Happy (early) 80th Birthday, Leonard Cohen!!

The Real Rick Rutt” ‏@RickRutt  tweets: Sunday, Sept 21, will be Leonard Cohen’s 80th birthday + This song has entranced me for decades. Here is #LeonardCohen80’s fellow Canadian Allison Crowe’s 2004 “Jeanne d’Arc

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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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GMTF Company Makes a Splash for ALS Challenge

“The Gros Morne Theatre Festival was nominated for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – and here’s our video!” taps Allison Crowe from the festival’s home-base in western Newfoundland. “We nominate Rising Tide Theatre and Donna Butt, Sarah McDonald, Kevin Perdue, Brian Ball, Natalie Tsang and Vickie Marston!!!” GMTF 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kh9UGoy7gPQ “Go to – http://www.ALS.CA/ICEBUCKETCHALLENGE – to donate!”

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Earlier in the day, Denise Dolliver, GMTF Production/Company Manager enjoyed a solo dousing – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jkyjsG7GIQ – and this Atlantic participaction flowed yesterday with a challenge from Gaylene Buckle, Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador’s GM.

ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease) is a progressive neuromuscular disease in which nerve cells die and leave voluntary muscles paralyzed. This Summer’s Ice Bucket Challenge has focused worldwide goodwill on awareness-and-fund-raising for this cause. ALS Canada has the scoop @ http://www.als.ca/ in, both, our nation’s official languages – English and French.

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NewFound Friends @ GMTF

Viceroy of vinyl, Wayne Tucker, Host of NewFound Records Radio Hour, ventures out to beautiful Cow Head, NL this past week and enjoys “Newfoundland Vinyl: The ‘C’Side”.

Here’s a pic of Wayne with the hit show’s Musical Director, Allison Crowe (tweeted @ https://twitter.com/NewFoundRecords )

Wayne Tucker & Allison Crowe @ Newfoundland Vinyl 2014

Conceived by Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador’s Artistic Director, Jeff Pitcher, “Newfoundland Vinyl” is a perennial favourite at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival – drawing from the deep well of classic, vinyl-era, recording artists’ repertoire, the joys, sorrows and rich character of the region are brought to musical life by a super-talented cast of actors and musicians and a top-notch production crew.

As part of this year’s GMTF, there’s a pair of performances still on the calendar – 9:00pm August 26 and 29: http://www.theatrenewfoundland.com/shows/newfoundland-vinyl-the-c-side-2014

Wayne Tucker gives airtime to the pioneer recording artists of Newfoundland and Labrador via his radio show each Saturday noon on CHMR 93.5FM, MUN. NewFound Records Radio Hour is also heard on Radio Bell Island, The Voice of Bonne Bay, East Coast Kitchen Party, iTunes Radio and TuneIn Radio (and spinning more widely each time you listen!) http://www.newfoundrecords.ca/

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20 Down: “Everyone is attached to singer Crowe (7)”

NP Cryptic Crossword - Cox & Rathvon - August 9, 2014

20 Down: “Everyone is attached to singer Crowe (7)”

We’ve an head-start on The National Post’s Saturday Cryptic Crossword (August 9, 2014 edition) – the newest creation of a legendary partnership, one that’s central to these puzzles-within-a-puzzle becoming so loved in North America. (Cryptic crosswords originated in the United Kingdom where they’ve long been favourites.)

“Hex” is the nom-de-plume of puzzle constructors Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon, explains aficionado Barry Haldiman, “though one might think it is the effect of their cryptics on solvers’ minds. They are the quintessential, or as they would clue ‘Ideal crazy quilt seats nine (14)’, ambassadors of wordplay puzzledom.” http://home.everestkc.net/nytxword/hexplex.htm

“Cryptic Royalty” they’ve been crowned by The Nation. Of Cox & Rathvon’s decades-long artistry in such publications as The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe and Canada’s National Post, it’s said: “Their impact cannot be overestimated.” http://www.thenation.com/blog/176152/cryptic-royalty

For a printable version of this sing-ular fun in pdf format – visit https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4apux86ICY4OHBSRTNwc3BYMDg/edit – answers to this NP Cryptic Crossword will be published across this land in the newspaper on Saturday, August 16.

Often in this puzzling world, it can seem we just don’t have a clue. Not this time!

National Post - Cryptic Crossword - Cox & Rathvon - August 9, 2014

click on crossword image above to see fuller-sized puzzle

Enjoy :)

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Song of the Summer! Circular Reasoning + Prix de beauté

Song of the Summer – dive in!

In advance of the upcoming full Allison Crowe video show – here’s “sneak peek” fun in the form of her song “Circular Reasoning” with visuals from a French silent film that became a talkie in 1930.

Prix de beauté” (“Beauty Prize” aka “Miss Europe”) is directed by Augusto Genina, written by René Clair & Georg W. Pabst and stars a radiant Louise Brooks.

Enjoy :)

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Allison Crowe has a 16-song-video-series that launches September 2, 2014. Pairing a spectrum of recordings from the Canadian musician 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 Crowe’s mission to make “Soulful. Alive. Joyous. Grievous. Real, true, music.” ( http://allisoncrowe.com/bio.html )

And, this collection confirms the diagnosis of Dr. H Guy aka Allan Showalter, the world’s inimitable blogger “On Life, Love, Lust, & Leonard Cohen” – who notes: “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 )

Much more on this all, naturally, to come – once we’ve celebrated Summer in this part of the world. Right now, it’s time for bathing suits, ice-cream, fresh berries, bicycle bells… any and all other of life’s simple joys and pleasures.

Sláinte!

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Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms – Allison Crowe Live – Jazzhaus Freiburg

Allison Crowe delivers one of her encore tunes acapella – on Mother’s Day at Jazzhaus Freiburg, in Germany. (This being the latest, and, perhaps, last, in our live bootleg video series. At least until the next tour…)

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This traditional aire takes its lyrics from the writings of Thomas Moore. An international hit at the beginning of the previous century for the great Irish tenor John McCormack (who recorded it in 1911 and, again, in 1935), and Australia’s legendary coloratura soprano, Dame Nellie Melba (in 1909).

Allison Crowe’s Celtic roots show when she performs “Believe Me If All (Those Endearing Young Charms)“.

Recordings of this tune are found on Allison’s “Live at Wood Hall” (http://music.allisoncrowe.com/album/live-at-wood-hall) and “Tidings Concert” (http://music.allisoncrowe.com/album/tidings-concert) albums.And, it’s an “hidden” track closing her “Secrets” album (http://music.allisoncrowe.com/album/secrets).

Irish Music Daily” provides delightful background to this beautiful song @ http://www.irishmusicdaily.com/believe-me-if-all-those-endearing-young-charms

Believe Me If All

Traditional Irish Aire w. words by Thomas Moore
As performed by Allison Crowe

Believe me, if all those endearing young charms,
Which I gaze on so fondly today,
Were to change by tomorrow,
and fleet in my arms,
Like fairy-gifts fading away,

Thou wouldst still be adored,
as this moment thou art,
Let thy loveliness fade as it will,
And around the dear ruin each wish of my heart,
Would entwine itself verdantly still.

It is not while beauty and youth are thine own,
And thy cheek unprofaned by a tear,
That the fervour and faith of a soul can be known,
To which time has but made thee more dear:

No, the heart that has truly loved never forgets,
But as truly loves on to the close,
As the sun-flower turns to her god, when he sets,
The same look which she gave when he rose.

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We have a voice, still…

In 2003, Allison Crowe and bandmates performed live in the Victoria, BC television studio of The New VI (later renamed A Channel) – for a nationally broadcast one-hour special called “Tidings”.

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Allison’s set that night includes “Whether I’m Wrong” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTB07RkNzX4 – soon featured by the UNESCO-endorsed “New Songs for Peace” project @ http://www.newsongsforpeace.org/spotlight-200403.html and http://www.newsongsforpeace.org/songs-crowe1.html

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This is the first song video of Allison Crowe we posted to a then new website called YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3a6hmQbRcIM

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