Good Old War in SLC

Best concert ever! Well, except for the one where we got to perform. After a full show on stage, the band came into the audience and did a 30-minute encore. My voice is hoarse from singing.

Music Videos

Three minutes as folk-rock stars

Way back in 2010, the band Good Old War had a YouTube cover contest. The winner would get to sing on stage with them (they didn’t specify where). I learned about the contest at 9pm on the final day. I pulled my daughters out of bed to try to throw together an entry with our version of Coney Island. Here it is –

You had to submit your entry via Twitter, which I’d never used before. So, I set up an account and tweeted my first (and close to my last) tweet. I realized just before midnight that the post was private, so I made it public just as the contest ended.

The band told me later that they’d already picked a winner, but they couldn’t resist putting the girls on stage when they saw our entry. So, they invited two winners.

The only problem was they had intended for the performance to be at a concert at Drexel University in their native Philadelphia. We lived in Atlanta, 800 miles away.

But what’s a 12-hour drive (each way) in the grand scheme of things? We arranged to drop the toddler off with family in North Carolina, and hit the road.

My brother and his family drove down from Vermont to see us and my aunt and uncle in West Chester let us stay at their home.

We rehearsed backstage a couple of times with the band and I tried to adjust to the higher (original) pitch of the song –

We walked around campus and people actually recognized us from YouTube. Little celebrities! The concert had several openers, so it was after 11pm before we went on stage. My exhausted son threw up on my brother around 10:45 and we rushed to the bathroom to clean up. Some got on my sleeves, so I rolled them up for the performance.

A fan (of the band, not us) caught it on her phone –

I was crazy nervous. My son may have sympathy vomited. The audience started singing while I was still playing an intro I didn’t realize I had added to the song.

It wasn’t a stadium, the invitation was more about my adorable girls than me, and you probably haven’t heard of the band, but it was one of the highlights of my life. “Remember that time we drove 12 hours to Philadelphia and sang with Good Old War?” Yeah, I do.

Good Old War and the Hills
Good Old War and the Hills

See also:

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Family Music

Music with the kids

This YouTube playlist covers about four years of singing with the kids.


Favorite Things of 2012

Note: Not all of these things came out in 2012, but that’s when they came into my life (mostly). 


Good Old War Come Back as RainI collect a lot of music. Most of it ends up buried in the pile, to be reheard only if it finds grace with iTunes’ randomizer. Only occasionally do I connect enough with an album to actually listen to it repeatedly as an album. Here are a few from this year:

John Mayer Born and Raised – I didn’t realize I was a John Mayer fan since I have some bias against mainstream music. But then I discovered Walt Grace’s Submarine Test January 1967, which has become the anthem for my middle agedness. Here’s a YouTube clip of me trying to cover this great tune.

Brandi Carlile Bear Creek

Good Old War Come Back As Rain  


The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

George Friedman The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century – I bumped into this one at the library. Although I’ve never liked political books, I found out I like geopolitical books.

Laura Hillenbrand Unbroken – Ok, I listened to this audiobook in 2011, but I thought about it more than I did most 2012 reads/listens. I still remember where I was on my daily walk when certain scenes took place. I don’t normally feel much strong emotion when I read but this one had me furious, amazed, anxious, and even overjoyed at times.

Patrick Rothfuss The Name of the Wind – I’m a slow reader. I usually have a pile of books next to my bed, deciding each night which looks interesting. Rarely do I read 100 pages in one sitting. But this book made me break my routine.

YouTube Channel

Tavin Dillard – try Butter. If you don’t find it funny, he’s not for you.


Flipboard – connect your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google Reader accounts and flip through a mixture of news and your own social network content.

Audible – Love audiobooks.

Day One – Best journal software I’ve ever tried. I used it every day. On an iPhone you can dictate your entry, add a photo from Camera+ or your iPhone photos. It automatically stores your location and the current weather, if you want.

Kingdom Rush – wonderful tower defense game. I love hearing my 5-year-old yell “For honor and glory!”


Noisetrade – lots of great free music here. Tip the artists you like.

Goodreads – track your books and find new ones to read.

TV Series


The Middle


Stuff You Should Know – For when you don’t have time or attention for an audiobook. It’s like an Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader for your ears.

BYU Classic Speeches – There are some real gems in here.


Roomba – We got a refurbished one on Woot! and thought we’d kind of like it and it would do an ok job. It’s amazing. Haven’t swept the main floor the old fashioned way in almost a year.


Chocolate Cruesli cereal – because it’s my favorite every year.

Categories coming soon, maybe. . .


Accidental library find

French book

French CD



Family vacation


Form of Exercise