Why + L’Atalante – Special Screening

Now Showing: Special Screening of “Why + L’Atalante” – one in the series of Allison Crowe’s “16 Songs” video album slated for wide release this month.

In advance of the reel unveiling in sequence, the curtain rises on Allison’s IMDb player – with showings in SD, 480 and HD quality (adjustable settings on the left side of screen):

Famous in its original, glorious, pop incarnation by singer-songwriter Annie Lennox, “Why” is a song recast here by Allison Crowe’s elemental voice and guitar.

Why + L'Atalante - IMDb - Allison Crowe

“Art is emotion” observed Alfred Hitchcock, and the Canadian musician’s singular way of communicating emotion makes her one of the great interpreters in popular music today as well as one of our finest modern songwriters and concert performers.

Strings on this version are gorgeously arranged and orchestrated by Hollywood film-scorer Kayla Schmah – herself an artist inspired by the themes and ideas of Hitch’s frequent collaborator, the brilliant, pioneering, composer Bernard Herrmann.

“This song is stunning. I can’t stop listening to it,” says Dartmouth-based dancer, Julie Dumont, “it makes me want to cry and dance all at the same time”.

The music’s visually paired with an excerpt from Jean Vigo’s marvellous cinema masterpiece – “L’Atalante” (1934).

http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi3074862105

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Sing Out! In Our Global Village

The Leonard Cohen Files’ now lists 567 different cover versions of Leonard Cohen’s much-loved “Hallelujah” – recordings made in dozens of countries and numerous languages: http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/coverlist.php

Hallelujah” is a popular song we’ve been able to widely and directly witness become a standard – as this process has occurred during, and, in part, thanks to, this age of the internet reaching near-ubiquity.

The global expanse of songs such as The Beatles’ “Yesterday”, (with some 3000 interpretations on record), and Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now”, (nearing 1000 covers at latest count – http://jonimitchell.com/music/covers-most.cfm ), and most other tunes which have become standards in the canons of pop and rock – and many more in folk, jazz and other genres – has, largely, been a phenomenon experienced offline (and these songs grew into universal favourites not in our real-time view).

The introduction of “Hallelujah” to a mass audience – via such channels as 2001’s Hollywood hit animated film “Shrek” – has been augmented and amplified by the world wide web.

Music and video sites online enable songs to be shared around, enjoyed and learned – grassroots traditions of jam sessions, campfire sing-alongs, church choirs and other communal ways that music is transported, today can be propelled by the advance in technology (and digital devices, in hand, enable more people to make recordings).

Not only can people world-wide experience music more readily, and in greater richness and variety, than in pre-internet times, folks are now able to express what it all means to them and reflect back to the same giant community “so that all souls can see it”.

For myself, serving as manager to Allison Crowe, a musician creating in these exciting times, one of the profound pleasures now possible is regularly hearing how people are moved by music.

Reflections on Hallelujah” @ http://blog.farmgirlwrites.com/2014/06/reflections-on-hallelujah.html – posted by Washington, DC-based blogger, “Farmgirl Writes”, is the sort of thing that inspires appreciation and understanding of a song and our fellow beings.

And, (especially for those with more dexterity and musical talent or dedication to this course than I), there’s such sites as “Chordify” – which show how we can play the music we love – http://chordify.net/chords/allison-crowe-hallelujah-live-in-the-studio-adrian22

Chordify - Allison Crowe

Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words” – a new book that’s exactly what its title promises – Joni’s voice heard through a trio of decades-spanning interviews with her friend, artist and journalist, Malka Marom – is released this week (officially, September 9, 2014).

Allan Showalter, aka DrHGuy, offers a typically entertaining and enlightening post in review @ http://1heckofaguy.com/2014/09/03/book-review-joni-mitchell-talks-about-growing-up-art-songwriting-love-and-leonard-cohen

I’ve mentioned this previously in a post to my own (Adrian’s personal facebook) page and – not unrelated to L. Cohen, the nature of popular songs, their interpretation and sharing – this book includes choice commentary.

River... Joni Mitchell’s whole album Blue is timeless,” Allison remarked when she covered the uniquely ever-green song on her own album “Tidings” in 2004.

And “River”, like “Hallelujah”, has witnessed an accelerated cultural expanse and embrace in these digital media times. Currently, Bob Muller, the Grand Poobah of Covers at JoniMitchell.com, tracks 402 different versions of Mitchell’s song @ http://jonimitchell.com/music/covers-most.cfm

The song established itself steadily over the decades – with some 200 covers being made from the time of its release on “Blue” in 1971 to 2007. In these last seven years, the total number of “River” covers has doubled.

In this new book, the brilliant singer, songwriter, composer, painter+ tells her confidante and interviewer: “There was a funny article in the L.A. Times. The guy was ranting, ‘Why are all these people covering Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’? It’s overexposed.’ That’s what he said, and I thought, ‘This person has no concept of what a standard is. A standard is a good song enjoyed by many.’ A lot of singers wanted to sing it, and it kept the song alive.”

Malka asks: “How do you feel when people sing your songs, any song, or play it completely different, like with ‘normal’ chords, and different arrangements?”

Joni says: “I think it’s great, I feel honoured. I like the idea of songs being sung. I like the idea that people who can’t even sing are singing them…”

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16 Songs – Video Album

We now know the song listing for Allison Crowe’s upcoming 16 Song music video series:

Disease

Why

Circular Reasoning

Creep

There Is

Doughnut Song

Running

Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters

Spiral

Sweet Dreams

Effortless

Josephine

Double-Edged Swords

Running for Home

Alive and Breathing

Throw Your Arms Around Me

Allison Crowe - 16 Song Video Album - cover

This new music video series launches September 9, 2014 (a shift from the September 2 date originally announced).

A magical mystery tour of music with visuals from great artists and innovators of the 20th and 21st centuries – film-makers, animators, painters, photographers and more… – it’s a multi-media expression of the artist’s mission to make “Soulful. Alive. Joyous. Grievous. Real, true, music.” ( http://allisoncrowe.com/bio.html )

This 16 song video album pairs Allison’s originals with some singular interpretations – underscoring an observation of Allan Showalter, aka DrHGuy, delightful chronicler “On Life, Love, Lust, & Leonard Cohen” – “Once you’ve heard one Allison Crowe song, You’ve heard one Allison Crowe song.” ( http://1heckofaguy.com/2009/01/27/wedding-song-allison-crowes-small-masterwork )

It’s a season of cryptic crosswords and other, puzzling, fun. Here, now, are 16 visual clues – screenshots from each of the videos in the series. Some you may recognize, some you may not have seen before…

Imagine which goes with which song in the set-list – this September details will be revealed, and matches will be made.

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Tonight Will Be Fine

Combining heart, soul and vision – in words, music and images – Allan Showalter, the much-loved Leonard Cohen+ blogger, presents this video:

http://www.dailymotion.com/videoxcf8ij

Allison Crowe performs Leonard Cohen’s song, “Tonight Will Be Fine“, accompanied by images from the fabulous and free-spirited photog Billie Woods, a painting by Vienna’s boki.b and pics of posters by dedicated German concert promoter “Andreas” – and North American rock poster legend Bob Masse.

And, there be a related DrHGuy blog post as well @ http://drhguy.com/2013/04/03/ten-women-singing-leonard-cohen-songs

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The First Noel ~ “Tidings Concert” (song 12)

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The First Noel“, one of the traditional carols on Allison Crowe’s “Tidings Concert“, album never fails to get me singing along. More reason to be thankful – to wit, I don’t use a webcam :) Instead, here’s Allison, whose “resonant, rich, gorgeous voice seems as much a manifestation of Christmas as an instrument for singing holiday songs” says the wise man and blogger, Allan Showalter (of “1HeckofaGuy.com” – http://1heckofaguy.com/2011/12/12/its-beginning-to-sound-a-lot-like-allison-crowe )

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Delay – Musical Decade Shines Still Brighter

“Once you’ve heard one Allison Crowe song, You’ve heard one Allison Crowe song,” says Allan Showalter, the erudite mystery-man behind the enriching and entertaining Leonard Cohen-centric blog, 1 Heck of a Guy.

With the good doctor’s observation in mind – here’s another one from Allison:

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This, a diamond mined 10+ years ago – and the musical equivalent to kimberlite pipes are richer than ever. The fuller origin story can be found on the YouTube page hosting “Delay“.

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Double Dip of Leonard Cohen Ballet News

Marvellous and mysterious blogger DrHGuy, miner of many Leonard Cohen-faceted diamonds, today presents a post de deux on Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the recent engagement of musician Allison Crowe – performing Cohen’s “Hallelujah” with the RWB:

http://1heckofaguy.com/2012/06/16/allison-crowe-gets-the-pointe +

http://drhguy.posterous.com/ballet-with-allison-crowe

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Chocolodka at the Dance

Today is the final performance of the debut run of “The Doorway – Scenes from Leonard Cohen” and the season finale for Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Following this Mother’s Day performance of “Pure Ballet” we salute music, dance, motherhood, you and me, a dog named Boo, and all else, with this special elixir – Chocolodka. Na zdrowie! Sláinte!

Visit “1 Heck of a Guy” for:

The Heck Of A Guy

Illustrated, Explicated, Annotated, & Unexpurgated
Dishwasher Safe, Dishwasher Dependent Formulation
For The Ultimate Solvent Of Anxiety, Woe, & Inhibitions,
The Good Time-Enhancing, Courage-Bolstering,
Someone’s Gonna Get Lucky Tonight-Assuring
Quintessential Chocolate Vodka:
CHOCOLODKA

And, for the instructional inspirational:

How To Make The Original Chocolodka – The Video

NB pictured in this post is Chocolodka: Travellers Edition – the creation of which, in an hotel room, requires some variance from the traditional methodology – though the ingredients remain true to the original recipe, and, according to all involved, optimal standards for Chocolodka have been maintained. Furthermore, no one was harmed in the making of this product. In fact, quite the contrary :)

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The Liebster Awards – Allison Crowe Picks

It’s with great delight, cheery pride and warm thanks that Allison Crowe, this here blog, this weekend received a prestigious Liebster Award from “1 Heck of a Guy” – everybody’s favourite blog written by a psychiatrist that is rife with Leonard Cohen-based hilarity, love stories, essays on broomcorn, and proposals for a county seal featuring Dick Tracy.

In something of a reverse engineering feat to the drummers in Spinal Tap spontaneously combusting, the recipients of a Liebster Blog Award spontaneously come together. It’s a fun way to share passions, and introduce more people to singular blogs – Liebster being a German word for dearest, beloved, or favourite.

Being an award sparked by humanity, and non-corporate in nature, there’s not a lot of red-tape to the proceedings. Still, we learn from Dr. Heck, aka DrHGuy, aka Allan Showalter, blogmeister of “1 Heck of a Guy”, for recipients there is some form to keep things functioning:

“1.. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
2.. Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
3.. Copy & paste the blog award on your blog.
4.. Reveal your own 5 blog picks.
5.. Let them know you chose them by posting on their blog.”

(Dr H further advises: “The policy indicates that blogs selected should have fewer than 200 followers, but this appears to be uniformly ignored.”)

Now, following a vegan drum roll, here are the five recipients of the Liebster Blog Award, as so bestowed by Allison Crowe:

Heather on a Rock – Acting, physiotherapy… These are just a a couple of the many things that my über-talented friend Heather Rumbolt can do! Add writing to that list – you can now check out her humorous and incredibly honest blog, Heather on a Rock (Warning: contains some strong language and adult themes – and total hilariousness.) Here are two posts to get you started on your road to Heather: Half-baked Recipe for a Happier You + Flamin’ Hot Yogi Ready to be Lululemonated

the little red chicken – Another of my super-talented actor friends, (she’s touring right now with the NL play “Tempting Providence” all across Canada – to rave reviews!), Willow Kean’s passion for food is legendary – and now you can learn her ways through her blog! Willow’s fun and charming stories create the perfect setting for the delicious recipes within!

CornerBrooker.com – Corner Brook super-citizen Tom Cochrane, (a writer and photog, among many, many other things!), created this blog originally as a site to keep us up with the local happenings in and around Corner Brook, Newfoundland – and it has done an AMAZING job of doing just that! It’s now exploded on to the scene with multiple talented writers, photographers – you name it, they’ve got it. Way to go Tom!

Post Punk Kitchen – This is my go-to site for looking up what I want to have for dinner. Isa Chandra Moskowitz is a super-vegan extraordinaire! Her book “Veganomicon” has become a vegan kitchen staple – among her many other books – and she is kind enough to share her recipes with those of us who turn to her online. She is always willing to help out if you have a question on her facebook page! – thank you Isa for all that you do!

Chocolate-Covered Katie – So much delicious, delicious chocolate – and many other delicious desserts – and all of them good for you! Katie posts super-often, which is great, because I am always waiting to hear what genius healthy dessert she’s come up with now! She’s always willing to help out if you have a question as well – which is fantastic – and you can LITERALLY have your cake and eat it too. Her larabar recipes are to die for – and seriously, try the cookie dough dip – made with chickpeas! It blows my mind. (don’t overblend it though!)

Enjoy!!!!!

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Rock Liebster – 1 Heck of an Award

Capping a week of fresh delights, I woke this a.m., St. Patrick’s Day, to find Allison Crowe’s blog, for which I serve as caretaker, is a recipient of the prestigious Liebster Award.

I learned this by visiting “1 Heck of a Guy” – everybody’s favourite Leonard Cohen-centric blog written by a psychiatrist and “featuring song, dance, snappy chatter plus notes on prose, poesy, love, lust, life, and beyond.”

There, the erudite blogmeister Dr. Heck, aka Allan Showalter, reveals the exceptional roster of blogs upon which the Liebster’s bestowed. He explains the nature of things, especially fitting on this day for pledging fealty to friendliness – with or without a Guinness in hand.

Even the name of the award brings forth cheer, musically echoing, as it does, this German-language performance by the Fab Four – Sie Liebt Dich:

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together with this also fabulous recording by T. Rex – Jeepster:

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(One of today’s bands, The Black Keys, say, seems a natural to update Marc Bolan’s lyrics for the digital age: “Girl, I’m just a Liebster for your blog”.)

In handing out a Liebster to Allison Crowe’s blog, the always entertaining, (and, to some, mysterious), Dr. Heck, says:

“Allison Crowe’s official site not only offers information, videos, and music about the next Canadian singer-songwriter but not infrequently issues a shout-out to other artists that have left an impression on Ms Crowe, including Leonard Cohen. In any case, Adrian du Plessis, who serves both as Allison’s personable manager and webmaster of the site writes prose that is entertaining, informed, and, on occasion, not unlike pirate lingo.”

Allison and I have savoured drinking in the history and import of this charming recognition. Thank you, danke, merci, grazie, and more, Dr. Showalter!!

In the spirit in which it’s delivered, and, further, to fulfill the duties and obligations of accepting a Liebster Blog Award, over the coming days, we shall choose other blogs to so honour in kind.

Stay tuned…

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