Results for The White Stripes

interviews

Jack White

Jack White is one of the most prolific, inventive, and mercurial characters in rock today. This week, Jim and Greg head down to Third Man studios in Nashville for a wide-ranging conversation with the former White Stripe and recent solo artist. White is known for being loose with the truth in interviews (no, Meg White is not his sister), but his talk with Jim and Greg is surprisingly candid and thoughtful. He recalls playing drums with his brothers at age five, being tutored by a neighbor in rock history, and discovering the blues recordings of Son House. There was no expectation, he says, that The White Stripes - a band that took design inspiration from peppermint candies and thwarted notions of“authenticity”by playing the blues like kids - could ever make it in the mainstream. The element of accident and luck in the Stripes' success, he says,“will never be lost on me.”White describes how his first record as a solo artist, Blunderbuss, also came about by accident. When hip-hop artist RZA failed to show for his Third Man recording session, White decided to record with the band that had come in himself. Blunderbuss earned Buy it ratings from both Jim and Greg.

Go to episode 349

Jack White

Back in 2012, Jim and Greg went down to Nashville to interview Jack White at his recording studio and record store Third Man Records. They talked about the people in his early life that helped shape his musical taste, introducing the budding musician to The Rolling Stones and The Cramps. They discussed the truth found in the blues and that sound set the trajectory of Jack's most famous band (The White Stripes), his affinity for vinyl records, and his other notable projects.

Go to episode 601

Glenn Kotche

This week Jim and Greg are joined by percussionist extraordinaire Glenn Kotche. He is best known as one of the members of Wilco, but he also has a number of side projects, and a new solo album entitled Mobile. Glenn joins our hosts to discuss all things drumming and to play some of his inventive music. What makes Glenn's drumming style so special is that it ranges from the avant-garde to the straight-ahead rock he does with Wilco, yet it's always in service of the song. You can hear his solo tracks "Monkey Chant" and "Projections of (What) Might" during the show.

After playing for a bit, Glenn gives our hosts a little tour around his kit. Some of Glenn's toys include crotales, a glockenspiel, contact mics (which amplify and alter the drum sounds), and a superball mallet (or half of it). The drummer also has a prepared snare drum which is affixed with different springs and wires, similar to a John Cage prepared piano. He also stole his wife's fruit basket, which the two received as a wedding present. But, perhaps the most unusual percussion instruments that Glenn uses are light-sensitive toy crickets that anyone can pick up in Chinatown.

The discussion ends with a conversation about some of the best (and worst) rock drummers. Some of Jim, Greg, and Glenn's favorites include: Mo Tucker of the Velvet Underground, Meg White of The White Stripes, Elliott Smith, Levon Helm of The Band, and Keith Moon of The Who (despite the accusations of overplaying).

Go to episode 42
specials

Back-to-School Songs

September is a time of mixed emotions. For some, it's an exciting new beginning. For others, it's a time of doom and dread. Either way, here are some of Jim and Greg's favorite Back-To-School songs to kick off the new school year.

Go to episode 145
reviews
Icky Thump

The White Stripes Icky Thump

Jim and Greg spend the last leg of the show discussing the new album from Detroit natives Meg and Jack White. Icky Thump is The White Stripes‘ sixth studio effort in nearly ten years. Jim and Greg trace the duo’s trajectory from their 1999 self-titled debut, to most recently, their 2005 commercial success and sonic departure, Get Behind Me Satan. Icky Thump continues this development, demonstrating how one of the biggest rock acts in the world are truly junk collectors. You hear them flirting with mariachi and flamenco music, referencing Scottish folk songs, and even covering traditional pop singer Patti Page. The album shows exactly how well-listened Jack White truly is. Greg calls Meg White,“terrific,”standing behind the oft-discredited drummer. He doesn't think Icky Thump is a beginning-to-end perfect album, but believes it's the band's best work to date. He gives it a Buy It. Jim goes even further calling this release“a masterpiece.”That gives the White Stripes latest a double Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 82
HorehoundHorehound available on iTunes

The Dead Weather Horehound

Another year… another Jack White project. After The White Stripes and The Raconteurs comes The Dead Weather. This time White has a more behind-the-scenes role as drummer and producer. Alison Mosshart of The Kills is the lead vocalist. Jim was let down by the second Raconteurs record, but he was blown away by the knockout, raw garage rock on Horehound. He gives it a Buy It rating. Greg is surprised to hear this. While he likes the sleezy, b-movie sound and vibe, he needs great songs to go with it. Greg looks forward to seeing the group live, but on record it's a Try It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 191
LazarettoLazaretto available on iTunes

Jack White Lazaretto

Jack White has just released his second solo album, Lazaretto. Jim and Greg both loved the previous solo album Blunderbuss, because it distinguished White's solo work from his other various projects like The White Stripes, The Raconteurs & The Dead Weather. Jim thinks that Lazaretto is very similar to Blunderbuss, and that's a good thing. The hooks are there, the melange of genres; garage rock, blues, gospel are there, and his guitar playing is as good as ever. Jim gives Lazaretto a Buy It rating. Greg thinks the album is very good as well, but wishes there was more of a departure sonically from Blunderbuss. He thinks Jack White has more sounds up his sleeve wishes he showcased them more on Lazaretto. As a result, Greg gives the album a Try It rating.

JimGreg
Go to episode 446
Consolers of the LonelyConsolers of the Lonely available on iTunes

The Raconteurs Consolers of the Lonely

Like Gnarls Barkley, The Raconteurs had a successful debut album in 2006. Now, Jack White, Brendan Benson and company are back with a follow-up called Consolers of the Lonely. From the start this project was clearly an opportunity for Jack White to step outside of the boundaries of minimalism that contain the music of The White Stripes. But at the core of all the instrumentation and experimentation of the first Raconteurs record were strong melodies. And for Greg, that's where the second album falls short. In addition to missing the great songs of the White Stripes, he found himself longing for their humor and eroticism. There isn't really anything appealing to Greg on Consolers of the Lonely, and he's not sure why the band rushed it out. Jim, who is an admitted fan of the art rock genre, says there is nothing worse than a bad art rock record — and this is a really bad art rock record. He notes that the band has made a point to encourage listeners to take in the album as a whole, but thinks this is terrible advice. There are only a couple of good tracks on the album, so listening to it as a whole was not an enjoyable experience for Jim. He calls it awful and depressing. Looks like our two hosts need the consoling. They both give the new Raconteurs a Trash It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 122
Broken Boy SoldiersBroken Boy Soldiers available on iTunes

The Raconteurs Broken Boy Soldiers

The next album up for review is Broken Boy Soldiers by The Raconteurs. The Raconteurs is a side-project for Jack White of The White Stripes. He is joined by power popster (and fellow Michigan native) Brendan Benson as well as members of garage band The Greenhornes. This marks a bit of a departure for White, who favors a much more minimalist approach with the White Stripes, and Greg is not entirely impressed. He feels that too much of the record is merely a classic rock imitation. Greg suspects that White ceded too much power to Brendan Benson, and wishes that he made more innovative musical choices, as he did on the album he produced for country star Loretta Lynn. Broken Boy Soldiers gets a Burn It from this critic. Jim, however, cannot stop listening to The Raconteurs, and for him that's all that matters. Rock and roll has never been about originality, and according to Jim, every song is catchy and energetic. Jim would Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 25
Sea of CowardsSea of Cowards available on iTunes

The Dead Weather Sea of Cowards

Jack White might be the new hardest-working man in show business. Not only does he front his original band The White Stripes, but he's a member of The Raconteurs and most recently The Dead Weather. That group just released its second album in less than a year called Sea of Cowards. White is joined by Alison Mosshart from The Kills on vocals and Dean Fertita from Queens of the Stone Age. But, as Greg explains, it's White's stamp that's all over this record. He does the songwriting and production. Jim hears a lot of enthusiasm in the music, and it holds together more as a project than the self-titled debut. He compares White to Nick Cave — the music is dangerous and enticing and gets a Buy It rating. Greg can‘t believe Jim would compare White to Cave — he doesn’t think he has nearly the same songwriting chops. And the songwriting is where Sea of Cowards falls off for Greg. He loves the attitude and sound, but thinks the songs are fragments at best. It gets a Try It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 233
BlunderbussBlunderbuss available on iTunes

Jack White Blunderbuss

A blunderbuss is an antique gun that shoots scattershot-the perfect name for an album by Jack White. It's a nod to the old, something The White Stripes front man favors, but also references how wide in scope the album is. On his solo debut, the singer, guitarist, producer and label head incorporated lots of piano and stringed music. Greg is as impressed by this variety as he is by the story the songs tell. Jim doesn't hear as many departures. But he does get another set of extraordinary anthems. So both hosts give Blunderbuss a double Buy It rating…but for different reasons.

JimGreg
Go to episode 335
lists

Back-to-School

September is a time of mixed emotions. For some, it's an exciting new beginning. For others, it's a time of doom and dread. Either way, here are some of Jim and Greg's favorite Back-To-School songs to kick off the new school year.

Go to episode 614

Short but Sweet

Today's episode highlights the short, but sweet. Jim and Greg have chosen their favorite tiny tunes that clock in at two minutes or under. There are some musicians and fans that believe that the longer the composition, the more important (Prog rockers we're talking to you), but it is possible to pack all the elements of a successful song-verse, chorus, bridge, even a solo-into a petite punch. So here are the best Short But Sweet tracks. But don‘t blink or you’ll miss 'em.

Go to episode 321

Best of 2007

It's a critic and a music fan's favorite time of year. Jim and Greg run down their top albums for 2007. You can view their complete lists below.

For more end-of-year discussion, check out the Sound Opinions Message Board.

Go to episode 107
news

Music News

Sad news for a number of rock fans this week. Both The White Stripes and LCD Soundsystem have announced they are closing up shop. James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem suggested he'd be calling it quits (at least under that name) when he was on Sound Opinions last year. But the White Stripes announcement has come as a surprise. Greg is disappointed since Jack White's other side projects as a member of The Dead Weather and The Raconteurs and producer of albums by Wanda Jackson haven't provided him the vehicle he deserves. But, as Jim notes, the adage is true: nothing gives an artist a greater boost than dying or breaking up. Albums by The White Stripes have seen a massive sales surge.

U2's Bono and the Edge have joined forces with veteran theater and film director Julie Taymor to bring Spider-Man to the Broadway stage. The early reviews are in, and they ain't pretty. From The New York Times ("sheer ineptitude") to the Los Angeles Times ("an artistic form of megalomania") to the Chicago Tribune ("incoherent"), the critical pans are far harsher than anything U2 has received on any album. And it wasn't for lack of funds. The $65 million musical production is charging fans up to $300 just for previews. Jim and Greg wonder if Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark will fare any better than Capeman.

Go to episode 272