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John Cameron Mitchell Releases NEW AMERICAN DREAM (PART ONE) Benefit Album

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Mitchell unites with Leland, Hedwig co-creator Stephen Trask and more!

John Cameron Mitchell Releases NEW AMERICAN DREAM (PART ONE) Benefit Album

John Cameron Mitchell has released the benefit album New American Dream (Part One) recorded with a LOT of help from his friends. The two-part distance-defying, community-built album was recorded during lockdown with 40+ collaborators across the US and Europe, including pop hitmaker Leland, Hedwig co-creator Stephen Trask, Alynda Segarra (Hurray for the Riff Raff), Ezra Furman, Julian Koster (Neutral Milk Hotel, The Music Tapes) Jamie Stewart (Xiu Xiu), Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon (American Idol finalist), French singer/songwriter Izae, Theo Hilton (Nana Grizol), Bitch (Bitch and Animal), Lance Horne, Qya Cristál, Amber Martin, Justin Craig (Hedwig musical director), Peter Yanowitz, Billy Hough, Peppermint, Cassie Watson, and many more. Full credits can be found here.

Part One is available now, exclusively at Bandcamp, with regular streaming to follow.

Watch the outrageous homemade iPhone-shot video for the first single "New American Dream," directed by Matthew ZanFagna, involving the literal ingestion of a nameless president by a named Sen. Mitch McConnell.

New American Dream explores how a community of friends can use the raw resources of a challenged America and a threatened world to create empathy and justice through art and beauty.

The song "New American Dream" will also be used for an animated PSA spot written by Mitchell, directed by Robin Frohardt at encouraging young people to register as poll workers which will be released on September 8. NAD is coincidentally released on the same day as Angelheaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan & T Rex featuring U2, Kesha, Elton John, Nick Cave and Joan Jett for which Mitchell contributes the lead vocals for "Diamond Meadows".

"New American Dream is a lockdown-inspired remotely-organized platonic musical orgy," says John. "The idea started in March during self-isolation in a 100 year-old stone hut near Palm Springs. Bored and depressed, I reached out to a variety of musical friends who sent me instrumental tracks which I could write melody and lyrics to - kind of like the Surrealist drawing game Exquisite Corpse. The album idea came as the songs piled up. I even contacted a stranger in the South of France, Izae, on Instagram because I liked his cover of a Hedwig song and we ended up writing two songs for the album.

"Like the old story about the Stone Soup, where strangers throw whatever food item they possessed into a communal pot - old friends and new donated music, vocals, overdubs, mixing, mastering, video production, art and publicity. Soon I realized we had a double album that could benefit the various charities that I've been helping through this dark time with Hedwig merch sales and Cameo videos. The whole experience has been such a comfort to us and we hope others will feel it too and add to the pot for the benefit of those in need."

All involved with New American Dream have volunteered their time, and all proceeds from the album sales will benefit the initiatives linked below:

Burritos Not Bombs is a food distribution program in Mexico City battling hunger during the pandemic.

Transgender Gender-Variant and Intersex Justice Project is a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization working to end human rights abuses against transgender, intersex, and gender-variant people, particularly transwomen of color in California prisons and detention centers.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Trust Fund is a Connecticut-based college scholarship fund for African-American students in need who "best represent Dr. King's ideals" that's helped 150 students since 1968.

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