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My Morning Jacket: “Heart Breakin Man” and “Off the Record”

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H/T: Walter W.

Before I heard them, the name My Morning Jacket suggested a proper and correct group of gentlemen who sipped tea and perhaps indulged in some nice folk music. I got that one wrong. That proves that it is important to actually listen to a band before judging it. Lesson learned…

My Morning Jacket, as evidenced by the last sentence of the first paragraph of its profile at last.fm, is difficult to categorize. The derivation of the genteel-sounding name also is included:

My Morning Jacket is a rock band which formed in 1998 in Louisville, Kentucky, United States. The band consists of Jim James (vocals, guitar), Carl Broemel (guitar), “Two Tone” Tommy Blankenship (bass), Bo Koster (keyboards) and Patrick Hallahan (drums). The band is best known for their reverb-soaked sound and their enthusiastic live shows. My Morning Jacket is signed with ATO Records. The band’s style is a blend of alternative, alt country, folk rock and psychedelic rock.

The band’s moniker comes from a discarded coat James saw while walking through the remains of his favorite bar the morning after it burned down. The coat had the letters “MMJ” embroided on it. The band has released six albums so far: “The Tennessee Fire” (1999), “At Dawn” (2001), “It Still Moves” (2003), “Z” (2005), “Evil Urges” (2008) and “Circuital” (2011). The band’s breakthrough came when their 2003 single “One Big Holiday” became one of the most played songs on college radio that year. 2008’s “I’m Amazed” was also a sizable hit, peaking at #6 on Billboard’s Triple A (adult album alternative) Singles chart. (Continue Reading…)

I admire the band’s hair as well. Here is My Morning Jacket’s website and a piece by Max Blau at Paste that presents his take on the band’s top 20 songs. Here is an interview at Pitchfork in with guitarist and front man Jim James in which at least half the words are not curses. Here is a nice cover of George Harrison’s “Behind That Locked Door” by James.

Above is “Heart Breakin Man” and below is “Off the Record.”


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Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.


What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.


The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.