Bon Iver kicked off a good evening for bearded guys by picking up four Grammy nominations last night, then a pair of sweet-voiced beardos took over the talk shows: Iron and Wine hit The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, while My Morning Jacket graced Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
Supremely hirsute singer-songwriter Sam Beam has continually expanded Iron and Wine’s folk-based sound from its home-recorded origins, most recently landing a song on the soundtrack to The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt. 1. Titled “Flightless Bird, American Mouth (Wedding Version),” that stately ballad is the song Beam took to The Tonight Show stage, backed by swaying strings, lush vocal harmonies, contemplative piano chords, gentle drumming, and lots of bird chirps. It’s all so pretty and delicate, you might not even notice Beam murmuring about “pissing on magazine photos … blood of Christ mountain stream.” (via The Audio Perv).
Led by singer-songwriter Jim James, whose untamed tresses hang down below his famous facial hair, Kentucky rockers My Morning Jacket have similarly kept following their muse away from relatively lo-fi roots. On Jimmy Kimmel Live!, MMJ tore through two tracks from 2011’s Circuital, which sees MMJ bringing it all back home after a variety of stylistic detours. James howled through the grandiosely twangy fuzz-rock of “Outta My System,” but the stops really came out on uptempo groover “First Light,” replete with saxophone. Even the guy in the crowd with his arms folded is tapping his feet. Nice beard, arms-folded guy.