Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Bree Sharp finds peace through pets

While it is far too hard to pass up using the juvenile pun of Bree Sharp’s initials, the last thing one can find this Manhattan-based artist doing is Following the popularity of her 1999 release of A Cheap and Evil Girl and the subsequent success of her 2002 sophomore album More B.S. (which also found the witticism irresistible), Sharp has been working hard to find the right words and the complementary chords with which to put together a third album.

During her junior year studying theater at New York University, the diversion of strumming on her guitar caught the ears of one of Sharp’s neighbors.

“My friends were really encouraging my writing and singing,” she explained. “When [a neighbor] said she knew someone in the business, I didn’t think much of it because we have all heard that line. But it wasn’t, ‘I know someone who knows someone.’ This was her dad.”


Those connections manifested in sufficient funding for a demo, which eventually led to a signing with Trauma Records. On that label, Sharp revealed her multifaceted abilities as a singer-songwriter, with socially insightful numbers such as “America,” (boasting of lines like, “Pay no more attention to the things that / You stand for — sit back, relax / Enjoy the war from your living room”) just a few tracks before the emotionally affective “Walk Away.”

While most interest in her album was garnered from the cult-like classic “David Duchovny,” her second record, produced by her own label Ashima Records, displayed the Sharp-specific style of rock to be much more than a gimmick, and strengthened her as an artistic force to be reckoned with.

Such a force can be discovered beyond the melodies of her albums, especially by her fervent support of animals’ rights organizations like PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). That energy began during her youth when she made a very conscious decision to uphold the sanctity of animal rights.

“I was raised on the fast food culture, my mom taking me to McDonald’s for birthdays and everything,” said Sharp. “I ate meat because that is what was made in my home, but I always had a sense that something wasn’t right … these animals I would love and hug and then eat.”

Sharp became a vegetarian, shunning that ever-powerful aspect of American society, when she was 15.

“At camp that summer, there was a vegetarian meal plan and, you know camp food, I took that one,” she explained. “I still eat milk and eggs, which is really a big offense, but I hope someday I can stop that too.”

Simply gaining more information about the meat industry also fueled Sharp’s decision to abstain from eating meat.

“I think a lot of people don’t really know where their food comes from,” Sharp said. Should anybody want to learn just where her food does come from, the websites and sources of information are in astounding abundance. Sharp is also a knowledgeable source to tap, ready to back up her beliefs at a moment’s notice. “Family farms are being bought out by these bigger factory ones and there is no longer care given to these animals,” she said. “They aren’t respectful of the animals like the smaller farms are. There is so much evil stuff. Animals are crammed into these tiny cages and are left violently pecking at each other for some space.” She chuckled before warning, “You know, I really could go on forever about that, but I am hopeful for a lot of change as people learn more about those conditions.”

After the facts and figures supporting a dietary independence from meat, her conversation turned a little more personal, more poignant. Sharp began talking about when she was 16 and went on a “Holocaust” trip, during which she spent time in Poland and Israel.

“It was really awful, to say the least,” she said. “After that week in Poland, I came to Israel, which is so warm and lovely. I was walking along the shore and collecting shells. There was this one closed clamshell I picked up and put it in my bag. I hadn’t known it wasn’t dead and later I noticed it opening and closing, it was suffocating. This clam was alive and needing to be in its home. I felt so horrible that it died and after that, I didn’t want to be responsible for the death of anything.”

The tone of the trip, combined with the very vivid experience of that death, put aside all the logical, objective motivations and really exemplified Sharp’s devotion to the protection of animal rights.

Finding her music to be her most effective means of reaching the public and wanting to lend her voice in any manner possible, Sharp even finds time for smaller organizations such as Wisconsin’s MAPPAR (the Midwest Animal and Potbellied Pig Association and Rescue). Apparently animal rights know no distance, and neither does Sharp when it comes to bringing heightened attention to such valiant groups. MAPPAR contacted her, as she explained.

“I guess they heard about my involvements as an animal rights advocate. It is known that I try to give a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves.” Sharp’s accolades of the organization are many. “It is really such a great organization and it takes so much commitment. Dee Rondone [co-founder of MAPPAR] is mostly running the organization by herself and what she does is really just amazing and beautiful. These animals need care 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and they are just trying to rescue as many animals as possible,” she said.

Not only did those working for the animals amaze Sharp, but the creatures themselves burrowed a little place in her affections. “When I was here last year I got to see some of the animals and there was one dog who lost both his front legs and they were working on getting wheels for him; he was so small and cute and happy,” she said. “The incontinent kitties are the sweetest, kindest cats; they are a joy and happy to be alive.”

While she will not be playing in the barn at the MAPPAR farm in Pardeeville this year, surrounded by the animals that were benefiting from all those efforts, Sharp looks forward to the event.

“This year they decided to make it more accessible to people, more students, because that is the main thing: getting them out here and fundraising for the organization,” she said.

The enthusiasm Sharp conveys for this organization only multiplies when discussing the role of her music in its support. Excitedly, she explained, “I’m really looking forward to having the band with me. They always bring a whole new energy to the performance.” Sharp allowed herself to get a little cosmic: “It is really a double blessing for me, getting to help these animals and also having the opportunity to play my music. It is such a great organization and we should do all we can to help support it. I really hope a lot of the students can come.”

Indeed, students and community members alike ought to come en masse to the High Noon Saloon Oct. 28, not only for the enjoyment of witnessing all the genius and delight that is Bree Sharp, but also to support one of the organizations that encourages her efforts.

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