Disease + The Girl with the Prefabricated Heart

An all-time great rock song and performance kicks off “16 Songs”. Here’s Allison Crowe live-in-concert – captured by Turtle Recording’s Larry Anschell (Engineer and Producer) and Brad Graham (Co-Engineer).

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Lyrical and social themes “as we replace marble with plastic” mesh visually with “Dreams That Money Can Buy” – the avant garde cinematic creation of German surrealist, Dadaist+ Hans Richter and collaborators. “The Girl with the Prefabricated Heart“, the second of DTMCB’s seven dream sequences, is shaped by the rich vision of French painter, sculptor, and filmmaker, Fernand Léger. This experimental feature film received the Award for the Best Original Contribution to the Progress of Cinematography at the 1947 Venice Film Festival.

“Power-house intense” says an European reviewer, “”the energy of ‘Disease‘ can easily provide electricity to a small country for a decade.”

Writing in Süddeutsche Zeitung, a major German daily newspaper, journalist Peter Baier sets the stage (in this translation): “From the outset the Canadian songwriter wins the favor of the audience and increases the expectations with her coloratural laugh. Allison Crowe plays the piano with a strong grip. Its sound fits perfectly to her slightly-smoky, expressive, in short: Great voice. Sometimes her playing recalls the keyboard-capers of Konstantin Wecker and then there are moments to bring to mind Modest Mussorgsky’s „Pictures at an Exhibition“.

(And in the original text: Bereits mit ihren ersten Ansagen gewinnt die kanadische Songwriterin mit eigenem Label die Gunst des Publikums, lässt mit ihrem Koloratur-Lachen die Erwartung auf Weiteres ansteigen. Mit kräftigem Zugriff spielt Allison Crowe das Klavier, zu dessen Klang ihre leicht rauchige, ausducksstarke, kurz: große Stimme hervorragend passt. Manchmal erinnert ihr Spiel an die Tasten-Eskapaden eines Konstantin Wecker, dann wieder gibt es Momente, die an den Stil von Modest Mussorgsky’s „Bilder einer Ausstellung“ denken lassen.)

“Amazing composition,” says another in the musician’s broadly international audience, “there is so much intellect in the music writing of Allison Crowe, which you don’t see anywhere these days, not from the new artists nor the established ones.”

It’s an intellect revealed in part via inspired musical choices and its energetic expression is visceral in nature. Energy flows from the performer on-stage to engulf concert-goers as well. Spontaneous eruptions – stomping feet, clapping hands, rhythmically pulsing bodies – accompany this song (a recent bootleg video from Jazzhaus Freiburg further testifies to this rocking reality).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6t4Gk15IB4

#1 of 16 Songs

Allison Crowe - 16 Songs Video Album - New Moon - Disease

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Allison Crowe in Be-CREATIVE: Found in Translation

Italy’s Be-CREATIVE has Allison on its cover this month – http://be-creative.lifestylecommunity.it/3 – and, now, the feature is translated for us all by the fine Italian hand of Rhonda C.

Allison Crowe: La Sua Voce Ha Stregato Anche L’uomo D’acciaio,” says the publication’s cover – “Allison Crowe: her voice has bewitched even the Man of Steel” – and, here’s the rest of the story:

Allison Crowe, originally from Nanaimo, (November 16, 1981), is a Canadian singer-songwriter and pianist. She records for her own label, Rubenesque Records Ltd.  Her first albums, Secrets and Tidings, were published in 2004, while the double album Live at Wood Hall, recorded live on tour, was published in July, 2005.  She also produced a DVD containing live in-the-studio performances made during the recording of Tidings, in November 2005.

Of Irish, Scottish and Manx descent, Allison grew up listening to jazz, classical, and rock, and under the influences of musicians such as Ani DiFranco, Pearl Jam, Tori Amos, and Counting Crows.

Her music is the result of the union of all these genres, and the uniqueness of her voice has such force that it has been compared to that of Mahalia Jackson.  She usually accompanies herself with the piano.

Her percussive style, characterized by a great physicality, was often associated with the pioneers of R&B and rock and roll like Fats Domino. She perform as a soloist, and has also been a part of musical bands, specifically a trio known as the Allison Crowe Band (2000-2003).

One of her songs, Whether I’m Wrong, composed in early 2003, was selected for the initiative endorsed by UNESCO, New Songs for Peace.  However, she is also very popular for her interpretations of songs by other authors, from Jerome Kern and Pearl Jam, through to John Lennon, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. Her interpretation of the song Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) was named Record of the Week by Record of the Day (UK) in August 2004, and again in November, 2005.  Towards the end of 2005, she held a series of concerts in Europe, with stops in Dublin, London, Monaco, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, and Paris.  In the spring of 2006, Allison Crowe made a coast-to-coast tour of her own country, making most of the journey by VIA Rail Canada Company.

In October 2006, she released her new album, This Little Bird, and subsequently held a series of concerts that have touched England, Ireland, and Scotland. On March 17, 2010, she released the album “Spiral“.  Recently, she has also performed in Italy, specifically in 2010, and 2012, at the Teatro del Sale in Florence. In 2013, she appeared in a cameo role in the film “Man of Steel” directed by Zack Snyder and released in Italian cinemas on June 20.

Q: Hi Allison, how are you?  Singer-songwriter, guitarist, pianist: with which of these roles do you identify most?

A: I’m doing great, thanks! I don’t know if there is one thing that I do that expresses myself the best – I’d have to say it’s likely a combo of all of these things! I’m always wanting to learn new ways to express myself and explore new things, and they sort of all work together in that way.

Q: In addition to having made several albums, you also really love the connection with the audience, and the thing that is more amazing is that your voice is as beautiful, and vibrant live as on CD.  How important is it for you the relationship with your fans?

A: I think my favourite part of what I do is the live performance and getting to interact with a live audience, and see and hear how they respond. My relationship with my audience is incredibly important to me, as the energy I get from people is energy I put in to doing what I do.

Q: Where do you prefer to perform: in large concert halls, or in a more intimate environment, perhaps with fewer people?

A: All of the different types of venues all have great features! A smaller, cozier show is nice because everyone is up close and it’s such a nice feeling, whereas a larger seated theatre show is maybe more dramatic and theatrical – due to the various circumstances that come with that. (lighting, seating, etc.) – and outdoor shows are big, fun and lively events with lots of energy. They are pretty much all good, in their different ways!

Q: From where does the  inspiration for your albums come?

A: I get inspiration for writing from different places for each album – a lot of it has come from my past relationships with people or the world around me. This new album (Heavy Graces) is more to do with my relationship with myself, than anything else, and how I go about dealing with and viewing that, from both in and outside of myself.

Q: Your slogan is “Why music?  Why breathing?”. With this phrase it is as if you want to say that music is life, energy for your soul. True?

A: It is! I find if I go too long without music, in one way or another, I feel like something is missing – especially live performance. It’s just who I am

Q: You recently loaned your song “Snow” for a dance performance – Ellipses Dance Company’s debut on video of a work entitled “The Writer”.  How has this experience left you?

A: It’s very cool to see a song I’ve written be used for dance – I love dance (and I wish I could dance like that!). I love seeing someone’s interpretation of what I’ve written through movement, and they’ve done such a wonderful job!

Q: You recently participated in the film “Man of Steel” about the origins of Superman. How’s it to play “yourself”, a singer, in such an important movie?

A: It was such a cool experience being in Man of Steel – just to see how everything works, and what everyone else does in making a movie, and how good they are at what they do! For me, playing a singer in a bar definitely wasn’t a stretch, and is something I’ve done for a very long time, so it felt pretty natural.

Q: Plans for the future?  Maybe a visit to Italy for your concerts?

A: My new album, Heavy Graces, was released on October 15, and I will be in Europe for a tour in 2014, in the Spring, and hopefully in Italy soon.

Nota Bene: Allison Crowe anticipates at least two European tour visits in 2014

To the Be-CREATIVE collaborators we say grazie!! Buon Natale – to all! :)

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Be-Creative Covers Allison Crowe

Allison Crowe: La Sua Voce Ha Stregato Anche L’uomo D’acciaio” says the cover sthis month of “Be-Creative”, Italy’s vital copyleft+ webzine. Translated – “Allison Crowe: her voice has bewitched even the Man of Steel“. The full story on Allison, with fabulous fotos from Canada’s Billie Woods, and plenty more from Art Director Fabrizio Mazzarella, partner Vladimiro Guindani and Daniela Vivarelli and all the super Be-Creative collaborators is found @ http:// be-creative.lifestylecommunity. it/3 Molto buono!!

From the creative commons of Italia and more, to the homesteads of Nanaimo, Canada Allison’s “Tidings” train rolls on– next stops – this Thursday’s Community Sing-Along to “Light Up a Life” – http://www.facebook.com/events/160120880864944 – followed by Saturday’s Tidings Concert with the brightest of new stars – http://www.facebook.com/events/324121414372072

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Through These Heavy Graces

Through These Heavy Graces” is a new song set from Allison Crowe – a recording to be released very soon. Here’s the cover art. Allison’s created plenty over the years, and with this collection she’s writing, singing, playing piano, guitar, doing percussion, engineering and production, album art, photography – and, for the first-time ever, adding fiddle to her palette!
Through These Heavy Graces - Allison Crowe - music set 2013
Maintaining a musical tradition that’s as much fun for the artist as it is for audience, alongside a batch of new original songs, Allison delivers interpretations of songs by her personal favourites – this time out, tunes from Leonard Cohen and Pearl Jam are in the mix.
Allison Crowe photo/artwork

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Allison Crowe in Triple-Bill of Summer Hits

Movie, stage show, and vinyl LP find Canadian musician flying high in unique style

“Weirdly typical” is how the dean of Canadian rock music critics, Tom Harrison, describes the newest album from Allison Crowe. That fun billing aptly suits the approach Crowe’s taken to establishing herself as one of the great voices in popular music – as singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, live performer and more.

The 31-year-old bi-coastal Canuck celebrated in New York City earlier this Summer at the red carpet premiere of “Man of Steel” – the epic new Superman movie directed by Zack Snyder in which Crowe cameos as “Singer in Cassidy’s” – the bar where Clark Kent busses. MoS tops Yahoo!’s “Ultimate Summer Movie Poll”, (in this, Hollywood’s highest-grossing Summer ever), via its fresh science fiction vision crafted by a stellar cast and crew. The Warner Bros. mega-production has now grossed over $650 million at the global box office.

Allison Crowe flew directly from festivities in NYC to rural Newfoundland for the release of her newest album – a collection of traditional tunes and vinyl-era songs of the region on which she provides all voices, instrumentation and production. “Newfoundland Vinyl” finds its name and inspiration in TNL’s hit musical show that’s delighted audiences these past two Summers at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival.

And the recording’s struck a chord ’round the planet. Muruch, on its own site and the No Depression blog, was first to rave: “It has the timeless beauty of a classic folk album.” The Celtic Music Fan blog, calling it an “one-of-a-kind must-have album”, says “There is something about this album that makes the songs become the soundtrack of your life.” The Province newspaper’s Tom Harrison off the top underscores the quirky nature of things – selecting the album “CD of the Week” and noting it’s not a CD: “Crowe’s ninth record is weirdly typical of her in that it defies convention, stick-handles around the pop idiom, shows imagination and daring, and opts for vinyl.” East Coast Kitchen Party, an hub for Atlantic Canada’s arts, entertainment and lifestyle news, points to the distinctive kitchen party-type approach to creation: “It seems simple, but it really is a classic treatment of the classic songs that are performed by Crowe. She has renewed with stylish vigor traditional songs that deserve new life and interpretations.” ECKP offers: “This record was made for sitting back in the big chair while relishing a favourite drink. Maybe Screech. It will probably bring a tear to the eye of a few. It’s that good.”

(Screech, a potent mainstay of Newfoundland life and lore, is an island tradition since the days when salt fish was shipped to the West Indies in exchange for Jamaican rum.)

Newfoundland Vinyl”, Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador’s GMTF stage production, has just wrapped its two-month run. Allison Crowe, the show’s song curator and musical director, is home in Corner Brook, NL readying a panel presentation for the geek and nerd-fest that is Atlanti-Con 2. Atlantic Canada’s colourful convention celebrating sci-fi, fantasy, comics, gaming, anime+ happens September 28 and 29, 2013 at the city’s Sir Wilfred Grenfell Campus, MUN.

In dog-eat-dog entertainment world, Canada’s Allison Crowe dishes unique success – pictured here, Allison’s friend, Link

This time last year Crowe was preparing to rejoin Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet for a second engagement performing songs of Leonard Cohen on-stage with the company’s amazing dancers. The RWB, inspiring and vital as ever, will mark its 75th anniversary in 2014. Right now, a very different sort of institution, also high-flying and one with which Allison Crowe’s honoured and delighted to meet and experience in collaboration, turns 75. To salute Superman reaching the milestone, Canada Post and the Winnipeg-based Royal Canadian Mint this week issued philatelic and numismatic tributes. The Man of Steel leaped onto the world stage in Action Comics #1 – a joint creation of great friends, Toronto, Canada-born illustrator Joe Shuster and American writer Jerry Siegel (born in Cleveland, Ohio).

In a recent feature, “Canadian Music Rocks the Global Stage”, Epoch Times’ nation reporter Justina Reichel tells readers: “Singer-songwriter Allison Crowe is well aware of what it takes for a Canuck to achieve commercial success internationally.” The uber-independent musician’s choices on “the long road to success” are, indeed, weirdly typical – and, for her, an artist of supreme talent and integrity, the only way to fly.

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Whether I’m Wrong

A performance of the topical song “Whether I’m Wrong” (the first video ever posted to Allison Crowe’s YouTube channel):

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“Canadian Music Rocks the Global Stage” reports Epoch Times

Journalist Justina Reichel keys on the Canadian music revolution inThe Epoch Times. US-based blogger Muruch recently commented: “I’m starting to think Allison Crowe’s DIY folk style is Canada’s answer to Ani DiFranco…” and in this new feature article Crowe reveals her recipe for success.

Allison Crowe Zack Snyder - Man of Steel - film set - Clay Enos / Warner Bros.

B.C. musician Allison Crowe with Hollywood director Zack Snyder on the set of “Man of Steel” in Cassidy, B.C. Canadian music is becoming more popular and lucrative around the world, according to the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada. (Courtesy Clay Enos/Warner Bros)

Above – as pictured and reported in The Epoch Times feature: “Canadian Music Rocks the Global Stage” – click on the photo or newspaper and story titles for links to reach the full, in-depth, news reportage. Or, or use this URL below:

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/244344-canadian-music-rocks-the-global-stage

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Songbook Salute

Celebrating “Man of Steel” – the Zack Snyder-directed Superman movie in which Allison Crowe appears in a cameo – we’ve created Songbook – an oeuvre-spanning album of tracks representing each album+ release from Rubenesque Records Ltd. (12 Years Free & Strong: 2001 – 2013)

May you enjoy these 22 song performances from Allison here and now.

album cover above – for Allison Crowe’s ”Songbook

Drawings by Allison Crowe, and design/artwork by our long-time graphics collaborator, Alix Whitmire.+ more word, credits, and thanks to follow the music…

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New album, concert tour, and documentary film come a’pealing

It’s coming on “Tidings” – and that means the voice of Allison Crowe will soon ring out traditional favourites, Christmas carols such as “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”, “In the Bleak Midwinter”, and “The First Noel”, alongside the modern canon of Joni Mitchell, Patty Griffin, Lennon & McCartney and original song selections including the elegiac “Arthur”, and the epic, foot-stomping, “Disease”.

Allison’s just off the road, wrapping up her second engagement of this year with Canada’s amazing Royal Winnipeg Ballet – performing songs of Leonard Cohen. With the love experienced on the dance stage, as well as recent European concert dates and this Summer’s Gros Morne Theatre Festival hit, “Newfoundland Vinyl”, still touching souls – it’s time to rally a repertoire that decks us all in comfort and joy whatever life’s circumstances.

“Allison Crowe is a stunningly talented performer. Her voice celebrates the music with a bluesy rock-gospel intensity; her controlled vibrato, silken rasp, and powerful projection rivet your attention. This is no casual background music… be prepared to be amazed,” says Carol Swanson (ChristmasReviews).

Drawing themes of faith, hope, sorrow, joy, redemption, transcendence and more from an abundant well of music, this year, there’s plenty of ways to rejoice with Allison as she melds the sacred and secular in “songs of the season” and spirit.

Tidings Concert”, captured truly by Engineer and Mixer Brad Graham, and FOH Engineer Ed Johnson, and mixed at Turtle Recording in White Rock, BC, Canada is released on November 25 (debuting @ http://music.allisoncrowe.com/album/tidings-concert with some days grace for iTunes and other folks observing Thanksgiving this weekend). This album set, her eighth full-length collection, features 19 in-concert performances, and, for the first time, audio from Crowe’s “Hallelujah” video which now has a worldwide audience of greater than 10 million people (more than eight million genuine views on YouTube alone).

Right after this music release, Allison embarks on a “Tidings” concert tour allied with special guests and special causes:

NOVEMBER 29 – Campbell River, BC, Canada – St. Peter’s Anglican Church – featuring The Campbell River Childrens Choir’s “Zephyr” w. Director Barbara Prowse and accompanist Judy Melny – presented by Rockin’ Ron Nicolaye to aid Campbell River Hospice Society & CR Food Bank

DECEMBER 1 – Victoria, BC, Canada – Fairfield United Church – with guest artist, singer-songwriter, Billie Woods – to aid Artemis Place, (girls’ educational and life-skills), and HepCBC

DECEMBER 5 – Nanaimo, BC, Canada – Old City Quarter – Community Carol Sing-along in support of “Light up a Life” campaign for Haven Society

DECEMBER 8 – Nanaimo, BC, Canada – St. Andrew’s United Church – with a cavalcade of Vancouver Island’s finest young musical talent: Chelsea Peckett, Daniel Knapp, Paige Hughes, Raymond Salgado, Kaleigh Hargrove & Emily Blake – to aid The Mind’s Eye (youth newspaper) + Woodlands SS Band and Basketball programs

DECEMBER 14 – Corner Brook, NL, Canada – Arts and Culture Centre – Tidings fun barrels down the chimney in this caring and creative Atlantic community

DECEMBER 15 – Corner Brook, NL, Canada – Arts and Culture Centre – World Premiere screenings of the Peter Buckle-directed documentary ~ “A Corner Brook Tidings” – a film featuring Allison Crowe and you – created with gracious assistance of the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (NLAC)

Fuller details @ http://www.allisoncrowe.com/tour.html – and plenty more to come!

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Große Stimme – Allison Crowe

Published in the print edition of “Süddeutsche Zeitung“, Germany’s largest national subscription daily newspaper, is this review of the latest concert in the tour of Allison Crowe and Billie Woods. The article, penned by kultur journalist Peter Baier, is not yet translated into English language. Still, any discussion of Allison’s musik that references Leonard Cohen and Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” has a solid grasp of things, so, we’re happy now, and will only become more happy :)

click image above to see full newspaper copy

Süddeutsche Zeitung, Dienstag, den 16. Oktober 2012

Große Stimme

Die kanadische Sängerin Allison Crowe im Inninger „Spectacel“

Inning – Natürlich muss sie den von ihr gecoverten Hit singen, das Stück von Leonard Cohen, das sie erst so richtig prominent werden ließ: „Hallelujah“, gespielt miteiner wunderbar melancholischen Einleitung. Dabei kommt Allison Crowe ohne jeden Kitsch aus, singt mit großer Lautstärke, ein bisschen blues-orientiert und mit einer Hingabe, die schon fast zum Religiösen tendiert. Gänsehaut-Musik. Die Betreiber des „Spectacel“, Innings musikalisches Zentrum, haben es geschafft, Allison Crowe für einen Abend zu verpflichten. Und Crowe zeigt, was ihre hergibt.

Bereits mit ihren ersten Ansagen gewinnt die kanadische Songwriterin mit eigenem Label die Gunst des Publikums, lässt mit ihrem Koloratur-Lachen die Erwartung auf Weiteres ansteigen. Mit kräftigem Zugriff spielt Allison Crowe das Klavier, zu dessen Klang ihre leicht rauchige, ausducksstarke, kurz: große Stimme hervorragend passt. Manchmal erinnert ihr Spiel an die Tasten-Eskapaden eines Konstantin Wecker, dann wieder gibt es Momente, die an den Stil von Modest Mussorgsky’s „Bilder einer Ausstellung“ denken lassen.

Crowes Gesang bleibt auch in den Höhen absolut sicher, begeistert geradezu in den Tiefen. Wunderschöne Balladen wechseln sich ab mit harten Songs, die Texte sind stets gut verständlich. Allison Crowe greift auch zur Gitarre, begleitet ihren Gesang mit zarten Tönen. Und wechselt dann wieder zu hartem Rhythmus auf dem Klavier. Eine ähnlich starke Stimme hat auch Billie Woods, die mit ihren Liedern das Konzert eröffnet. Die ebenso attraktive wie hochmusikalische Sängerin und Gitarristin überrascht mit ungewohnten Akkordstrukturen, wofür sie ihr Instrument mehrfach umstimmt. Und dass die Gitarre eigentlich ein Rhythmusinstrument ist, belegt Billie Woods mit großer Überzeugungskraft.

Natürlich müssen beide Musikerinnen Zugaben spielen.

PETER BAIER

Allison Crowe’s Europa Tour 2012 images can be viewed in Allison’s facebook gallery – click here, and in the facebook album of musician and photographer Billie Woods – click here.

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