Monday, October 09, 2006

Where Walks The Behemoth


My Morning Jacket "Lowdown" (live)

My Morning Jacket "One Big Holiday" (live)

[right click to download, ctrl or option click if yr a mac!]

I first heard of My Morning Jacket when they opened up for Guided By Voices a couple years ago. I remember chatting with them in San Diego after the show, and although I was extremely impaired they seem like lovely chaps. Since then band leader Jim James has fired most of those lovely chaps and the band has become a behemoth of Wilco proportions. I don't want that to sound like he hired a bunch of douche bags to fill his new band, I've never met them. I'm sure they're all nice.

I can pinpoint the moment when I knew My Morning Jacket was not a small time approachable set of peers anymore. It's when I heard their "Magheeta" in a Coors Light commercial. It made me a little sad because of all the beers they could have put their song in a commercial for, it had to be the nastiest, most watered down concoction of them all. I took it as a sign that they're records to come would be just as watered down.

Well, I wasn't entirely right. 2005's "Z" was a departure for them, but I wouldn't say it was a bad record. I played the shit out of it, after all. "Z" launched My Morning Jacket into an entirely new stratosphere though, and a new kind of audience. Now they're audience was no longer full of music loving (obsessed) nerds like me, but instead those who may have heard that one song on the radio and decided to check them out, and maybe pick up some tail in the process. So in order to appeal to these new fans expecting a big rock show, My Morning Jacket beefed up their live act.

This is where "Okonokos" comes in. While it showcases their best songs, (the very best coming from 'At Dawn', in my opinion their greatest record to date) it pumps them up to arena rock standards. I guess the greatest question is: Is this a bad thing? I'm torn on the answer. While 'Okonokos' provides an enjoyable listen at first, I don't know how many times I'll be going back to it. I'll probably just continue to wear out 'At Dawn' and pine for the days when they played "Phone Went West" (absent from this double live set) in San Diego, and it was the one song everyone wanted to hear.


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