“…cups of who cares…”

My kids are at wonderful ages (10, 8, 7, 5). They are out of the baby phase, but not yet to that scarey teenager territory. They also GET things. You know….the older two boys are into sports and were totally into the NCAA Basketball Championship this year (woohoo…shout out to our favorite DI team, the Louisville Cards!!). My daughter also was excited to follow the sucess of the Lady Cards. And my youngest little man is still my music lover and he is forever asking if a show is ‘for grown ups only’.

One of the joys of parenting is watching your child’s face light up when they meet someone they admire. And what is even better is when those idols are friendly and approachable. I am forever grateful to all of the current and former Bellarmine basketball players and coaches (especially those connected to the 2011 National Championship team) who have made my oldest two feel like a million bucks when they invite them into the locker room before a game or make a point to call them by name and say hello to them. I like to think of these people as accessible idols.

My youngest has had a major thing for Josh Ritter ever since we saw him play an in-store at ear-X-tacy. He was only 2 and in a sling but kept yelling ‘lalas’ during Josh’s performance because that was one of the few ‘words’ he said at the time. We were able to meet Josh afterwards and he was amazing with the kids. They all got high fives and guitar pics from Josh! And it made a lasting impression on my budding musician.

My little man has a room full of music posters…including one of Josh’s. He is learning to play guitar and has even composed his own song. When asked who his favorite musician is, he always says “Josh Ritter”. Not that I don’t love Josh, but it always comes as a surprise because he has met and hung out with other talented musicians, like Ben Sollee, The Head And The Heart and Patrick Hallahan (drummer of My Morning Jacket). It isn’t like Josh is the only musician he has met….but Josh clearly stand out in his mind.

We surprised our newly turned 5 year old with tickets to Josh’s April 19th show in Louisville for his birthday. He turn five at the beginning of April and (not knowing we already had tickets), he asked us if he could change his birthday to April 19 so that he could see Josh for his birthday gift. So sweet. We will be sitting in the 2nd row and I will probably spend more time watching my little man’s face instead of enjoying Josh’s usual smile, but I am pretty sure they will both be sporting big smiles!

 I hope to have a fabulous post-show update where I can gush about those smiles meeting and talking again, but you will just have to stay tuned. If you haven’t already listened to Josh, you should do so now. He has a great voice and I am really digging his new album, The Beast In Its Tracks. This new song, Joy To You Baby, is one of my all time favorites of his. (You will also “get’ the title to this entry…yes, it is a song lyric. 😉 )

If you can’t make the show or just want some good lunch time music on Friday, you can also tune into 91.9 WFPK, where Josh will be playing on Live Lunch at noon (you can stream it live from their site or app, in case you aren’t in Louisville!).

Christmas Memories and a Playlist!

Somehow, it is that time of year again! Not sure how it happened so fast this year. I can remember when I was a kid, it took FOREVER for Christmas to get here each year and now, it is like I gained a magical power somewhere along the line because all I have to do is blink and Christmas is here. Honestly, if I were doing the choosing, that is not the magical power I would choose. I think I would go with something along the lines of ending world hunger or maybe even a power that would stop my kids from fighting for just 10 minutes. But, no one asked me, so I guess I am stuck with the blink-and-before-you-know-it-another-year-is-gone power.

And this year at our house, we have reached that delicate age where our eldest “knows” about Santa, but the younger 3 still believe. I am very proud of my son…he understands that he is now one of the helpers and he does whatever he can to make sure the younger ones feel the magic of the season. But, that puts more pressure on me, because I want him to feel that magic, too….I don’t want my baby to grow up so fast!! It takes me back to when and how I found out about Santa. I gotta say, I don’t remember being traumatized by the discovery and even now when I think back on it, it doesn’t bring on any ill feelings…although it probably should, as you will see!!

I was almost 6 years old and my older brother, who was 12 at the time, insisted that Santa was actually our parents. I refused to believe him, therefore he put a plan into action. He woke me up ‘in the middle of the night’ (which probably equates to 11pm!), so that we could sit on the top steps and silently watch as my parents put out all of our Christmas gifts. Thanks, big bro! Like I said, I managed to survive and honestly don’t recall hours of tears or anything like that. The funny thing is that our parents never knew that story until recent years.

Well, I have put together a playlist of Christmas songs to help you get through the craziness of the holidays. There are some classic versions of songs, but most of them are song by our favorite musicians of recent times, such as The Head And The Heart, My Morning Jacket, fun., and She & Him. This list includes 65 songs and over 3 hours of musical holiday enjoyment, but I am sure I have missed some good ones….feel free to share your favorites with me!! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of my family and friends!

Forecastle ticket giveaway!

The big weekend is almost here….it’s been a long time coming and Louisville is ready! I’ve only been looking forward to this forever and can’t wait to see my favorites, The Head And The Heart, Abigail Washburn, Ben Sollee, Justin Townes Earle, Cheyenne Marie Mize, Lucero, My Morning Jacket, Sleigh Bells, The Features, and Walk The Moon. I am also excited to check out some new (to me) groups like Real Estate, Moon Taxi, Beach House and Andrew Bird.

After a near scheduling disaster (darn my son for being selected to that all-star baseball team!) that nearly made me decide between my son and music, it is all good! And I don’t want to hear “oh, I can’t believe the easy choice wouldn’t be your son.” Of course, I love him more than anything. But, Mama’s gotta have a life too…otherwise Mama might not be so pleasant to be around!

Anyway, I have a general admission Forecastle ticket to give away for Sunday. Go to my facebook page, Last Bit Of Sanity, and like it. Then answer the question posted (who are you most excited about seeing this weekend?). A random winner will be picked on Friday.

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….

Just a few days left to enter…..

Don’t miss the opportunity to throw your name in the hat for (2) free tickets to see The Head And The Heart play at Headliners in Louisville on March 6, 2012!!! The name will be revealed on Jan.1, 2012 (happy new year!!). Just go to the Last Bit Of Sanity facebook page, like it, and then post that you want to win the tickets to THATH (please specify which show, because I also have Langhorne Slim tickets to giveaway!!).  That’s all you have to do!! Easy-peasy. And in case you are on the fence about going to the show, here is a little something fun to tempt you! 😉

2 for 1 Kopecky Christmas special today!!

Remember when I was raving about the Kopecky Family Band when they opened for Walk The Moon in Louisville?  Well, I am not the only one to notice how awesome they are!!  Paste Magazine named them as one of the Top 20 New Acts of 2011 & one of their Top 25 Live Acts of 2011!!  And the Kopecky Family Band is helping me out with the Christmas songs today!! They are offering not just one, but two free Christmas song downloads!   The download also includes a new recording of “Angels We Have Heard” and last year’s release of “Our Remedy”.  Get the downloads at the Kopecky Family Band site.  Here is the video for “Our Remedy”:

Also, don’t forget to enter for a chance to win tickets to Langhorne Slim and/or The Head And The Heart.  (click links for contest details!)

WIN The Head And The Heart Tickets!

Start your year off right by winning 2 tickets to see The Head And The Heart play at Headliners Music Hall in Louisville, KY on March 6, 2012! The contests ends on Jan.1, 2012…and it is so easy to enter! All you need to do is go to the Last Bit Of Sanity facebook page, like it, and post that you want to win the tickets. How easy is that?! Make sure you say which tickets you want to win, because I have a couple of giveaways going on! And just in case you are on the edge of going or not, I found this video that should make your decision easy!! It was filmed in a stairwell after a pool party at the Calgary Folk Music Fest.  Seriously, if these guys can sound this amazing in the stairwell, just imagine how great they will sound at Headliners.  Unfortunately, I think they might have more clothes on at Headliners. 😉

And if you want to see what else I have said about THATH, check here:

https://lastbitofsanity.com/2011/12/12/hot-off-the-presses-do-not-miss-this/

https://lastbitofsanity.com/2011/09/22/ear-candy/

https://lastbitofsanity.com/2011/09/18/the-head-and-the-heart/

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