PHOTOS BY FRANKIE STEELE
About halfway through the euphoric rendering of Evil Urges at ear X-tacy last Tuesday, My Morning Jacket singer and guitarist Jim James paused to share an autobiographical moment.
“I’ve been buying records at ear X-tacy since I was a tadpole,” he said before a rapt audience of 500 hometown fans. The day before, paying members of 91.9 WFPK-FM were treated to a performance in the station’s Fourth Street studio.
He lamented the growing transformation of vibrant, eclectic communities into “Anytown, U.S.A.s,” a transformation the band has seen occur firsthand throughout its decade-long career. In the same breath, he praised ear X-tacy as a beacon of distinction and, yes, weirdness.
The moment was so smooth and perfect, a friend erroneously thought owner John Timmons wrote it himself.
If anyone knows the importance of cultivating and maintaining distinction, it’s Timmons. “You’re not going to see that at a Best Buy, and you’re not going to get that kind of experience listening to your iPod,” he said of the band’s first — and probably only — local in-store show.
MMJ recorded the nearly two-hour-long set, and might even release it. If they do, Timmons said he’s already worked out a deal to sell it at stores like his.
“I know it’s not an ideal situation to have everyone packed like sardines, but you’re not going to see that again,” he said. “The band wanted to do it for the store, but also for the fans.”
And if James’ homage happens to make it on the record, Timmons said, “We’d call that ‘Track 6.’”