As you dear readers know, we at This is That Song are huge supporters of Kathryn Calder. We love her solo stuff. We rated her first solo record Are You My Mother as our seventh favourite Canadian record of 2010 and Bright and Vivid as our eleventh favourite Canadian record of 2011.
We also love her stuff with The New Pornographers. We rated Together as our third favourite Canadian record of 2010.
We’re not very familiar with her Immaculate Machine stuff.
Already on this blog, we’ve written about Calder’s song “One Two Three”, and also about The New Pornographers’ song “Your Hands (Together)”. This is a special occasion to write about Kathryn Calder again.
The good people from Yellow Bird Project have asked me to help them help Kathryn Calder raise money for ALS Awareness, and I told them that I’m more than happy to do it. ALS, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, is more commonly known in North America as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”, after the legendary New York Yankees baseball player who died from ALS in 1941. ALS is a horrible motor neuron disease which is marked by rapid deterioration of muscle strength and control. Generally speaking, patients with ALS retain all of their sensory perceptions and their cognitive abilities, but everything else including the ability to breathe goes. Generally speaking, after diagnosis, the patient has a life expectancy of no more than five years. Some patients live much longer than that. Steven Hawking, for example, has lived with ALS for more than 50 years. Living with ALS for 20 years is extraordinary. His case is off the charts.
ALS Awareness means a lot to Kathryn Calder because ALS took her mother’s life in 2010. Both her album Are You My Mother? and The New Pornographers’ album Together were dedicated to the memory of Kathryn’s mother.
As most of you probably don’t know, July 4 is not only the USA’s birthday, but it’s also Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day. It marks the anniversary of that stirring farewell speech that Gehrig gave on July 4, 1939 between games of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium.
To mark Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day, Kathryn Calder is going to play an “intimate” show this July 4 at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, British Columbia. She’ll be occupying the “Old Town” Victoria replica part of the museum. In order to get into the show, you need to buy a special limited edition screen printed poster promoting the event. The posters sell for $50, and will be hand-signed and addressed to you by Kathryn herself. Full details, and pictures of the poster are available at the Yellow Bird Project site here.
Remember. This is NOT a $50 concert ticket. This is a donation to benefit ALS Awareness. For that $50, you get into the show, you get the signed poster, and you get the satisfaction of supporting a good cause.
I can’t make it to that show since it’s about 3,000 miles away from me. However, I went ahead and bought one of these posters anyway. I’ll encourage you to do the same, even if you can’t make the show. Again, use this to get to the Yellow Bird Project page about the show.
The Yellow Bird Project’s whole raison d’être is to join the love of indie rock with the support of charitable causes. There are several high-profile indie bands involved with the project. They each have a shirt designed for them, and sales of the shirts go to the charity that they choose.
Just to demonstrate the array of different types of charities that are supported, here are a few:
The deal is the same with the shirts, which typically sell for $25 or $30. The money goes to the charity and the shirt goes to you.
If you can’t spare $50, but still want to support ALS awareness and get some cool Kathryn Calder-related indie rock stuff, you can buy the New Pornographers’ Yellow Bird Project shirt here. They support the ALS Society of BC.
On a related note, just today, Kathryn Calder had a Daytrotter Session released. I’ve said before and I’ll say again that the $2 monthly subscription to Daytrotter is worth about 20 times that much. Sign up here, and get the Kathryn Calder session here.
If you’d rather go the more traditional way of giving money to fighting ALS, give to the ALS Association (United States) here, or ALS Society of Canada here. Additionally, ALS Canada has provincial chapters if you want to give to the one where you live.