Wednesday, June 29, 2005

All the Critics Don't Love You in New York

Sasha from the New Yorker has a crush on Jack White but hates Meg:

White may be a walking American songbook, able to mimic Ralph Stanley and Burt Bacharach, but he comes up short as a producer, and the album sounds muddy and obscured, as if recorded in a room covered with wet felt. Meg White may be his muse, best friend, or soul mate, and she exudes a steady and positive energy onstage, but she is a lousy drummer and only a passable singer. (Not to point this out would be weirdly sexist.) Why couldn’t White pair himself with someone like Cindy Blackman, the jazz-trained musician who has performed with Lenny Kravitz and knows from simple, thunderous straight-time drumming?
Also, a show review from "Old Leningrad" (Wow, the Village Voice is still hurtin' over that whole fall of Communism thing)

Jack's hat comes off, and Meg's drumming begins to unravel. It may be jet lag, but she's missing cues, changes speeds—and all this in service of a stunningly simple beat.

Xylophones emerge for "The Nurse," a quiet track without guitars from the new album, and poor maligned Meg's deterioration continues. But after "Just Another Asshole," there's another address from Jack: "My sister's very sick today," he says, "but we didn't want to cancel the show."

With that, they leave the stage. The crowd explodes, chanting "White" (pause) "Stripes"—over and over.

The first encore is " Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself," a solid sing-along that, as the chorus inflates with the power of a 2,000-person choir , the White Stripes suddenly feels like a band of consequence.

Then there's "Seven Nation Army," to my knowledge the band's flagship property, and Jack White goes totally nuts, writhing across the stage, stressing the chords with an awesome urgency. Even better is the next song, "Ball and Biscuit," the strongest effort from the entire show, and evidence that two white kids from Detroit can blur genre boundaries—in this case bicep-curling guitar rock with black man's blues—and not crawl back home from the scene of the crime, intestines dragging and fingers bleeding.


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