These Kentuckians' "Highly Suspicious" was the jam of the year (even sans obligatory Weezy guest spot), demonstrating there's still juice in electro-rock and blue-eyed soul. On the latter tip, My Morning Jacket's head volume dealer, Jim James, rocked the Gran Manzana well in '08, going seamlessly from channeling Rockwell on this cut at Radio City to wandering into Prospect Park almost anonymously in late summer and singing stunning soul-folk in a command performance for Bill Withers. Since I'm now convinced there's nothing James can't do, I'd hope to see him go full on Fela for the Inaugural Ball. Hey, bruh: Your silo needs horns and at least a dozen half-naked co-epouses. Time's overdue for Southern rock to return to its western Sudanese home place, and My Morning Jacket have got the right stuff to make it so.
Wed., Dec. 31, 9 p.m., 2008