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Me, My Morning Jacket and my big mouth.... but can anyone actually hear me?

On not Cracking Irish MP3 players

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by Shane O'Reilly, Editor, Dublin for outsideleft.com
originally published: January, 2006
When I point out a band that everyone is missing, I will be heckled and more than likely, become the cornerstone joke of every Jack Johnson or James Blunt fanatic
by Shane O'Reilly, Editor, Dublin for outsideleft.com
originally published: January, 2006
When I point out a band that everyone is missing, I will be heckled and more than likely, become the cornerstone joke of every Jack Johnson or James Blunt fanatic

No one listens to me. I'm sure of it. Almost. The ones I think listen to me just pretend. That I know. I can cry and kick and sour my face and all to no avail. When I point out a band that everyone is missing, I will be heckled and more than likely, become the cornerstone joke of every Jack Johnson or James Blunt fanatic.

I say 'fanatic' because with such bland feckless thrash as that of Blunt and co, to like them one has to be that bit more than a simple 'fan' and a bit less intelligent. I am not a fanatic. Their music is, for me anyway, beyond rationality and commercial money-swindling sense. You see, I have a very good taste in music and so was quite shocked to stumble across a band America bore and one that no one here appreciates - My Morning Jacket. And I yelled and screamed oh I did I did... You see I heard their fourth (yes, fourth... album, released last year, titled simply 'Z' and due to some miracle it is, funnily enough, better than the ready salted treats that are 50cent and Kelly Clarkson currently congesting the Irish singles chart.

I am not sure how Americans find the hidden good stuff of the music industry but it is probably much the same as the rest of us back here - one has to root and dig amidst the dirge of what is slammed into your eyes and ears. By now of course, MTV is a rank fossil, tired, lonely and smelling of Jessica Simpson's failed marriage. Radio is a national abhorrence. The internet rules the roost. I found a review of this five-piece Kentucky wonderband and immediately delved into the albums' ten tracks. Led by Jim James (vocals/ guitars), and influenced heavily by pure Americana (Dylan, Young, Mercury Rev, The Band), the album whips by from the amazing opener 'Wordless Chorus' (a title used to ridiculous proficiency. Wait till the last minute of the track to hear howling better than anything Robbie Robertson could handle), through happy-go-lucky 'What a Wonderful Man', 'Anytime' and into the epic 'Dondante'. Overall it sparkles and shines, soaked in thick melodies and enough precision guitar work and hooks to last you a life time.

I think one of my friends acquired one of their tracks. He liked it. Six months later I looked through his MP3-Player. He still had just that one track. His other musical tastes onboard were horrific. I admit defeat to my Irish associates. No one listens, nothing changes and 50 and Blunt continue to shoot off into the sunset like a shotgun blast, picking up their dues along the way.

I wish the heating was on. It is freezing here.

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Shane O'Reilly
Editor, Dublin

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