Friday, October 24, 2014

16 Songs

16 Songs” now showing in your home theatre – on any size screen. Allison Crowe’s century-spanning mashup of great music and movies is a global cultural festival that can be enjoyed in “Couch Mode” – which, its host site, Vimeo, explains is: “The chillest way to watch all your favorite Vimeo videos from the comfort of your couch, Lay-Z-Boy® or any other plush sitting apparatus.”

Steep the tea, brew the coffee, mull the wine, pour anything that you wish to enjoy this golden hour+

And, if your player doesn't show this player - you can find  "16 Songs” directly @

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

Allison Crowe - 16 Songs Video Album - 16 - Throw Your Arms Around Me

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Thursday, October 09, 2014

Throw Your Arms Around Me

Love is the answer.

Inviting “Throw Your Arms Around Me”, Allison Crowe’s 16 Songs wraps around this tune from songwriter Mark Seymour and mates in Hunters and Collectors (1981–1998, 2013–2014) an Australian band noted for its “blend of pub rock and art-funk”.

Throw Your Arms Around Me from Allison Crowe on Vimeo.

Pairing is with visuals from “L’Atalante”, the poetic, beautiful, loving and loveable 1934 film from French director Jean Vigo (1905 – 1934).

Musical hugs are supplied here by Canada's Allison Crowe (voice, piano, engineer), Billie Woods (acoustic guitar, bgs), Dave Baird (bass, bgs), Laurent Boucher (percussion), Larry Anschell (engineer), & Kayla Schmah (producer).

#16 of 16 Songs

Allison Crowe - 16 Songs Video Album - 16 - Throw Your Arms Around Me

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In My Life

In My Life” – marking John Lennon’s birthday, here’s a “John song” from The Beatles – live-in-the-studio video from Allison Crowe.

The original (lower-res) video has been enjoyed over one million times on YouTube - thanks, in no small measure, to film-maker Alex Postowoi and crew, and audio engineer/producer Larry Anschell capturing faithfully the beauty of this song and performance.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Alive and Breathing

Rounding into home with this series, some familiar characters and universal themes help spin Allison Crowe’s “16 Songs” Video Album full-circle.
Reimagining more than a century of cinema, decades of songwriting, and a dozen albums of genre-spanning musicality, Allison’s fusion of music + movie invention carries us up, up, and away.
She dreams in Technicolor for this capping episode of an animated mission accomplished by the Fleischer Studios team in 1941 - “Superman: The Mechanical Monsters”.

Alive and Breathing from Allison Crowe on Vimeo.
Emblematic of the intertwined DNA of inspiration - Superman’s creators, child-hood pals Joe Shuster (1914 – 1992), illustrator born in Toronto, Canada, and Jerry Siegel (1914 – 1996), Cleveland, Ohio, USA-born writer, were big film buffs, too.
Metropolis, the city of Clark Kent, Lois Lane and The Daily Planet, gets its name from the 1927 German expressionist science-fiction epic – a movie masterwork of Fritz Lang (1890 – 1976). Superman’s alter-ego is a nomenclatural mashup of American film actors Clark Gable and Kent Taylor.
In art, as in all areas of life, self-determination and expression – freedom - is elemental.
Alive and Breathing” - Allison Crowe (vocals, guitar, piano, engineer and producer) is joined here by Dave Baird (bass) and Laurent Boucher (percussion).

#15 of 16 Songs
Allison Crowe - 16 Songs Video Album - 15 - Alive and Breathing 

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Unexpected Diversion Ahead

Stephen Fry, the wonderful English comedian, actor, writer, presenter, and activist, has open-sourced his newest memoir, “More Fool Me”. 

Fry and his publisher, Penguin Random House, cordially invite us all to “reinterpret it in any language or form, including text, data visualisation, app, audio and 3D modelling. Samples of text, metadata, imagery and audio from the new book and Fry’s previous memoir The Fry Chronicles, are available for download via a special WeTransfer Plus page. And Penguin Books is challenging people to turn them into their own innovative takes on Fry’s memoirs.”

Allison Crowe’s mash-up brings together Stephen’s narration, with her music, and the filmic essence of Buster Keaton, from his silent era classic, “The General” – on the selected text’s theme of mental health. 

Learn more about the “YourFry” project @ and hear it explained by Stephen Fry himself @

And follow via Twitter hashtags
#yourfry &

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Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Running for Home

The great parade of life has its midway, sideshows and more represented in art.
Under music’s big top, Canadian musician Matthew Good, with co-writer Dave Genn, exposes the carney heart in “Running for Home” (originally released on the Matt Good Band’s 1999 album "Beautiful Midnight".

Running for Home from Allison Crowe on Vimeo.

Allison Crowe’s solo performance of this song is soundtrack here to “Circus”, sixth of seven dream sequences comprising “Dreams That Money Can Buy” - Hans Richter’s 1947 surrealist film. This dream includes appearances by several of Alexander Calder’s wire+ creations.
Calder (1898- 1976), the American sculptor who originated the ‘mobile’ (kinetic sculpture), created stationary sculptures, as well, known as ‘stabiles’. Fascinated with the circus from childhood, his ‘Cirque Calder’ of miniatures was made from wire, string, cloth, rubber and various found objects, and filled five suitcases. This sculpted troupe traveled for improvised performances in North America and Europe in the 1920s – 1930s.

#14 of 16 Songs
Allison Crowe - 16 Songs Video Album - 14 - Running for Home


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Monday, October 06, 2014

Double-Edged Swords

All aboard for another journey in the luminous company of Louise Brooks (1906 – 1985). The iconic American actress and dancer stars here in a scene from "Prix de beauté” (“Beauty Prize” aka “Miss Europe”), a 1930 feature film directed by Augusto Genina and written by René Clair & Georg W. Pabst.
On track with Allison Crowe (vocals, piano, engineer) for this recording of “Double-Edged Swords” is: Billie Woods (guitar); Dave Baird (bass); Laurent Boucher (percussion); Larry Anschell (engineer); and Kayla Schmah (producer).
#13 of 16 Songs
Allison Crowe - 16 Songs Video Album - 13 - Double-Edged Swords

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Sunday, October 05, 2014


Marie-Josèphe Rose de Tascher de la Pagerie (1763 - 1814) aka Joséphine de Beauharnais was known as Rose before she met Napoléon Bonaparte (1769 - 1821) – to whom she was married from 1796 – 1810. The iconic French leader favoured calling her Joséphine.
By any name, she was passionate about her namesake plant – authors Douglas Brenner and Stephen Scanniello, in a recent book on its lore and deep-rooted history, label Joséphine the "Godmother of modern rosomaniacs". (Hybridization of roses through artificial, controlled, pollination began with her horticulturalist Andre Dupont.)

Josephine from Allison Crowe on Vimeo.

Tori Amos’ allusions to the mythology of this historic couple bloom in the song covered here by Allison Crowe – “Josephine”.
The music grafts with stems from “Maniac Chase” - a 1904 film short created by pioneering American director/producer team of film-maker Edwin S. Porter (1870 - 1941) and inventor Thomas A. Edison (1847 - 1931).
#12 of 16 Songs
Allison Crowe - 16 Songs Video Album - 12 - Josephine

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Friday, October 03, 2014


Day Dreams”, a film short from the 1920s, the most prolific and transcendent decade in the creative output of actor-director+ Buster Keaton, is here revisited for the eleventh music video in Allison Crowe's "16 Songs".

Effortless from Allison Crowe on Vimeo.

Unafraid in ideas and body, Keaton’s genius flowered in the freedom of his own film unit working outside the studio system. A century on, musician Crowe engages a parallel track in her own art, rewarding audiences with a peerless body of recordings and live performances produced free of industry forces.

Effortless” is first released on “This Little Bird” album (Allison Crowe – vocals, piano, engineer, producer; Dave Baird – bass; Laurent Boucher – percussion).
#11 of 16 Songs
Allison Crowe - 16 Songs Video Album - 11 – Effortless

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Sweet Dreams

During creative discussions for the 2011 Hollywood movie “Sucker Punch”, Zack Snyder, the stylized-action-fantasy film’s director, asked Allison Crowe for her take on “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” - the ‘new wave’ smash hit written, and originally performed, by Eurythmics (Annie Lennox & David A. Stewart).

In premiering Allison’s version, “Cover Me” blog’s Eric Garneau says “this ‘Sweet Dreams’ demands to be heard. She delivers a reading on this ’80s mainstay at once beautifully melodious and ferociously in-your-face. The simple recording – guitar and vocals only – bestows on the tune an intimacy that makes it sound like she’s perched square in front of you, serenading you and running through a whole spectrum of emotions.”

Sweet Dreams from Allison Crowe on Vimeo.
The film excerpt in this song video, (#10 in Allison’s “16 Songs” album), is from “L’Etoile de Mer”, the avant garde 1928 collaboration of American modernist artist Man Ray (1890 – 1976), French photographer Jacques-André Boiffard (1902-1961) and surrealist poet Robert Desnos (1900- 1945). The film’s characters are portrayed by Desnos and actors André de la Rivière and Kiki de Montparnasse – legendary Parisian artist’s model, music, singer, painter+ born Alice Prin (1901 – 1953).
Giving “The Sea Star” or “The Starfish”, as it’s known in the English language, its liquid, dream-state, appearance, the film-makers shot images via mirrors and through rough + textured glass.
#10 of 16 Songs
Allison Crowe - 16 Songs Video Album - 10 – Sweet Dreams

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Thursday, October 02, 2014


Discs and Nudes Descending a Staircase” represents a cinematic vision of Marcel Duchamp. The French painter, Cubist, Dadaist, artist and anti-artist collaborated on the fourth dream sequence in Hans Richter’s 1947 surrealistic film “Dreams That Money Can Buy”.

Spiral from Allison Crowe on Vimeo.
This excerpt joins “Spiral” from Allison Crowe (voice, piano, composer, engineer), Dave Baird (bass), Laurent Boucher (percussion), Larry Anschell (guitar, engineer), and Kayla Schmah (producer).
“To all appearances”, said Duchamp (1887 – 1968), “the artist acts like a mediumistic being who, from the labyrinth beyond time and space, seeks (their) way out to a clearing.”
#9 of 16 Songs
Allison Crowe - 16 Songs Video Album - 9 - Spiral

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Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters

"Elton John meets Edith Piaf" is how Allison Crowe’s tagged in an early newspaper feature – the young Canadian musician interviewed by scribe Clodagh O’Connell when she first ventured from her birth-place on Vancouver Island to mainland North America.
Many seas and seasons later, Allison pays tribute to Sir Elton (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight) and his poetic songwriting partner Bernie Taupin in a live performance of their song “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” – the duo’s paean to the great city of New York and its people. (Taupin’s lyrics for this joyous tune off 1972’s “Honky Château” EJ album give a bow to the Ben E. King hit and its line “there is a rose in Spanish Harlem”.)

Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters from Allison Crowe on Vimeo.

1940s NYC is on parade in this film footage from the Prelinger Archives (  )
This bootleg audio is captured “hot” from "Tunnel" - a legendary Musikkeller in Vienna, Austria. Founded by Engineer Fayez Chlache in 1981, the year Allison's born, the subterranean music venue and above-ground restaurant + gallery, was nurtured lovingly by Chlache who made it feel “als gäbe es Tunnel schon seit immer" – there has always been “Tunnel”. Upon his passing in 2011 Fayez’s daughter, Magda, maintains Wien’s living room for bon vivants of all ages.
#8 of 16 Songs
Allison Crowe - 16 Songs Video Album - 8 - Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters

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