mind blown by MMJ and tunes of da week 06.30.2011

Blessed with another fake friday, life can’t get any better. Oh wait, it can, BECAUSE FRANZ AND I LEAVE FOR OUR EPIC ROAD TRIP TOMORROW MORNING. We’re filming it so expect a ridiculous montage of all the best moments, coming soon to Facebook. Franz was already pre-packing yesterday because he tends to be an over-obsessive packer, and I mean this in the most loving way, whereas I was busy getting my mind blown over at The Orpheum by Jim James.

My Morning Jacket. I am actually speechless, there is no way to describe what I saw or how it made me feel. I’m not even a huge fan of My Morning Jacket. Meaning I have maybe 5 songs of theirs in my iTunes. I of course love and appreciate what they do, but I’ve never picked up an album. Jeremy introduced them to me back in 2005 when he had an extra ticket and I went to the show with him. I literally had no clue who they were, and somewhere around the third song I turned around to him in the crowd with this bewildered expression, trying to comprehend what I was watching. They are that amazing live. They bring something that is indescribable to their love show. An energy, a joy, a level of excitement, a pulse that hits every part in your body, a whimsical cloud of musical bliss that you hope to never escape from. So way back 3 months ago when Matt, Jeremy and myself were all hanging out and saw they were coming back to Vancouver, we did not hesitate to buy tickets. So last night, after a quick check of the boys’s crotch area to make sure the stuffed down mickeys of whiskey weren’t showing, we skipped into the Orpheum ready for another musical awakening. The show started quite promptly and the band was in top form. The crowd, not so much. It was a slow start but eventually the genius of Jim James’s performance (the guy fucking did an impromptu extremely well-timed knee slide across the stage) got the crowd riled up. We were disappointed to see the show was only half sold out. Get your shit together Vancouver, this is the real deal right here. Go appreciate it. We turned instantly giddy when uber talented guitarist Carl Broemel started letting out Judas Priest metal screams. It was nuts. I’m not going to try and recap this show, I honestly can’t. But I will make two points to try and explain why My Morning Jacket rates in my top shows of all time despite barely knowing their song catalogue.

1- Because they can take me to a place that rarely any other bands have taken me. In my last blog I complained a little about The Black Key’s lack of enthusiasm during some of their set. My Morning Jacket was the opposite. Even if the crowd sucks, even if they are tired, even when they play their best known singles for the billionth time, they fucking give it 300%. And they are so, so good at what they do. And even someone like me, who doesn’t know their song catalogue, can get their mind blown.

2- Musical Orgasms. Half way into their set, Matt, Jer and I were in a trance watching them, unaware of anything around us. The power they can have over you is something to experience yourself. When Jim started singing Wonderful, The Way I Feel, alone on stage with his acoustic guitar, tears instantly started welling in my eyes. Just his voice, the vibe, the beautiful old chandeliers hanging from the Orpheum’s ceiling, the simple power of music. And as the show kept going, I found myself in a place I never have been, even at my fave band’s show, which was a state where I literally did not know how much time was passing, or if the next song was beginning, and I had absolutely no thought in my head but the swirls of the music. It was the closest I could imagine taking drugs might feel, cause I never have done drugs. But when the show ended I literally stood there like I just come back down to earth. And then I could only smile. Thank you My Morning Jacket. I feel ridiculous even writing this review cause it does your talent no justice, but hey I tried.

musical trance


Wonderful, The Way I Feel by My Morning Jacket

Lets start with the men of the hour. What a fucking song. No description needed.

Daylight by Matt & Kim

This is one of those songs that has been around for quite some time that people have liked and now moved on. I just discovered it. So much fun. Crank it loud. Only

Only The Lonely by Roy Orbison

Totally on a Roy kick right now. I just love his rusty croony voice.

Stadium Love by Metric

Have no real interest in Metric, just never gelled with me. This song is an exception though. Crazy fucking good.

Please Don’t Leave Quite Yet by Adam Agin

Chilling. See this is why I watch shitty teen dramas on the CW, cause they always have amazing music supervisors who find songs like this to play over emo scenes of someone breaking up. This song kind of fucks me up when I listen to it. So pleading. I think we’ve all been there, asking someone to not give up on them. Real.


little bit of new blues

On Monday I headed to Deer Lake Park to watch The Black Keys play live with Jordan, Franz and Alexis. Apparently I have a thing for duo bands, cause here is another one. It’s Dan Auerbach (vocals and guitar) and Patrick Carney (drummer) for this lovely duo and boy, are they ever. Over the years I’ve always been aware of The Black Keys, but for some reason never checked further into them. But I had many, many moments where I would be at a bar or a party and yell over the music “HEY WHO IS THIS?” to find out it was Pat and Dan (we’re on first name basis) and I’d always reply in that over-dramatic drunk way “YES! BLACK KEYS! THANK YOU!” and then promptly forget to check it out the next day. But I have found many scraps of paper in my room with drunk Julia scrawl saying things like “black keys, check it”. I also totally missed the memo when they released their new album last year that has shot them into the mainstream. I caught up somewhere in January when radio everywhere starting playing the uber-romantic iPod┬ácommercial┬áready “Everlasting Light”. It’s hard not to like the song so I finally went and did my research and got said new album. After telling Jordan, BLACK KEYS SUPER FAN, he promptly scolded me and said to check out their older stuff too. So I obliged and dove in. WHAT BEAUTIFUL CREATURES I FOUND. I quickly realized why loyal fans of the Black Keys are disappointed with the new polished sounding album, but that being said, it’s still a lot better than other stuff out there. I spent most of my spring in a big Black Keys cloud. If you still have yet to only enjoy the most recent album, follow Jordan’s advice and go back in time to their grittier garage days to understand why they are so brilliant.

An outdoor setting was perfect for them, and after not even attempting to hit up the beer line that went to Alaska, we settled to the front of the stage for some rock goodness. I swear Patrick has to eat a 10 000 calorie meal before he hits the stage the way he bangs those drums. Dude is insane. If you haven’t noticed by my music choices, deep pulsating drums with crisp but somehow sloppy tight guitar playing is kind of a weakness. Especially when it’s done in the style of updated blues. Black Keys excel in this and they were ripping it on stage. I have to be completely honest, when playing anything off the new album, they kind of phoned it in. Almost rushing through to get back to playing the older stuff, where they tended to be having way more fun, with Dan extending his guitar solos and moving around the stage. I don’t know if this is because they realize that their new stuff is not as loved from their older fans, or they haven’t gotten used to playing it live, or maybe they are just fucking tired of playing Everlasting Light, either way I was a bit disappointed. Because even if their old stuff might be better, they need to understand they have made new fans, who cherish and love the new album just like their loyal followers who cling to their first CDs. We don’t choose what songs we bond with. So if the 17 year old girl in front of me had no clue what they were playing 90% of the time, but lit up when they played their other single “Tighten Up”, well she should get the same level of performance for that song, cause that’s what she has been waiting for to hear live ever since it first affected her. I don’t mean to go on a rant here, it just saddens me when people call new fans “not real fans”. Hate this argument. Just cause I discovered a band later then you, doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate it just as much, even if the first time I see them is in a setting 10 times larger then the small intimate club you saw them first. Music is music. You either love it or you don’t. Don’t let new fans, bad reviews or bands selling out change that. If it sounds good, fucking listen to it.

Back to Black Keys, my final thought is that I had a blast, and these boys are VERY talented. Dan’s guitar playing is quite nifty, dude has some serious underrated skills. And Patrick is a drumming God. I wish they would have showed the same love and energy for their new album, but it didn’t take too much out of my enjoyment for the show. Plus they had a flashy giant Black Keys sign like we were in a casino in 1972 so, rock on boys. Rock on. This 40% fan who went to 100% fan in the last year anticipates your next move.

Get it boys