In my 22 years of driving autombiles, I have totaled a total of two cars. On July 27, 2007, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, it was a 2005 Mazda 6. Black. Hit a tree. Was not entirely sober. My bad.
On November 1, 1997, just outside of Lexington, Kentucky, it was a 1996 Ford Probe GT. Black. Deer standing in middle of I-75. Me, entirely sober, swerved, missed deer, rolled Ford Probe GT.
Before that particular vehicular misadventure, I had generally been "anti-hunting," but not after. As far as I'm concerned, Bambi can go screw himself. Hell, I'd like to turn TED NUGENT loose on the entire state of Kentucky. And maybe Dick Cheney, to boot. Only Dick would probably miss Bambi and hit Ted. In the face. And, come to think of it, that would be okay, too.
Then again, maybe the point is that I just need to stop buying black cars.
Whatever the case, I'm sharing my driving record with you today in order to explain my general distaste for the state of Kentucky. (There's also the fact that it's a southern state, so that's an issue, too.)
But, more to the point.... It's become difficult in recent weeks to avoid mention of the band MY MORNING JACKET. Seems to me, the critics have been licking their hairy holes for years. I, on the other hand, have sought to avoid them at every turn. They're from Kentucky, you see. Louisville, Kentucky. Which is 75 miles from Lexington, Kentucky. They probably play "Southern" rock, I reckoned. They probably keep deer as pets.
But I was tired of hearing about these five guys without knowing what they sounded like, so, distasteful a prospect as it was, I committed myself to listening to their discs. I would start, backasswards, with their latest -- 2008's EVIL URGES. I would end with their oldest -- 1999's THE TENNESSEE FIRE.
The songs below are the fruits of my labors. EVIL URGES ultimately proved the most interesting to my distrustful, northern ears (regardless of PITCHFORK's bitchings). Yes, some of JIM JAMES' falsetto-fests are over-the-top and annoying, but I quite cotton to a lot of the "soft rock" stuff. Generally-speaking, I agree with the hairy-hole-licking critics that James' voice is a rich and distinctive instrument (though I don't hear ROY ORBISON in it so much as BAND OF HORSES' BEN BRIDWELL).
I'm not sure that this little exercise/quest of mine has done anything to lessen my dislike and distrust for the state of Kentucky. No doubt I'll continue to bristle at its "southern state" status. No doubt I'll continue to eat venison three times a day. But I now know a little bit more about the band My Morning Jacket. And they're not nearly as scary as I thought they would be.
MY MORNING JACKET on MySPACE.
From the LP EVIL URGES, 2008 >>>
[MP3] "Two Halves"
From the LP Z, 2005 >>>
[MP3] "What a Wonderful Man"
From the LP IT STILL MOVES, 2003 >>>
[MP3] "Just One Thing"
From the LP AT DAWN, 2001 >>>