Yesterday morning just after waking up, I heard the first single from the Raconteurs, "Steady, As She Goes." This band is Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler from the Greenhornes, Brendan Benson, and my hero, Jack White.
I try not to be a bandwagon-jumper. In fact, when I was starting my one year of college, in 1991, guess which band everybody else was freaking out over, and I was like, "Yeah they're pretty good," but not losing my mind over? Nirvana. I was heavily into what was happening with Soundgarden, Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and yes, Metallica. All my cool hip friends grabbed this Nirvana record -still available on cassette back then- and it wore me down. It was undeniable.
I had heard about the White Stripes long before I heard anything. There I was, watching the old bandwagon coming my way in a cloud of dust. Then I heard "Fell in Love with a Girl" and thought, Ok, good, but gimmicky. I don't even know what I meant by that. But that song got in my head and wouldn't leave. I was done for.
I love the White Stripes. We took the kids to see them in Toronto last September. What an excellent show. All music, no stupid "AReyoureadyto rocknroll ToNIGHT-AAAH!" I love Meg's bizarre faces, I even love her strange way of drumming, which sounds like she's never had a lesson in her life, and wouldn't work in many other songs but these ones. I love Meg's hair. I don't love her singing but it's nice that he writes songs for her. I love the catchy tunes and quirky lyrics. I love Jack's playing and his whiny voice. I love the way Jack has incorporated the MARIMBA into the act: who puts marimba in rock? I love the way they have put restrictions on what they do in order to make it tighter and better and more pure. I love the vintage gear! I love the analog tape that he insists they record on! I even love the endless combinations of red, black and white clothing.
Oh,the MYSTERY! WHAT KIND OF GUITAR IS THIS? Jethro doesn't even know and he's recorded thousands of guitars. Knowing Jack's love for old stuff, it's probably vintage, but what???? Jack you confound me. More, more!
So what does Jack do next? Cold Mountain. I heard one tune, one spooky hillbilly tune, and I bought the soundtrack. Hey, Alison Krauss is on it too, and she is so good. I loved the hillbilly Jack so much. I know he's from Detroit--I've even driven past the Hotel Yorba, which snuck up on me in the dark soon after we crossed the bridge from Windsor at midnight, but Jethro refused to turn around for a photo, what with us not being accustomed to tough neighbourhoods and all--but I think Jack should have been born in the sticks somewhere. Not even in farm country like me, but in the genuine sticks. Look at this picture!
Then? Loretta Lynn, people. The Coal Miner's Daughter. "Van Lear Rose" definitely has his fingerprints on it, but it is her record. If you haven't heard this record yet, holy crap, find a way to listen to it. She was what, 69 years old at the time? She sounds awesome. Young women can't sing with that kind of feeling. He did her justice.
Now. The Raconteurs. Jack is not dressed in red, black & white. The songwriting and vocals are shared. I am very excited about this.
I do love Jack White. I admit, mostly for his musicianship, but you know what? He's cute. I am a total loser for the big eyes and long dark hair. Every. Time. Jack isn't movie star handsome, and sometimes he looks very odd in photos. But I find him appealing.
Here's an example. This is his mugshot after getting hauled in for beating up some singer in some band that I've only heard of because Jack White beat up the singer. Now love or not, I have to ask: How lame must you be to get a beating laid on you by Jack White?
But look at him. He's really sorry, and he doesn't usually act like that. I don't approve of beatings, but look at him. C'mon. He's almost elflike, he's so adorable.
You know... there's something about those big brown eyes, something.....Oh, I'm gonna do it. Yes I am.
See? Or how about....
I told you I love the big eyes.
One of the things I truly love about Jack is his probable craziness. He got a lot of flak last year for his "Get Behind Me Satan" look, but I dug it. But now what do we think?
Is there anybody on this planet who doesn't perk up around a cape and a top hat? Just out of curiosity?
This photo SLAYS me. I can hardly deal. Because when I was very young, I Fell in Love With a Boy, and he was 18 and had long black hair and played a red guitar and this photo, right here, is everything that a teenage me and an old married me can totally agree on. Oh the unbearable love.
I am really looking forward to the Raconteurs. I'll probably do the breathless-fan thing and go buy it the day it's released. Although, at this point, I'm pretty sure Jack could sing the phone book and I'd be all blissed out in the corner, sighing every few minutes, "Coooool."