Saturday, December 03, 2016

Disease - Tidings Concert Live - Day 7 on the Musical Advent Calendar

"Power-house intense" is how one European reviewer describes this song: “The energy of 'Disease' can easily provide electricity to a small country for a decade." This tune and Allison Crowe's wildly exciting performances lead to her being likened to innovative Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky and famed German Liedermacher Konstantin Wecker. “Gänsehaut-Musik” (goose-bump music) Peter Baier calls it in Süddeutsche Zeitung
Allison Crowe’s longtime friend and bassist, Dave Baird has observed Allison’s “not an everything’s-gonna-be-alright kind of girl”. (This statement uttered in bemused response to the miscalculation of an established music label exec that she’d tailor herself and her lyrics to the industry’s proscribed role for women artists.) 
No song-by-committee charades here. Of love, Allison Crowe writes with passion and honesty – be it flowing through open-hearted “Oceans” or the evocation of life’s fragile bonds in “Arthur”. Ditto for all the emotions and conditions of our common humanity. 
It’s only natural, then, that the social commentary of “Disease”, when expressed by Allison, fits her “Tidings” concert repertoire, along with sacred hymns, cheering carols and renewed popular, folk+ songs. 
Five years ago this weekend, Allison Crowe had recently filmed a cameo for a new Superman blockbuster, “Man of Steel”. She’d flown from her Atlantic home in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, to her Pacificcoast birthplace, Nanaimo, British Columbia. (Such travel accomplished via traditional airline service – not by latching onto Henry Cavill or tugging on Superman's cape.) 
Separately, a documentary film was in the works, as well – intended to share the “Tidings” concert experience with the world. Some wonderful footage was captured, and some awesome audio. However, a twist of fate, determined that the visuals were of concerts filmed in Newfoundland and the music audio was of shows recorded in British Columbia. Here we can add another observation – Allison does not perform anything the same way twice. 
In short, this is why the video accompanying this music is a still image – a screen cap from the doc that a resourceful film-maker, NL’s Peter Buckle, managed to create despite the lack of music audio. He very skilfully shifted focus from a concert performance film to that of a thoughtful, talking-heads-moreso, look at the meaning of this season – joy, grief, and all else. Hear, now, this song’s music captured by audio engineer, BC’s Brad Graham. 

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