Series Overview:
– Welcome to the world of PENsive: from the mind and pen of Artist Damon Kardon. This is a weekly editorial cartoon satirizing the social ills of our time, especially what Damon finds most perplexing in the music/arts, social media and political industries.

About the Sketch:
– I need to take some time out here to celebrate one of the most positive, powerful, empathetic, talented and generous artists in music today. I mean it when I cheer “Brandi Carlile for President!” I commend her on what she has done within the music industry as well as her humanitarian work.

On a side note, I did witness one of her most impressive performances which is forever etched in my brain. She played our small, local Sellersville Theater a few years back (while at the same time selling out way bigger venues). At one point in the show, she asked the theater to shut off the PA sound. Her and the always-dependable Hanseroth twins and the rest of her band proceeded to sing Dying Day” acapella and it sent shivers to the back of the house. The harmonies, along with her powerful voice, just transcended space and time! So I became an instant fan of her music (not listening to much of her catalogue prior to that show). I think what she has written since has been some of her best songwriting ever.

Check out the full-resolution version of the PENsive #13 sketch.


She deserves all of the accolades and attention she has been getting now, and a whole lot more credit. She has used her credibility in the music industry to shine a light on issues that affect other female performers. She recently shared a few music festival posters of the most popular ones (Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza) to show how little percent of the performing acts were women. She then used photo-shop and removed the names of all the male performers to show what were then basically empty posters (save for a few female bands and solo artists). So she decided to organize her own music festival featuring only female performers.

Brandi has been a champion for the LGBTQQ community and really has brought strength and support to many foundations for women and refugee children. Her most recent album features the song “The Joke”, which for me represents and sticks up for those people who are unfairly dismissed and shamed by a bigoted society. I support her message and I respect that she uses the powerful tool of music and song to help. She is one of my heroes and our country would be in better shape with someone like her holding the reigns.

Watch the gorgeous video for “The Joke” here.