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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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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“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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A Case of You’s Blue Stroke of Genius

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“Oh I am a lonely painter, I live in a box of paints” writes Joni Mitchell in “A Case of You” – a song reflecting on her relationship with fellow Canadian Leonard Cohen. Portugal’s “reriz” is inspired to frame this cover, by yet another Canuck, with a dozen paintings of Kirk Hughey, Sante Fe, New Mexico artist now living in Paris, France.

In a palette rich with interpretations, as well as brilliant originals, here’s another favourite from Allison Crowe. The original is on Joni’s album “Blue“. Allison’s interpretation is on “This Little Bird

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River ~ “Tidings Concert” (song 2)

Should you have a “Blue” Christmas, here’s a “River” you can skate away on… Allison Crowe’s “Tidings Concert” lights up this musical evergreen from Joni Mitchell.

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Dr. Heck’s Holiday Prescription

The much-liebed “Heck of a Guy“, a shining star in the universe of Leonard Cohen-centric blogs, is rockin’ around the tree to the sounds of Allison Crowe’s just-released “Tidings Concert” album. Listening is invited: “if you’re into something more enthusiastically, gleefully, contagiously joyous… welcome home”.

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Tidings Concert video playlist

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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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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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