MOG Music Network



5 Years After Z, the Effects Linger...


Z is the album that helped me crossover from a traditional jam band fan to someone who started to take notice of what was going on outside of my chosen neighborhood and enjoy the seemingly endless bounty of the music world around me.  Five years after hearing the album that changed me from an eager music fan to a man obsessed with finding the newest and the best all at once, the ten songs still inspire chills. Before you know what a band, author or radio personality looks/sounds like and simply know them by name, it’s natural to develop some pre-conceived notions about the artist’s appearance, attitude, background, etc. From the name My Morning Jacket, I had ignorantly thought for a time that they were an emo-punk band and never bothered looking further. To think that I was only a few thousand feet away during the "Return To Thunderdome" show in 2004 at Bonnaroo is regrettable, but I probably wasn't ready for it, and after all, first impressions are important. Having only heard a handful of other songs before picking up Z (Golden, and dingey bootlegs of Strangulation, & Steam Engine – three of my favorites still today), I was pretty much a blank slate when it came to these guys, although those songs undoubtedly helped turn me towards Z. Here’s an attempt at recollecting first impressions from hearing Z on its release day October 4, 2005 after picking up the album at Tower Records (sign of the times) to prepare myself for my first MMJ show later that weekend at Nashville’s City Hall (which is sadly now an Urban Outfitters).

Side One
Hearing the cathartic wash of “Wordless Chorus” for the first time was akin to a baptism, opening my eyes to an entirely exceptional sound that sounded like I’ve always pictured heaven to look. “Gideon” was just heroic, majestic, soaring, impressively great, in a word, epic. The inviting reggae intro of “Off The Record” was the bait that hooked me in. Like a number of classic tunes of better days’ past, on one side it has a radio-ready pop sensibility, putting the casual listener at ease with a familiar air like a seat at the old bus stop, and then, without warning, takes an uncertain drift walk down the dark end of the street, with a sonic exploration of uncharted and disorienting territory.

Side Two
Now completely off the farm, the deranged “Into The Woods” rattled the skull like an inner-brain Fantasia sideshow and the tour bus to the end of the alphabet had fully detoured. Track 6 also provided me with an opportunity to play this really weird song with the incredible outro that talked about “kittens on fire” and “babies in blenders”, for certain friends with a weird sense of humor. After the shiftiness subsides, there's “Anytime", which is the type of agreeable rock song that just about anyone could nod to, oddly upbeat and steady amongst such a strange album chock full of dark and spectral elements. The raging tempo throttled straight through the stretched-out classic rocker “Lay Low”, a song that will make your neck sore for some reason. Kind of like the anticipatory, narcotic calm before a deeply profound and impactful moment that will last forever, there’s “Knot Comes Loose”, a loungey and gentle piano drifter that hits like ton of bricks. “Dondante” comes from a dark place lyrically, beginning with an almost inaudible and austere drum crawl before building towards one of the more torrential onslaughts of aural intensity I’ve ever heard unleashed on a record. The extended explosion of syncopated psychedelic euphoria is brought on by a moment of vocal exposition that has James could trademark as his own. Finally, the tide sets back to its original delicate state a lustrous saxophone steers the ship back home. Things, for the better, have never quite been the same.

Later in the week in a packed house that held just over a thousand, I saw a fivesome of shaggy looking animals in ragged t-shirts with a sign offering “FREE CRACK” on the speaker and a wild-eyed frontman wielding a flying-V and, still to this day, bringing the loudest sound I’ve ever heard. 5 years, a couple of life-affirming Bonnaroo performances, and a trip up to Madison Square Garden later, I still can’t really get enough.

My Morning Jacket -- Dondante (Fantasia)

Here are a few covers and a couple B-Sides MMJ may dive into tonight:


Where To Begin


Tonight I Wanna Celebrate With U

Dancing In The Moonlight

Wonderful Tonight
Loving Cup

Northern Sky

Careless Whisper

A Quick One While He's Away


The Man In Me

Highway to Hell

Hot Burrito

Older Guys

Still Feeling Blue

Setlists from Terminal 5
Z :: 10.22.2010

Wordless Chorus

It Beats 4 U


What A Wonderful Man

Off The Record

Into The Woods


Lay Low

Knot Comes Loose



Lullabys, Legends and Lies (Shel Silverstein tribute)

Where To Begin

How Do You Know

Hit It and Quit It (Parliament)

A Quick One While He’s Away (The Who)

I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man (Prince)

Careless Whisper (George Michael)

It Still Moves :: 10.21.2010

1. Mahgeetah

2. Dancefloors

3. Golden

4. Masterplan

5. One Big Holiday

6. I Will Sing You Songs

7. Easy Morning Rebel

8. Run Thru

9. Rollin Back

10. Just One Thing

11. Steam Engine

12. One In The Same


13. Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You (Bob Dylan)

14. How Could I Know

15. Sooner

16. Head Held High (The Velvet Underground)

17. It Makes No Difference (The Band)

18. All Night Long (Lionel Richie)

At Dawn :: 10.19.2010

1. At Dawn

2. Lowdown

3. The Way That He Sings

4. Death Is My Sleezy Pay

5. Hopefully

6. Bermuda Highway

7. Honest Man

8. X-mas Curtain

9. Just Because I Do

10. If It Smashes Down

11. I Needed It Most

12. Phone Went West

13. Strangulation!


14. How The Gods Kill (Danzig)

15. O Is The One That is Real

16. Come Closer

17. Miss You (The Rolling Stones)

18. Cobra

19. Black Sabbath (Black Sabbath)

The Tennessee Fire :: 10.18.2010

1. Heartbreakin Man

2. They Ran

3. The Bear

4. Nashville To Kentucky

5. Old September Blues

6. If All Else Fails (live debut)

7. It’s About Twilight Now (last played 2006)

8. Evelyn Is Not Real

9. War Begun

10. Picture Of You (last played 2006)

11. I Will Be There When You Die

12. The Dark

13. By My Car

14. Butch Cassidy

15. I Think I’m Going To Hell


16. I Just Wanted To Say (Does Christmas Fiasco Style)

17. Rocket Man (Elton John, last played 2001)

18. Weeks Go By Like Days (last played 2000)

19. Tyrone (Erykah Badu)

20. White Rabbit (The Great Society)

21. Hot Legs (Rod Stewart, last played 2000)

22. Lil Billy (last played 2002)

And...finally some videos from last night's encore following the performance of It Still Moves

All Night Long (Lionel Richie)

Head Held High (Velvet Underground)

It Makes No Difference (The Band)


The Black Keys and Morning Benders at Ryman Auditorium :: 8.12.2010 :: Nashville, TN

The Flannels Rock Nashville’s Grandest Stage

The incongruous twin bill performing at the mother church of country music on Thursday night (Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium) gave the overflowing crowd of twenty-somethings two acutely different displays of how to play a rock show. Watching the skinny-jeaned opening Morning Benders perform their heady (as in the thought-provoking/non-granola meaning of the word) art-pop under the dull glow of stagnant house lights was something akin to viewing a microorganism under a microscope. Like most opening acts, they didn’t have the luxury of their own grand stage set-up or lighting rig as patrons slowly filed into their tightly assigned pew seats. Luckily for the Benders, the talent speaks for itself.

The baby-faced, skinny, and downright delicate California quartet opened the show with the slow build of “Stitches” from this year’s stellar Big Echo LP. I was interested to see how they would match the grandeur of their recorded product, with its prevalent Wall of Sound, and although some songs like “Cold War (Nice Clean Fight)” were expectedly bare, the show mostly featured a lustrous and full sound with kicky drum lines and Chris Chu’s super limber vibrato that worked well in the excellent acoustics of the old church on songs like the edifying “Mason Jar” and “Promises”. The line “I can’t help thinkin’ we grew up too fast” was incredibly appropriate, given the fact that this was the band’s first Nashville show on its most historic and grandest stage. Needless to say, there are about 2,300 Nashville songwriters who would be insanely jealous. Knowing their anonymity amongst most of the Black Keys shirt-wearing fans, the band asked “How many of you have ever heard of us?” to mostly crickets. That’s okay though, if the Benders continue to deliver quality product on par with Big Echo, they’ll be bringing their own headlining show to the hallowed stage soon enough. As the show-closing hit song “Excuses” started with a whisper without the accompaniment of an orchestra, Pet Sounds style guitar layering, or a full backing chorus of friends (as on record), it was intriguing to see how it would pan out. Frontman Chris Chu then layered his vocals on loop giving it the full album feel before grabbing his guitar and washing the droning lyrics into a loud stew of heavy-riffing guitar and finally grabbing the full attention of the filled-out crowd to close out the short set. If you haven’t already, check out Big Echo, undoubtedly one of the best front-to-back albums of the year thus far, nary a dull moment.

Check out this behind-the-scenes look at the recording of “Excuses”:

Next, the Black Keys took center stage and fastidiously stomped through a tightly rehearsed and note-perfect set spanning the band’s short and prolific career on a tire-themed stage (Marshalls stacked on heavily-treaded tires, check.). It was refreshing to see a hot band coming off a hot album not bullshit their loyal, longtime fans by taking the easy road with a set of mostly hits from their recently released #3 album. Instead, Dan and Pat gave us cuts from Rubber Factory, thickfreakness, Attack and Release (“Strange Times”=righteous) and Magic Potion in addition to the anticipated new songs. They know people wanna hear “Stack Shot Billy”, “Ten Cent Pistol”, and “Howlin’ For You” perhaps just as much as “Sinister Kid”, and delivered a nice mix. Dan Auerbach notably made mention that last time they rocked the Ryman, their opener was “dubious” at best — referring to the “Dancing Outlaw,” the PBS-documented mountain man back country dancer Jesco White [Click to see Jesco on "sloppy eggs"], who was kicked out after a reported train wreck of a performance. “We’re surprised they let us back in here after that,” Auerbach joked. The Black Keys once again delivered a no-frills type of rust-stained rock show that could have just as easily occurred at a smoky dark barroom in meth country Tennessee in the early 60’s as it could be happening before us in 2010 as ADD’d fans Twitter and text away (seriously? Texting in church? Gimme a break.).

I came to the show excited to see the guys perform with the backing duo they’ve been touring with (for about half of each show on new songs) and left thinking that these two make enough of a powerhouse racket on their own. The songs with the supporting musicians actually sounded more restrained, and dare I say, less ballsy. The line from “Tighten Up” — “Livin’ just to keep going/Goin’ just to keep sane” — and accompanying outro might be my favorite musical segment of the year and the song surprisingly came early in the hits-heavy 15-18 song set. The townied/frat bro’d audiophiles lapped it up and were definitely one of the more attentive and raucous crowds I’ve seen at 20 or so shows in the hallowed building. These guys are deserving of their newfound fame and mainstream recognition after all the years of hard touring and heavy recording. I just hope they don’t get too popular to play rooms much bigger than the Ryman, because it was perfect. Next time, just play a few more songs when people are paying $35 + fees to see your show (and judging by a lot of the crowd, going home with an armful of merch) and it will be more than perfect.



Girl Is on My Mind

The Breaks

Stack Shot Billy


Act Nice and Gentle

Strange Times

Everlasting Light

Next Girl

Chop and Change

Howlin’ for You

Tighten Up

She’s Long Gone

10 Cent Pistol

Your Touch

I Got Mine


Sinister Kid

Til I Get My Way
Note: sorry, no pictures, my +1 and expert photographer Mark A. Wise lost his credentials just a couple hours before the show due to a powers-that-be smackdown/SNAFU/bummer of epic proportions. Here’s a video of the opener that paints a picture, though…

The Black Keys -- Thickfreakness Live at the Ryman, 8.12.2010

Dumpstaphunk at Tipitina's Uptown NOLA :: 9.17.2010


Dumpstaphunk celebrated the release of their long overdue debut LP Everybody Want Sum [AMAZON LINK] the only way they know how…by laying it down and dirty with their dance-friendly double bass funk and R & B at their home venue (Tipitina’s Uptown) in front of an electrified and sweaty packed house. Ivan & Co. played the new album in its entirety for the first set and by the looks of the crowd, no one seemed to mind seeing the band playing the new stuff. At set break, the city’s finest D.J. Soul Sister (WWOZ 90.7 FM) and birthday girl spun some of the chewy fat funk sounds from the Jackson 5 era on the turntables and the crowd lapped it up almost as much as they did for the Friday night’s feature attraction. If you’re gonna be attending this year’s Voodoo Experience, I recommend checking out one of Soul Sister’s nightly performances with her Booty Patrol, it’s a sight to see.

Generally, it is Tipitina’s protocol for about half the crowd to file out at set break when a local artist is playing (granted, set break in New Orleans usually comes at about 12:30-1 a.m.), but the great majority of the crowd stuck it out (and some of the females danced on-stage) in support of the local hero and were handsomely rewarded with an extended set of the band’s heavy hitters amongst countless WHO DAT! chants and a mean bass-off between Tony Hall and Nick Daniels (similar to this) that didn’t wrap up ’til well after 2 a.m. The band’s take on The Meters classic “Africa” closed it out and traded shouts of “New Orleans” for “Africa”. Dumpstaphunk made a lot of casual fans believers on Friday and here’s hoping the new album is a springboard to bigger things for the band. It’s time for the world at large to embrace the local sounds of the Big Easy beyond Weezy and artists featured on Treme (not that I don’t love Weezy, Shorty, Kermit, etc…). One of the hottest shows I’ve been to in a good while.

The self-released album was sporadically recorded over the last several years and the band is reportedly already working on a sophomore effort. The record has the wild and familiarly brilliant fusion of soul, rock, R&B, psychedelia, and funk that has made the Neville family a New Orleans institution for nearly a half-century. If you have a pulse you will enjoy this record, check it out. 
--Wesley Hodges


Interview with the Futurebirds

Video for "Dirty D"

Interview with Carter King and Thomas Johnson for JamBase -- LINK

Athens, GA's Futurebirds are one of the hardest working, best live acts out on the road today, but they aren't traveling to places like Ybor City, FL or Tucson, AZ (a long way from the familiarity of Georgia) because they've established sizable followings in those places. Instead, Futurebirds believe in their product, embrace the chaos of life on the road and share the time-honored notion (along with many of the bands highlighted here on JamBase), that if you book it, they will come. Musically, Futurebirds can be compared with the raw sound of early My Morning Jacket with a nod to the more recent litany of folked-up, reverb-heavy psych-rock out there. But, don't let their haggard appearance or carefree attitudes fool you though - these Birds fly a very unique, peculiar pattern musically.
The high, lonesome twang on the killer opening track "Johnny Utah" on the band's full-length debut Hampton's Lullaby (released July 27 on Autumn Tone) is evidence of a well-read traditional country appreciation, where banjo and pedal steel are essential pieces to the puzzle and not simply added elements. Despite this nod to the past, Futurebirds are markedly forward thinking, and songs like the cinematic, peak-happy "Yur Not Ded" bathe front porch melodies in a psychedelic dreamscape of heavy reverb, lustrous harmonies and soaring guitars of every shape, size and color. The Birds jibe well with the past, but offer a splendid peak into the future of roots rock. With all the pillars in place for success with the support system of a label, the booking expertise of the Progressive Global Agency (who handle Widespread Panic, R.E.M., Dead Confederate and more), and some of the more rabid and vociferous fans around, the Birds are primed and ready to ascend the ranks, building themselves from the bottom up the only way they know how: By playing with reckless intensity whether they're doin it for 3 or 3,000 people.
JamBase recently caught up with two of the guitar birds Thomas Johnson and Carter King on a rare break from the road to talk about Hampton's Lullaby and their experiences headlining a national tour for the first time this year.
WH: Before things get too otherworldly, out-of-hand and ridiculous, can you just start by talking about Hampton's Lullaby and how you guys ended up getting set up on Autumn Tone Records and the ultimate recording process?
Carter King: Autumn Tone came along after we had decided to record the album. We paid for it ourselves and ended up doing that anyway. Through the help of our good friend and guiding light Dawson Morris (Dead Confederate's manager) played [Autumn Tone's] Justin Gage our EP, he really liked it and it kind of developed from there. They were really cool about the whole thing, very laid back and not trying to get anything out of us, just trying to help us along.

WH: So, you guys got the experience that every new, young band should by self-releasing an album on your own dime before the benefit of a supporting record label came along?

Thomas Johnson: They never really offered any input and didn't pay for it, so they couldn't really have too much say. It's also really cool we get to own the masters, which is a great way to not get fucked. They put a lot of trust in thinking that whatever we did was gonna be cool, and luckily they still think it is. For the album, we went up to [pedal steel] Dennis Love's lake house up at Lake Burton and recorded 20 or something demos of us playing in the bottom floor of his house. [Producer] Drew Vandenburg went up there with us and did all the vocal set-ups. A lot of those were goofy cover songs that we were jammin' on late at night didn't make it but a lot of the stuff that made it onto the record came including the last track on the record "Hampton's Lullaby," which was recorded at about 4 in the morning.
What exactly is "Hamptahn's Lullaby"? Is that an original Futurebirds lullaby? Or is there a story behind the title?
Thomas: It's actually a song that Womack and I wrote about a landlord we had where we lived in this house/ski lodge, which was actually advertised as the "Ski Chalet." So, we wrote this song about this redneck that after everything he would say would end the sentence with, "If ya know what I mean?" The song is pretty much a series of his ridiculous quotes and then, "Ya know what I mean?" and us responding, "We know what you mean!"
There seem to be a lot of stories on this album about the last few years about your final years of college and the first couple years starting up as a band. Without being completely insulting, it's kind of got that unshaven, un-showered, raw feeling that goes with the territory.
Carter: You callin' us unshaven or un-showered?
Thomas: You are treading the line between offensive and not offensive.
Is this sound more of a reflection of your touring hygiene and haggard looks or is it more of a reflection of the personal musical style you're trying to capture?
Carter: [Laughs] Probably a little of both.

What kind of stuff were y'all listening to when you made the record?
Thomas: I dunno. I that was like two months ago!
Carter: I didn't really listen to music until about two months ago [laughs]. Everyone is always listening to a bunch of different stuff and when you're in close quarters with people you try to listen to everyone's music. It was a wide range of different stuff. Then when you get done after a few weeks, you get in your car, go home and you don't want to listen to music for awhile.
Thomas: I would say there's generally a country influence to the things.
Carter: I was really into the inspirational tunes. Those really were there to help me get through the darker times.
"Yur Not Ded" is a standout and may be the least musically emo song ever, but the lyrics have a little bit of a emotional feel in the verses. Tell me where that song came from.
Carter: [Laughs] Definitely the most emo song lyrically. I started thinking about writing the song when we were out on a boat in Jacksonville and we were trying to come back to land. A real dark, powerful, freaky storm raged in, and it was one of those scary moments where you also really feel very alive. It was a great adrenaline rush. It made me think about a lot of people just going through the motions in life, and I guess it's kind of directed towards them.

Just because you walk, doesn't mean that you're not dead

Just because you talk, doesn't mean something's been said
The Road
Tell me about the Futurebirds traveling armada. I heard the other day that Lady Gaga rolls with like 23 semi-trucks. Is that similar to what you're working with or is it a little more subdued?
That's definitely what we're going for. But those trucks are really expensive and if you don't have anything to put in them, it doesn't make much sense. We're currently crusin' around in a Yukon XL with a trailer, going six-deep. It gets really cozy in there.
You guys played 24 shows in 30 days last month. Tell me a story from out on the road or just shine some light on that experience playing some of those shows in new cities with some crowds almost wholly unfamiliar with your music.
Carter: I don't wanna incriminate anyone but…the St. Simons show on the Fourth of July was pretty out of the ordinary and ridiculous, and we'll leave it at that. Pretty much every show we played in Florida was distinct and interesting. In general, they don't really get our kind of music down in Florida. Not that they don't get it, they just don't hear a lot of bands like us down there. But, we've gotten a pretty good response everywhere we've gone.
So you're saying that Miami isn't your typical Futurebirds fan base?

Miami was totally different from everything. We played in this swinger's lounge lookin' place with $8 drinks and really modern looking couches (with pillows!). There was a grand piano in the corner, and the stage was in the middle of the room with this polar bear skin rug on top of it. The promoter was a South African dude who loved us more than anyone else. He was really into it and was trying to compliment us. He said, "You guys are like the next Eagles," which was pretty funny. The last three shows of the tour were a nice microcosm of what this tour has been like, with three different venues. New York was packed in with low ceilings; really loud, and nasty and awesome. Charlotte was more like a mid-sized venue and we all went to the Widespread Panic show beforehand. It was sad to drag the bassist B Miles away from it; he was in his element, and it was actually my first Widespread show. After that, we played the tour closer at the Buckhead Theater, which was a bigger, nice, new venue, and we ended up having a great crowd there, too (Carter: "Like a million people"). It was just cool to play three really different types of venues back-to-back-to-back and have good responses and good crowds and feel great about the shows. I think we can adapt to any kind of venue we're given, which is fortunate considering the various kinds of places we're playing right now.

Since it's you're first time playing a lot of these cities in a lot of new clubs, it's gotta be a trial-by-fire each night trying to react to different sounding rooms and new club owners, promoters, etc.
Carter: You don't even know…
Thomas: It's kinda ridiculous the bands we end up playing with on some of these bills. In Indianapolis, we were with a scream-pop band and a ska-soul band. It was a pretty good-sized crowd and at one point during "Ski Chalet" we're raging onstage and I look up and everyone's got their arms crossed and just looked like they were observing some sort of exhibit or something. It was a little confusing.
You guys are kind of like a living, breathing art installation piece.
Carter: I was kind of thinking more like the zoo than the museum but...
Let's talk about the way you guys carry yourselves onstage - kind of like a bunch of reckless banshees on speed. Tell me about the injuries and property damage bills that you guys have racked up out on the road. Does that ding into the profit margins or have you been able to skip town before that became an issue?
Carter: I mean, if you break a stage it's not like they can really do anything. If we break a stage, it's because the stage isn't strong enough. We've incurred more damage upon ourselves than anything. I landed on the corner of Dennis' pedal steel, which left a pretty unsightly gash.
Yeah, the pedal steel, as much as it accents y'all's sound, seems to be more of a liability and dangerous metal object than anything.
Thomas: It's really big and has a lot of sharp, pointed metal. We usually try to put it in a strategic position for maximum safety/separation from the chaos.
When you guys move up the chain a little bit, you can do the Tommy Lee thing and suspend him above the stage.
Thomas: Maybe we can get it so Dennis could play the pedal steel from his basement in Atlanta. He could stay there all day and play a show at night without leaving and still be in a rock and roll band.

How has playing with bands like The Whigs and Dead Confederate and being a band in Athens informed you guys as a band?

Carter: Dead Confederate knows a lot since they've been around the block for a little while and have dealt with the trials and tribulations of a band coming up through the ranks. As far as how we carry ourselves onstage, when you're opening up for Dead Confederate, who is one of the hardest fucking raging bands I've come across, you tend to bring it a lot harder.

Thomas: Last time we did a little run of shows with them it was like we'd play an especially good set and they would come out and one up us, and back and forth. We just push each other to get better each night and it makes for a great night for all involved. Those guys are really cool. Sometimes when you don't know a lot of musicians you don't realize that they are just normal people like everybody else. To actually meet the people in Dead Confederate and The Whigs, well, it's nice to see that they're not a bunch of self-absorbed assholes like some people are. They're just good, down-to-earth people who like to play music.
Carter: You'll see these people in passing at night and we'll go drink and hang out. So, we're especially looking forward to any shows with Dead Confederate. Needless to say, the opportunity to go out on the road and play and hang out with our friends again will be awesome.
Let's talk about the recent headlining tour to spread the word about Hampton's Lullaby. The songs have that sort of "new car smell," where they still feel fresh to play. How's that different then when you guys were touring before the record came out?

Carter: It was only really the last few shows where the album was officially out, but we started selling them on the road as soon as we got them. Actually the night we released the album was kind of funny. It was a perfect storm (and Thomas' birthday to boot). We were playing in Philly with a local band and they told us when we got there, "We've just been playing around here so much that we didn't promote the show at all." Ariel Pink was playing a sold-out show two blocks down and it pretty much left us playing a show to a handful of shadows in a nasty club.
Thomas: It's hilarious though, because we ended up filming a promo video with a guy that approached us in Philly about doing it and it turned out pretty comical. We played a really weird, kinda funny set.
Well, I guess the crowd at the show I made it out for on St. Simons Island for the 4th of July was a little more ahead of the curve. It seemed like half the crowd up front knew all the words already, and this was three weeks before the release date.
Carter: We weren't very intense about keeping the album in our inner circle. We wanted to obviously sell CDs but it definitely benefits us more to have our friends who knew about it and wanting to tell their friends about it and create a buzz. When you play a show and people know the words, it's never a bad feeling, no matter the circumstances. We played a show way back when opening for Dr. Dog at Tasty World and there was a kid in front trying to sing along without knowing the words. We were playing a song off the EP that we had written like hours earlier. It was one of those things where he was trying to pick up stray words and then mumbling along the rest.

Futurebirds Live at SXSW

Yeasayer :: House of Blues NOLA :: 10.9.2010

Written for Relix/ Click Link to article.

                                                                 Photo by Josh Brasted

To cap off an excellent week of music starting with Dr. John on Wednesday down at Lafayette Square, psychedelic beatsmiths Yeasayer finally blew through the Big Easy for a debut appearance (lead singer Chris Keating remarked twice on the beauty of the city), making an immense impression on the packed and white hot House of Blues crowd with a concise and swirling array of selections from their excellent and growing catalogue. Adventurous music calls for adventurous fans, and the youthful, energetic crowd and band fueled each other, making this night a two-way affair. The alien game show visual display complemented the bizarre, yet pop sensible psychedelia beaming from the stage, accented by a honey-combed backdrop and glowing neon platforms for the band’s various electronics.

Charismatic frontman Chris Keating brought the extraterrestrial amorphous pet from the band’s new music video to perch on a speaker and from the first notes, the quintet immediately had the raucous Saturday night crowd locked into a celestial trance. A blistering pace was set with “Madder Red” to open, the groovy and retooled “Wait for the Summer” and hypertempo’d “Rome”. The buoyant All Hour Cymbals deep track “Red Cave” was an excellent surprise, working well in the live setting. Hell-bent on sonic experimentation, songs like the mega-percussive “Sunrise” continue to evolve and this rendition highlighted an exceptional and memorable first performance in New Orleans. Ira Wolf Tuton’s flutish bass intro signified “Ambling Alp” as the closer, and also the night’s foremost singalong.

The encore reflected the two sides of Yeasayer. First, it was the twisted, Halloween-ish Odd Blood opener “The Children,” full of sub bass and spooky keyboards. The monstrous, distorted vocals and heavy low end created a rare, disquieted air. Alas, after the rubble cleared at the stroke of midnight on 10/10/2010, otherworldly beats entwined with Keating’s hi-pitched vocals on the anthemic “2080”, putting a stamp on a brilliant display. The intense touring schedule in 2010 has seasoned the young Brooklynites well, as these guys appear to be consummate professionals after delivering a peerless 70-minute performance that had fans begging for more (hopefully the shows will get longer). The future is here, and it’s bright.


My Morning Jacket, Live on Colour T.V.

MY MORNING JACKET, Live on David Letterman -- Tuesday, October 12, 2010
"The Way That He Sings"

MY MORNING JACKET, 45-Minute performance on Live On Letterman

Like Gorillaz the week before, The Late Show with David Letterman brought another big name live act to play a 45 minute, intimate set at the Ed Sullivan Theater last night.


Wordless Chorus

I’m Amazed




Touch Me Part 1

Smokin From Shootin

Touch Me Part 2

One Big Holiday