Monday, 1 March 2010

MY LATEST DISCOVERY


Allison’s 6th album released in 2008 – picture courtesy of AllisonCrowe.com.

You may all be wondering what the widget at the top of this screen under my blog heading is. Sometime in January, I was looking through the Jamendo website to see what it was all about and, while browsing the site, I came across a page by a Canadian singer called Allison Crowe! I’d never heard of Allison Crowe before and I was curious as to the type of music she does so I previewed some of her songs on Jamendo.

When I heard her sing, I liked her music instantly to the point where I wanted to get her music! Thanks to Jamendo being a free service, I was able to download some of Allison’s albums! On Jamendo, I noticed that some of the album covers have the word Originals on them. I was wondering what that meant until I went onto Allison Crowe's official website. On Allison’s website, I noticed that the albums had a few more songs (in the case of the double live album Live At Wood Hall, a lot more songs). I found out that the reason it was like this is because on Jamendo, you’re only meant to upload music that has a free license such as Creative Commons and some of the songs on Allison’s CDs are cover versions of songs by well-known people (such as Leonard Cohen, Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos, Counting Crows just to name a few) and those songs are under non-free licenses like ASCAP or BMI, which means that they can’t be freely shared, copied, remixed, etc., by other people or free services like Jamendo.

All of Allison’s original songs that she wrote are all under a Creative Commons license and that’s why they’re available as free downloads through Jamendo, which I think is great! You too can go to Allison Crowe’s official website, click on an album cover, scroll down until you find the track list, click on a song title and scroll down to the bottom of the page that comes up. If it says “All rights reserved” beside a copyright symbol, that means that it isn’t a Creative Commons licensed song, but if it says “Some rights reserved” beside 3 symbols, that means that it is a Creative Commons licensed song. If you click on those symbols or “Some rights reserved””, it’ll take you to a page that defines what the license covers and what you’re allowed to do with the songs. I like the Creative Commons way of doing things, it’s just a pity none of the big named singers/groups will transfer their music to Creative Commons instead of the other companies.


Allison’s 5th album released in 2006 – picture courtesy of AllisonCrowe.com.

Anyway, enough talk about licenses, now on to the real reason I wanted to write this post!

I thought that rather than doing a review on one of Allison’s albums (I don’t have any of them yet anyway, but I hope to get them sometime, I’m just going by some of Allison’s original songs on Jamendo), I’d review Allison’s music in general! Allison has such a great, strong voice and she uses it well! My favourite songs by Allison Crowe have to be “There Is” (that song makes me think of Joni Mitchell in a way), “Whether I’m Wrong”, “Sea Of A Million Faces” and “Secrets (That Aren’t My Own)”. I also like Allison’s versions of the traditional Christmas songs “Silent Night”, “O Holy Night”, “The First Noel” and the a cappella version of “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear”, which are available on Allison’s seasonal album “Tidings”! The song “How Long” is also a great song from the album “Secrets”! I also love the song “Effortless”, which is on Allison’s “This Little Bird” album, which is a great mixture of lyrics, voice and music! I could go on about other great songs I’ve heard as there are too many that I like!

The music of Allison Crowe can not really be placed into a single music genre as she covers a vast range like Rock, Pop, some Jazz and blues, soul and other types of genres, which is a pretty good diversity! Because I like a vast majority of musical genres, I get drawn to singers like Allison! Allison also plays piano for her songs which I think is great to hear as the piano is my favourite musical instrument. I soak in as much of the piano playing as I can when I listen to singers who play piano like Elton John, Billy Joel and now, Allison. I do wish I could play piano like they can! Allison is a pretty good guitar player also and that is proof on songs like “Northern Lights”, “Hold Back”, “Wedding Song”(these 3 are from Allison’s “Little Light” album), “Now”, “Silence” and other great songs! Allison also has an EP out called “Lisa’s Song + 6 Songs”, which is actually her debut album released in 2003, I like the title song “Lisa’s Song” and “Midnight”!


Allison’s 4th album released in 2005 – picture courtesy of AllisonCrowe.com.

The name of Allison’s next album will be called “Spiral” and includes the song, “Going Home Tonight”. There is a preview for this song on Jamendo. "Going Home Tonight" starts off with nice piano playing from Allison and, while she is singing, you hear strings added nicely to the piano. Allison’s voice and the lyrics to the song are lovely to hear! I feel the piano, strings, Allison’s voice and everything else on the track all blend in perfectly! I honestly can’t wait for “Spiral” to come out and to hear “Going Home Tonight” among the other album tracks, which I’m sure will be just as good! If I had to rate “Going Home Tonight” out of 5 stars, I’d give it 5 stars!

As Allison Crowe is an independent artist with her own record company called Rubenesque Records, she is slowly becoming known around the world! I'm hoping that a lot more Australians discover Allison's music because then, she may one day tour Australia. I'm sure her concerts would be a real treat to see! At this current time, from what I understand, the only place Australians can buy Allison’s albums is through Fishpond, a New Zealand based online store but, if you want, you can go straight to Allison’s website and check out the Shop link where you will be given options on how to buy the CDs and/or a poster! I don’t know the availability of Allison’s album in Europe, but I’m sure the rest of the world can probably order Allison’s albums through Amazon!

I totally recommend Allison Crowe’s music to anyone. If you don’t know who Allison Crowe is, I strongly recommend you use the widget at the top of this blog (click on an album cover in the widget if you want to see that album track-by-track) and use it as a preview. You can listen to the whole songs too. If I have to rate Allison’s music (well, what I’ve heard so far anyway) over all, I give it 5 stars and I'm looking forward to buying some of her CDs.


Allison’s 4th album released in 2004 – picture courtesy of AllisonCrowe.com.

UPDATE: I just thought I'd also mention that the News page on Allison Crowe's official website says Allison's next album "Spiral" was completed on February 14, it also states that the CD will be released on March 17, 2010! I'm sure many people who are Allison Crowe fans will be eagerly awaiting its release!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Why are European Elton John fans so lucky?


Picture courtesy of Concert Live.  Click image to go to their web site.

Not only did they have Elton John tour there for some of the 2009 year (that includes Red Piano concerts, normal band concerts and concerts where he is solo with percussionist Ray Cooper), but they also got to take the concert home with them on CD straight after the concert thanks to Concert Live!  I was just browsing through their Elton John lists (3 of them; The Red Piano, Elton John With His Band and Elton John featuring Ray Cooper lists) and counted 23 CDs in total!

The great thing about these CDs from Concert Live is that you get them pretty much instantly after the concert is finished!  They are 3 disc sets; Elton John and His Band is 2 CDs containing the full concert (whatever one you choose) and a DVD containing photos of the performance and back stage images, whereas, the Elton John Featuring Ray Cooper and The Red Piano CDs are full 3 CD sets (CD3 with the Elton John Featuring Ray Cooper ones contain encores and I think The Red Piano  Disc 3 is a continuation of the concert along with the encores); the first 2 discs you can get straight from the concert, but you get an “Encore” disc with 2 songs that can be downloaded, but only if you have a code that you get from the concert (well, the ones with Ray Cooper anyway, not too sure about The Red Piano).  However, when you order the CDs over the Internet through Concert Live themselves rather than getting the discs straight after the concert, the 3rd disc is included, meaning you don’t need to download it.


Picture courtesy of Concert Live.  Click image to go to their web site.

I really hope that when Elton comes to Australia again, he’ll have something like this at his Australian concerts.  If not by Concert Live, hopefully a similar Australian company!  If I wanted to, I could order these CDs through Concert Live myself as from what I’ve read on forums, you could be living anywhere in the world and buy them.....but I think it would be more fun if I got to experience the concert too.   I applaud Concert Live for doing this for Elton fans, especially for those who want to get the CDs straight after the concerts!  It is pretty cool!  When you go to the Concert Live website, you’ll find all 3 Elton CDs on their Home page; the Ray Cooper and Red Piano CDs are under New In and Elton John With His Band is under Recent Recordings!  The cool thing is at the moment, Concert Live is offering 3 CDs for £35 (AUD$63.35), which is a great deal!  If you’re an Elton fan like I am, or you want to hear what an Elton concert sounds like with no edits and cuts, just head over to the Concert Live website!  You’ll even find other singers and groups as well!


Picture courtesy of Concert Live.  Click image to go to their web site.

Monday, 4 January 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!!

Hi everyone!  Welcome to 2010!  A new year and a new decade has begun!  This year, I plan to do a lot more blog posts and I hope you’ll enjoy what I’m going to come up with!  I hope you all have a prosperous and Happy New Year!  May 2010 be a great year for everyone!

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