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!!!

it’s really gone.

It’s gone. And I am totally devastated. Is it weird to have that kind of reaction to a store closing? Maybe. But, ear X-tacy was so much more than a store in Louisville for the past 26 years. It was a community of music loving people and now I feel like our home has vanished without warning. No time to prepare our hearts or say one last goodbye. My head understand that it is a reflection on the changing times in the music industry, but my heart is aching.

I could go on for days about what ear X-tacy meant in my life.  But what hurts now more than anything is that my kids won’t get to grow up with the embracing, supportive, local music store. Our family has experienced some amazing moments there. One that stands out strongly in my mind was when Josh Ritter played an in-store  on May 17, 2010.  I had to sign my eldest, who was in 1st grade at the time, out of school early to make it to the show on-time. It was one of those ‘good Mom vs. music Mom’ moments and I am so glad to say that music Mom won out! My youngest and strongest rocker was just over 2 years old at the time and strapped in the front pack, so that he wouldn’t rush the stage and take Josh down with hugs! We played Josh Ritter’s music on a regular basis at the house (still do!), so the kids all knew it and my little guy just kept saying, “lala”. He was a very late talker and when he said “lala”, it meant he wanted to listen to Josh. So, to see him perform in the intimate setting of ear X-tacy was mind-blowing for my little 2 year old! But, there is more. We stayed after and got to meet Josh. He was gracious, patient and unbelievable. He got down on his knees to meet each of the kiddos and talked directly to them. He gave them guitar pics. And high fives. My little rocker still talks about the high five! He signed our CD: “to a rock n roll family”. It was an experience my family will never forget.

When you walked into ear X-tacy, there was always such a welcoming feel. I am sure I often looked like a spectacle bring my foursome in, but some days I just needed some music to make it through and ear X-tacy was the answer. I was always greeted with a friendly smile and hello. In fact, if I miraculously entered by myself, I was usually asked where my crew was. They provided such a special place that never made me second guess bringing my kids to in-stores. It is because of them that my kids have been exposed to so many very talented bands in a live setting. Usually, kids aren’t welcome in the concert setting, but ear X-tacy opened a whole new world. And I will never be able to repay my gratitude. It was at the Abigail Washburn in-store that my little guy became enthralled with her super-sized banjo! He had never seen anything like it before!  Another one of our favorite in-stores was when Daniel Martin Moore and Dan Dorff performed at the Loop and we got a very up-close view of some outstanding music when the Dans stepped off stage and right in front of where we were sitting…kids were hooked!! (the redheads briefly shown are mine!)

ear X-tacy was so supportive to the local music scene. Sure, they got some great national artists in. I loved seeing Matisyahu and Dawes perform there earlier this year! But ear X-tacy was always there to help the local artists. It was a great family event when we got to see our cousins’ band, Adventure, play there. And even more fun when we walked into the Loop store shortly after it opened and found our cousin, Alex Clark‘s CD on display, with Adventure in the background.

I had recently asked Ben Sollee what ear X-tacy meant to him…this was before the closing, but his elegant words sum up how many people thought of ear X-tacy and are too good not to share:

“As an independent musician I spend a tremendous amount of time working with social media, blogs, online magazines, and every other kind of virtual community you can imagine. But there’s a lonely quality to those adventures. There’s still nothing like walking in to my favorite record store and seeing what’s on the shelves… seeing handmade displays constructed lovingly for an employee’s favorite artist, getting advise on new music, finding old recordings that no one else cared to listen to… it’s all tangible. It’s personal. It’s a place we’re a physical community gathers to share ideas and passions. It may not always be profitable to sell recorded music, but there will always be a place for a record store that can curate and share essential art in the communtiy.” – Ben Sollee

It is a little hard to watch this movie trailer for Brick and Mortar and Love, knowing that ear X-tacy is no longer…it is exactly what they were trying to prevent.

I, too, wish it weren’t time for ear X-tacy to die. RIP. You will be missed more than anyone realizes. You have been an influential factor in the lives of so many and I wish Louisville didn’t have to let go. I am sure I will get to the point where I can look back and be happy about my time and experiences at ear X-tacy, but right now, I am just too sad to think of anything other than the hole ear X-tacy’s departure is leaving in the community and future. I was counting on my little rocker growing up with ear X-tacy and fulfilling his often talked about dream of performing on their stage. It was one of the first things he asked about when I told him it was closed…”what about the stage? I want to play there. Will bands still play?” No, my sweet boy, they will not.  I hope somehow that the Louisville music scene can come together and move that stage so that it doesn’t get lost forever.

I’ll let Jim James, of My Morning Jacket, have the last word since I agree with it all. Jim and the other members of MMJ have always been very vocal with their love and support of ear X-tacy and he says it so well.  This was posted on MMJ’s website earlier today:

“there is a tear in my eye right now as i hear about the closing of one of my favorite places on earth- ear-xtacy. i send thanks and healing vibes to john and everyone who has worked so hard at the store over the years…the presence of that sacred place will be sorely missed. people-let this be a big wake up call to us…we need these place to gather as a community and share ideas about music and art and love and life and…for the love of god…it cant all take place online…or i fear that one day we will all wake up bleary-eyed and hung over from our technology binge and find the real world long gone…let us be inspired by places like “please and thank you,” “carmichaels,” “pops retails and consignment,” “heine brothers” and all the great independent ma and pa stores around the globe- leading us into a new era of what a creative business can be…we need to support these places and help create more…the mp3 has killed the idea of what a traditional record store used to be, but that should only be cause for us to re-invent and support things the computer can never kill…we need these real place…where you can still buy a record from a local band or a hard to find label or root thru stacks of used vinyl…or get a cup of coffee…or buy an old stereo system or synthesizer or a pair of jeans…or learn a new skill…or teach a new skill…and love your fellow human in person and face to face to face and all in the same place. lets brainstorm. lets build more of these places. lets stick together. lets support each other. lets figure it out.” -jim james



Go.See.Ben.Sollee.Live. (and try to win tickets here!!)

Wow.  I’ve never written anything that has required so many re-dos and so much effort.  I can’t get the words right. The issue isn’t the subject.  Well, maybe it is, but not because he isn’t good.  It’s because he is so talented, unique and an outstanding man that I feel overwhelmed with painting a flawless picture of him for you.  My experience with Ben Sollee may have been more than the average fan (read about that here), but everyone who meets him pretty much says the same thing: He is an incredible musician and such a genuine guy!

When you talk with Ben, you quickly find out that he is soft-spoken and embraces doing things in his own, unique way.  Everything-from the way he tours (he ‘ditches the van‘ for part of his tour each year and travels by bicycle) to the way he plays his cello.  Yes, I said cello.  No–I haven’t switched musical focuses to classical.

Don’t ask me to classify Ben’s music. Not sure it can be put into a box–he’s not an ‘in the box’ kinda guy.  It isn’t classical, that for sure, even though that was his foundation. “Pop cello” is the easy way out-but is is SO much more. It has so much depth and so many layers that aren’t usually associated with pop.  Ben is the MacGyver of the cello world. Paving (maybe peddling is more accurate!) his way with brand new sounds and techniques that make you forget how the cello is ‘supposed’ to sound.  He uses his hands and plays it like a guitar.  He uses his bow and has perfected the chopping sound. But most impressive is the voice and words that accompany the one of a kind cello sounds.

Ben’s voice has a deep and impassioned sound that comes from an old soul. He will blow your mind when the sound comes out and then he will keep you flying when you listen to the lyrics. One his 2010 release, Dear Companion, with Daniel Martin Moore, they focus on the issues surrounding mountain top removal and the message comes through. But even on his other releases, his voice is strong. His latest album, Inclusions, feels much more personal, but still fabulous! I could go on and on with my favorite lyrics, but here are a few:

“If I’ve wounded you, I’m sorry.
I had good intentions.
If I’ve wounded you, I’m sorry.
It happens all the time.”  -Something, Somewhere, Sometime

“When my bare hands touch the base of you spine
I feel you shudder and you close your eyes
Move like a swallow and I’m Hypnotized”  -Electrified

Ben is going places and others are starting to recognize this talented performer from Kentucky! He has been featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Series, as well as Mountain Stage and even in the Wall Street Journal! At this year’s Bonnaroo, Rolling Stone also took notice.

Part of my trouble with writing this is that I want to entice each and everyone of you to see Ben Sollee live. I promise it will be an evening you won’t soon forget. But, just in case my writing isn’t enough, I will give away 2 tickets to Ben’s show on Friday, Oct.14th at Headliners. All you have to do is tag Last Bit of Sanity on your facebook status or post on the wall and you will be entered to win!

We were lucky enough to be in attendance when both of these clips were filmed! 🙂

all my life i’ve been waiting….

Most people are now aware that October is breast cancer awareness month….pink is everywhere! And that is an incredible accomplishment–who thought it would ever be widely proclaimed “save the ta-tas”?! But, that is not my focus this month.  My focus is on an issue that people still prefer not to talk about even though so many people are touched by it somehow.  October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Month.

I talk about my foursome in a sometimes flip and sarcastic way, but make no mistake that I love them and would do anything for them. People see us out and assume that it was easy as pie for us to have kids and that is not the case.  We spent a couple of years going through tests, procedures and a lot of anxious waiting. We were thrilled when our first artificial insemination worked! Over the moon…told everyone, started picking out names, planning the nursery. Out of our minds excited. And then that all came crashing down when I miscarried at 13 weeks.  I was supposed to be in the ‘safe zone’. I had just gotten released from the specialist to start seeing my regular OB doctor. Everything was supposed to work out perfectly from that point on.

Little did I know what I was facing.  Never in my life have I experienced the highest highs and the lowest lows in such a short amount of time. Devastation doesn’t even begin to cover the feelings I was going through. And the hardest part is that I wasn’t alone.  So many other people go through the same thing, but no one wants to talk about it.  Or no one knows what to say. Some people try to say the right things, but I promise hearing ‘it wasn’t in God’s plan” isn’t what someone wants to hear when they are feeling so much pain. I don’t know about you, but I prefer to think that my God doesn’t intentionally inflict pain on people. But, maybe that’s just me? I do strongly believe that there is a reason for everything, even if it takes a while to figure it out.

As heartbreaking as my miscarriage was, my eyes have opened even wider to the grief mothers go through when they lose a baby, no matter what stage or age. I have had too many people close to me lose a child through miscarriage (sometime one after another), stillbirth or infant loss. I am in tears thinking about all of that pain and sadness, all those lost dreams and hopes, all those missing hugs and kisses. Nothing takes the pain away. It might not be as strong as it once was, but it is always a part of my soul.  I wish more people would talk about it and acknowledge the hurt. My thoughts are with all families who live with this reality everyday. Many virtual (((HUGS))) are coming your way!

This morning, as I was walking and trying to clear my head, a song by The Apache Relay came on that really grabbed me. It’s called Lost Kid and the lyrics are fitting:

Sometimes I feel like I’m just a lost kid,
stumbling through these towns,
stuck between the waves.
Nothing feels the same.

I need an anchor that never lets go,
I need someone to call, hear a voice I know.
Something that feels like home.
Something that feels like home.

All my life, all my life, all my life I’ve been waiting for You
All my life, all my life, all my life I’ve been waiting for You

I’ve been searching all of my days, looking for any signs, reading between the lines, hoping for anything.
I’ve been living in this tension, I just pretend I’m fine, that everythings ok, but I’m about to break.
Yeah Im about to break

All my life, all my life, all my life I’ve been waiting for You
All my life, all my life, all my life I’ve been waiting for You
All my life, all my life, all my life I’ve been waiting for You
All my life, all my life, all my life I’ve been waiting for You


Here is another gem from the Nashville-based group.  I love the line ‘souls can not, souls cannot be fooled’.  They have recently hit a lot of people’s radars, including Mumford & Sons (they published their playlist and The Apache Relay is on it!). Lucky for those of you in Louisville tonight…you can catch them opening for G.Love and Special Sauce at Headliners.  I know where I will be!!

The Head And The Heart

There have been a few live shows that have brought me to tears.  The first time I saw The Avett Brothers live without a doubt brought me to tears, which wasn’t surprising.  The surprise emo show was when minutes ago, I was watching The Head And The Heart perform live from the 2011 Austin City Limits fest (God bless the internet and live streaming video and of course, a hubby who hooks it all up to the TV!!!!). There entire act was amazing and I would expect nothing less from this supremely talented group of folks. But, on their last song of the set, Rivers and Roads, tears appeared when Miss Charity Rose was belting out her part.  The band just puts so much of themselves into this song and the emotionalism of it really comes through.

THAHT isn’t a new group to me…I found out about them when they were just started out.  Last summer, they released their debut self-titled album around the same time I was glued to their youtube videos.  Even through the grainy, unsteady-at-times videos, their energy and cohesion was obvious.  In fact,  I was watching a video of them playing a house show when the idea of asking Ben Sollee to play at my house popped into my head!  I was having trouble getting my hands on the self-released cd, so I put ear X-tacy on the task and they didn’t disappoint!!  I cannot tell you how many times I played those songs when I first got it.  It was like a drug…I couldn’t get enough, I was hooked and I might have sold my children if someone told me I had to choose (well, my kids on a bad day…not when they were singing and dancing in the kitchen with me while THATH was turned up all the way!!).  It is still on heavy rotation.  I was dying to see them live and got lucky when they opened for Dr.Dog in Nashville last year.  Wow, wow, wow…..I knew they would be good, but not that good.  And I totally didn’t expect them to win over the crowd as fast as they did.  I think everyone walked in that night anxious for Dr. Dog and left ecstatic for THATH!!

THAT is moving up and now headliner their own tour.  Unfortunately, Louisville wasn’t on their Fall line up.  I tweeted the group and begged them to come and I am optimistic that we will get them in the Spring.  I think my begging along with promises of bourbon by Kyle Meredith, of 91.9 WFPK,  might just win them over. 😉 In the meantime, you can get a glimpse of their brilliance on these videos and if your timing is right, pull up the Austin City Limits site and watch a replay of their earlier performance.  It will be on the Austin City Limits site at 6:30pm Louisville time TONIGHT!

And the song that brought tears to my eyes….

And one more because they are just soooo good!!!

Just in!!!

Not only is Walk The Moon one of the most energetic and entertaining live bands I have seen (read a previous post here), but apparently they are mind readers, too!! Who knew?!  I had recently told hubby that I really wanted to see Walk The Moon live again…and viola! They just announced a show in Louisville and Cincinnati.  They will be at Headliners in Louisville on Dec.1st and I highly recommend you get your tickets now (they go on sale today at noon)! I think it is impossible to see them live and not fall in love with the high you get from their energy.  It fills the room and you will leave feeling good.  So…who’s in? I wouldn’t miss it for the world!! There are a couple of videos up on my previous post, but here is another one  just because! 😉

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