I've spent the first part of my day listening to a highly guarded stream of Evil Urges, the new My Morning Jacket record, and I think it's a safe bet this is going to be their fan base-dividing record. Frontman Jim James has recently stated that he's hoping for a Radiohead-style trajectory for MMJ, and while it's no Kid A, it's a strange one. Prince seems to be a prevalent influence (ain't no shame in that, to be sure), along with semi-psychedelic '60s pop. Their signature reverb saturation is still present, but it's noticeably reigned in.
I like it and the fact that they are so steadfastly committed to creative growth, but it's gonna take some further digestion and adjustment to the fact that it doesn't have the instant appeal that Z and It Still Moves did. Still, there are few big guitar American rock bands that can rival them, and by all accounts, their live shows just keep getting better and better. Their publicist announced tour dates today, and they are scheduled for McCaw Hall (in the Seattle Center) for September 28.
And speaking of big guitars, I can't for the life of me figure out how I missed this announcement, but Judas Priest are heading here this summer...July 22 at WaMu Theater, to be precise. Fears of older metal bands sucking live are highly justifiable, but in the case of Rob Halford and company, go ahead and bet the farm. His range is entirely intact and KK Downing and Glen Tipton have no trouble keeping up. The only drag? This isn't part of the quadruple bill of beauty that other cities are getting: Motorhead, Heaven and Hell (Dio-era Black Sabbath), Testament and Judas Priest. No fair!