Republic Nashville April will shower country fans in the form of new music…
- Posted on Oct 13th 2010 10:00AM by Kenneth Partridge
Tim Mosenfelder, Getty Images
"We moved his desk out of the way," an amazed James said from the center of the 'Late Show' set, midway through filming a performance for the CBS 'Live on Letterman' webcast series. "That's pretty sweet to move his desk out of the way!"
Indeed, it is, but My Morning Jacket have even sweeter things to look forward to. James is an avid Jim Henson fan, and next week, he and his band will make like the Muppets and take Manhattan, playing five consecutive nights at Terminal 5, dedicating each show to one of its five studio albums. Tuesday night, the group stuck to its three most recent full-lengths, filling its nine-song set with tunes from 2003's 'It Still Moves,' 2005's 'Z' and 2008's 'Evil Urges.'
The song selection showed just how far My Morning Jacket has come in the last decade. Once seen as a modern-day Lynyrd Skynyrd -- a reputation it earned with such Kentucky-fried indie jams as 'Mahgeetah' and 'Golden,' both of which it played Tuesday -- the Louisville quintet is now capable of going straight-up synth-pop.
On 'Touch Me I'm Going to Scream Pt. 1,' from 'Evil Urges,' James put down his guitar and stalked the stage in a cloak, as if auditioning for the lead in 'Beauty and the Beast.' Keyboardist Bo Koster, meanwhile, filled the spaces between guitarist Carl Broemel's chords with glistening tones the Allmans never dreamed of.
Later, on 'Touch Me I'm Going to Scream Pt. 2,' the band floated even further into space, opening the tune with Gameboy-style blips and bleeps, played by James on a sampler. By the end of the song, the singer had fallen to his knees, bowing before his electronic instrument as if simultaneously awed, frightened and inspired.
Given its power to transform a bunch of scruffy southern rockers into dapper disco mavens, this was the right reaction.