i found myself with an album that made me wish that i could trade my super small nano--a bastion of technology at its 2006 finest--for a big clonky rca victor record player to capture all the analog pops and hisses, guitar strum sounds, and bow pulls across catgut strings. the album: astral weeks by van morrison. we have all heard it at some point, but took really listening to the arrangements on recommend from , when i heard that it was mostly a live-session-created album over three days, with very loose arrangements that depended not on any sort of lead sheet or format, but morrison sitting, strumming away, and singing, while the session players, led by richard davis on bass, (who has played with sarah vaughn, miles davis, eric dolphy, igor stravinsky, and others) captured a feel and rode along with the melody. the lyrics and guitar were allegedly performed in an audio booth detached from the intimacy of the improvisation and therefore seem to let out waves of compressed imagery, and morrison's personal emotions of stress, hope, and fear. consequently, that setup allowed the same relase by the band, whose range of sounds span jazz, classical, r&b, soul, and folk. with no real guidance from morrison other than an acoustic melody and vocal track, the musicians stretched out and played their own fitting melodies. wrote of it in 1979, "it assumed at the time the quality of a beacon, a light on the far shores of the murk; what's more, it was proof that there was something left to express artistically besides nihilism and destruction."
a song from a man from belfast. title track from van morrison's astral weeks
. "if i ventured in the slipstream/between the viaducts of your dream"
and to keep it real, a song from a man from oxnard. smile a 'lil bit feat posdnuos
, from oh no's album. i could write a heap about this one, but i will save that for later.