News  Notes from Alley

 Friday, February 1 ~ Revolution Rock: Allison Crowe in 2008

As the music industry's evolution finds form in this digital age, wherever the playing field is level, Canadian musician Allison Crowe continues to excel and build audiences.

On Last.fm, the world's largest world's largest social music platform, (over 15 million active users based in more than 200 countries), Crowe wrapped up the recent holiday season with her "Tidings" CD tagged the #2 Christmas album. Bright Eyes' "A Christmas Album" was #1. Rounding out the top five were "The Sinatra Christmas Album" by Frank Sinatra (#3), Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "Christmas Eve and Other Stories" (#4), and The Vince Guaraldi Trio's timeless "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (#5). Two other well-known Canadian acts, both Nettwerk recording artists, made it into the top 25 at Last.fm over the holiday season: Barenaked Ladies' "Barenaked for the Holidays" was 8th, and Sarah McLachlan's "Wintersong" was 22nd among top Christmas albums on the site.

In the video realm, as well as audio, Allison Crowe's music is reaching fans in numbers remarkable for any artist - and spectacular for an independent with a promotional budget of zero dollars. On YouTube, the world's largest video platform, Crowe's performance of Leonard Cohen's magnificent "Hallelujah" has been viewed more 900,000 times. This places her interpretation in the select company of Cohen himself, and mega-marketed versions by Jeff Buckley and Rufus Wainwright. Hallelujah videos by other major label-funded acts attract smaller audiences - Imogen Heap and Sheryl Crow each drawing 200,000+ views, and kd lang's most-watched performance topping 150,000 views. Brandi Carlile's multiple performance vids have a cumulative viewership of 25,000.

Anacronyms blog notes: "This song has somehow become Crowe's signature, if a singer who defies description as stubbornly as she does has a signature... Cohen's original version is a spoken poem, all of the meaning contained in the words. Crowe's version is a living thing, a meditation and a celebration and a benediction."

Allison Crowe's videos have a collective reach of more than 1.5 million views on YouTube, and her original songs are gaining in worldwide popularity. European interest is growing - with fan-made videos for Crowe's songs "Immersed" and "Effortless" each scaling the #2 most watched position in January 2008 on Clipfish, Germany's über-popular video portal. Fellow Canadian Avril Lavigne held the #1 spot.

Many in the record business are just getting comfortable with the new environment. Allison Crowe, following the model of Ani DiFranco and Loreena McKennitt, and adapting her path for the internet age, has already found her place not only via online media, but, through her authentic recording methods and live performances.

David Powell, Welsh-based Interactive DVD Architect & Software Engineer writes: "I'm listening to 'Effortless' on (Allison Crowe's) This Little Bird album with my Pro-Ject headphone amplifier (a new toy) turned up about a quarter more than on most modern records. It sounds fantastic because unlike most modern records it hasn't had the **** compressed out of it to raise the loudness."

From live videos and records, unprocessed, to the live stage, entirely natural - 2008 will see Allison Crowe visit Europe twice - for concerts in Scotland, England, Wales, France, Germany, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Austria and, possibly, more. Canada and U.S. concert dates will also be announced.

Before returning to the concert forum for her own, solo, shows, Allison Crowe joins troupes in her two Canadian homes, Nanaimo, British Columbia and Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Tonight, February 1, Crowe is part of a multi-disciplinary cast at Nanaimo's Port Theatre poised to celebrate the Fifth Anniversary of Open Minds Open Windows' "It Only Takes a Moment" - a fundraising and awareness event for mental health. On Saturday, February 9, she takes to the stage some 7000 kilometres east when, at Corner Brook's Arts and Culture Centre, Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador presents its annual Valentine's week fundraiser, "Sexy and Dangerous". (Speaking of sexy, congrats to Corner Brook on its winning bid to host the ECMAs in 2009!)

For music and more, please explore this site - and come out to experience Allison Crowe live.

Allison Crowe - Canada - photo by Billie Woods

 

Tuesday, January 1

Happy New Year! 

Bonne année Merveilleus por tous! 

A guads Neichs Johr olle mitanand!  Sun nin fai lok! úspe?s?ný rok!  Een gelukkig Nieuwjaar voor iedereen!  Allen ein frohes Neues Jahr! Glueckliches und ein guten Rutsch!  Chronia Pola!  Boldog Ujevet!  Nayee Saal Kee Badhi hoo!  Volo omnes felicem novum annum habere!  Xin nian kuai le!  Godt Nytt År!  Feliz ano novo!  Sretna nova godina!  Prospero año nuevo!  Feliz Año Nuevo!  Urdu Nayya Saal Mubarak!  Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku!


 

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