Choice concerts: The best… right now

Kind of an easy choice, and now that I’m awake enough, here it is:

MMJ in New York (courtesy Eric Moore/
MMJ in New York (courtesy Eric Moore/

My Morning Jacket, Aug. 29, Fillmore Miami Beach.

I flipped for My Morning Jacket in 2005, when they put out Z. It was right when I had just purchased my XM receiver, and I think it was XMU that was playing “Gideon”. My jaw just dropped.

It never quite recovered. I went to see them in Charleston, S.C., and they were even more brilliant live. Their older songs, which really never caught me in their recorded form, had a lot of resonance in a live setting.

This is the big ticket for this time of year. MMJ is regarded by a lot of folks, including myself, as the best live band going right now. The band is an incredibly tight unit, and frontman Jim James has one of the best voices around.

Currently, MMJ is touring in support of Evil Urges, their first studio album since Z — though they did release the excellent live album Okonokos. A friend recently told me that he was really put off by the new LP’s first two tracks — hey, not everything is for everyone, and even Rolling Stone said Evil Urges has its WTF moments, but I happen to like it. It’s a real stretch for the band, while putting out a more live vibe. Besides, songs like “I’m Amazed”. “Librarian” and “Sec Walkin” are among their very best.

Watch “I’m Amazed” from this year’s Coachella Fest (great sound, you just have to see between everyone else’s heads — just like a real show!!):

Also appearing: A night of rollin’ with ja at Mizner on Saturday: Half Pint, Pepper, Slightly Stoopid and the always remarkable Sly & Robbie. … Thank God It’s Honey includes Ex Norwegians and Noble Rocket at The Lounge in West Palm. … Kill Miss Pretty’s CD release party with The Holy Terrors and Captain Dan & The Scurvy Crew on Saturday at Respectable Street.