Wednesday, October 27, 2010

the scar project

breast cancer is not a pink ribbon

The Scar Project, an exhibit by fashion photographer David Jay, opened in New York City last week.  The exhibit of large scale photographs showcases images of young breast cancer survivors.  

If you're like me, you probably know someone who has been affected by breast cancer but if you're like me you probably also have never seen the effects of breast cancer up close and personal.

The young women involved in The Scar Project bared their breasts in an effort to heighten awareness about the disease. Honestly, my breasts are whole and I would find this a very difficult thing to do.  The courage shown by these women is amazing.  (Then again, their courage and believing helped them be victorious in the first place, so it's not surprising they have the resolution to participate in the project.) 

Jay says, "“For these young women, having their portrait taken seems to represent their personal victory over this terrifying disease. It helps them reclaim their femininity, their sexuality, identity and power after having been robbed of such an important part of it. Through these simple pictures, they seem to gain some acceptance of what has happened to them and the strength to move forward with pride.”

These images will definitely cause a reaction within you.  Some are almost beautiful and others will break your heart. I think the photographs of the pregnant women are the most moving.  To see their bodies full of life after fighting for their own is emotional, to say the very least.

The best place to see the photographs is here and I hope you do click on the link.  The pictures are confronting and, frankly, educational.  I think they challenge what we as a society consider beautiful.  While they are a very real reminder of how vicious cancer is, seeing these young women alive and well is a reminder that people really can triumph over cancer.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

tunes i like tuesday: boyfriend

I think Best Coast is just plain fun!  Their lo-fi, poppy sound is perfect for kicking any get together up a notch. When their debut full-length LP, Crazy for You, was released back in July, I had no idea who they were until Katie over at  Don't Warn the Tadpoles clued me in! 

Now, I am definitely an East Coast girl but West/Best Coast loving Bethany Cosentino's vocals are a case of the Ronettes meet Jenny Lewis meet The Jesus and Mary Chain. The overall sound is definitely 60's surf rock, with simple lyrics and solid guitars and drums.  It's a nice change from some of the stuff I listen to and makes me smile.

The band has just released a new video for their song "Boyfriend".  It centers around a quinceaƱera, a Latin American celebration which celebrates a young woman's transition from childhood to womanhood at the age of 15.  Best Coast actually had the honor of providing the entertainment at the celebration. Countrymouse's grandfather was from Colombia and there are relatives from several Latin countries peppered through his family tree.  We attended his cousin's quinceaƱera a few years ago and I can tell you, these parties are serious business!  (I think this particular one was fancier than my own wedding!)  I find the video interesting because it exposes the viewer to a slice of culture they may not otherwise have had an opportunity to see and enjoyable because the girl gets her guy. (Who doesn't like a happy ending??)

Have a listen and let me know what you think.  

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

tunes i like tuesday: miss maybe

I love seeing live music.  Countrymouse has often made the argument that recorded versions of songs are generally better.  On some level, I will concede to that notion, but nothing can replace the energy and the connection of a live show... especially in a small setting.  Even though we live out here in the middle of nowhere, we are blessed with some great shows.   Sometimes I am amazed (but always thankful) at the opportunities we have.  

Seeing David Berkeley this week was definitely one of those times.  I've had the pleasure of seeing David live before, but it's been way too long.  Nothing would have kept me away!

David is a modern day troubadour, his poetic lyrics filled with tales of life, love, people.  You find yourself hanging on his words and waiting to hear how the story ends.  Berkley's downtempo style has been compared to to Leonard Cohen, David Gray and Jeff Buckley, but I have seen him most often compared to Nick Drake, which is very easy to hear.  (I'd love to hear David cover Pink Moon.)

The song below, Miss Maybe, is from his debut album, The Confluence, which was released in 2002.  He has a new release slated for early next year called Some Kind of Cure.  I have no doubt that it will be some kind of wonderful.  Have a listen and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

tunes i like tuesday: eyes wide open

I know I'm been kinda MIA lately.  I was away on a business trip and once I got home there was a whole lot of fun to catch up on. It was a busy weekend, but one of the best things Countrymouse and I did this weekend was to see The Vespers.  I had listened to some of their music on line but seeing them in person was a real treat! 

The Vespers are a young band out of Nashville made up of two sisters (Callie and Phoebe Cryar) and two brothers (Taylor and Bruno Jones), who together make music that spans from folk to roots to bluegrass to blues.  I loved seeing so many instruments on the tiny stage... an upright bass, banjo, several guitars, drums, ukulele, mandolin and assorted rhythm instruments. You never knew what combination of instruments would be pulled out for the next song or who would be playing what! I don't think I've seen that much instrumental diversity on one stage in a long time.  What really gets your attention, however, is The Vespers hauntingly beautiful harmonies.  The Cryar sisters voices are infectious, making you want to wiggle in your seat one moment and tear up the next.  

While often considered to sound like Alison Krauss, I think some better comparisons would be Nickel Creek, The Wailin' Jennys  or The Be Good Tanyas.  I also could hear a little Grace Potter rolled in there.  The Vespers are definitely their own sound though, and if the buzz surrounding them continues, I think you'll be seeing (and hearing) a lot more of them. Have a listen and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

tunes i like tuesday: ring of fire

Were you looking for the one and only Johnny Cash? (I would have been.) Ring of Fire is one of my very favorite Johnny Cash songs, so when I stumbled upon Samantha Murphy's rendition, I was more than a little curious to check it out.  I think Murphy takes a bold step in putting her own spin on this classic and I think it pays off for her nicely.  Without Cash's dark, bass-baritone to support the song, it lacks some of the urgency and sadness of the original.  What the listener is left with is actually a sweet little song. You get the idea that Murphy is actually quite pleased to have fallen into the ring of fire. Have a listen and weigh in on Murphy's version. I'd like to hear what you think.