THE WHITE STRIPES
June 15, 1999 - 2019: 20 years of: The White Stripes.
The band that put Detroit back on the map.
While MC5 and THE STOOGES spearheaded the proto-punk movement of the late-60s, it took a full 30 years for THE WHITE STRIPES, the world's simplest band, to make the Motor-City roar again.
There were not too many guitar-heroes in the mid-to-late-90s, a self-indulgent titled that was left to rot in the flamboyant 80s, but by 2003, you just couldn't look away at the musical-genius that is John Anthony Gillis AKA Jack White. THE WHITE STRIPES brought rock-guitar back into the mainstream with one riff, one single riff ...the leaders of a seven nation army if you will. And just like their heroes from the glorious foundations of classic blues to British heavy-rock: THE STRIPES rocked the house with the simplest tribal rhythms !
The "bro-n-sis" duo started right here with their 1999 debut, the basis of garage-rock: hard-hitting drums, loud guitars and a hold-on-to-dear-life vocals ...and that vibe, that live vibe, that explosive live vibe that swallows you into this electric performance. THE STRIPES's debut lo-fi record is just that: a raw organic jam !
Meg White's drums hit loud with massive headroom on the almost-heavymetallesque opening track "Jimmy The Exploder". "The Big Three Killed My Baby" is about the city's car-industry dominance of the second half of the century and it displays Jack's heavy stompboxed-toned guitar: pure and effective rock !
The slick bluesy licks of "Suzy Lee" elevates the band's street-creds by 100%, while the 1:54sec "When I Hear My Name" will again require proper ear-protection. 1-2-3-4: "Astro" is an all-frills obnoxious 2-note-riff-raff that will peel your face off, while "Screwdriver" is another energetic track that uses clever high-and-low dynamic build-ups.
The evident roots are present on: Robert Johnson's "Stop Breaking Down" uses the classic bottleneck-riff pattern to kick things into high-gear, while "Cannon" is another über heavyrock number with a borrowed middle-part in Son House's all-time classic "John The Revelator"
Fact: THE WHITE STRIPES saved rocknroll in the turn of the new millennium. Jack was a local struggling indie-rocker ...and in a mere 20 years turned into a hip scene-leader in not one (THE WHITE STRIPES), not two (THE RACONTEURS), but three (THE DEAD WEATHER) full Grammy-winning and Platinum-selling bands and then Billboard-charting solo-career ...but also record-label exec, studio-engineer, record store owner and record-plant operator (Third Man Records) with offices in both Detroit and Nashville. Rocknroll's busiest man, a full on 360° artist and entrepreneur, a unique guitar-hero !
Broken Bricks - video
Live in 1999
July 3, 2001 - 2021: 20 years of: White Blood Cells.
The alternative to alternative.
Welcome to the new millennium, we've survived the eclectic 90s and finally loud-rock is back. Numeric-technology is here, yet our two-some terror still stick to the classics. Analog two-inch tape, large headroom drums, vintage pedals and ribbon microphones ...nothing is spared in this retro 60s setup.
Detroit's dearest delightful duo are back for a third slab of hard-hitting crude rocknroll.
The party starts with "Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground", an overdriven almost 70s doom-rock track, which is a 90° to the happy bus-ride-sing-along beat of "Hotel Yorba". The legendary Detroit skid row hotel still stand on West Lafayette Boulevard, inches from the Canadian-border.
More heavy-rock is present on "Expecting", some doom-rock with "Aluminum" and the decibel-decadent "I Think I Smell A Rat". The blues rear it's ugly head on "I Can Learn" and "The Same Boy You've Always Known". Welcome inside the "Little Room", 0:50sec of Jack and Meg free-style mayhem and another folk sing-along makes an apparition in the adorable "We're Going To Be Friends".
And finally, the slam-dancing starts on "Fell In Love With A Girl", a 1:50sec burst of punk-energy. A shorty filled with strength beyond strength attitude, this BLACK FLAG-like rips through the stereo like a rabid Tasmanian devil.
See matching video:
and the making of:
RIAA-certified Platinum, the harmonious / cacophonous White Blood Cells CD solidified THE WHITE STRIPES has a genuine rock-band, in a very crowded grungy scene.
Be warned, these lovely siblings were on the verge of being highjacked by the ravaging hipster-doom trend, as 2003 would break the band into Grammy-territory, with one of the world's most revered guitar-riffs.
Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground = video
Hotel Yorba = video
Fell In Love With A Girl = video
White Blood Cells = full record
Hotel Yorba overview
Interview in 2001
Live on Letterman in 2001
Live in NYC in 2001
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