MAY 15 CONCERT TO HONOR PETE SEEGERthe concert of the year! :)
Natalie has been invited to perform in a concert that will pay tribute to the legendary folk musician/political activist Pete Seeger and celebrate the release of his autobiography. The folk music magazine "Sing Out" is organizing the event on May 15 at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA where Pete Seeger will be performing along with various luminaries of the American folk music scene (Bruce Cockburn, Janis Ian, Odetta and Judy Collins). For more information, visit the Sing Out website.
FOR THE LADY
Natalie has contributed the song, "Motherland" to a CD to benefit USA Campaign for Burma. All proceeds are being contributed to their efforts to end the house arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi (leader of the Burmese democracy movement and the only jailed recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize). A parallel mission of the organization is to bring international attention and intervention to stop the human rights violations of the repressive Burmese military dictatorship. Some ot the other artists to contribute are; Paul Mc Cartney, Peal Jam, R.E.M., Peter Gabriel, U2, Coldplay, Damien Rice and Ben Harper. Please visit the "For The Lady" website for more information.
AILEEN WUORNOS DOCUMENTARY (heard it was really good...)
Some explanation seems necessary to explain why a documentary film about the nation's most notorious female serial killer (subject for the Hollywood film, "Monster") would feature a song by Natalie Merchant in its closing credits. Merchant explains, "When director Nick Broomfield sent a working edit of the film, I was so disturbed by the subject matter that I couldn't even watch it. Aileen Wuornos led a tortured, torturing life that is beyond my worst nightmares. It wasn't until I was told that Aileen spent many hours listening to my album "Tigerlily" while on death row and requested "Carnival" be played at her funeral that I gave permission for the use of the song. It's very odd to think of the places my music can go once it leaves my hands. If it gave her some solace, I have to be grateful."
CLEAR PATH INTERNATIONAL
Natalie has contributed the song "This House is on Fire" to a benefit CD for the human rights group Clear Path International which will be released in April 2005. Clear Path International is a human rights group working with landmine and bomb victims in Vietnam, Cambodia and on the Thai-Burma border. Clear Path makes a compassionate attempt to redress the destructive legacy of armed conflict and help families get back on track after their often devastating, if not deadly, accidents. This year marks Clear Path's 5th year of operation in Vietnam, at the same time April 30, 2005 is the 30th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. To this day children and adults are still being killed and injured by bombs and landmines left over from the Vietnam War... a conflict that ended in 1975! Philip Glass, John McEuen and Jimmy Ibbotson of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and String Cheese Incident are also donating tracks to this project. To find out more about Clear Path, visit the Clear Path website.
RED WHITE & BLUE: A TALE OF TWO AMERICAS
Natalie's song, "Motherland" will be featured in the opening credits to a new documentary by directors Eric Anderson and Amelia Dello to be released in September 2005. The idea behind Red, White & Blue is to test the veracity of today's "red states versus blue states" mentality by asking Americans from all walks of life a series of questions, and presenting their answers in a documentary film. Eric & Amelia's goal is to have this documentary distributed in the United States and abroad in an attempt to bridge the ideological divide that our country is currently suffering through, and to allow Americans to have their voices heard around the world. Their intention is to examine why we hold the beliefs we do, where we get our information, who are the people who influence our opinions, and how we finally arrive at our core belief systems. For more information about the film or to take part in the online survey go to redwhiteandbluemovie.com.
PUTUMAYO FOLK COMPILATION
Putumayo Records is working on a compilation album called American Folk scheduled for release in July 2005. Natalie's song, "Owensboro" from her album The House Carpenter's Daughter will be included. Other artists on the compilation will be; Tracy Chapman, Martin Sexton, Peter Mulvey, Suzanne Vega, Lucinda Williams and Josh Ritter. For more information, go to putumayo.com
I believe that is all I have to report to date.