my morning jacket and the hidden perils of singalong lyrics

Evil urges you to embrace the smooth rock stylings of My Morning Jacket!

So:

Attended the My Morning Jacket show at El Zorro Fabuloso in Atlanta last night. After said show, Evil’s friends (one of whom, by the way, eats ass) commented on the weirdness of one moment in particular. No, it wasn’t when the guy in the yellow bear costume ambled back and forth across the stage. Or any of the songs during which Jim James threw on a Dracula cape and, well, capered about whilst singing. Or when he called Atlanta “Hotlanta, City of the Future!”

No—the weirdness occurred during the opening song of the encore, “Wordless Chorus,” which features the couplet “We are the innovators/they are the imitators.” Five thousand under-25s suddenly stopped shouting in each other’s ears, which they had been doing nonstop through the entire show when they weren’t shouting into their cell phones. They threw back their heads, raised their arms as one, and this antlike collective of chatterboxes screamed “THEY are the imitators!”

(Hey kids! If you’re reading this and you’re under 25, can you comment below and explain to the Evil why you and your peers pay $45 to see a show, then talk through the entire concert? Seems like a pricy forum for discussing that girl you met in Chem class. And why would you even answer your cell phone? Defend your generation!)

Weird. Evil didn’t register it at the time, but later, after his friends noted this odd occurrence, he wondered how it felt for the band. Gazing out at a sea of identically-dressed kids—the guys in matching pastel polo shirts, cargo shorts and flip-flops, the girls in the same billowy minidress—did they feel the rush of hearing thousands of people singing along to their song? Or were MMJ momentarily deflated to know that the meaning of the words their fans had memorized, and now bellowed back at them, had been totally obscured by the totally raditude of singing along? Was it distressing to know that they could have replaced “imitators” with “hot potaters” and it wouldn’t have made one lick of difference?

We may never know. But in retrospect, the moment makes the Evil shudder and scan his memory for lines he might have screamed aloud at a concert, utterly failing to grasp the context of the words as they left his tongue. Totally oblivious to the fact that the lyrics to his favorite song were in fact mocking him. “Here we are now, entertain us,” indeed.

Of course, this type of biting irony is a key component of any decent band’s alliance with Satan. It’s what made them great in the first place! So—if they’ve ever even considered it—My Morning Jacket can only shrug and raise a toast to their unholy master.

Enjoy the weekend. If possible, sell your soul for rock n’ roll.

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8 thoughts on “my morning jacket and the hidden perils of singalong lyrics”

  1. Well, Evil, you really must introduce me to your friends, or at least “one” of them!

    But, ineffectual pick-up lines aside, and though I do know precisely the dynamic of which you speak (having had virtually the same experience at a PiL show back in ’88 — of course, minus the annoyance of cellphones) I do feel the need to play Devil’s Advocate here (oh, savor the irony!).

    For sure, there have been many cases where even I, in my relative ignorance and innocence of youth, missed the whole point of everything while singing along. But, it does seem to me there were likely several young but honest-to-god innovators in that crowd, dressed like all the others and blindly singing along. It’s a part of growing up — reject traditional mores for those of your peer group, hopefully as a stepping stone before losing even that crutch and letting your true, unique voice and words rise up to arouse others. I kind of look at it this way — artists spread their subversive messages like seed, and I do think Jesus had it right that most of the time, those seeds fall on barren ground. Every once in a while, if you’re lucky, they take root and grow in a true innovator in their own right, but this always takes time, to say nothing of the right conditions.

    Hell, I’m only just now “getting” Quadrophenia, and the insight I just shared in part grew from that seed, planted over thirty years ago

  2. whoa. jesus said that? maybe all he really ever wanted was an heir, but all the ladies he tried reproducing with proved barren . . . or at least, that’s what he told them. cause it couldn’t have been him, right? sonagod don’t shoot no blanks!

    same thing happened to henry VIII.

    oh, and . . .

    WATCH OUT FOR THE ROCK!

  3. Jesus was quite the sower. Almost everybody knows about Mary Magdalene, thanks to Dan Brown’s timely celebrity tell-all (it’s like Weekly World News without Bat Boy, and, well, “news”), and rumors have been flying hot and heavy about John, “the apostle Jesus loved” and whom the very Word of God itself attests laid his head upon the Lord’s lap at the Last Supper (now that’s what I call a Seder!) for at least the last millennium and a half. But, I have it direct from the alleged-scapegoat’s mouth that Jesus was also getting it on with “the black apostle” (children of the Seventies who like myself learned everything important about religion from Andrew Lloyd Webber know who I mean). But, alas, the Broadway drama queens got it all wrong! Turns out he was Jewish, and had a penchant for the mini-robe. All the same, you can see it right there for yourself, plain as day.

    Yeah, yeah, I can hear you now, “Next thing you’ll be telling us, Betsy Ross and Harriet Tubman retired to a condo in Northampton, MA.” But if you can’t trust an eight year old demoness in a zoot-suit, who can you trust?

    Anyway, point is, two out of three of the dark holes Jesus was likely planting seed in didn’t have a chance in hell, and as for Magdalene, didn’t that line allegedly bring us W? And have something to do with giants and fish-gods from outer space?

    I might be remembering that wrong…

  4. I was at the show and, I don’t know if it was the acoustics of where my seat was or what, but I couldn’t understand a god damn thing said or sung all night. I did happen to understand the term “HOTLANTA” however, and took a moment to roll my eyes all the way into the back of head (something about my hometown being referred to as “HOTLANTA” or “the A-T-L” that makes me wish my first language was…well, a different one). But seriously, I think that’s the only word I understood all night. ” Wah, wah, wah, broog, duh, wah, wah, HOTLANTA [crowd cheers] muh fah loog doo.”

    Also worth noting: this is the first concert I’ve been to since high school that I didn’t get boozed up. If I’d have waited in those lines, I would have missed three quarters of the show.

    Also, the guy next to me was text messaging for literally half the show, and while that shouldn’t matter to me, it was mildly distracting to have that glow in my peripheral.

  5. yes . . . evil knows and dreads the Glow. small flying robots with lasers should be dispatched to shoot the screens of any text-messager in a movie or concert venue.

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