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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“16 Songs” Video Album from Allison Crowe = Music + Movie Magic

“Soulful. Alive. Joyous. Grievous. Real, true, music is what I want to make.”

That’s how Allison Crowe framed things near the start of this century before launching Rubenesque Records Ltd., one of the world’s truly independent music labels.

Through legendary live performances, broadcasts, and a dynamic oeuvre of recordings, globally-acclaimed and loved, Crowe’s distinguished herself among today’s finest songwriters, recording and concert acts, and as a supreme interpreter of popular song.

Combining versatility and virtuosity, the amazing Canadian musician transmits emotion into a visceral joy – sharing heart and soul with audiences.

Timeless artistic expression has its own tradition in Canada, a land plentifully represented by: wordsmiths & tunesmiths, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Gordon Lightfoot and Neil Young; by jazz pianist/composer Oscar Peterson; classical composer Marjan Mozetich; in theatre and opera – beautiful voices of Teresa Stratas, Richard Verreau, Léopold Simoneau; and other sublime standard-bearers.

Allison Crowe’s singularity carries her across the globe and into such company as the Master of the Queen’s Music, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Britain’s Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, and dates with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Thrilling, fun, and moving, the Nanaimo, BC-born musician traverses Europe and North America from home-base in Corner Brook, Newfoundland earning hoorays even from Hollywood where appreciative movie Director Zack Snyder invited her to cameo in the latest Superman blockbuster.

Coming soon Allison Crowe releases “16 Songs” a video album reimagining century-spanning film, three decades of songwriting, and a dozen albums of modern music. Renowned for gorgeous, often ground-breaking, interpretations of Mitchell, Cohen, The Beatles, Pearl Jam +, Crowe’s set-list here is radiantly international, mixing original tunes (Disease, Circular Reasoning, Double-Edged Swords +) with covers of: Annie Lennox & Eurythmics, Radiohead, Tori Amos, Elton John & Bernie Taupin, Matthew Good, Hunters and Collectors.

"16 Songs" Video Album from Allison Crowe Coming Soon

16 Songs” Video Album from Allison Crowe Coming Soon

We’ve recently witnessed novel approaches to twinning of music and video releases in the American mainstream. In December 2013, pop superstar Beyoncé paired a video with each of her album’s 14 new song tracks adding three bonus music videos all as part of the “Beyoncé” album physical release. Partial clips of the vids were posted online upon the album’s surprise launch.

This Summer “Weird Al” Yankovic built upon the model of his 2011 “Alpocalypse” album. For his July 2014 release, “Mandatory Fun”, pop music’s über-parodist-satirist-accordionist amped awareness by production-partnering with an array of web portals to release eight videos online the same week his album’s 12 music tracks became available.

Allison Crowe’s music videos for most of this millennium comprise, either, documentary, live-in-performance, films (eg. the hugely popular “Tidings” series from director Alex Postowoi’s cinéma vérité crew), or, audio recordings with ‘still’ images. The exceptions – a pair of music videos in narrative style – were both made in 2003: “Midnight” (also directed by Steadiman’s Postowoi), and “Scared” (from the transmission2media duo of Angela Kendall and Brian Dutkewich – known for their later work with musical twins Tegan and Sara).

Starting with 2011’s luminous “Arthur” – a song exploring love, memory and aging – Crowe’s videos also marry her song recordings with vintage footage from home-movies, silent films and classics of Georges Méliès, Dimitri Kirsanoff, Nadia Sibirskaia, Salvador Dali, Dominique Monfréy, Josef von Sternberg, D.W. Griffith plus other pioneers and visionaries of cinema (impressionists, surrealists, Dadaists, avant gardists, pop-artists+).

“The strange thing about cinema, and this would go for television film, is that no one really knows why music is needed. I would say after a lifetime in it I could not tell you why. But it is not complete without it… As a matter-of-fact, I may be bold enough to say that with very few exceptions, a piece of film, or a film cannot come to life without the help of music of some kind,” reflected composer Bernard Herrmann, a frequent collaborator with film director Alfred Hitchcock.

The “Master of Suspense”, Hitch himself, observed: “Art is emotion.”

16 Songs” is an artful collection of Allison Crowe musical works with visuals from great creators and innovators – film-makers, animators, painters, photographers: Fernand Léger, Jean Vigo, Buster Keaton, Dave Fleischer & Max Fleischer, Edwin S. Porter, Man Ray, Hans Richter, Marcel Duchamp, Alexander Calder, Winsor McCay, Augusto Genina, René Clair & Georg W. Pabst. Iconic images and figures – Louise Brooks, Lois Lane and Clark Kent/Superman, Michel Simon, Dita Parlo, Jean Dasté, and Kiki de Montparnasse – populate the video album playlist.

“Oh, this is wonderful, it really is,” says Slovenia’s Milka of an advance screening, “I love it.” The art-aficionado from Izola comments: “It is marvellous amalgamation of Allison’s voice and movie’s poetry. Both benefit from each other and give a viewer another dimension for song’s interpretation. While the movie, not known to me, suddenly takes me to place where one never ages. Love it.”

Curtains rise on Allison Crowe’s “16 Songs” video album daily from the New Moon of September 23 to the Full Moon of October 8, 2014. Visit your favourite online video portal to know how it feels.

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“Better Man”, “Control”, + “Dissolve”

“It seems our favorite independent singer-songwriter is more determined than ever to forge her own path. I predict we’ll be seeing Allison Crowe not once but twice on our best of the year list,” says music blogger Muruch in a review of Allison’s new album, “Heavy Graces”, (and referencing “Newfoundland Vinyl”, her LP/album out earlier this year): http://www.muruch.com/2013/10/allison-crowe-heavy-graces.html

Heavy Graces includes new songs from the pen and soul of Allison Crowe, alongside the Canadian artist’s interpretations of tunes composed by Leonard Cohen and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder.
It’s accompanied by a series of music-movie mash-ups.
Here she covers a favourite by Eddie Vedder – first performed by EV with the band Bad Radio – and, then, naturally, with Pearl Jam.

Allison Crowe identifies “Vitalogy“, PJ’s 1994 album, as one of the central music influences during her formative teen years. She tells music blogger, Stephen Thomas (co-founder of the UK’s Folkroom Records):

“And, of course, I have ALWAYS dreamed in colour and loved Better Man.”

“Singing along to ‘Better Man’ with an entire Vancouver concert audience the first time I ever managed to experience Pearl Jam live… is something I will never forget. We were freaking GOOD singers! I can’t wait to experience that again.”

With her own, roots rock, version of the song, Crowe brings past and present together musically. Visually, as well, time is elastic and themes impressionistic.

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The music is joined by an excerpt from the silent film classic “Broken Blossoms” – directed by D.W. Griffith and starring Lillian Gish as Lucy Burrows, Donald Crisp as Battling Burrows, (her abusive father), and Richard Barthelmess as Cheng Huan (who befriends and nurses Lucy).

The original songs from Allison Crowe’s new album are visually paired with scenes from the classic Buster Keaton silent film, “The General” – several videos of which we’ve posted already – combining humor and pathos.

Now, here’s “Control“:

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and, “Dissolve“:

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“You All Haunt Me” mash-up

Back on track we go with Allison Crowe, Buster Keaton and co. (When all the song videos are posted, we’ll make a playlist.) Here’s “You All Haunt Me“, from Allison’s newest album, “Heavy Graces“, and the second excerpt episode from the silent film classic, “The General“.

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Allison Crowe’s Timeless Voice Lifts “Heavy Graces”

Heavy Graces” is out now.

It’s musician Allison Crowe’s second album of new recordings in 2013 – the releases book-ending Crowe’s cameo appearance in the Hollywood blockbuster, “Man of Steel”, and her curating and music-directing TNL’s stage production of “Newfoundland Vinyl”, an hit show at this Summer’s Gros Morne Theatre Festival.

On this latest collection the Canadian artist is writing, singing, playing piano, guitar, doing percussion, engineering, production, album art, and photography. And she’s picked up her Great-Grandfather’s fiddle and includes it on several tracks – adding shades of Scarlet Rivera, had the Rolling Thunder Revue sought shelter from the storm in Corner Brook, NL.

“It seems our favorite independent singer-songwriter is more determined than ever to forge her own path. I predict we’ll be seeing Allison Crowe not once but twice on our best of the year list,” says music blog Muruch @ http://www.muruch.com/2013/10/allison-crowe-heavy-graces.html

Muruch’s review of “Heavy Graces” references, as well, “Newfoundland Vinyl”, Allison Crowe’s LP of popular and traditional songs of the island region where she’s home on the Atlantic. It’s an album which has listeners recalling Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, Ryan’s Fancy, Anais Mitchell, and the McGarrigle sisters, Kate and Anna.

All told, Crowe’s released three albums so far this year: “Songbook”- an oeuvre-spanning 22-song compilation – the music of which, naturally, draws more diverse praise including comparisons with Solomon Burke, Joni Mitchell, and Modest Mussorgsky – all the while Crowe’s passionate singularity is recognized and enjoyed by critics and fans alike.

Heavy Graces“, features new songs from the pen and soul of Allison Crowe, alongside her interpretations of tunes composed by Leonard Cohen (“Famous Blue Raincoat” – in two versions) and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder (“Better Man”).

Allison Crowe delights in working with today’s film directors – this year, Tom Anton on “The Pardon”, and Zack Snyder for the Superman reboot, “Man of Steel” – and their amazing production teams.

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Via today’s digital archives, there’s now opportunity for artistry and fun to combine music and movies in timeless fashion. The songs of “Heavy Graces” are accompanied visually, in video form, by a series of excerpts from silent-era, and other classic b/w, films from directors D.W. Griffith, Josef von Sternberg, Buster Keaton and Clyde Bruckman.

(Album @ http://www.music.allisoncrowe.com/album/heavy-graces and via iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon, and all major music services online.)


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“Through These Heavy Graces” mash-up

Through These Heavy Graces” opens the newest album of music from Allison Crowe.

Original songs in this collection from the Canadian artist are accompanied visually by a series of experts from the classic silent film, “The General” – a celebration of Buster Keaton’s genius.

Allison Crowe enjoys working with today’s film directors – this year, Tom Anton on “The Pardon”, and Zack Snyder for “Man of Steel” – and their amazing production teams.

Via online videos, there’s now opportunity for artistry and fun to combine music and movies from an earlier era.

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Heavy Graces”, an album which includes new songs from the pen and soul of Allison Crowe, alongside her interpretations of tunes composed by Leonard Cohen and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, is released October 15, 2013 (and will be available everywhere – via Bandcamp, iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon +).

Happy Thanksgiving – from Canada!!

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