Saturday, February 25, 2017

"Hold Back" + "Effortless" Ciné

“Cinema changed him and he changed cinema,” Agnès Varda, the great Ixelles (Brussels)-born French photographer and film director, says of cultural confrère, French-Swiss director/screenwriter/critic, Jean-Luc Godard. 
JLG’s short “Une femme coquette” is filmed in Geneva with credits to Hans Lucas (a nom de guerre the ground-breaking iconoclast used also for writings in ‘Cahier du Cinéma’). It’s rarely exhibited and seen until its recent sharing online with the world by Australian cinéaste and critic Dave Hesler. (Gracias, Nina, for flagging the original now available in full via YouTube @ and elsewhere.) 
This early (1955) creation of Godard, as excerpted here, finds its images meeting new sound – from Canadian musician Allison Crowe. “Hold Back” is recorded by Crowe herself at home in Corner Brook, NL. The ciné song’s lyricism reveals “an heart of mystery and some fears faced”.

Effortless” is recorded by Ryan Adams in a log-home of Crowe’s friends on Salt Spring Island, BC. “Trying not to try so hard” is the puzzle.

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The Allison Crowe Show

Johnny Carson, Dick Cavett, Oprah Winfrey… entertainment media masters all. Coming this Spring – delivering musical excitement of an whole new order – The Allison Crowe Show!
Allison Crowe with Sarah White, Keelan Purchase & Greg House in concert – featuring performances by Bridget & Dahlia, and Emma Peckford – on-stage at the Rotary Arts Centre in beautiful downtown Corner Brook.
RAC Theatre Co-ordinator Brad Randell reveals this first poster – and there’s an event page @ + advance tickets now on-sale c/o Stay tuned for rock’n’revolution :)

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tapping GIW

"Great Island Wonder" Uncorked

There’s a lot of love expressed when Allison Crowe sings and plays. Love for another. Love for humanity. Love of place. Love of peace. Love of freedom. There’s heartbreak and loss, too. Exorcism. Transcendence. "Soulful. Alive. Joyous. Grievous. Real, true, music” – the artist’s raison d’etre.
Great Island Wonder” is the official release of a concert bootleg that’s long circulated in torrent trading circles. Mélanie Bilodeau of Denman Island, on Canada’s Pacific shores, presented this concert to her home community and neighbours on Hornby Island, BC in 2005 – it’s captured resonantly by Audioarchivist John MacMillan:
A sister, companion in ways, to “Live at Wood Hall” recordings of concerts earlier that Spring – this night’s undercurrents surface in song debuts of “I Don’t Know”, “You”, “Skeletons and Spirits” and reflect a different sort of intensity.
This date was soon followed by a cross-Canada tour, embarking birth-place Nanaimo, BC and reaching St. John’s and Corner Brook, Newfoundland, on Canada’s Atlantic coast, where Allison Crowe made her new home. Bi-coastal love established then is grown ever-deeper now. (Another shift – this may be the final concert capture of entirely vocal-piano repertoire. By her next tours of Canada and Europe Crowe was including guitar songs, as well, in her set. In more recent years she’s added fiddle and bodhran.)
Sharing the tape – John MacMillan describes this ‘Live on Denman Island’ doc in these ‘Personal notes’:
“To be honest, this was a fairly ‘dark’ show - there seemed to be demons rearing their ugly heads for this concert. The song selection is pretty, um, deep and somewhat, well, I dunno what to call it. Not to go into all the dreary details, but I was beginning the end of a relationship with a partner who was the catalyst of making this show happen, and I believe Alley was going though a breakup that kind of came to a peak at this show. Like I say, the song selection and audience banter seems to reflect this stuff that was going on behind the scenes. Despite the personal hardships, I think it is a brilliant performance, with some humour thrown in as well. Allison Crowe is a great songwriter, a fantastic musician, and an amazing vocal talent. I hope you enjoy this recording as much as I enjoyed the show.”
(MacMillan’s ‘Technical Notes’ to the recording are found on the Great Island Wonder” album page.)
The album’s front cover, foto by Allison Crowe’s released earlier this year. Here now is the back-side: Straits of Georgia and Part of Vancouver Island (Map) – adapted from “Ocean to Ocean, Sandford Fleming's Expedition Through Canada in 1872” (pub. 1873).

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"Tonight Will Be Fine"

“In celebration of Valentine's Day, Cohencentric offers Allison Crowe's romantic cover of Leonard Cohen's Tonight Will Be Fine”:

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Allison Crowe, Tonic! & The ScotianAires Share the Love

Mother Nature’s showing Canadians a lot of love for wind, ice and snow this season. Still, Spring is coming – and with its flowers and bird song arrives, in the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, unalloyed joy in the form of a concert featuring Allison Crowe, Tonic! and The ScotianAires.

At the Bella Rose Arts Centre, Saturday, April 1st, 2017 “Music Speaks Louder than Words” (even those words used to describe the weather):
"On Feb. 14  give the gift of music! Share the a cappella love!"

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Friday, February 10, 2017

"Secrets" of Mona Lisa

“There is hope,” writes musician Allison Crowe. “That word keeps coming up. It makes me think that maybe it’s real. It is resilient. You can try to leave it out but it keeps putting itself back in place. You can try to deny it but it won’t stay buried.” 
Crowe’s writing her first book, “Fluttering” about which she says: “There's a few paragraphs that are just sort of thinking out loud but, for the most part, there's either poems, prose, thought pieces, or stream of consciousness.” 
She’s composing, as well, for her next album – the artist's 22nd on Rubenesque Records' label. “Rare Birds” brings together again her brilliant bi-coastal band for concerts and recordings. 

Right now, here’s one of music’s great voices and one of rock’s great songs – “Secrets (That Aren’t My Own)” – a previously-unreleased version from Allison Crowe and Band’s “Heirs+Grievances” sessions. 

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Sunday, February 05, 2017

"When I'm Gone"

Many good hearts these days are looking to help one another in this life. Phil Ochs wrote a song for our times – and Allison Crowe helps deliver the message, “When I’m Gone”: 

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