Sunday, July 1, 2012


Jack White's one-time side project can be viewed now as a stepping-stone to his solo career.  At the time of this DVD (2008), The White Stripes were still supposedly a going concern, but no doubt White knew the days were dwindling.  Here he takes the stage with his playmates, a safe place to try out some moves, as the band was advertised as just for fun.  However, even though established songwriter Brendan Benson is on board, a frontman himself, as the DVD shows, it's clearly White's group.

It's also a significantly heavier sound than the two Raconteurs delivered.  Whereas those had the stronger influence of Benson's pop inclinations, here its White's electrics blues, and a 70's rock band influence that dominate, from the sludge-Zeppelin treatment of Intimate Secretary, and the electrified version of the old blues number Keep It Clean.  But you can also hear White taking advantage of the fact he was no longer playing with just a drummer.  Now, he was in a five-piece, including keyboards and another guitar, and the tune Old Enough, with its violin, sounds like 70's Townshend, around Who's Next.

Then there's the final encore number, already a centerpiece on the Consolers Of The Lonely album, a modern take on the murder ballad style, a mystery song that shows White's interest in the folk and old-time school.  This was an artist in transformation, even though it wasn't being talked about at the time, such was the hope that The White Stripes would continue.  Now that we have White's solo debut, Blunderbuss, I think most will be okay with White's continued movement, and The Raconteurs can certainly be seen as a valuable time in his career.  As such, this is a good document of the time.

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