Tiny Vipers, Balmorhea
Nightlight—The music of Jesy Fortino—a Seattle guitarist and singer who recently released her second album, Life on Earth, under the name Tiny Vipers via Sub Pop Records—makes music that is slight but not insubstantial: With a voice that softens the edge between Buffy Sainte-Marie, Joanna Newsom and Leonard Cohen, Fortino breathes her loneliness into an ever-still sonic space. Only her forlorn finger-picked acoustic guitar, which canters with the aching grace of Nick Drake, splashes into her impressionistic scenes, scattering the gray like a sunrise flickering across a lysergic dawn. Tour mates Balmorhea visit by way of Austin, Texas, from which they bring instrumental tales of pioneers, conquest, defeat and triumph, exclaimed in a language of sustained builds and sudden climaxes through strings, piano, drums and guitars. This year's All is Wild, All is Silent works better on stage than it does on bedroom speakers, its instantaneous management of dynamics sweeping you up rather than beating you down when you're there, watching it unfold through fingers and arms and legs. Both of tonight's bands balance despair and splendor, only with inverse proportions. A great bill. Pay $6 at 10 p.m. —Grayson Currin
Angela Bendorf Jamison of The Girls from Ames
The Storyteller's Bookstore—To answer the question many worried readers have been asking her, Angela Bendorf Jamison is "doing great," she says. Those who bought Jeffrey Zaslow's The Girls from Ames, a nonfiction chronicle of the decades-long friendship between 11 women from Ames, Iowa, got a sad surprise at the end of the book when Jamison was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, the same kind that killed her mother at age 52.
But as we meet at a Starbucks at Brier Creek, she's chipper and smiling, her hair already growing back in an Anne Lennox 'do. She's laughing as we talk and excited about appearing at Wake Forest's Storyteller's Bookstore to promote the book.
"It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be," says Jamison, who was diagnosed last October and has just started radiation after previously undergoing 16 treatments of chemotherapy. She had surgery the same week the book came out in April of this year and has been undergoing treatment at UNC Hospital.
"Cancer is never great, but the reason you can survive it is because of the people around you," Jamison says. It's almost a given that her girlfriends from Ames have been there for her. "They have visited, they've sent cards, e-mails, gifts ... they even bought me a housecleaner!" Jamison says. "I really think I've done so well because of them and my friends in the Triangle."
Since 1998, Jamison has run Communicopia Marketing (www.communicopiapr.com) in Wake Forest, where she lives. A 2007 reunion of the girls at her house serves as the framing device of The Girls from Ames, and a group photo of them on her porch has become the main marketing symbol for the book.
"I would say it's been a fun ride," Jamison says. "We never thought it would be something as big as it's been. We thought, 'It'll be a nice chronicle of our friendship, and we can give it to our daughters and show them a different part of our lives.'" And while she's gotten to see her friends more frequently as they've done interviews and promotions for the book, she's not tired of them yet: "The time is never long enough when we're together." —Zack Smith
Angela Jamison appears at The Storyteller's Bookstore in Wake Forest from 7-9 p.m., along with fellow "girls from Ames" Diana and Karen. For more information, visit www.storystorewf.com or call 554-9146. For more on The Girls from Ames, visit www.girlsfromames.com.