AMERICAN DAD! – “My Morning Straitjacket” (Episode 7, season 5)
Has Stan gone too far this time? Daughter Hayley has gone to a rock concert! According to a furious Stan, rock concerts are “the devil’s music! It’s the number one cause of school violence, teen pregnancy and leather pants!” But My Morning Jacket are “awesome” according to Hayley, and she plans on going again the next night, until Stan confiscates the tickets!
Fortunately for Hayley, mom Francine understands rock and roll. She used to get backstage the hard way, not like today with those sissy radio giveaways. She secretly returns the tickets to Hayley, infuriating Stan. Using his CIA noise-cancelling earplugs, he goes to the concert to “rescue” his daughter. “Idiots! Paying good money to hear something they already heard on a record!” But when he removes his special earplugs, he hears the music…and finally feels something! Where Stan used to feel only anger, he now feels everything!
Jim James has an “angelic” voice according to Stan. “He makes Enya sound like a Russian couple arguing at the bowling alley!” He can’t get enough. “I want to hear all their music! Right now!” This leads to an unhealthy obsession with the band, accompanied by a smorgasbord of their songs: “Wordless Chorus”, “Touch Me I’m Going To Scream (Part 2)”, “I’m Amazed”, “Remnants”, “Highly Suspicious”, and “Phone Went West”. The animation for Stan’s musical fantasy sequence is suitably trippy. Stan flies through space carried by owls, with My Morning Jacket singer Jim James riding on his back! As usual for Stan, his obsessive behaviour leads to neglect for his family and job. Something has to be done! The final straw is when Stan spends $900 on a bootleg CD of Jim James gargling in the bathroom before a show.
Stan is under the delusion that he and Jim James are soul mates, so Roger the alien comes up with a plan. Dressed as his groupie persona Abbey Road (“I’m Abbey Road, and when it snows I need to be plowed!”) they go to follow My Morning Jacket and meet Jim James. When they finally encounter James in person, he convinces Stan that he already has a real soul mate — his wife Francine.
The music of My Morning Jacket is diverse and entertaining, and although their softer moments are a bit limp, when they rock they rock. As for this episode? It rocks.