My Favorite Band- And for Good Reason.

For those of you who follow me on Twitter, or know me in the real world- beyond my written word and profile pic, you know that the last few days have been rough. And if you read my post about all I want in a man… you can probably figure out some of the details of why they’ve been so rough.

Over the weekend I discovered that I was, no matter the excuses thrown at me, being used by a man until he had a solid lock-down on another woman. I live with this man because I and my cats have nowhere else to go. It’s awfully uncomfortable, to say the least.

On top of all of that, I’ve lost my comfort zone completely due to issues with my guitar being out of order. Playing guitar is my safe zone. It’s my greatest accomplishment. But I’ve just been staring at it’s body naked of strings and pieces held together by glue since the night of my inciting incident.

Furthermore, the cherry of it all- my favorite band- The Milk Carton Kids- is in Columbus tonight, and I have had no coin for a ticket.

So, today, I went about my business- I made a tweet begging for someone to buy me a ticket, I took a walk, came back, lit a cigarette and worked on an article- all the while avoiding social networking sites as not to distract me. I have never regretted not checking my Facebook obsessively-compulsively as I do right now.

When I had saved my article’s draft, I finally clicked the tabs along my browser. The most epic message I have ever received had been waiting there for nearly an hour.

It was a message from Joey Ryan of The Milk Carton Kids. Uh….

I froze for a few seconds not believing what I was looking at. Not only had a member of my favorite band messaged me, but when we spoke at the last show (a story I still intend to blog) he mentioned that he never checks Facebook messages.

The message said “Want to sell merch for us tonight? Can put you on guest list and give you something from merch. Saw your tweet.
JR”

Oh, and side note-just to add to the epicness of all of this? My Facebook and Twitter names are in no way linked or identifiable of one another unless you’ve spoken to me personally. So, why does that add to the epicness? The last time I spoke to the band my blog was briefly mentioned when I asked if they had seen this post I had written about them. It’s epic because Joey remembered me.

After my brain finally clicked that the message was not an illusion I called Melanie in hopes that she hadn’t left yet. When she didn’t answer the first few times I did the only logical thing I could do. I took off running in 30 degree weather with no jacket to her place of employment, then to her apartment. No luck. Kept calling. Ran home….may have gotten the attention of a Sheriff car because I was running across a 4-lane road… not in a crosswalk. Kept calling. Called everyone I know who lives in this town with a car. Everyone had JUST left town, or was at work.

Melanie finally called me back. She had left town right about the time when the message was sent- no time to double back to get me.

So tragically, I did not make it to the show…. which is rather disappointing. And Brendan (Kenneth’s brother, who’s been taking the pics on their Tumblr page) is working the merch booth. (via a text from Melanie) I totally could have hit on the other Pattengale tonight…. aw, shucks.

But more seriously- it’s disappointing because their music can create the safest haven from all of the world’s stresses for those listening. There is nothing like seeing the two of them perform live. While they play, every other detail of the world doesn’t seem to exists. You’re engaged fully by what you see and hear. The songs they sing tell such detailed stories that it’s almost as if you’re listening to a melodic lullaby- though the stories include such intensely heartbreaking topics.

It’s disappointing because on stage the duo is mesmerizing- Joey with his laid-back, natural demeanor in which it seems as though he’s just having a conversation rather than singing with the strong voice he has. The way Kenneth sways as he plucks the strings of his guitar as if they will disappear without return if he doesn’t catch them fast enough- but always does. The charming banter between the two in which everyone in the audience, no matter if they’ve never heard of them or have been to every show within a 500 mile radius- is captivated and amused. The laughter they bring fills the air when the music does not.

It’s disappointing because though after their set is over and the music has stopped- always leaving you wanting more…  the best part happens. They take the time to meet with fans. They converse with them. They show unwavering appreciation for each fan. And as mentioned above- they remember the conversations. They remember their fans and take none of them for granted.

The Milk Carton Kids are my favorite band not only because their music is exceptional, but also because Joey and Kenneth are as wonderful off stage as they are on.

So, I am saddened that I could not find a ride to the show, but more so I am grateful beyond words that Joey had offered what he did. It means the world to me.

Click this picture to visit their site- where you can download both albums for free.

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