Tuesday, October 4th, 2005

Wordless Chorus

I’ve been living with My Morning Jacket’s Z for some time now (it’s in stores today), though it hasn’t gotten as much rotation as some stuff simply because the security on the promo copy won’t allow it to be imported into iTunes, thus limiting the amount of spins it gets at work to approximately zero. I could use the player that the disc itself installs, but nuts to that. Anyway, that there? Digression. Back to business. I have still managed to spend a goodly amount of time with the new album and you know what? I still don’t know what I think.

It’s quite a departure from both the southern rock of It Still Moves and the reverb-drenched atmosphere of At Dawn – devotees of either record will probably find something to like and dislike about the new record. It’s certainly a bold move on the band’s part, thanks at least in part to some personnel turnaround and the addition of two new memebers since their last studio record as well as working with legendary British producer John Leckie. An eclectic record to be sure, it sounds like a stylistic dog’s breakfast but somehow very right at the same time. Individually most of the songs are good to excellent, but as a whole I can’t tell if there’s no flow or if it’s so deep that I just haven’t tapped into it yet. There’s little doubt this album is a grower – it just hasn’t hit full bloom with me yet, but I’m willing to bet that it will, sooner or later. Whether it’ll be soon enough to convince me to shell out the $30 to see them at the Guvernment on October 19? Magic 8 ball says: unclear.

Linkage – You can see an electronic press kit which includes an artfully-presented look at the making of the album. Reviews are starting to trickle in and they’re pretty positive so far. On the press side, Reuters has a short-ish piece on Z, PopMatters has a more expansive feature and Velocity Weekly gets them to play dress-up. They’ve also gone to the trouble of scanning a feature story in the new issue of Filter and they like R Kelly.

Ben Gibbard of Death Cab tells Exclaim! that “indie” ain’t nothing but a word.

Free Williamsburg talks to Mac McCaughan of Portastatic, who says Superchunk isn’t dead yet. Via Largehearted Boy.

All the Bob Dylan hoopla has resulted in a tenfold increase in sales, at least in the UK. It’s interesting to note that HMV in Canada made good on it’s promise to remove all Dylan stock from their stores in protest of him giving Starbucks exclusivity rights to his Live At The Gaslight album. Funny they’d make such a stink over a record that you can now find in every used CD shop in the city for $10.

NME has soundbites on what to expect from a couple of 2006’s most-anticipated albums, new releases from The Flaming Lips and The Arcade Fire.

Apologies to anyone who was hoping to find a review of the Posies show at Lee’s last night. I had some other stuff to take care of and really, I just wasn’t feeling up to it. And if you’re thinking I’m too old to handle two shows in two nights, talk to me after this weekend – three in four, yo. Yeah, two are early shows – what of it?

np – The Cardigans / Long Gone Before Daylight

By : Frank Yang at 9:22 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. God s 2nd Son says:

    My Morning Jacket has put out some really good albums

    and they are a super live band, but the musical depature

    on their new album just doesn’t work well for them at all.

    Don’t believe the hype, their last album was much better.

    RATING: C-

  2. Posies says:

    That’s just plain wrong. You go see the Posies no matter what …

  3. Coolfer says:

    Taken in and of itself, Z is a very good album. Since it’s a departure it’s going to get compared and contrasted, and some fans will probably think they overstepped their bounds. What bounds? I’m not sure, but bands that progress and/or change their sound from one album to the next will always turn off one group or another.

    After the first listen (it’s been on Rhapsody for a week) I wasn’t sure about it. After two or three I was sold on it. I got it. Just had to listen with patience and a more open mind. Z is a listener’s album. It might be odd and difficult for some to adjust to a listener’s album by a rock band that has an incredible live show. Understandable.

  4. solace says:

    it’s no At Dawn, but it bests the last record imo (which was fabulous too).

    give it some time, i didn’t totally love it for a few weeks either, but now it’s one of my fave records this year.

    only track on it i don’t totally love is In The Woods.

  5. solace says:

    totally agree Coolfer, it grows on me every time i listen to it, which is always a good sign.

  6. david says:

    I agree, Glenn, Z should be judged on its own (fine) merits.

    No Posies? I saw them a couple of weeks ago and it was a great show, one of the best I’ve seen recently.

  7. carl newman says:

    you’d be crazy not to see them live. amazing energy.

  8. Eugene says:

    The "Free Williamsburg" link isn’t working. or is it just me?

  9. Frank says:

    sorry, bad code on the Free Williamsburg link. Fixed now.

    I’ve seen MMJ live before, it was an insane rock experience. I would like to go to this show, but some factors – mainly the high ticket price – could dissuade me. We shall see.

  10. John says:

    This is actually my favorite record by them. Completely different from At Dawn, mind you. I’m really happy that they decided to branch out and try a new sound. Really worked out for them. I’m always in favor of that.

    Here’s a question, why is this record being priced so cheaply? Insound had it for 8.99. Best buy has it for 7.99. That’s crazy cheap.

  11. solace says:

    it’s so cheap because it’s on ATO, a subsidary of BMG, headed up by Dave Matthews

  12. Arthur2sheds says:

    For me, Z was a slow grower. I missed the more straight-ahead approach of It Still Moves.

    Then I saw them at the Guvernment on Wednesday and it immediately jumped to the top of my Best of list for 2005.

    What a great show!!!