Preview: My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges


I can’t believe it leaked. Actually, I can. But wow, a whole month and half early? I love this band, and it is for this reason that I couldn’t resist getting ahold of and listening to their new work. For anyone out there who has a leaked version of this album, I implore you to buy it legitimately once it is released, as I know I will. My Morning Jacket is worth your money. Especially this one.


To start off, I think this album is great. Upon my first listen, I was struck with the same feeling that I had when I first listened to the new Radiohead and Wilco albums. This feeling meant that I needed to listen to the album at least 6 more times, and then form my opinions. Similar to the new Wilco album, I feel like this work shows us the more contemplative, mature, composition-oriented side of My Morning Jacket. It’s definitely a big step forward for the band. They certainly took advantage of the studio on this one more than any other album, utilizing it as a tool to bring as much as possible out of the songs. I was particularly struck by the diversity… the differences between the general sound of each track is staggering. So I’ll just cut to the chase, heres a song-by-song review:


1) Evil Urges: A lot like some of the older work, with a phased out guitar, and that familiar “two-tone” bass line. Jim James sings this one almost entirely in that high falsetto he is so famous for. A little over halfway through you will find a catchy-as-hell harmonized guitar riff.


2) Touch Me I’m Going to Scream: This could be a Flaming Lips song. The way they pan the sound, the multiple vocal tracks, and the general ambiance all add to this Lips-ey feeling. The bit that saves it from being a Flaming Lips song outright is the drum and bass which is very MMJ and reminds me a lot of “It Beats For You.” One of my favorites.


3) Highly Suspicious: This is a weird one… I find it gets stuck in my head really easily, but I’m not sure if I actually like it or not. Seriously falsetto, seriously strange, but definitely awesome. Great Jack White-esque guitar solo. Theres some evil snickering too.


4 I’m Amazed: Good old-fashioned Southern Rock and Roll. Full harmonic vocals, catchy guitar and piano riffs, epic sound. Would suit a massive stadium well.


5) Thank You Too: A lot of space in this one… a light-hearted track with nice strings, a soft rock feel, and a touch of soul. Reminds me a bit of some sort of 80s love song. Jim James is nice to listen to here.


6) Sec Walkin: This one screams James Taylor… you’ll see what I mean.


7) Two Halves: Southern rock meets 90s rock, full sound, layered harmonic vocals, pretty straightforward.


8 Librarian: My favorite one lyrically, this song tells the quintessential in-love-with-the-librarian story. Slide guitar, strings, and tambourine add to the full, mellow, yearning feel of this song. “Sweetest little bookworm, Hidden underneath, Is the sexiest librarian, Take off those glasses and let down your hair for me.”


9) Look At You: More slide guitar, wide open feel, classic Jim James singing. One of the quieter tracks, it’s got a lot of feelings in it.


10) Aluminum Park: Creates a stark contrast with the song before it by opening with a raw guitar riff, and then moving into a catchy southern rock fest complete with good chorus, reverb-heavy vocals, and some serious shred-action. This one is seriously high energy.


11) Remnants: Another rocking, riff-based tune, not one of my favorites, but some great guitar work. One of the loudest tracks.


12) Smokin’ From Shootin’: Focuses on the lyrics that Jim James croons, practically isolated, on top of the music. Gets nice and epic in the last minute and a half, followed by a serious fade-out into the next track.


13) Touch Me I’m Going To Scream Pt. 2: This one is a masterpiece. Maybe its because I have heard this track the most, but I seriously dig it. From beginning to end, it feels like a journey through a distant unknown land. They tease us for a minute and a half before breaking into the disco beat that I am addicted to. I could listen to that beat all day. This song fills me with all sorts of sound, and leaves me satisfied. Perfect choice for the last track. Bravo, My Morning Jacket, Bravo!


All in all, I feel like this album will be received by fans with mixed results. Those looking for the My Morning Jacket that rocks all the time (in other words the MMJ that we’re all used to) may be disappointed with the more adult feel of this album. I, however, find the album refreshing and engaging, and I know that it will reveal more and more of its secrets to me with each listen. I give it an A-.

Preorder On Amazon

Destroyer- Trouble In Dreams



Over the last two weeks or so, I have been more or less obsessed with Destroyer’s (aka Dan Bejar of The New Pornographers) latest album Trouble In Dreams. The album is my first experience with any of Bejar’s solo work and I regret not looking into him sooner, as the album is a truly fantastic blend of indie pop and singer-songwriter sensibilities. The opener “Blue Flower/Blue Flame” is an intimate acoustic track that highlights Bejar’s wispy vocals, smart lyrics and terrific compositional skills, as a high guitar lead melodic dances along with Bejar’s croons of “blue flower, blue flame, a woman by another name is not a woman.” Bejar’s voice has the slightest hint of a Jeff Magnum or Colin Meloy accent but his lyrical ability truly shines, especially on Trouble In Dreams. Tracks like “My Favourite Year” or “Dark Leaves Form A Thread” switch from quiet vocal and guitar interplay to full band indie pop antics like that of Sunset Rubdown. I love the album so much, I think it’s my top early contender for best album of 2008, so check it out.


mp3: “Blue Flower / Blue Flame”
mp3: “Dark Leaves Form A Thread”
mp3: “Introducing Angels”


iTunes | Amazon | Myspace

Yael Naim – New Soul

Dear Apple Marketing Team,

I hate you. I hate you so much.


Who sings the soul-melting song featured in Apple’s famous Macbook Air Commercial, you ask? The answer would be Yael Naim (יעל נעים), and the name of the song is “New Soul.”

Yael Naim – New Soul

Site | iTunes

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Ticketmaster’s Thoughtless Business Model

Several days ago, I bought two Flight of the Conchord tickets on Ticketmaster for their May 9th DC show. This is what my invoice looks like:

Tickets: $35 X 2

Convenience Charge: $9.85 x 2

Order processing fee: $5.10Total Ticketmaster fees: $24.80

Ticket costs before fees: $70 | Ticket costs after fees: $94.80


I’m sorry, but I have to vent about how frustrated I am with this incompetent company. It irks me that they came up with the innovative idea of charging customers $5 to print out their tickets with their own ink and paper, and then decided to stop there. Come on, Ticketmaster, is that the best you’ve got? Here are some freebies to help you get your head in the game:

1) Every time a customer types the url ‘’ into their browser, charge them a dollar “maintenance fee” before they can access the site, regardless of sale. Bandwidth doesn’t pay for itself.

2) When users are presented with the CAPTCHA charge them a “verification fee.” If they incorrectly type the word into the box, make them pay a fine, as well. Time is money.

3) Charge a “fan loyalty verification fee” for all pre-sale tickets. What is that? It’s insurance to make sure the most loyal fans are getting the best seats. By cooperating with this verification process, customers show Ticketmaster that they really want to go to the show—enough to deserve the best tickets. Even if it’s a General Admission show, charge this fee.

4) Those numbers aren’t going to crunch themselves. Charge your customers a “Billing fee.” This is different then the processing fee. The processing fee processes. The billing fee bills. You’d be stupid to not understand the difference.

I, for one, call for a boycott of Ticketmaster until they show more dedication to their business. Whose with me?!

William Shatner – Rocket Man

I saw this a few minutes ago, and I decided it’s just too weird not to post it on here. I don’t really know what Shatner has going on up there in his head, but it is definitely something different than than the rest of us.  Is he cool? Is he crazy? I’m not sure… you decide:


What a guy.

Song of the Day – 4/13/07 : New My Morning Jacket!

Easily, one of my favorite acts out today is My Morning Jacket. The release of Z solidified their status as a group of intelligent, creative and talented musicians who could share a stage with the best. Their double-disc live album/DVD, Okonokos, was even more proof that My Morning Jacket is a group of lasting appeal. Their shows have consistently stood out in my mind as some of the most intense and high-energy concerts out there. Jim James is an immensely powerful lead singer who only seems to get better. Although reviews of the new album are somewhat mixed, I could not be more excited. Today’s song put me in a great mood as it is one of the first pieces I’ve heard off the new album. I love the direction they’re taking this. This 8 minute 12 second track entitled “Touch Me I’m Going To Scream Pt. 2” is a pretty good indicator of things to come, in my opinion. Tell me what you think…

MP3: My Morning Jacket – “Touch Me I’m Going To Scream Pt. 2” from Evil Urges

Home | MySpace | Hype Machine | ATO Records

Evil Urges drops on June 10th. Preorder: Amazon

And for those of you who just can’t get enough MMJ, here’s a bunch of live versions of new songs they did in Austin on March 13th.

MP3: My Morning Jacket – “Evil Urges (Live)”

MP3: My Morning Jacket – “Highly Suspicious (Live)”

MP3: My Morning Jacket – “I’m Amazed (Live)”

MP3: My Morning Jacket – “Thank You Too (Live)”

MP3: My Morning Jacket – “Sec Walkin (Live)”

MP3: My Morning Jacket – “Aluminum Park (Live)”

MP3: My Morning Jacket – “Smokin’ From Shooting (Live)”

MP3: My Morning Jacket – “Touch Me I’m Going To Scream Pt. 2 (Live)”

Download the Full Show here (high quality): Sendspace [Courtesy of Deaf Indie Elephants]

Oh, you want more? As you might know by now, Jim James is also a talented solo performer. Just two day’s after that MMJ show in Austin, Jim James played at St. David’s Church nearby with none other than M. Ward–even playing about 6 songs together. It’s a fantastic show where the listener gets to see yet another side of the multifaceted artist.

Check out these live solo tracks from Evil Urges or jump over to to get the full show experience.

MP3: Jim James – “Sec Walkin’ (Live)”

MP3: Jim James – “Librarian (Live)”

MP3: Jim James – “Smokin From Shootin (Live)

MP3: Jim James – “Thank You Too (Live)”

The show is intimate and very honest. It’s a great listen, especially the duet on

MP3: M. Ward feat. Jim James – “Chinese Translation”

I love My Morning Jacket. I’ll be checking out their always-legendary Bonnaroo set this year, but the boys will be playing a few other shows if you can’t make that one:

03-10 Houston, TX – Verizon Wireless Theatre w/ Yo La Tengo

03-13 Austin, TX – Austin Music Hall (SXSW) w/ Yo La Tengo

03-15 Austin, TX – St. David’s Church (Jim James solo) (SXSW)

04-27 Indio, CA – Coachella

06-12-15 Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo

06-20 New York, NY – Radio City Music Hall (“An Evening With My Morning Jacket”)

Song of the day: Etienne de Rocher – Meditation # C.O.B.

I really enjoy this song. It’s been in my music library for a long time, but I haven’t listened to it consistently until now. I love the beat, Rocher’s voice, and the lyrics. Especially the lyrics–in the first verse, he starts each transition with the word he used to finish the last. Take a listen.

Etienne de Rocher – Meditation # C.O.B.

start with the C / C is for care / care that I take
then it’s the O / original / original flow
then it’s the B / B is for beats / beats on my streets
let the songs fall like rain / fall into my brain / and grow sipsey canes
grab a pad and a pen / say goodbye to your friends / and become something new
like all things do…

so hold on to your hope / grab on to the walls / and trust in your crew
don’t question the O / just move to the B / do what you do
start with the C / the C is for care / to see it all through
say goodbye to your friends / let it come to an end / and become something new
like all things do…

His Myspace page sums up his bio:

“Raised in Tuscaloosa Alabama by French professors. Came out to Berkeley to study Physics, dropped out to play African drums and record songs on my 4 track. Started a garage band called C.O.B., then went solo and somehow started playing with some of the Bay Area’s most lauded musicians. Hooked up with producer Dan Prothero and worked long and hard on my debut album.”

For a more complete bio, check out his site. To learn even more about him, check out his label, Fog City Records. Buy the song and album on Amie Street.


Broadcast 2000 – Building Blocks EP

If you’ve streamed our Indie Muse radio show in the past you may have heard me play “Get Up and Go” by Broadcast 2000. It’s an outstanding song, and the EP it’s featured on, Building Blocks, leaves me anticipating a strong debut album. Broadcast 2000 comes out of London, and is the solo project of 26-year-old Joe Steer. His diverse musical talents make him a refreshing artist to listen to, combining cello, double bass, guitar, ukulele, glockenspiel,banjo, percussion and his own layered vocals. It’s hard to classify Steer’s music, but I would call it a mix between Sufjan Stevens, Coldplay, and Beirut. The vocals in “Run” could lead you to believe Chris Martin stopped by for a session.

The Building Blocks EP was recorded, mixed and mastered in Steer’s north London flat. From my understanding, it has a June release in the US, and is available digitally in the UK iTunes Store. Broadcast 2000 just recently signed with Groenland Records; I’ll keep you updated on any announcements regarding the debut release.

Building Blocks EP:

Broadcast 2000 – Get Up and Go

Broadcast 2000 – Run

Site | Myspace