Tag Archives: My Morning Jacket

Marc’s Muse Top 15 Albums For 2015

Ahhh, 2015… A year of things to remember… and things to forget.

Then again, isn’t that every year?

I’m still playing catch up and rounding out my Top 10 list of films.

But music, sweet music… There is so much great music being put out into the world. Sometimes, it is overwhelming and I am actually still behind for 2015, so apologies to the new ones from Atlas Genius, Grace Potter, Toro y Moi and Frank Turner!!!

With that said I am hereby creating my Top 15… Cannot limit it to 10… and it is 2015, so 15 just makes much more sense!!!

And even with that I am including a long list of honorable mentions… so there!

Have a most musical, happy, healthy and wonderful New Year.

May 2016 bring us all much joy, bliss, creativity, success, happiness and love!!!  And yes… MUSIC!!!!!

Fingers crossed that I will be taking my daughter to her first Bruuuce show in 2016!

 

MARC’S MUSE TOP 15 ALBUMS OF 2015 (YEAH, 15! SUE ME!)

  1. Laura Marling – Short Movie

 

  1. Alabama Shakes – Sound and Color

 

  1. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

 

  1. Calexico – Edge Of The Sun

 

  1. Brandi Carlile – The Firewatcher’s Daughter

 

  1. Great Lake Swimmers – A Forest Of Arms 


  1. Israel Nash – Silver Season

 

  1. Darlingside – Birds Say

 

  1. Father John Misty – I Love You Honeybear

 

  1. Hamilton Original Broadway Cast Recording

 

  1. Adele – 25

 

  1. Leon Bridges – Coming Home

 

  1. Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free

 

  1. The Decemberists – What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World

 

And… Drum Roll Please…

MY # 1 ALBUM OF 2015

 

MY MORNING JACKET – THE WATERFALL

 

Honorable Mention and Right Up There:
Avid Dancer (1st Bath)

Dawes (All Your Favorite Bands)

Death Cab For Cutie (Kintsugi)

Florence + The Machine (How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful)

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (Chasing Yesterday)

Lianne La Havas (Blood)

Mercury Rev (The Light In You) 

Promised Land Sound (For Use And Delight)

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats (Self-Titled LP)

Sufjan Stevens (Carrie& Lowell)

 

 

Best Band Discovery of 2015
The Damnwells

 

Listen… love… laugh… or be moved…

Music is what we make of it… what we need… what gets us all through.

A life with music is a life worth living.

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The Amazing Front Side Of Water – My Morning Jacket Plays The Waterfall Live At Mack Sennett Studios

So the joke on the Jungle Cruise is the famous “back side of water…” It’s always been one of my favorite things to hear… Silly… light… but there is also something about it… something philosophical.

I have been pondering a lot lately, delving into figuring out what life is really all about. Trying to look at water and perhaps the Waterfall from all sides.

We are where we are supposed to be at any given time… I truly believe that. Okay, maybe it is something I am more recently making peace with and understanding, but still… it is a powerful concept and usually right. Yes, sometimes in retrospect, but usually right.

Remind me to tell you the amazing story of the time I met Henry Rollins and wound up speaking to him privately, while surrounded by a crowd, for 20 minutes or so. I was invited to a poetry reading and my friend Linda who invited me wound up not showing up.  She kept saying “You need to be there… You need to be there…” and then no shows. What the heck? I was not happy… but it wound up being one of the more profound and life changing experiences I have ever had. She was right…  I NEEDED to be there, and her wisdom orchestrated the whole thing and it played out just as it was supposed to. And Henry told me some things I absolutely needed to hear at that exact moment. I need to go back to those lessons. Lose the anger… find the happiness.

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I NEEDED to be at the My Morning Jacket show last night… and so I was. A very special thanks and shout out to Elliott and Olivia. I owe you both!

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I had not heard anything back, but figured I should put myself in the area of the show, just in case. So off on the 101 I went, into the depths of Hollywood and a part of town I have never explored. Mack Sennett Studios… 1916… historic… A Hollywood legend. Chaplin filmed there. Remarkable.

I hesitantly walked up to the line, where folks wearing KCRW lanyards all complimented my KCRW t-shirt… Chosen to show my support for the station and for the fact that it had a deer on a motorcycle, something very fitting for MMJ. That shirt got many compliments.
Sheepishly I said “I am not sure if I am on the list, but…”
“What’s your name?”
“Marc Goldsmith.”
“Yes, you are… plus one… Is your plus one here?”

Outside… “No, not yet, I am figuring that out.”
Inside… “Holy shit! Yes!!!!! This is going to be insane. Who is joining me??? Now!!!”

I wandered in… was a treated to an open bar and some spicy Cracker Jack type popcorn… Ah, the dinner of Champions… or a VIP suite at a baseball game…

That was on one sound stage… Then we were ushered into the main room. Full stage, but a very intimate space. Wow. This is gonna be something. I made my way dead center, about three rows back.

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At 7 pm on the dot, Jason Bentley from the KCRW show Morning Becomes Eclectic introduced the band and we were on… or off… or whatever this amazing night holds in store… The entire album The Waterfall played live. Magnificent.If you read my review you know how hard this album is hitting me. It is a deep reflection of the spiritual path I am on right now… a yearning for something more and a wail and a cry to Believe… This band rocks. The talent and passion are off the charts and we all know they are one of the best live bands out there… but there is so much depth to their songwriting and musical exploration. Their albums are about things… important things… like life and trying to understand it… humanity and relationships… love and loss and joy…

Clearly I was open to the message, but an e-mail I read just before the show started, had my heart and brain and soul flickering all over the place. Lesson one… put your darn phone down and do NOT read emails or texts… unless for plan coordinating… when you are at a concert. Of course, a few emails later was the message that I was in the show… plus one. Timing is a funny thing. Profound, actually…

The opening song of the album, and the show, “Believe (Nobody Knows)” set the path… the journey… the energy and the night… “Believe, believe, believe, believe… Nobody knows… for sure.”

Fourth song, “In Its Infancy (The Waterfall)”
“Again I stop the waterfall by simply thinking.
Again I stop the waterfall before my breathing.
Again I stop the waterfall by finally feeling.
Again I stop the waterfall by just believing.”

Breathe… believe. You are here and need to be here.

Then the fifth song, “Get The Point”… another highlight for me… but WHAM! The lyrics tonight hit me like a truck loaded with bricks… tons and tons of bricks… Maybe two trucks… or six…
“And then I realized all the time I was wasting
Trying to mend a broken situation.
Day dreaming of leaving, I only had to do it.”

“I hope you get the point
The thrill is gone.
I hope you get the point
I think our love is done.”

Bam! Got it. Powerful. How are you in my brain and living my life? THIS is the power of music… that connection and understanding… the humanity and common thoughts and ground.

This show is loud and raw and powerful… and utterly amazing. My ears are still ringing as I write this.

Jim Guitar Solo Jim Chatting

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Nice encore of some of my favorites!

And more reasons I needed to be there… Well, these are two good reasons… and I got to tell them how much this album means to me and my journey…

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I met some new friends… Marc (or k), Amy and Jenn… And I also had the pleasure of having some truly deep and meaningful conversations outside the room with Matt and Mike. Thank you both for your open ears and letting me ramble on a bit. I hope I was not too dark and deep. You both were very cool, and that is not the normal
Hollywood” type conversation, but something I needed. Thank you.

Go and enjoy this album, my friends. And remember, we are where we are supposed to be… Just take a breath, hold onto your faith and believe.

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Soaking Up And In My Morning Jacket’s Brilliant New Album, The Waterfall

I am a classic rocker at heart, a child of the ’80s… and yet as I get older, I find my musical tastes have expanded and exploded. Bruce and the E Street Band, The Beatles, The Stones, The Who and U2 are almost always on my iPods and iPhones and other iProducts to be named at a later date.

But there are some “contemporary” bands who I also follow with the same vim and vigor… Wilco, The Autumn Defense, Band Of Horses, The Decemberists (whose Saturday show at the Greek was joyous and will be reviewed soon), and of course, my favorite, My Morning Jacket.  Special thanks to Cameron Crowe for the introduction and my brother Dan for the continual push.

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My Morning Jacket – The Waterfall
Am I pre-disposed to like this record? I suppose, but I am not giving anyone a pass. It’s gotta grab me. This record did, from the amazing first single released, “Big Decisions,” to the opening track “Believe (Nobody Knows).” It was also a revelation for me, making me acutely aware of how I actually listen to music.

When we were kids we would lock ourselves away in our rooms and play vinyl over and over and over, getting up only to flip sides… or perhaps dance… Shhh.

So it was with this record, and here is what I realized… For me, the first go ’round is all about the music, the sounds, the tone, the feel. Ironic in that I am a writer and words are my soul, my meaning, my existence.

I let the songs wash over me, flow over me… almost from a distance… And then I start delving in… digging in. The lyrics start popping on the second or third listen… and when they do… Wow… This is also a record I need right now, and that has grasped many things I am grappling to understand in life.

If there are any folks who read my other two blogs, you’ll know that I am on a spiritual journey. Coming back from my first trip to Israel this past November has put me on a new and exciting path. I am open to so many things, and so, as I really took in the words to the opener “Believe (Nobody Knows),” I was floored… It was as if that song was written for me… and THAT is the sign of  a brilliant song… that each of us, as a whole and individuals can identify so strongly and specifically with a piece of music.

“Believe. Believe, Believe. Believe.
Nobody knows… for sure.”

“Roll the dice and sail the ship
And all the world will open… all the time.”

It’s a strange thing when you copy yourself, but if you are a regular reader of this blog, you know how much I love the phrase “musical baptism”… especially coming from a nice Jewish boy.  But when a record is called The Waterfall, that phrase becomes a must use… and that is what this album is to me… an immersion into some amazing spiritual waters.

What is it about a waterfall that makes people so excited? I remember the Road to Hana and being in awe of the falls that were just off the side of the road… Well… in awe when I wasn’t nauseous from all the winding curves.

Waterfalls are magnificent… nature’s shower, bathtub, pool and watering hole all in one place…

Waterfalls are hypnotic… One can sit and stare at them all day… Pondering how much they stay the same and yet, how much they change.

Waterfalls soothe us. There is just something so calming and magical and mystical about them.

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How appropriate then that the title of the new album by My Morning Jacket is The Waterfall, for this is one glorious record that does all of that.

Their music is almost undefineable… which makes it so exciting. Rock, Alternative, Garage, and so many other influences flow through their records with ease and grace. This album could have been made in Laurel Canyon and has echos of that sound, too!

“Get The Point” has hints of Harry Nilsson and even John Denver and not just because of Harry’s classic album The Point .

“Only Memories Remain” sounds like a lush, smoky and slow ‘70s ballad…. Perhaps they are channeling Gino Vannelli. This is a great song to slow dance to.

“In Its Infancy (The Waterfall)”
More timely and powerful lyrics with:
“Again I stopped the waterfall
By simply thinking.
Again I stopped the waterfall
Before my breathing.
Again I stopped the waterfall
By finally feeling.
Again I stopped the waterfall
By just believing.”

Hitting so hard for me right now…

And of course “Big Decisions” takes me on a whole other path… pulling back the curtain and revealing something so raw and honest.

“Sittin’ round wondering just what the hell to do with your life.
Only get one chance but you seem to always think twice.
And I’m getting so tired of trying to always be nice.
You’re sweet and sincere, but so ruled by fear.

What do you want me to do?
Make all the big decisions for you?
Cause I can’t.
Well I can’t.”

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Just… wow! This song got me so excited about this record… but it was later that I really took the lyrics in… really let The Waterfall wash over me in all its power and beauty… and when I did, this song and the whole album moved up onto another level… like the stratosphere. This will not be out of heavy rotation for some time to come…

Now… if I can just get into the KCRW show on May 7, I will be so very happy. Beg, grovel and BELIEVE, BELIEVE, BELIEVE, BELIEVE!

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