Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Van the Man

I couldn't decide which CD would begin the year, but fortunately my dad sent me this concert video of Wavelength by Van Morrison in 1979. (I think the guy on guitar might have been the visual inspiration for Dewey Cox in Walk Hard.)

With that inspiration, I couldn't help but put on Moondance today. A lot of my friends know Van for Brown-Eyed Girl, but my closest friends in college had a bit of an obsession with the title track, and it somehow become Gabe's song, much to his chagrin. I remember going a little nuts when the song came on at his wedding in March and immediately grabbed Perry and was watching for Kevin to reappear. There was probably excited jumping involved, too.

The CD helped release me from the funk that my workouts couldn't cure today. The New Year has made me realize that it's time to make some changes in my life, but the music put me in a good places as it brought back some great memories and I've always loved the soulfulness of the horns and Van's voice. I can never get enough of Caravan, Crazy Love and, of course, Moondance.

1. And It Stoned Me immediately released me from my Jessi CrankyPants mood.

2. Okay, that above part about Moondance might be a lie. I love when it comes on, but find it hard to take seriously throughout the entire song, as I keep picturing Gabe getting angry for our tendency to yell, "Gabe, it's your song!!" whenever it came on for 4 years straight.

3. Crazy Love is a song that I've always loved and I'm still angry with Diet Coke for putting it into a commercial with a married woman doing her less than fancy underwear in the wash. Nonetheless, I've always pictured myself dancing to this at my wedding, except that I think the first dance is a little too cheesy and I'm certainly on no path to marry anytime soon.

4. Caravan could inspire me to pick up the pace on any run and it turns me on at the same time. (Note to self: add to The Pings and Oyster Bar play lists.)

5. Into the Mystic was a song that I immediately recognized, probably thanks to my Dad, but I loved really listening to the lyrics and this album is making me want to be a gypsy.

6. I didn't recognize Come Running when it started, but by the time the chorus kicked in, the song felt like it has always had a place in my life.

7. Do I hear a harmonica, Van? Ooo, and a mention of Canada! These Dreams of You incorporates some of my favorite things: harmonicas, Canada, playing cards and having my back against the wall (as long as I've got a certain someone in front of me). We could get along very well, Mr. Morrison.

8. Uh oh. Brand New Day is making me reconnect with my earlier sad mood. If only I could write amazing records instead of lengthy emails about things. (The thought of me having to record any sort of demo of my lyrics is making me laugh hysterically, as is the thought of any lengthy message from my drafts folder ever being sent.)

9. Such a cheery number that Everyone is. I may be horrible at recognizing instruments in songs, but it makes me see myself playing a harpsichord with my favorite sidekick on flute and there would be skipping, of course, on the video during the chorus.

10. Oooo, I can picture Van doing some good clapping on stage to this one. Glad Tidings is another one that I recognized upon listening.

As much as iTunes wants me to listen to Tupelo Honey, I'll give Van a break for now, although I'll probably go searching for more concert clips later. With that, listen to this clip of Crazy Love from a concert in New York in 2006. There's some chatter in the crowd, but Katie Kisson joins Van on stage and makes the song even sweeter.

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