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).


#1 of 16 Songs

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

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Coverville – Birds of a Feather

Coverville!, the long-running awarding-winning podcast and radio program today presents its “Episode 883: On a dark desert highway, indie hodgepodge in my hair“.

Coverville’s Host and Producer Brian Ibbott kindly includes “the amazing, amazing, voice of Allison Crowe” – performing Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on the Wire“, in this collection that also features covers of Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Badfinger, the Allman Brothers, Sara Bareilles, John Prine, Rolling Stones and an instrumental of George Gershwin’s “Summertime“.

Over the years, this pioneering ‘cast has enlisted Allison’s recordings for cover stories on the Eurythmics, The Lovin’ Spoonful, Counting Crows, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, and fittingly – her first-ever appearance on Coverville was in Episode 202 – when she and Peter Gabriel, Madeleine Peyroux, Laura Burhenn, The Pixies, Maxx Klaxon, kd lang, and Jennifer Warnes were heard in “The Leonard Cohen Cover Story“.

Allison Crowe – first-ever guitar performance in concert – Bewley’s Café Theatre, Dublin, Ireland – Billie Woods foto

Episode 370, airing October 9, 2007, John Lennon’s birthday – is devoted to on-air chat with Allison Crowe, and spinning her covers of Counting Crows, Hunters and Collectors, Cyndi Lauper, and Joni Mitchell.

You can play, and download, all 883 Episodes of Coverville, and become a Citizen, online – and hear Coverville on KYCY 1550 AM in San Francisco every day at 2 pm. And, if you’re going that route, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.

It’s a show you can check out any time you like – but you can never leave unhappy :)

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Why v2

And, so, “Spiral” closes with this cover of the Eurythmics (Annie Lennox & Dave Stewart) song “Why“. Allison Crowe – voice, guitar, engineer & Kayla Schmah – orchestrator, string arranger, producer. “This is how I feel…”

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Paris Voice declares Allison Crowe “One of the best interpreters to come along since Joe Cocker.” And, in 40+ years since Cocker made his name, no artist combines such interpretative powers with original song-writing talent in one amazing voice. Crowe brings new emotional colours to the Eurythmics (Annie Lennox & Dave Stewart) pop classic “Why” – joined by Kayla Schmah’s simply beautiful string arrangement.

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Coverville 809: The Eurythmics Cover Story

For lovers of Annie Lennox & Dave Stewart – Brian Ibbott, conductor of Coverville, delivers “The Eurythmics Cover Story“. One hour of musical treats from The Rubinoos, Martha Wainwright, The Watson Twins and more… including Annie herself. Allison Crowe represents with “Why” – I believe it’s the favourite version of “Spiral” producer and string arranger Kayla Schmah. Time to download and listen!

Allison Crowe - Why - Annie Lennox - Coverville

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Disease + walking octopi

Disease“, ever-evolving social commentary from Allison Crowe. In concert today it can be 10 minutes in performance, and you may hear Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” or Cranberries’ “Zombie” in its middle. During “Tidings” season, Bohemia’s “Good King Wenceslas” finds way into the song…)

Here it is on the day walking octopi are discovered – more about that on the banter track

On the same weekend Allison Crowe’s concert performances are captured “Live at Wood Hall“, scientist Christine L. Huffard and colleagues release a study of “Underwater Bipedal Locomotion by Octopuses in Disguise” along with videos of Octopus marginatus, which resembles a coconut:

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and Octopus (Abdopus) aculeatus, a clump of floating algae:

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(The original vids are no longer on YouTube, still, these short clips show the same octopi walking.)

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It’s Snowy Rock and Roll but Allison Crowe Likes It. She’s In Good Company.

 Allison Crowe, one of the greatest voices and natural talents in popular music, is home in snowy Corner Brook, Canada this Winter, writing and recording songs before launching a new concert touring year.
So far, in 2011, Crowe has captured basic vocal, piano and guitar tracks for five originals – “Arthur“, “By Any Terms“, “Chasing the Rain“, “Don’t Breathe“, and “Pull You Through” – and, for more fun, she’s covering two ‘Americana’-hued songs by sublime singer-songwriter Patty Griffin – “Mary” and “Up to the Mountain (MLK Song)“.
It’s a welcome, extended, stay in one spot, after a hectic 2010 that saw Allison Crowe again navigate concert dates between her Atlantic and Pacific ocean homes, and expand continental touring territory. Crowe’s latest album, (of seven), “Spiral“, made best of lists from America to Europe and beyond.
Arts and entertainment blog Muruch, naming “Spiral” one of the top releases of last year, says: “Her voice flawlessly flows between the most pristine soprano and gut-wrenching, full-bodied wails. I hear Allison Crowe sing, and I remember the effect music is supposed to have on you.”
Crowe’s reputation encompasses her original songwriting, and singularly exciting live performances – and her art of interpretation. On her most recent visit to the City of Lights, Paris Voice Editor Bob Bishop called her “one of the best interpreters to come along since Joe Cocker”.
Allan Showalter, author of the uniquely popular Leonard Cohen-centric blog, “One Heck of a Guy“, expands on this theme: “Allison, whose covers include not only outstanding versions of Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’ and ‘A Case of You,’ Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah,’ ‘The Beatles’ ‘In My Life‘ and ‘Let It Be,’ Lennon’s ‘Imagine,’ and Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Time After Time,’ but also the most provocative and seductive (forgive me, Aretha) take I’ve heard on Ronnie Shannon’s ‘I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You).’ And, I stand by my conviction that Allison Crowe is the best thing to happen to ‘Me And Bobby McGee‘ since Janis Joplin changed Kristofferson’s lyrics.”
On YouTube, Allison Crowe’s audience is approaching nearly ten million (non-rigged) views. When makers of Hollywood movie, “Sucker Punch“, were searching for how to reinvent the Eurythmics (Annie Lennox, Dave Stewart) song, “Sweet Dreams“, they called on the “mistress of coversongs” as Crowe’s been crowned by “Cover Lay Down” blog. Director Zack Snyder loves Allison’s approach so they asked her to strip the song to an emotional core Actress Emily Browning performs the movie version (out later this month).
In present culture, it can seem anachronistic that popular music was once a fertile community for rebellion and honesty, and the mainstream of pop and rock artists aspired to something more substantial than a bauble in a corporate chain. As rare as her talent is Allison Crowe’s integrity. Like inspirations Janis Ian, Ani DiFranco, and a few others making music today, she does not “play the game”.
Allison Crowe’s path less-travelled brings her to Fredericton, New Brunswick, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and St. John’s, Newfoundland for concerts this Spring – before her next European tour. Details of all shows and music is available @ www.allisoncrowe.com

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‘Cover Me’ Premieres “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” & 1 Heck of a Guy, MTV and more dig it

Cover Me” blog’s Editor-in-Chief Ray Padgett, (SPIN, Consequence of Sound, Mashable and more), premieres Allison Crowe’s take on Annie Lennox & Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” @ http://www.covermesongs.com/2010/11/allison-crowe-shows-us-what-sweet-dreams-are-made-of.html

In the accompanying article, “Allison Crowe Shows Us What ‘Sweet Dreams‘ Are Made Of (Cover Me Premiere)”, writer Eric Garneau says of Crowe’s bare take on the song:”She delivers a reading on this ’80s mainstay at once beautifully melodious and ferociously in-your-face.”

Allison Crowe being a rock musician – well, what was called rock in the ’60s – she really enjoys, but doesn’t replicate, the sounds of the original’s pop sensibility. She strips things to their emotional core.

1 Heck of a Guy, a blog renowned for its reportage on Leonard Cohen and broomcorn lore and much, much more, shines a light on Allison Crowe’s “alchemy” in covering songs – http://1heckofaguy.com/2010/11/09/allison-crowe-renews-eurythmics-sweet-dreams – saying:

“Allison, whose covers include not only outstanding versions of Joni Mitchell’s ‘River‘ and ‘A Case of You,’ Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah,’ ‘The Beatles’ ‘In My Life‘ and ‘Let It Be,’ Lennon’s ‘Imagine,’ and Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Time After Time,’ but also the most provocative and seductive (forgive me, Aretha) take I’ve heard on Ronnie Shannon’s ‘I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You).’ And, I stand by my conviction that Allison Crowe is the best thing to happen to ‘Me And Bobby McGee‘ since Janis Joplin changed Kristofferson’s lyrics.”

This fun, naturally, arises from the premiere of Allison’s take on Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart – The Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” on the “Cover Me” blog.

This music news has now spread to the MTV blog: “Allison Crowe Strips Down Eurythmics’ ‘Sweet Dreams‘ ” – http://blog.mtvmusic.com/2010/11/09/allison-crowe-strips-down-eurythmics-sweet-dreams – and the site which has been serving ‘Sweet Dreams’ to devoted Eurythmics fans since 1999 – ethrillnet – http://ethrill.net/2010/11/09/listen-allison-crowe-covering-eurythmics-sweet-dreams

1 Heck of a Guy includes a link to this YouTube audio with pic:

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When the makers of Hollywood movie “Sucker Punch” were looking for ideas on how to approach the song, they called on Allison Crowe. For the 2011 blockbuster from director Zack Snyder, actress Emily Browning performs the song as a production number that opens what promises to be an exciting, visceral, film ride.

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