Sunday, February 15, 2009

Allison Crowe: Making Music for All to Love

"All things pass away... love and music last forever" ~ Gaelic saying.

Allison Crowe's raw concert video of "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)" ) recently joined Oscar and Grammy-winner Jennifer Hudson's version in views on YouTube. "Sexpert" Susie Bright, pioneering feminist writer, teacher, activist, (co-founder of "On Our Backs" and familiar even from playing herself in an episode of HBO's "Six Feet Under"), places the song, the break-through hit for Aretha Franklin, at the top of the list of "straight" love songs that have crossed over into also being an unforgettable lesbian love song. And, blogs Bright: "I just had another little gasp listening to Allison Crowe's cover of the same."



As noted in my previous post, Entertainment Weekly has an item on of Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder, and Wesley Coller - the director/producer team behind upcoming Hollywood blockbuster 'The Watchmen' - launching a website for their own Hollywood production company.

In the Lounge of 'Cruel and Unusual Films', the creative trio list their pop culture delights - movies, books and music. Sound-wise, they're digging the Jimi Hendrix version of "All Along the Watchtower" and Allison Crowe's "Hallelujah" cover.

Allan Showalter, one of the web's most erudite and entertaining culture bloggers, says of another classic interpretation: "Allison Crowe is the best thing to happen to 'Me And Bobby McGee' since Janis Joplin changed Kristofferson's lyrics."

Still, it's the focus of his "pastiche of a blog", 1 Heck of a Guy, on an original Allison Crowe song that most fits this weekend. Of this "small masterwork" Showalter writes:

"How To Create An Impressive Music Video

1. Start with the carpe diem based proposal in the final couplet of Andrew Marvell's not-quite-ruined-by-anthologization 'To His Coy Mistress:'

Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

2. Hire Joni Mitchell to translate that sentiment into lyrics and music. Insist that Janis Joplin act as consultant to prevent Joni from over-intellectualizing the premise into oblivion.

3. Convince Lucinda Williams to sing it.

4. Add photos of someone who looks both interesting and sexy, maybe Alicia Keys, taken from a pictorial perspective that evokes American Beauty.

Then, you've got yourself a dandy music video.

Alternatively, you could click on the start button of this video of Allison Crowe singing 'Wedding Song,' with words and music by Allison Crowe, featuring photos of Allison Crowe.

Comparing Allison's version of 'Bobby McGee,' recently posted here at Allison Crowe And Bobby McGee, and 'Wedding Song' leads to an unavoidable conclusion:

Once you've heard one Allison Crowe song,
You've heard one Allison Crowe song.

Turns out all the hype about about Allison's vast tonal, thematic, and emotional range is true.

It is difficult to find better words on which to end than the last verse of 'Wedding Song:'

So count down the days
and draw the curtains back
pour the wine and say
that we'll love as much as we both can do
until our dying day"


Happy V-Day, St. Valentine's... whatever love and music moves you.

Allison Crowe Spring tour dates coming soon.

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