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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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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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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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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“Easy” Allison Crowe – Live Jazzhaus Freiburg

Allison Crowe’s bootleg video series continues here with a celebratory nod to this weekend’s opening of “Newfoundland Vinyl” – the hit Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador production at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival (staged in Canada’s beautiful Gros Morne National Park).

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Allison Crowe enjoys curating and arranging the music – mining a treasure trove of tunes from the region – songs that cover a full range of genres and emotions. And when she tours the world Crowe carries the sounds of home to her international audience.

On this concert night at Jazzhaus Freiburg in Germany – she performs a song penned by Terry Skinner that’s first recorded by Canadian country great Eddie Eastman (in 1979).

Allison Crowe recorded it for her album “Newfoundland Vinyl“: http://music.allisoncrowe.com/track/easy (released, naturally, on vinyl LP).

On its release last year, Gery Deugaw, the super-dedicated cultural archivist behind “GEST Songs of Newfoundland and Labrador” @ http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld – notes: “After all the years of travelling the Trans-Canada, Eddie Eastman was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Honour in 2010. Allison Crowe performs this song with the easy sound it needs to be successfully reprised in the 21st century.”

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“Newfoundland Vinyl: The ‘C’ Side” Opens

Allison Crowe (@Allison_Crowe), tweets: “Tech week for NL Vinyl this week – we open on Friday – and we are already SOLD OUT for opening night!”

Now it’s opening night! The Western Star reports:

Crowe home again for ‘Newfoundland Vinyl’

Allison Crowe is back home again from international concert touring to serve as musical director of Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador’s hit show “Newfoundland Vinyl” at this year’s Gros Morne Theatre Festival.

“Newfoundland Vinyl’ is back!”  the theatre company says in a prepared release. “Allison Crowe has made this show into a perennial festival favourite. The vinyl Newfoundland hits of the 60s, 70s and 80s by Newfoundland’s biggest recording stars are never-ending.”

This year’s production promises hits from Harry Hibbs’ “The Wild Rover” and Eddy Coffey’s “Area Code 709” to Corey & Trina’s “Northern Lights of Labrador

The show spins each Tuesday and Friday from Friday until Aug. 29. The cast features musicians/actors Colin Furlong, Craig Haley, Claire Hewlett, Amelia Manuel, Stephanie Payne, Keelan Purchase and Marquita Walsh, with Adam Christopher Brake as Ed.

The show is directed by Crowe and Jeff Pitcher.

Then on July 28, in a special solo performance, Crowe Sings “Newfoundland Vinyl” and more in the “Who’s Darkening Our Door” Concert Series at the Warehouse Theatre in Cow Head.

For info on all Gros Morne Theatre Festival happenings between May 31-Sept. 13, call 639-7238 or toll-free 1-877-243-2899, or visit www.theatrenewfoundland.com

Backstage artists making theatre magic for Nfld Vinyl and Beauty Queen of Leenane sets... TNL

“Backstage artists making theatre magic for Nfld Vinyl and Beauty Queen of Leenane sets…” tweets Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador

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“I want to live…”

Part of a series of bootleg videos – Allison Crowe live in Jazzhaus Freiburg.

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The Canadian musician performs “Through These Heavy Graces” – the song which gives title to her most recent album: http://music.allisoncrowe.com/album/heavy-graces

Naming “Heavy Graces” one of the top albums of 2013, pioneering music blog Muruch says: “The original song lyrics on Heavy Graces seem to deal most often with regaining control of one’s own life, venting anger at and breaking free from oppressive influences and starting fresh with integrity intact. Whether such fierce and independent themes were born from the death of a relationship or Allison’s brief brush with Hollywood, 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.”

http://www.muruch.com/2013/10/allison-crowe-heavy-graces.html

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