Now Playing Tracks

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 – showing in SD, 480 and HD quality (adjustable settings on the left side of screen).

Why + L’Atalante

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.

"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

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…”

Krypton Chronicle’s Rennie Cowan today posts to DailyMotion her interview with Allison Crowe from the red-carpet World Premiere of “Man of Steel” – which happened at New York City’s Lincoln Center in Summer 2013:

MAN OF STEEL WORLD PREMIERE - Interview with Allison Crowe… by rennie-cowan

The chaotic fun of that adventure is well-captured in Rennie’s clip.

The genuine kindness and support of Hollywood film director Zack Snyder, producer Deborah Snyder, their super-professional team, and the many good folks we met at every stage, still lifts us up! Up! And away!

We now know the song listing for Allison Crowe’s upcoming 16 Songs 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

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.

I won’t deny you,
but I’ll pay you no heed
And, if you keep stabbing me,
I will probably bleed
But, I’ll pretend I’m a cloud
and my rain will surround you
And if you keep hurting me
I’ll eventually drown you X

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!

Enjoy :)

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.

Allison Crowe delivers one of her encore tunes acapella - “Believe Me If All (Those Endearing Young Charms)” - 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…)

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.

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