Saturday, April 14, 2012

Music of M: Van the Man and Mission Bell

"Happy 10 mile race day!" she said with a false enthusiasm. Instead of working, she spent the day before scouring the  online record store in search of the perfect collection of songs to help power her through all ten miles. Unfortunately, she came up blank. Looks like it's going to be an iHeart radio kind of a run, she thought.

If you're reading this on Saturday morning, chances are I'm running. Send good vibes into the universe and read on. Today, I bring you M.

1. Van Morrison (MaineC--this one's for you!)
True story #1: During my senior year of high school, the Homecoming Committee was working on planning the Homecoming Dance. We were working very hard to find the "perfect" song to have as the song and serve as the overall dance theme. One of the guys on Student Council suggested Van Morrison's "Moondance." I had never heard of the singer or the song and admitted as much to the committee. Yeah, I got some weird looks. I learned a lesson in there somewhere, I'm just not sure what it is... And a special shout out to the song "Take it Where You Can Find it", which I was just recently introduced to. Van has quite an extensive catalogue. One I need to further explore!

2. Mission Bell by Amos Lee
True story #2--I know I mentioned earlier (I think it was "A") that the U2 concert was one of the best shows I had ever seen. And I'm pretty sure I said the same about Muse. But in terms of multi-day shows, that's different. Last year, for the low, low price of ONLY $45, my best friend and I got two-day passes to The Basilica Block Party in Minneapolis. The line up included G.Love, Fitz and the Tantrums, Michael Franti, and David-freakin'-Gray.

And that was just Friday.

Saturday night, my musical dreams came true. Amos Lee and Ray LaMontagne!

Folks, this girl D.I.E.D and went straight to musical heaven. Since we were there early enough (no seats, just standing room), bestie and I had a great spot for the show. But what I thought was extra cool, was seeing Amos Lee off in the wings after his set, drinking a beer, and watching as Ray LaMontagne performed his beautiful hippy heart out dressed in a flannel shirt and hat. Did I mention it was in July in Minneapolis?

Sticky. Hot. Humid. And brilliant.

I hadn't yet bought Amos Lee's new album, Mission Bell, but I took care of that soon after. A song like "Windows are Rolled Down" will always take me back to last summer, both the good and the bad times, while the track "Behind me Now" makes me want to cry because it's THAT beautiful. But really, the last track duet with Willie Nelson titled "El Camino" takes this country-girl-in-the-city clear back to the days of fresh sweet corn, sunshine, farmland as far as the eye can see, and Farm-Aid concerts. I like to think if my country-music-lovin' dad were still around, we would bond over Amos Lee.

True story #3--It's no secret that I have a love affair with Amos Lee. My very first concert of his was at the MN Zoo about 5 or 6 years ago. The perfect night was capped off by a large storm brewing in the distance and rolling closer. The skies grew dark, the lightning flashed, and the thunder rumbled, but Amos Lee and his band kept playing. When the winds picked up and conditions started to really get bad, they wrapped it up, but I'm pretty sure us Minnesotans would've sat through a thunderstorm over our heads to hear him keep singing. (And why not? We did for U2.)

Amos, if you're reading this (Ha! Right!), please come back to Minnesota soon. I promise my bestie and I will be there, like we have been for the past five+ years, singing along, grateful for your music. In the meantime, keep writing. PLEASE, keep writing.

You tell me, gang--What "M" music did I miss? Surely ("Don't call me Shirley!") there are plenty. "M" is too popular of a letter!

(Honorable "M"ention goes to this nugget of movie song brilliance. Best. Movie. Ever.)


  1. Okay, just for that you're getting a CD.

    Good luck with your run!

  2. Ha! Moondance. Maine's gotta love it.

    Good luck on your run, girl. Wishing you good runner's weather. :)

  3. Good luck with the race! You're probably running like the wind as I type this :).

  4. I'm reminded of one of the musical themes by Ennio Morricone from The Mission.

    He also did the score of Cinema Paradiso, which I love.

  5. Woo! Sending you good vibes. Let us know what you end up using for a playlist - I'm always looking for music to keep me going when I run. :)

  6. True story: I had heard and enjoyed Van Morrison on the radio for years before I ever saw a picture of him. Can you say blue-eyed soul? I honestly thought he was black just from listening to him so I was shocked to find out how wrong I was. Not that it made any difference in how I enjoy his music, just kinda funny the impressions we get from voices.

    I can think of a few M artists you missed, but I'll just suggest Matraca Berg. She's had more success as a songwriter than as a singer -- don't ask me why. "Lying to the Moon" gets me every time.


  7. That last clip cracked me up - classic stuff!

  8. My little buttercup has the Love that movie!!!! Okay, you've got me intrigued...I will check out Amos Lee! :-)


I love getting comments. They're as much fun as getting real snail mail. So please, chime in and tell me what you think!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...