My Morning Jacket – Okonokos Concert DVD Review

by That Guy on November 1, 2006

I don’t know why I continue to buy concert DVDs. I really don’t. I’ve got a decent stable, but rarely do I watch any of them. I own Drive-By Truckers, Josh Rouse, and Dispatch to name a few. It’s just not the same as being there. There are only two music DVDs that I like – The Last Waltz and I Am Trying to Break Your Heart. You may notice neither of these are true concert DVDs. That’s probably because I don’t like concert DVDs. But that didn’t stop me from buying My Morning Jacket’s new DVD, Okonokos. MMJ is probably my favorite band, so I eagerly rushed to Best Buy last night after work and picked up a copy.

Let’s just put it this way: My Morning Jacket’s front man, Jim James, is on drugs. Whatever he’s on is enough to kill a small Asian family. The premise of the DVD, which James came up with, seems to be this (try to follow with me): some weird guy shows up at a house party where a bunch of people are dressed like it’s 1891. There are tons of taxidermic animals on the walls of this home. Everyone thinks the weird guy is weird and won’t talk to him. Weird guy then spots some sort of llama across the room. He gets real excited (I mean real excited) to see the llama and takes it out for a walk. He stumbles upon a rock concert being put on in the woods by none other than My Morning Jacket. Weird guy makes several orgasmic faces throughout the 2 hour concert. After a stirring rendition of Mahgeetah, he leaves the concert with his llama and immediately gets mauled by a bear. The bear holds up his ripped off arm and leg as the word “OKONOKOS!” flashes on the screen. Aaaaaaaannnnnnnnnddddddd……SCENE!

I’m not making this up. Sounds terrible, doesn’t it? Here’s the thing – I halfway enjoyed it.

And another thing – I watched it Halloween night, and afterwards I was sort of scared to go to bed. The thought of a bear killing me in my sleep as penance for wathcing Okonokos actually crossed my mind. I’m as serious as herpes.

Okay…the story aside, here’s my quick summary of the concert footage. One Big Holiday, Golden, Xmas Curtain, and O Is the One That is Real were incredible. When Jim came out with his flying V guitar for One Big Holiday, I got a semi. Also unbelievable stage decorations – looked like a goddamn forest up there.

The rest of the DVD was average at best. Way too many drawn out solos. I don’t need an 11 minute version of Dodante followed by a 9 minute version of Run Thru. If you’re a Jam-Bander, you’ll love this DVD. I personally can only take so much squealing guitar. One of my favorite songs, At Dawn, made the live album but didn’t make the DVD. Too bad. The only acoustic number was Golden. Also too bad. Would have loved to see some special features on the DVD. Those too were absent.

That aside, the instrumentation was on POINT. The camera work was perfect. No cheesy graphics or stupid crowd shots (other than the weird guy looking like he’s about to cream his pants). Jim James’ voice was a little off in spots, but this was a raw rock concert. Pretty cool to see their energy captured on film.

If you’re a big fan of MMJ, I’d recommend Okonokos. Otherwise, I wouldn’t. If you’re new to them, you’re better off picking up At Dawn, The Tennesssee Fire, or Z.

Check out the trailer for Okonokos here.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

oz November 1, 2006 at 9:40 pm

Woody has recommended Lucero’s Dreaming in America and the movie about Shane MacGowan, If I should Fall From Grace. I haven’t seen either one yet. Those are both documentaries like Wilco’s, so should be better than the concert DVD’s that we watch one time. I’ve got a Stevie Ray Vaughan and Indigenous DVD; each have seen the dvd player one time.

denis April 30, 2010 at 8:13 pm

OZ: I’d LOVE to know what Indigenous DVD you speak of as I’ve been looking long and hard for them, live, on DVD. Particularily their set from Austin City Limits. Is that what you have?

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