Seattle’s wisest corgi.

Louisville, Kentucky, mountain man Jim James (aka Yim Yames) has an unassailable transcendentalism about him. He's rootsy and Zen, and he has a resonant, yodel-throated mine shaft of a singing voice. With James's first solo full-length, Regions of Light and Sound of God, the My Morning Jacket frontman has become a bit of a Southern mystic. His songs swim through expansively altered folk and gospel, each possessing its own calm, rich, tidal sensation. James could not meet me at Electric Tea Garden for an interview, so he sent his holographic interview persona instead. On hand was primordial idiotechno DJ/artist Frankie Crescioni, who was preparing his next set of dankwave by experimenting with water-droplet sounds autotrophing through arena-sized delays. Hologram James and Crescioni hit it off immediately. Meatcliff, Seattle's wisest corgi, was also there. James called for a meditation—the two sat cross-legged on the floor in front of the sub with their eyes closed. James's mountainous mane and Crescioni's flowing rat-tail fluttered from the vibration coming out of the speakers like a light-blue breeze off the Sulu Sea. Opium incense was near. I asked James questions, but he was too locked into the colossal water-drop kundalini and couldn't speak. Crescioni spoke for him, softly.

Where did you learn to sing like you're yodeling in a mine shaft?

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My grandfather was a great coal miner in Betsy Layne, Kentucky. On his one day off, he liked to go there to assert his dominance over the miners, and sometimes he'd bring me.

Do you have any yodeling stories?

No, not really. I guess there was one occasion where my grandfather yodeled loud enough to startle a group of wolves away from some friends' sheep, but really it wasn't that exciting.

What are your thoughts on jam bands?

I'd say all music starts in some sense as a jam—one member has an idea, and the rest must figure out a way to support and be supported by that idea. I feel like all jam bands could be good, potentially.

What is your favorite Lynyrd Skynyrd song?

"Rituals for the Dying 5 AM."

You first sang for a mumblecore band. How did you transition from mumblecore to yodeling?

By understanding the core needs of what an audience wants to hear.

Talk about coal mines again and how that informs Detroit, your musical approach, and the human heart.

In the past couple of years, I've been getting deeper into meditative experiences. I've also been trying to think beyond My Morning Jacket as the be-all and end-all of music. It really started with a performance we had in Detroit a few years back, where I ended up getting a little drunk and separating from the band, somehow ending up at an after-hours warehouse party where alienating but simultaneously comforting beat-driven music was playing. I later learned that it was a spot where the infamous Detroit group Ultradyne would test out new rhythmic strategies on unsuspecting people. The music was so loud that I thought about how much better people would be if they only had hearts. That way, we would all just be piles of muscles that pump life, rather than being these complicated humans who do a bunch of things that kind of contradict each other.

Like if you think about old Roland drum machines and how simple they were, yet when they are dialed in through the right EQ settings, they can speak to an audience that wouldn't maybe normally want to understand machine music. As much as I want to say it's needless, it's not—to remind people of Detroit's influence on the world. In particular, groups like Underground Resistance, Shitcluster, Dopplereffekt, and A Number of Names really shaped Afrofuturism with a cynical, satirical critique of American/European cultures that really spoke to me, the son of a coal miner in Kentucky. But considering how many computers are existent in the world, it's good to be relaxed about it—I mean, look at the Ensoniq Fizmo.

Who is a DJ that should be getting more attention? [At this point, the meditative gravitation of the water sounds begins taking over. Meatcliff stares at me like he'd known me in a previous life, when we lived in the sea as jellyfish. Meatcliff yearned for no pulled pork then. Sitting next to Jim James, there was a peace about him, as he reflected back to his gelatinous floating life with no central nervous system. Meatcliff was totally okay pulsating with tentacles through the currents of the Indian Ocean.]

For real, I pay attention to DJ TLR from Creme Organization—he is probably one of the best DJs in the world, and yet he doesn't receive nearly as much attention—or money—as he should for opening people up to the true nature of meditative music. He is based in the Netherlands and is regarded as a true prophet of the nature of posthumanism. Plus, I once attempted to buy bath salts off of him, but he wouldn't sell them to me because he could tell that they would prevent me from writing "Victory Dance." As far as US-based music, I think it's important to pay attention to the following DJs and producers, in no particular order: Hieroglyphic Being, Traxx, D'marc Cantu, Holly Herndon, and Ron Morelli.

Is writing victory dances your guilty pleasure?

As far as guilty pleasures come, I've been a big fan of Denny Blazin Hazen. The normalcy of Average Homeboy reminds me of the pleasure of playing a show where you don't remember anything past the first chord. You know? It's not like you're performing an act, it's just something beautiful and natural like the sunset.

What is Jim James afraid of?

Jim James is deeply afraid of anyone else with last name James. He actually smiled when Rick James died because it alleviated some pressure from his phobia.

What's your passion?

I'm fairly into anime pillows.

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Did you see the cover of the latest In Touch magazine with Kim Kardashian? There's a close-up of her underarm fat. They zoom right in on her underarm folds to make it look like a vagina. There's an arrow pointing at it.

Her arm-fold vaginas make it hard for me to not imagine some sort of sexual encounter, fulfilling an urge I have to wear multiple sex-device epaulets on my shoulders. I'd pretend I was going to fight a sex war—not a bad war, but a fun, pillow-fight, sex-type war. I think about erotic battle a lot. recommended