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)

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