Perhaps the single most contradictory aspect of indie rock is the fact that independent artists and listeners alike are so often concerned with what’s cool. My Morning Jacket, who played last night at the nTelos Wireless Pavilion, asks "who cares?," swaying with a towel on their heads and capes on their shoulders.
More musically skilled than Arcade Fire, and less self-conscious than the Decemberists, My Morning Jacket’s songs rely on two things: Jim James’ throaty, whiskey-soaked voice (which did not disappoint in "You Wanna Freak Out," and "Outta My System," which were speculated to under-utilize his voice) and the band’s bull-in-a-china shop drum sound, courtesy of Patrick Callahan. The two provide a sense of continuity through disorienting tours of reggae, psychedelia, hard rock, country and more, through the six albums that have transformed the Louisville band from earthy folk revivalists to eclectic studio tinkerers.
Neither the band nor audience forgot the past, with "Run Thru" launching into total improvisation—which the bro beside me dubbed "The Charlottesville Jam"—and "Mahgeetah," both from It Still Moves.
Despite having coursed through a few members, My Morning Jacket feels comfortingly like an actual band and jot just a front man with instrumentalists in the shadows. That palpable sense of band unity—they spent a lot of time rocking out in each others’ faces—is just one of the many nods My Morning Jacket unconscionably makes to that pure, forgotten form of old school rock ‘n’ roll.
After all, My Morning Jacket has never been much concerned with what people might think of them. James is secure, comfortable crooning at the audience genuinely during "Slow Slow Tune," affect-free. When he’s ironic, it’s not directed at his audience and it doesn’t feel critical—it more like an elephant-in-the-room self-awareness that he’s channeling both Led Zeppelin and Willie Nelson. We all got this watching his arsenal of machine gun leg kicks, especially during "Holdin’ On to Black Metal."
It’s even more pleasant to watch someone extending that lack of concern for judgment to their own audience: everyone who likes MMJ (fratboys and soccer moms included) is in their club and that doesn’t make them uncool. And everyone was cool when the green robotic-like eye from the album cover of their latest release, Circuital, shone over the crowd while "Victory Dance" washed over and either you were full-out dancing or just bobbing; it was more of a rock band family event than a club that half the audience wasn’t supposed to be pretending they belonged to.
Hallelujah for us: Love to sing along but don’t care for an audience? It’s your time to shine as a party of one when the UVA Department of Music moves its Messiah Sing-In online. The annual tradition began at the university in 1968 and was among the first sing-ins in the nation. The inspiring
Punk drunk love: In the documentary Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan, The Pogues frontman claims he was preordained for punk success. Born on Christmas Day, “God looked down on this little cottage in Ireland and said, ‘That little boy there, he’s the little boy I’m going to use
Justice fir all: It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Keep that in mind as you hold on to tradition from afar and watch Charlottesville’s Grand Illumination Holiday Concert remotely this December. Performers from around the region, including the Charlottesville High School choirs, Odyssey
In an effort to support local dining establishments during the pandemic, our writers have been enjoying a variety of takeout meals from some of their favorite restaurants. Contribute to this ongoing series by sending your own delicious experiences to email@example.com. C&O From rounds of
A few months ago, James Yates awoke from a nightmare. He was hosting “Let There Be Light”—the same luminesce-focused art exhibit he has helmed for the past 13 years at Piedmont Virginia Community College—but there was a problem. “Nobody was wearing masks, and everybody was crowding together,”
For Shelby Marie Edwards, serving her community comes naturally. Edwards grew up watching her mother, Holly Edwards, advocate for low-income residents as a parish nurse for the Jefferson Area Board for Aging and as program coordinator for the Public Housing Association of Residents. Now the
“When the pandemic set in, it rendered our model impossible,” says Jayson Whitehead, executive director of PACEM, a local nonprofit that partners with area houses of worship to offer overnight shelter and meals for the homeless during the winter. Close contact in church buildings became unsafe.
It’s 11am on Thursday, November 19. The U.S. has reached an all-time high for COVID-19 infections in a single day. Colleges have reported record-high numbers as well, contributing to around 2 percent of national infections, according to the New York Times. And UVA President Jim Ryan has
By Julia Stumbaugh Hope springs eternal in the hearts of Wahoo faithful. First, there’s the hope that the season will be carried out safely, with basketball not endangering the health of players, fans, and the rest of the community. Then, of course, is the hope that the teams will soar. The
Turkey time Community is hard to come by these days, especially as we’re all hunkering down for a long winter indoors. But at the Jefferson School on Saturday, the community put on an impressive show. During the annual We Code, Too turkey drive, 200 birds were handed out to those in need ahead
Around 7pm on November 10, a city resident was surprised to see a cluster of 20 to 30 sign-carrying protesters and a film crew gathered near the Legal Aid Justice Center. While stopped at the traffic light near the LAJC, the resident says an unmasked, college-aged woman approached his car
After nearly six months of remote learning, Charlottesville City Schools is moving forward with its plans to begin in-person classes at the start of the new year. During its virtual meeting last Thursday, the Charlottesville School Board unanimously voted to allow the district’s COVID-19
Miracle on Main Street: During a time when everyone’s faith is being tested, some might wonder if the holiday spirit will prevail. In the holiday classic Miracle on 34th Street, Kris Kringle is put on trial after playing a convincing Santa Claus. His authenticity and mental health are
Making it bright: As the seasonal celebrations begin, the wine and painting classes take a backseat to making wreaths. Pippin Hill gardeners Diane Burns and Celina DeBrito lead Wreath Making Workshops, and lend expert tips on how to craft a personal tribute to the cycle of nature by sourcing
It’s dark. It’s damp. It’s cold. And it’s so cool. The newly opened Claudius Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel trail lets you walk under the Blue Ridge—under Rockfish Gap, under I-64, under the Appalachian Trail and Skyline Drive. More than 700 feet above, drivers sweep through forested hillsides while
Years before the 2020 pandemic, artist Michelle Gagliano developed a fascination with Dante’s Inferno and set out to interpret each of the poem’s 34 cantos through one painting per week. She completed the project, and exhibited it in 2017. But as the virus and social and political unrest
Like many kids of his generation, Davon Okoro spent a lot of time in front of the TV. But while his peers were watching cartoons, Okoro was finding himself in the groundbreaking styles and fashions of MTV. “I grew up in Nigeria and we didn’t have much money,” he explains. “My mom would go to
Rachel De Jong has traveled the world and rubbed elbows with its best chefs. She earned her diplôme de pâtisserie from Le Cordon Bleu École de Cuisine in Paris. She learned hospitality from The Inn at Little Washington’s Patrick O’Connell. And she traded dessert ideas with Ludo Lefebvre at
Shaun Jenkins, owner of Soul Food Joint, grew up in a pie-loving household. The weekend before Thanksgiving, his mom would make about 40 pies, and folks would stop by to pick one up after church—free of charge. Jenkins carries on that tradition by baking a bushel of his own favorite sweet
Restaurant dining has changed dramatically due to coronavirus, but we still want our favorites— and a night off from the kitchen. We asked our writers and staffers to give us their best takes. Keep watching for more, and send in your own to firstname.lastname@example.org. Oh, and save the griping for Yelp.