It’s looking like 2011 is going to be a banner year for new music as you can now circle May 10 on your calendar, because you’re going to want to pick up The Road From Memphis – the new album from the legendary Booker T. Jones. For the follow up to his 2009 Grammy winning record Potato Hole, which saw Jones backed by Southern-rock outfit the Drive-By Truckers, the Rock & Roll Hall Of Famer has again recruited another impressive act to play behind him, as Jones has enlisted the services of The Roots as his backing band. The album also features guest spots from an impressive array of musicians including Jim James (MMJ), Sharon Jones, Lou Reed and Matt Berninger (The National).
Finally, as we continue to morn the loss of garage-blues act The White Stripes, the band’s ever-busy front man Jack White seems as if he’s finally content with outlets that are at his disposal for putting out new music. In an interview that was published yesterday by the UK rock magazine Q, White declared that he will never form another band, going on to say that “Three’s enough for one lifetime. If I can’t say it in any of these bands, then I’ll say it by myself.” We’ve certainly enjoyed his work with The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather, but we’d love to hear a true Jack solo record.
February has been a month of heartache for music fans as breakups and rumors of breakups abound. First, the White Stripes amicably quit their courtship, then LCD Soundsystem announced they’d play their last show in April and there was even a rumor about the Gorillaz calling it quits at the top of their game. All of the tragedy aside, 3GM found it strange that these breakups, whether rumored or true, were uncharacteristically harmonious.
Conor Kelley on LCD Soundsystem:
It’s better to burn out than to fade away.
What could be more rock and roll than following through with that line? Although Neil Young is way past the age where he can burn out, and his new work shows absolutely no signs of fading into insignificance, his lyric is still a tried and true adage of the musician lifestyle. Going out while on top almost ensures a legendary reputation in the rock and roll record books. It’s the George Costanza theory about leaving on a high note, and it works like a charm.
In the ’60s and 70s people would rarely leave the game by choice. It was mostly at the hand of drug overdoses (Hendrix), alcoholism (Joplin), french hookers and baguettes (Morrison) or the occasional peach truck (Allman). These days people are hanging up their guitars for a different reason entirely: they see a project’s creative end in sight and walk away before it becomes stale. READ ON for more of this week’s Three Grown Men column…
Please welcome HT reader Max Eddy to break down the career of The White Stripes, a band who recently announced their break up…
On February 2nd, Groundhog’s Day, The White Stripes announced that they would no longer be recording. The surprisingly straightforward message posted on the band’s website explicitly ruled out “artistic differences” and “illness,” saying rather that the band wanted to keep the music as it was. In their final message, the blues-rock duo comprised of faux-brother and sister Jack and Meg White implored their fans not to be sad, saying that the music “belonged to you now and you can do with it whatever you want.”
Though no one has died and Jack will surely continue recording with any of his side projects like The Dead Weather, the White Stripes are dead.
The band hardly burst upon the scene with their debut self-titled release in 1999. Jack was already a veteran of the burgeoning Detroit garage-rock scene, though he’d seen mixed success up to that point. It’s easy to assume that he formed the two-piece duo simply to play the music he wanted without having to worry about anyone else. He took the lead with vocals and a hammering guitar line, with Meg backing him up on drums.
Over the next two albums, De Stijl (2000) and White Blood Cells (2001), the White Stripes perfected their sound and the image that helped to define their image as much as any album did. Always with an eye for artistry, Jack gave the band a red and white color scheme which was splashed over their albums and stage presence. Growing in their popularity as well as their musicianship, the band produced some of the best music of the then-young millennium and gathered a cult following.
READ ON for more of Max’s White Stripes Retrospective…
Reports as to whether The White Stripes would ever tour again ranged from “no chance” to “as soon as Meg is ready” over the past few years, so it can’t come as the biggest surprise that Meg and Jack White announced the end of the band this afternoon via an announcement on whitestripes.com…
[Click for full-sized image of announcement]
The White Stripes would like to announce that today, February 2nd, 2011, their band has officially ended and will make no further new recordings or perform live.
The reason is not due to artistic differences or lack of wanting to continue, nor any health issues as both Meg and Jack are feeling fine and in good health.
It is for a myriad of reasons, but mostly to preserve what is beautiful and special about the band and have it stay that way.
Meg and Jack want to thank every one of their fans and admirers for the incredible support they have given throughout the 13 plus years of The White Stripes’ intense and incredible career.
Third Man Records will continue to put out unreleased live and studio recordings from The White Stripes in their Vault subscription record club, as well as through regular channels.
Both Meg and Jack hope this decision isn’t met with sorrow by their fans but that is is seen as a positive move done out of respect for those fans who’ve shared in those creations, with their feelings considered greatly.
With that in mind the band have this to say:
“The White Stripes do not belong to Meg and Jack anymore. The White Stripes belong to you and you can do whatever you want. The beauty of art and music is that it can last forever if people want it to. Thank you for sharing this experience. Your involvement will never be lost on us and we are truly grateful.”
Meg and Jack White
The White Stripes
While we’re sad to see the band say farewell, we’re happy to see them part on good terms. There’s no doubt Jack will keep himself busy, but the future is a bit more uncertain for Ms. Meg. We are intrigued and excited to hear the archival releases through Third Man Records that today’s announcement promises. R.I.P. White Stripes, we’ll see you at Coachella 2029.
This year’s batch of live concert DVD releases was more about quality than quantity. While there weren’t dozens of releases from the bands we love like last year, the DVDs that did come out make up for the lack of numbers. For this week’s B List, I continue a long-standing tradition of detailing my favorite concert DVDs of the year. I’ve included a taste of these releases, except the Avett’s DVD, so you can get a feel for these outstanding videos.
If 2009 was indeed the last year for the E Street Band, what a year it was. One of the highlights of ’09 for The Boss and his long-time backing band was a headlining set at London’s Hard Rock Calling in Hyde Park. London Calling contains 26 tracks from throughout Springsteen’s career as well as a few cool bonuses such as a memorizing version of The River from Glastonbury. As you’ve probably inferred from the title, the DVD contains a scorching cover of London Calling by The Clash that starts this release out right.
With the holiday season just around the corner, those looking for something unique for the music fan in your life might want to consider the two new vinyl box sets being offered up by Jack White’s Third Man Records. The Nashville-based label’s limited edition White Stripes box includes these Stripes-infused items – a custom portable record player, turntable slip mat, 3 custom vinyl adapters, Nixon headphones, 7” red vinyl of “Merry Christmas From The White Stripes”, record cleaning brush, LP record box and 7” record box – all for the low price of $499 with just 333 available.
There is also a non-limited Third Man Records set, that features with similar items with the labels logo on it that can be purchased complete our as individual items. In other Third Man news, the label will release a Jack White produced 7″-single, by Swedish psych-rock band Dungen on January 24.
List Time: Gibson’s Top 50 Acoustic Guitar Players Of All Time
Finally, we’re always happy to see another bands outside of the “jam” realm that are allowing taping at their shows, with the latest being the Seattle-based roots-rock act The Moondoggies. The former Blips pick, who released their sophomore album Tidelands last month, will reward those who record and share their gigs online with a free screen-print poster. Be sure to check out the band’s pretty liberal official taping policy here.
The White Stripes, known for their cheeky sense of humor, were back at it again in Detroit this past weekend. Jack White brought Meg White out on stage during the encore break of Saturday night’s Raconteurs concert at the Fillmore Detroit. I’m sure the crowd was hankering for a White Stripes mini-set, but instead they got a case of blue balls. After an introduction from Jack, Meg left the stage while the rest of The Raconteurs filed onto stage and performed their encore.
Speaking of encore breaks, Dave Grohl returned to the stage before the encore of the Foo Fighters’ second of two shows at Wembley Stadium and announced: “playing Wembley Stadium is an honor, and if we didn’t take advantage of this opportunity, the greatest fucking night in our band’s lives… for all 86,000 of you motherfuckers, it isn’t gonna be any other show.” Then, he welcomed Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page to the stage for a rollicking version of Rock and Roll and a gripping Ramble On…
Since it’s Bonnaroo Week at Hidden Track, let’s finish with a story about the festival. The fine folks at Buzz’d have teamed up with the festival’s promoters to offer the Bonnaroo Mobile service. Using the mobile web feature on your phone, you can use Bonnaroo Mobile to keep in touch with your friends, sign up for alerts, access performance schedules for specific artists, ‘buzz’ people with showtimes, give real time reviews of the music and report on what is happening across the venue for free. Festival-goers can register for the free service by selecting the “Bonnaroo Mobile” link on the festivals’ website, or by texting “BM” to 96321. [Hat Tip goes out to John Condon]
Live Nation moved one step closer to an imminent showdown with Ticketmaster by forging a partnership with CTS Eventim, a global ticketing technology platform. The artist formerly known as Clear Channel Entertainment poses the first real threat to Ticketmaster’s reign of terror since the long lost days of Ticketron.
We’re sick of paying $2.50 for the honor of printing our own tickets, so we welcome any relief competition gives to the consumer. Then again, Live Nation isn’t quite the Ralph Nader of the entertainment biz, so maybe we will just have two companies sucking us dry. Yeah, that’s the more likely option. I sense we’re gonna get the fingercuffs from both ends on this one.
So let’s get the Friday before Christmas started with a hearty batch of links:
The White Stripes cancelled the remaining dates on their World Tour back in September when Meg White came down with a case of acute anxiety and couldn’t travel. It seems like Voluptuous Meggers is still wary of getting back on the bus. Jack White recently told the LA Times there’s a chance the White Stripes will forgo touring in the future to focus on studio work a la The Beatles. Because when we think of the White Stripes, we often think of the The Beatles.
NPR has completely outdone itself this time: The media folks yesterday launched a new website promoting the best of public radio music. The diverse new site contains free streams and features on a wide variety of artists ranging from classical violin player Joshua Bell to alt-rockers The New Pornographers. But it’s Monitor Mix — a blog written by Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein — that wins the award for coolest feature on the new website. Check it.
Recently we told you about the mindblowing new album from Bill Frisell’s Floratone project. Wanna make it better from your momma’s basement? Aspiring musicians can now put together their own take on the tracks by participating in Acidplanet and Blue Note’s Floratone remix contest. Blue Note has provided the tracks, you supply the magic. The winner will receive a prize package that includes a Playstation portable and tons of audio software. Go play.
And congratulations to RowJimmy for winning our giveway, because I’d kill a man to see Frisell play with ?uestlove, Christian McBride and McCoy Tyner.
More cool shit from Ween — the band has made mp3s from The Mollusk Sessions available to download for a limited time [via bcrider]
We explained back in August that we’ve been suckers for bootlegged live concert videos since we were mere newbs. Nay, n00bs. This week we’ve come across another batch of amazing videos freely available for the taking on the torrent sites, so it’s time for another All-DVD edition of Grousing The Aisles.
David Byrne keeps everyone happy at his shows by playing a nice mix of his wonderfully cool solo songs and the Talking Heads classics we all love. In 1997 Byrne and his band performed on Sessions at West 54th, a television show he hosted at the time. We were hoping Byrne would interview himself a la the Stop Making Sense extras, but John Hiatt does the honors this time around. Thankfully a kind collector taped an airing of the show and uploaded the DVD files to a torrent site so we can all enjoy Byrne’s energetic performance.
When you watch this DVD, you’ll notice that everyone in the crowd sits down during the performance. The show’s producers must have fed the audience valium, as I couldn’t help but dance when I watched this video on my computer. No one can get my ass shaking like David Byrne can (no homo). David opens the show with Freaky Fuzzy, a tune from 1997′s Feelings that has a catchy chorus and a funky beat. Miss America and Dance on Vaseline are two other Feelings songs that Byrne and his band absolutely tear through at this taping. Byrne will never shake his billing as “ex-Talking Head,” but his solo stuff really deserves much more credit. That being said, the best tune of the night was Making Flippy Floppy. David assembled quite the backing band for this tour, and they add new life to a buncha old nuggets from the Heads’ catalog. Read on after the jump for more DVDs from Neil Young, the White Stripes and some pretty cool indie bands on late-night TV…
We made an impassioned plea at the bottom of Monday night’s One More Cup of Coffee post for video of the epic Meet Me In The Morning collaboration between Bob Dylan and Jack White at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville last week.
We’re still looking for such video, but a heads-up commenter points us in the direction of the fine folks at I Am Fuel, You Are Friends, who’ve posted the audio of the folk-cum-rockin’ blues Blood On The Tracks tune, the first time this particular Dylan song hath ever been played live. Sweeeet. Thanks, Ted.