Halloween IS October 31st! (And Dr. Dog ticket giveaway!!)

Halloween is a ‘holiday’ that is always celebrated on Oct.31st – no matter if it falls on a Tuesday or if it is snowing! Traditionally, it is a celebration on the night before All Saints Day (Nov.1). This year, in Louisville, we have an interesting situation – bad weather (or more accurately, bad weather is being predicted). The weather forecasters have been telling us for a few days that we should expect rain, wind, hail, and a slight tornado risk. Sounds like JUST the type of weather I want to take my kids out in. Riiiight!

Some of the smaller, incorporated cities in the area have ‘moved’ trick or treating to Friday or Saturday night. The Mayor’s office said that government isn’t in the trick or treating business, so they weren’t making a recommendation on when people should trick or treat. So….there has been a grassroots effort to get the word out about pushing the date back one day – to Friday. I can totally appreciate the thought, idea, and effort people have put into changing it. I don’t want my kids to be in danger. I don’t want to be the bad guy and tell them that they can’t go. I don’t want to disappoint them.

But, you know what? Part of my job as a parent is to prepare my kids to be successful adults. And part of that is learning that life can’t always be perfect and sometimes you have to go with the flow. I haven’t cancelled Halloween for them – I’ve offered an alternative (to have some neighbors over, on Halloween, for chili and indoor trick or treating). The idea of Halloween is dressing up and having fun with friends. Oh, yeah….and getting gobs of candy. They will have all of that, just in a different form. And in the future, I hope the weather is perfect and they look back on this year and think of how much fun it was. Or at least have an appreciation for good Halloween weather!

I also hope they acquire skills that help them problem solve, as well as the ability to be flexible in certain situations. I think our society has set up our kids for failure in adult life by making everything perfect for them. Hello – give every kid a trophy for every sport they play, starting at age 3!! Life isn’t perfect. If this is their expectation, then they are in for a rude awakening! It is much more beneficial to help your kids navigate through life’s ups and downs with the proper tools and expectations than it is to (try to) make them happy all of the time. Give your children something they will really thank you for when they are adults.

The point of this post is not to judge other parents and their decision for their family!! The real point was to work out, for myself, why I was so against moving Halloween. And I am sharing my thought process because I am guessing that I am not alone (okay, so I am hoping that I am not alone!).

Now for the Dr. Dog ticket giveaway! My loss is your gain! I can’t use my tickets for their SOLD OUT show on Saturday night at Headliners in Louisville. So…like my Facebook page, Last Bit Of Sanity, and post what your favorite Halloween costume was as a kid. Or if you like to tweet, then you can tweet it. And if you want to double your chances, share a link to this post (tag Last Bit Of Sanity) on Facebook or Twitter. I will randomly select a winner. I will leave you with a Halloween themed Dr. Dog song, Vampire. Funny how these things come together sometimes. Ha!

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(No Longer) Dead To The World

I am still alive! I have not been taken down by my foursome. It isn’t for a lack of trying! My pre-teen likes to remind me daily of my ‘great parenting’ (in case your phone isn’t displaying the font correctly, that is written in the oozing sarcasm font), my 2nd boy has perfected the playing of the middle child card, my daughter is 7 going on 17, at least in her mind, and my baby has up and left me to enter Kindergarten. Oh yeah, and the start of the school year also brought us the gift of the stomach bug. All except my darling daughter got it. My theory is that she is so mean that she scared it away.

The point is, I am still here. Still listening to music. Still going to live shows. Still writing about parenting and music. Well, okay, you got me on that one. In my head, I have written hundreds of posts. Unfortunately, they haven’t gotten out of my head nor can you read my mind. So they have done no one any good. Part of me feels like a slacker, but you know what, the other part of me says screw it. I am a busy Mom of 4 who is trying to balance parenting, wife-ing, working, socializing, and everything-else-including-the-kitchen-sink-ing. Speaking of sinking, I realize lately this blog has been totally lacking my attention. I miss it. I miss you all. I miss talking about music that I love. I miss finding new bands to share with you all.

So, I am back. Part of the reason I had to come out of my blog-ernation (I was going to say hibernation, but if you have seen me around, hibernation couldn’t be further from the truth. It only pertains to the blog…hence the cute, made up name), is because one of my all time favorite bands in coming to town this weekend. And you shouldn’t miss it. And I apologize for all the shows I failed to tell you about. Wow….there were some good ones, too. Anyway…back to the show this weekend….

Ha Ha Tonka is playing at Headliners on Saturday night. These guys are just amazing. I’ve written about them a ton! They are extremely talented musicians and vocalists as well as downright nice guys. Come one now…they pulled me on stage at Uncle Slayton’s a few birthdays ago to sing me Happy Birthday!! There is no video (that I am aware of), but many of you were in attendance and can confirm this wasn’t just a happening in one of my dreams! They also win the title of hottest concert I have ever attended. It was in Lawrence, KS (we just happened to be visiting good friends out there). Actually, now that I think about it, they are in a tie with My Morning Jacket at The Palace for that title. Anyway, good times were had by all and we left with a glistening that you normally acquire from the sauna.

Ha Ha Tonka is out touring in support of their new album, Lessons. Brian Roberts, lead singer, has said that he got inspiration from the album after hearing an NPR interview with the late illustrator and renowned children’s author, Maurice Sendak (you know – Where The Wild Things Are and Little Bear, amongst others). These guys will get anyone moving. They rock hard. I have written about them a number of times. I like their new stuff. It’s one of those albums that really grows on you the more you listen to it. And I have been listening plenty!

Also, these guys are BIG St. Louis Cardinal fans and this girl, who is a BIG Yankees fan will be cheering on the Cardinals with them this week! 😉

This is a video of one of their new songs – Dead To The World. And I glad that I am no longer dead to the (blogging) world! I can’t wait to feel their energy Saturday night at Headliners!! See you there?

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:

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….

Really?!

I sat down to write a post about how fabulous this past weekend was, but I couldn’t. I kept getting stuck and wadding up paper after paper, starting over at every turn (okay, okay….so it wasn’t paper, but it was the delete button that I kept using over and over!). I couldn’t get my dear daughter’s words out of my head. I figured I better get them out here or I would risk the words getting stuck and continuing to strangulate my thoughts.

As I was tucking my almost 6 year old in last night, after what I thought was a pretty good weekend, she says to me, with tears in her eyes, ‘I wish you didn’t have so many meetings and I could spend more time with you.’ Ouch. Insert the knife coated with Mommy-guilt. Trying to recover from that blow, I say to her, ‘I know its hard when you are in school all day, you probably miss me.  I miss you too.’ She thinks for second and says, “No. I just don’t like it when you go out so much.” Ah. Kids. Gotta love, em, right?

Now, I have seen my seemingly sweet daughter bring other people to their knees with her questions or observations, but I haven’t been on the receiving end too often (I am sure that will come in a few years!). My favorite was when she had a stare down and verbally challenged a local prosecutor. I am pretty sure said prosecutor was sweating nails and was anxious to back to her murder trial after encountering my daughter.

This line from the song, Kids, by The Features reminds me of her: They were born screaming. They had fire in their eyes. And its a kick-ass song from an band that kills it live! (If you live in Louisville, you catch them again on March 23 when they open for J. Roddy Walston at Headliners. I advise going!)

And do you know how much I LOVE that about my girl?! I LOVE that she is strong, self-confident and don’t hesitate to speak her mind. I wouldn’t change that for the world! She is exactly the type of girl I want her to grow into. My challenge is how to handle her right now.

I thought about trying to rationalize with her. I am a stay at home Mom. I am ALWAYS there to pick her up from school and I am ALWAYS there to take her to her music class. When I go out at night, it is usually only 30-60mins before her bedtime and when I can, I arrange it for after she is asleep. And my meetings are for things that help other people, like raising funds for scholarships to Bellarmine or helping to improve things at her school. Sure, I have my fun time in there and go to concerts and basketball games, but, I wanted to tell her, if I don’t get the me time you would be wishing I was gone more often! ha.

But, I didn’t. She is nearly 6 and wouldn’t really get it. And if that is how she feels, then that is how she feels. My first instinct was to clear my calendar and to make sure I am home every night. And then I thought better of it. That would make me miserable. I enjoy (usually!) being at home but part of that is because I try to balance everything and not completely lose myself and keep active in things I care about. I hope that I am being a good role model for my kids as they get older. And I hope that my skin gets a little thicker because I am sure I will hear more of these comments that cut to my core. :-S

hot off the presses…do not miss this!!!

If you like the sounds and energy of Mumford & Sons and The Avett Brothers, then you do NOT want to miss one of the best new bands of this year when they are in town this spring. It has just been announced that The Head And The Heart will be playing at Headliners on March 6th. The Head And The Heart has been on my radar for a while and I fell in love the very first time I heard them on a youtube video. This is the band that I made my hubby travel down to Nashville to see when they OPENED for someone else last year! They are that good!!!

I am not the only one who thinks so, even though I knew about them before they were even signed to a major label! A lot of people are noticing. Dave Matthews noticed and had them open for him in Washington. My Morning Jacket noticed and had THATH open for them on their European leg of the tour as well as sing with them on a couple songs for their 2011 Christmas album! They are also on numerous ‘best of 2011’ lists…. #5 in Paste Magazine’s Best of 2011, The Best Music of 2011 in The Huffington Post, #21 in The Best Albums of 2011 on Amazon.com and #1 on Kentuckyseven.se’s list of the best (they are Swedish music bloggers, who happen to love Kentucky…how awesome is that?!).

Their performances are so powerful that they bring me to tears….even when it is just on TV!! The energy and enthusiasm that they bring to the stage is unparalleled. I could go on and on, but watch this and decide for yourself. I promise it will be a night you won’t forget. Don’t miss the opportunity to see one of the hottest upcoming bands in a small venue! Warning: You WILL see me singing and dancing my ass off, so prepare yourself!!

new music overload, but in such a good way!

We all know how this time of the year brings in the insanity like no other time. We all acknowledge it and whether or not we accept is irrelevant. It’s going to happen we just try to brace ourselves for the crazy ride. But, thank goodness, music has stepped in and saved me.(fear not…I will have more on the holidays coming soon with a nice little playlist for you!)

As you may (or probably not!) have noticed, I haven’t had an update in a while. It took me some time  to process the closing of ear X-tacy and I couldn’t write anything. Then we got into full on holiday mode and I found myself in bed at night with fun topics swirling around in my head, yet they kept getting interrupted by boring thoughts like, ‘where am I going to find a Jesus costume’, ‘how can I make up the missed speech therapy due to the holidays?’, ‘wonder where my car scraper is?’

I have barely had time to look for music much less write about it. And that is when the universe steps in and takes over! Yay, universe! WFPK has been playing this new musician, Matt The Electrician. Well, come to find out he isn’t so new.  He has released a lot of stuff, but not sure many had heard of him.  Well, get on it! His latest release, The Accidental Thief, is the real deal. WFPK plays a couple of the songs, which are amazing, but I wanted more. I searched spotify (a great tool for checking out  artists), but couldn’t find his new stuff there. I had put off buying the CD because I didn’t know where to get it…I felt like a musical orphan (I soooo miss ear X-tacy already). So, I did something I haven’t done in years…I bought it off Amazon. Don’t worry-it isn’t something I plan on continuing to do, just in the meantime while I figure out the best independent record store to frequent.

Matt The Electrician equals awesomeness. I want to post all of the songs from Accidental Thief…everytime I think I have it narrowed down to 2, I change my mind. Ah, the pressures. But, how can you go wrong with lyrics like “i will do the breathing until  you are able to come up for air”? This is a very powerful, moving song.

And Accidental Thief is one of my absolute favorites!

And because this video is from a house show and Matt tells a great story…I couldn’t leave it out (I’m such a sucker for house shows!)

But I’m not done yet!! I had the absolute pleasure of being unexpectedly charmed by the Kopecky Family Band when I saw them open for my favorites, Walk The Moon (who exceeded my expectations, but I’ve already raved about them!!).  Wow.Wow.Wow. I know WFPK has played them and they were in town recently, but I am going with I was too swamped with the foursome and my head was stuck in the sand or more likely laundry! I couldn’t stop smiling! Any group that pulls out horns, cellos and accordions to go along with ‘regular’ instruments wins points in my book!! But I am certain that without any instruments they would have still impressed me. Their voices are unique, strong…perfect!

This is from a recent WFPK Live Lunch (that I so regretting missing!!).  Howling At The Moon:

Angry Eyes was one of my favorites from seeing them at Headliners (it starts slow and builds, so watch the whole thing!!). It was awesome when they threw the instruments into the crowd!

Another bonus video, because it takes place on my favorite corner in Louisville! Holy hell…wish I could have stumbled upon that!!!

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