RE-RECORDING OF ROCK AND ROLL CLASSIC PARALLELS STORYLINE OF NEW SERIES FROM THE CW
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Two musicians from very different backgrounds — PJ Olsson, CBS Records artist, and Salman Ahmad, musician, poet and founder of Pakistan’s most popular band, Junoon, united to record a new version of the Nick Lowe song “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding.” The song will be featured as the main theme title song and as part of a promotional campaign for The CW’s new critically acclaimed comedy series ALIENS IN AMERICA The series, which airs Mondays at 8:30/9:30c, is the story of the Tolchuck family, whose lives are turned upside down by the arrival of Raja, a Pakistani Muslim exchange student.
The creative forces behind ALIENS IN AMERICA were searching for a song that could help spread awareness about the show and evoke its underlying spirit and theme: that despite seemingly vast differences between people of different cultures, there is so much more in our inherent humanity that unites us than there is that divides us. The song’s lyrics and the combined Western and Eastern musical approach brings new life and resonance to this rock and roll classic, while perfectly mirroring the show’s exuberant sense of fun and timely and important subject matter.
As Salman Ahmad puts it, “I believe in programs like ALIENS IN AMERICA because music, film and television play a huge part in humanizing culture.” Both musicians grew up playing the traditional music of their cultures and were transformed by their experience with rock and roll. Olsson grew up in an orchestral family and sang gospel music in church, but it was the experience of seeing Pink Floyd that inspired him to seek a career in music. In Pakistan, Ahmad played Sufi devotional music, but when he came to America at the age of 11 and saw Jimmy Page perform “Stairway to Heaven,” everything changed for him as well.
A music video was created and will be distributed from CBS Audience Network and over mobile platforms.
The PJ Olsson/Salman Ahmad version of “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” will be featured as a bonus track on Olsson’s forthcoming American Scream cd, set for release October 16. American Scream is Olsson’s first album of new material since 2005′s Beautifully Insane, and adds to a body of work that began with his eponymous debut in 1998 and continued with the critically lauded Words For Living in 1999. All three albums were acclaimed for Olsson’s blending of traditional instruments with innovative beats and electronics, as well as for his unique songwriting style and intricate vocal harmonies.
ALIENS IN AMERICA is from CBS Paramount Network Television Inc. and Warner Bros. Television with executive producers Tim Doyle (“Jake in Progress”), Moses Port (“Just Shoot Me,” “Mad About You”) and David Guarascio (“Just Shoot Me,” “Mad About You”).