I was supposed to run for President in 2012.

Tomorrow is election day. A Presidential election, at that. Is it bad that I feel fortunate not to live in an ‘important’ state such as Ohio? I have friends there who had received 12 political phone calls THIS MORNING!!! There was a time when I couldn’t get enough of the political game! In fact, it all started before I was enough old enough to vote. When I was in high school, my best friend and I hatched a plan that in the year 2012, we would run on a ticket since we would be 35 in the year 2012. Ha…how things have changed and somehow time has stood still because there is no way I am really 35!!

One thing that hasn’t changed is how serious I take my right and obligation to vote. I have voted in every election that I was eligible for since I turned 18. Sometimes that included voting by absentee ballot, sometimes that included driving to multiple voting locations after moving into a new precinct, sometimes that meant bring all 4 kids with me. Although the last one was often a pain….contrary to popular belief, becoming a mother does not include gaining a set of eyes in the back of your head. Therefore, trying to concentrate on the ballot in front of you can become quite the challenge when you bring four young children with you to vote.

But, pain or not, bringing the kids with me is something I will always do. In fact, on primary days, I wait until they are off school to ensure they can still go. I clearly remember going with my parents to vote when I was young and I think it had a large impact on my feelings surrounding voting today. I want to help instill that same since of duty in my children that my parents did for me.

One of our favorite family stories surrounding voting happened during the last Presidential election. I made the big effort to get all 4 children out the door…they were ages 6, 4, 2 and newborn at the time and getting out the door was always a challenge!! Anyway, we got to our voting place and the oldest two boys were given Kids’ Vote ballots to fill out. Not wanting to miss out on something, their 2 yr old sister said she wanted one also. Of course, I had to help them fill it out (I won’t tell who they voted for, but I approved.)  And when it got to be my daughter’s turn, I asked her who she wanted me to check off. She looked at me and shook her head. She didn’t want either one of the options. I was started to get antsy to be done and pushed her to pick one. Again, she shook her head and said “I want Fancy Nancy!” And that is who I wrote it!! To fully appreciate the story, you need to know that Fancy Nancy is a character in a children’s book series who has red, curly hair and likes everything fancy. You also need to know that that description pretty much fits my daughter as well!!

Tomorrow is the big day and I don’t care who you vote for (well, I do, but….), JUST VOTE!!! Let your voice be heard. Here is another plea from a friend and amazing musician to vote. Please watch this video…words can’t describe how moving it is. Ben Sollee made his way to the Lincoln Memorial recently and sang his song, A Few Honest Words, even after being relocated by security. As you can see, the lyrics make this song very fitting this time of the year.

A Few Honest Words

If you’re going to lead my country,
If you’re gonna say it’s free
I’m gonna need
a little honesty

Just a few honest words
It shouldn’t be that hard
Just a few honest words
Is all I need

I don’t need no handshake
No firm look in the eye
Don’t tell me what you think I,
I ought to hear

I don’t need no high life
No fancy premiers
Just tell me what you really think
Without fear

Just a few honest words
It shouldn’t be that hard
Just a few honest words
Is all I need

Love is a bitter food
You’ve learned to eat
You still don’t know, oh,
Where it grows

And our love of freedom
Holds a veil over our eyes
Rights that are given
Can be taken away

Just a few honest words
It shouldn’t be that hard
Just a few honest words
Is all I need

We don’t choose our leaders
The choose themselves
Tell me again
About democracy

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Edward Sharpe: review & ticket giveaway!!

A few months ago, I heard the song Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros for the first time. Around the same time, I heard that the band had recently stopped in Louisville, sans show, and hung out with Jim James and Patrick Hallahan of My Morning Jacket. Apparently, they were chilling at the Holy Grale. If you have ever been, then you know how small it is (if you haven’t been…shame on you!!), so it is pretty amusing that Edward Sharpe party of 12, plus Jim and Patrick decided to hang there. That’s right, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros are made up of 12 people, including 2 drummers. I never really understood the whole 2 drummers thing, but it totally works for them! I immediate bought tickets to their show at Iroquois Amphitheater and then ordered their CD.

My Morning Jacket isn’ the only band who has taken notice of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.  In April 2011, the band joined Mumford & Sons and Old Crow Medicine Show on the Railroad Revival Tour

Well, fast forward a few months and real life has jumped in the way of fun and it was looking like the show wasn’t going to be in the cards. But then musical magic happened and all things were good again! Hubby and I headed down to the Southern Ground Food and Music Fest in Nashville (another post is coming on that!), and to our pleasant surprise, we were going to get to see Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros after all. And not just see them, but be close enough to touch them!

All I could think about was that Louisville was in for a treat and I was doing to do whatever it took to make sure I saw them again at Iroquois. They were incredible live! It was fabulous to see Edward and Jade singing, dancing, running, and interacting all over the stage. They had everyone in the audience on their feet dancing…their youthful enthusiasm was definitely contagious and I can’t wait to catch it again in a couple of days.

I find it very fitting that their song, Man on Fire, starts with the following lyrics, because you can tell that those lyrics are also the philosophy of the band.

I’m a man on fire
Walking through your street
With one guitar
And two dancing feet
Only one desire
That’s left in me
I want the whole damn world
To come dance with me

And lucky for you, I have two tickets to giveaway for the show so you can experience their spirited singing and entertaining for yourself! Just post on the Last Bit of Sanity facebook page that you want to win. To double your chances, share this on facebook and/or twitter (and while you are at it, check out some of the amazing pictures I got)! A winner will be announced on Wednesday by noon! Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros are playing at Iroquois Amphitheater on Wednesday Sept 26th at 8pm. They are being supported by Clap Your Hands  Say Yeah! Tickets are $30.

The new Avett Brothers album….the good, the bad, and the ugly!

When I first starting really getting into the Avett Brothers a few years ago in 2009, with the release of I and Love and You, I couldn’t get enough of them. And I was lucky, because there was so much other material to start collecting and listening to! I discovered some of my favorite songs on that release (such as The Perfect Space, Laundry Room, Tin Man…ok, there is a lot I like about it!!). But I also heard people say that it was too ‘polished’ for the Avetts. That they preferred them more raw. I started going back in their discography and started to understand what long time fans meant. The Avett Brothers have such strong lyric writing capacities and many of those lyrics are weighed in heavy emotions. Those feelings and emotions come out best when the songs are being performed live without restraint. And that is something very different than a finely tuned album recording. There is room for both, but if you only listen to an Avetts album, then you are depriving yourself of the magical experience that is the Avett Brothers. If you can’t see them live and in person, you can still get the feelings by listening to their one of their (3) live albums or even watching them perform on tv (or on their Live, Volume 3 dvd).

Their newest album, The Carpenter, does not disappoint on the lyrical front. They are masters with their words and ideas. I would love to be a fly on the wall during a writing session! Initially, I was a little disappointed that the boot stomping sing-alongs were missing from this album. But that was only initially. The Carpenter feels like a much more serious, sentimental release. It seems to follow in the foot steps of The Gleam (2006) and The Second Gleam (2008) releases. Those EPs are softer and played live less, for the most part. They seem more private, if that is possible. That said, some of my very favorite Avett brothers songs are on the Gleams — Murder in the City (I was there for this performance!!) and When I Drink (the inspiration for the name of this blog!!), for example. When listening to The Carpenter album, you can tell that they have grown up, gotten married, had kids (some of them!), and watched as one of their young offspring fought cancer. They are more mature and more aware that life is more than ‘just playing music’. Just listen to this song, A Fathers First Spring, that mentions Scott’s eldest daughter, Eleanor.

I never lived til I lived in your light
And my heart never beat like it does at the sight
Of you baby blue, God blessed your life.
I do not live ‘less I live in your life.
I do not live ‘less I live in your life.

I think I’ve covered the good and bad (I mean, it really isn’t bad…just a little disappointment at first!)…now for the ugly. Recently, Scott and Seth Avett performed a little of their single, Live and Die, off the new album, for a Gap commercial. They have also teamed up with Target and when you buy the cd there, you get two bonus songs. And I admit, a part of me cringed a little when I heard about it. I mean, the Avett Brothers don’t exactly scream Gap to me…but I do buy Gap clothes, so I can’t fault them there! Another part of me was elated. That part of me has learned a lot about the music industry over the past 9 months and I understand what that type of exposure can mean for an artist. There are a lot of “fans” yelling sell-out in the direction of the brothers. But I really think that is unfair. These days, there are very few musicians who are out there making millions. The majority are barely scraping by and sacrificing a lot along the way, especially if they have families. If the Gap ad and the Target deal mean that the Avett Brothers can spend a little more time at home, cherishing those moments that they have learned are precious and irreplaceable, then I applaud them. And I hope other real fans will feel the same way…yes, we all love their music and would prefer that they play in our backyard everyday, but they are also real people with real families and friends who need them! It’s easy to yell sell-out, but let’s look deeper into the situation to understand it a little better.

Here is the Gap ad…and come on, they are true to themselves and this ad is just too adorable!!

Mumford & Sons rock the boat (pun intended!)

Today was one of those days that your WFPK membership could have really paid off. A lucky few (25 members, each with a guest), got the opportunity to listen to Mumford & Sons play a 4 song set on the historic Belle of Louisville. Marcus Mumford and the other band members were relaxed and entertaining. At one point, they cracked themselves up on stage, trying to think of boat-related puns. They started the set with the always moving, Awake My Soul, before playing 3 new songs: Ghosts That We Knew, Where Are You Know, and I Will Wait.

Marcus commented at one point: “Americans are afraid of rain. They think the show will be cancelled. It won’t. We think of rain as nurturing. Like a mother’s warmth. We’ll be there.” I hope Louisville proves him wrong and 16,000 of us show up to this sold out show, ready to move our (muddy) feet while the energy just pours off the stage! And I hope everyone gets there early, because the openers, The Apache Relay and Dawes, are both bands worthy of equal attention! It is going to be an incredible night of ear candy!!

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Note on the ‘paperless ticket’ entry: you MUST have your credit card used to by the tickets along with your ID. For more details go to Production Simple.

A big thanks to WFPK and Production Simple for making this show happen!!

Ticket Giveaway: Old Crow Medicine Show

I love it when I can give tickets away….it’s fun to make people happy about music!! You’re gonna have to act fast on this one, if you are interested. Old Crow Medicine Show plays at The Louisville Palace on Thursday night. If you want to be entered to win (2) tickets, then go to the Last Bit Of Sanity facebook page, like it and post that you want the tickets. If you want to double your chances, then also share the picture on the Last Bit Of Sanity page (make sure you click ‘public’ on the share). The contest will end at 5pm on Wednesday and the winner will be notified that night.

I have only seen OCMS once and even then it was only for an encore. That was part of our crazy music weekend! The audience at War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville was quite surprised when Mumford & Sons brought out OCMS and proceeded to all rock out to Wagon Wheel…it was awesome!  I was excited to re-live the experience when watching this video. In fact, I am pretty sure I can see myself in the video…we were close to the front! 😉

Ingrid Michaelson ticket giveaway!

Wow. I feel like I am still in Forecastle recovery…it’s hard to think of other musical happenings in Louisville this week. But, the world goes on and there are acts coming to town this week. I am actually embarrassed that I didn’t realize Ingrid Michaelson was coming to town tomorrow night and playing at Headliners.  I was even listening to WFPK this morning when Be OK came on and as I turned it up to sing along. D’oh! Oh well….it’s last minute, at least it’s before the show.

Ingrid is a indie-pop singer-songwriter from New York. Her music has been featured in episodes of several popular television shows, including Scrubs, Bones, Grey’s Anatomy, The Big C, In Plain Sight, and One Tree Hill. Be OK is one of those ear worms that is just so fun to listen to and sing along with!

And if you want to hear Ingrid in person, you can win tickets here!  There are two ways you can win. You can go to the Last Bit Of Sanity facebook page, like it and post that you want to win a pair of tickets to the show. OR you can retweet the @lastbitofsanity tweet about the show. OR you can do both and double your chances! Winners will be announced tomorrow by 4pm.


Ingrid just released a new album, Human Again, and here is Ghosts from that release:

Mumford and Sons with Dawes in Louisville!!

That’s right, Mumford fans in Louisville who have had to travel to Nashville to see them (including yours truely!), they are coming to us this time! Mark your calendars, get your sitters and get your dancin’ boots on! On Monday Aug 13, Mumford and Sons with Dawes will be playing at Louisville Waterfront Park – Great Lawn! Tickets go on sale Friday at noon (even though their site says 1pm, I have good info that it is actually noon!!). Tickets will be general admission and $40. If you are a WFPK member, then you will be getting your presale password today! Also, WFPK is running some ‘beat the box office’ contests, so tune in! Don’t wait to get your tickets, because if past history is any indication, then this show will sell out fast.

If you saw them this winter at the Ryman, then you might recognize this song. It is a new one called Where Are You Now. It’s a slower one, but just as good!!

And I am totally excited to see Dawes! I missed their last show at Iroquois Amphitheater, but I did catch their set at ear X-tacy and was amazed. Can’t wait to hear a full set from them. I love, love, love this song!! A Little Bit Of Everything….

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