we all know there is now a large hole in the local music community since the closing of ear X-tacy.  ear X-tacy was a place were local musicans could sell their cds on consignment. It was a place they could have their cd release and in-store performance. It was a place where they could have their cd featured on a listening station for all to sample. I have had numerous people ask me where to buy local music now. I don’t even know what to tell them. I know there are other music stores, but I just called a couple to see if they had Inclusions by Ben Sollee (I’ve gotten a lot of inquiries from friends on where to buy his stuff) and no one did. They were all nice and said they could order it, but it isn’t the same.

I feel the loss and I am only a listener. I am curious to hear what local musicians think and what they think the future looks like for music in Louisville. And apparently, I am not the only one! The Louisville Free Public Library has put together an interesting event, “Local Music: An Insider’s Story”.  It is the first in a series called THINK LOCALLY. Local musicians, Joan Shelley and Joe Manning, of King’s Daughters & Sons,  will give their perspectives and insights on the past and future of music in Louisville.  Join me on Wednesday night at 7pm at the LFPL Highlands Branch.