(Editor's note: I've been out of the loop for a good while. A primary reason is the recent (successful) defense of my dissertation proposal. That shit is a huge time sink. A secondary reason (although, in reality, it's of primary importance) is my continuing role as a parent. Both of these endeavors eat up free time (in largely delightful ways, by the way) and lead to a certain scatterbrainedness. This morning, I was cleaning. I put the green El Camino and red pickup truck someplace. I have no idea where. I will see them in another dimension, presumably. In related news, I recently ran my cell phone through the washing machine. Kids and doc school are like zombies. They eat away at your ever-loving brain. All of this to say that I had to purchase a new "cellular telephone." Mrs. Citizen talked me into the 21st century and I am know the proud user of a "smart phone." I took that picture with said phone and an "application." Expect a bunch of douchey/phony/aged photographs from me over the next several weeks. The novelty should wear off soon.)
The Lake County Emissar, Vince, and I visited the Dickish Emperor of the Mountain Time Zone, NB, in Denver two weeks ago. We saw My Morning Jacket at Red Rocks. It was amazing. They played a thirty minute version of "Dondante" that we agreed was (probably) the best single song any of us have ever seen live. (I hold "Cortez the Killer" performed by Pearl Jam, Neil Young and and erstwhile Peter Frampton on the Vote for Change tour in extra high regard, but that's kind of a different thing, right?) You can check the setlist and soak in a fraction of our awestruckedness. it was a fantastic show.
They played "The Bear," which I had not seen live before. I was so caught off guard that I couldn't pull the song title. I just stood and swayed under the stars and hummed along. With "Dondante" and the encore, it was a very clear highlight.
Jim James and company appear to have started a bit of a live hot streak right around the time we saw them. They've been pulling a few golden chestnuts at each show (and changing what those are a lot; they hit "Honest Man" the night before and "Xmas Curtain" two nights later) and, at least when we saw them, they have been shredding the standards. I've seen them play "Run Thru" four or five times, but the most recent iteration was clearly a cut above the previous. On top of that, they've had a bit of a confluence of tour busses with Neko Case and have been busting out duets left and right over the last couple of weeks. Last night's Cinncinatti setlist indicates "Stop Draggin" with Neko, which I can only assume is the Stevie Nicks song. (And the played "Cobra." Wow!) That was their first Neko detour from the impeccable "Islands in the Stream," which you can hear below. (Mrs. Citizen loves the Kenny Rogers version, which means that she likes this one. I'm lukewarm, mostly because it only makes me think of that ODB song that ripped the riff. There's also a deeply cynical bit of me that thinks it's the teeniest bit lame that they pick the world's worst karaoke duet to dig into. On the flip, that might actually be what makes it cool.)
All this to say, even more sternly than usual, go see My Morning Jacket. They are really good at their jobs. We get the feeling that they're a little bit like 1999 Pedro right now, which means you're going to kick yourself if you miss them.