Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Funny Things People Say - Part 19

Arlene Goldbard   -   For me, Astral Weeks and Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and a Rose have that same quality of supersaturated yearning, perpetual desire/renewable fulfilment that rhymes with the kernel of truth at the centre of my heart: always coming home, never arriving. The music swoons its way into my memory, and I’m under the covers in one of those rooms—who can say what city, what year?—anchoring myself to this world with the imagined scent of citrus and rose, the imagination of cool water drunk from a silver cup.

Serving the Music   -   Van sings off key far more frequently and I find his scatting to be over done and annoying.

Dave   -   And Van Morrison – The Belfast Cowboy? When did you last see a herd of cattle in Belfast? Or Van on a palomino? You can see him, instead, in Holland Park, walking his dozen Pomeranians and poodles, with his pointy shoes with the big shiny buckles.

Sleepy Horse   -   I read an article in Rolling Stone once on Van Morrison where the writer said he was made to wait like 2 hrs while Van Morrison paced the floor, too nervous to sit for the interview because he didn't want people to say bad things about him.  I jus' know what I read , surely Rolling Stone would get their facts straight.

Reinvented Daddy   -   I often say “Van Morrison is proof God loves me”.  

defpublic   -   My first concert was The Stones at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium in 65/66. I was in 8th grade so 12/13. I wore a green voile dress, carried a handbag and clapped politely. Saw Van Morrison a year or so later at a roller rink (as Them with the hit G-L-O-R-I-A) but it was a dance, not a concert. I believe I did the jerk, the frug and the shing-a-ling.

Brakeman   -   I am thrilled to report that it looks like the great Van Morrison finally let somebody with some marketing savvy into the inner sanctum of Van-ism. It has always appeared that Van could care less about the commercial success of any of the albums that he put out. He has always been in it for the music (and some might say also occasionally in it for God) and although many people believe Van to be a guru, nobody has ever accused him of being a marketing guru.

Boyo Jim   -   I set up a Chis Isaak station on Pandora and started listening. Most of the songs playing now are already reruns from just a few hours. And 80% of the related tracks are Van Morrison and Dire Straits. Okay, I understand the Morrison connection, but the Dire Straits one is tenuous at best.

Seth Godin   -   Lou Reed was outsold by Van Morrison at least 40:1. But again, our image and memory of Lou compares to Van's, it's not a tiny fraction of his.

Howeeee   -   Morrison is and always was arrogant, self absorbed, extremely moody, very critical of others, nothing new, but still a great entertainer.

Mike Ness   -   Van has no need to 'shake the sugar down' in Sugar Town. He spills that stuff every night on stage. Just lap it up y'all. 

timoneil5000   -   There are few people whose voices annoy me as much as Van Morrison's. The best Van Morrison record is the sound of silence for forty minutes after you pull the 8-track of MOONDANCE out of the stereo and toss it out the window of a moving car.

Judy Licht   -   When Marlene, Jake and Adam were little, our car stereo didn't play kid songs. No Raffi, DinoRock or Barney wailing, "I love you, you love me." We were all rock, reggae, blues and folk — without apology.Our kids only protested when they came home from my mother-in-law's house, whining, "How come Gigi can play The Little Mermaid on her tape deck and we can't?" My husband and I would mumble something incomprehensible, duck our heads, turn up the volume on Van Morrison's Hard Nose the Highway and keep on driving.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

"Keepers" (2018) - Van's Best Ever Album?

Someone named Eustice said online "Pay the Devil is crap country boy. I like Keep Me Singing and Keep it Simple.  They're  "keepers". (Get it?)" 

That got me thinking about those two albums and whether they represent the best of his work for the new millennium.  One thing led to another and now I'm putting forward an album called Keepers (2018) consisting of tracks from only those two albums.  Don't call this a mix tape. The only thing you have to think about is:  is this better than OK Computer, Nevermind, Sgt Pepper's, Pet Sounds, Highway 61 Revisited, etc.?

Here's my list of songs for the new combination album:
01.   Let It Rhyme (KMS) - 3:53

02.   Every Time I See a River (KMS) - 4:43
03.   Keep Me Singing (KMS) - 3:39
04.   Out In the Cold Again (KMS) - 7:06
05.   Memory Lane (KMS) - 4:08
06.   Soul (KIS) - 3:37
07.   Holy Guardian Angel (KMS) - 6:18
08.   That's Entrainment (KIS) - 4:32
09.   In Tiburon (KMS) - 5:18
10.   Lover Come Back (KIS) - 5:15
11.   Look Beyond the Hill (KMS) - 2:28
12.   School of Hard Knocks (KIS) - 3:44
13.   Keep It Simple (KIS) - 3:34
14.   Too Late (KMS) - 2:48
15.    Behind the Ritual (KIS) - 6:59


Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Slí Cholmcille

Robert McMillen’s 2012 article about the launch of the Celtic trail known as Slí Cholmcille contains an interesting Van reference. 

Van Morrison and Slí Cholmcille

When I went to the launch of Slí Cholmcille at the Linenhall Library last night, the last person I expected to see was George Ivan Morrison, Van the Man to you and me.  Slí Cholmcille or the St Columba Trail is the first visitor trail between Scotland and Ireland and is named after St Colmcille or Columba, a native of Donegal. The trail stretches from Gleann Cholm Cille in south west Donegal to the Western Isles of Scotland. There are nine interlinked routes, including three in Donegal, one in the City of Derry, and another between Coleraine and Limavady.

But why would the legendary Irish singer be at such an event? The answer came from the always entertaining Dr Ian Adamson, the former Lord Mayor of Belfast who talked of his family connections to the Hebrides – his great granny came from Íle (Islay) – and the young Ian Adamson was taken by his grandfather to Íle and na Hearadh (Harris) and Leòdhas (Lewis) where he imagined the songs of the people to be related to the beautiful birdsong he heard on the islands.

“The love-song of the Wandering Greenshank, for example, is one of the most beautiful birdsongs in the world. It has a haunting quality that is replicated by the Gaelic Singers of the area and I think that is a very important factor in the development of that singing,” he says, before talking about the Ó Muirgheasáins, hereditary bards and brieves (lawmakers, from the Irish word breitheamh) who left Ulster in the 15th and 16th centuries and moved to Harris in the Outer Hebrides where they were bards to the MacLeans and MacClouds.”

The songs of the Macleans were never written down and haven’t survived but the Ó Muirgheasáins did, later became Morrisons. Another family, the MacGilleMhoire clan, also emigrated from Ulster to the Northern Hebrides and had their name Anglicised to Morrison. But, according to Adamson, the tradition of the hereditary bards lives on, that innate, intuitive sense that has lived on generation after generation.

“We have a modern bard, one who has written transcendental lyrics, the greatest of all lyrics ever written by a person of Hebridean extraction, George Ivan Morrison.”

So the Gaelic poets who left Ulster in the late Middle Ages brought their skills to the Scottish islands and centuries later brought their culture to America where it developed into early American music, call it what you will – folk, spiritual, gospel and arguably through to soul and R&B with some scholars claiming that American gospel music has its roots in the Gaelic psalm singing of Lewis.

Van the man is part of that ancient cultural give and take. An interesting photo from the night shows Van Morrison getting an autograph from Linenhall Librarian John Killen.