Wednesday, February 2, 2011
So long, White Stripes.
As announced via the band's official website, The White Stripes are calling it quits. I don't find this new particularly surprising, and although they're one of my favorite bands of the last decade, I'm kind of glad they broke up before allowing the quality of their material to deteriorate. Get while the gettin's good, as they say. Plus, it's become increasingly clear that while the White Stripes were once Jack White's primary musical outlet, the band has in essence become a side project, or one of many side projects (the Dead Weather, the Raconteurs, the production work, the Third Man label/shop, etc.). As much as I love the White Stripes, in a way it seems like Jack is at the top of his game when his hands are in various creative pots. At the very least, it's a more interesting situation.
I admittedly came to the White Stripes party a little bit late. It wasn't until my time in Iowa that I got heavily into their music. Ergo, that time and place in my life will probably be my dominant memory association with their music. At any rate, I think it was my growing interest in garage rock (and devouring the Directors' Label Series of video compilations)that led me to look beyond the White Stripes' singles, digging into their first three albums in late 2004. The following summer they released what I still argue is their best album Get Behind Me Satan. Man, I listened to that album at least twice a day every day in the summer of 2005. I was even more stoked when I secured tickets to see them in action at Minneapolis' Orpheum Theater that fall. I remember being incredibly impressed by (mainly Jack's) ability to utilize effects and playing style to make up for the obvious lack of overdubs - and it worked.
I'm sure Jack White will continue to not sleep and compete with ?uestlove for busiest man in the music business, and I'm sure his work will continue to be interesting. End of an era for sure, though!
Someday the band will inevitably release a compilation of music videos, and they've had some great ones. Here's one of my favorites: