The White Stripes perform on the 2004 Grammys
Jack and Meg performed on the 2004 Grammy's and I remember it very clearly. The sound that the two of them created has stuck to me, and I remember the performance often. That ... dnh . dnh dnh dnh dnh dnh. dnh (yes, that's me trying to write out the sounds that are in my mind ... scary!) of Seven Nation Army sticks in my head sometimes and I can't get it out! But it's a good thing. But ... even still ... yeah, never could get into the White Stripes. I described the band's sound to a friend as 'loud noise and screaming.' Maybe that's why my nephew likes the band so much.
But, I like Jack. There has always been something about him ... and then came along Loretta Lynn. Here she is in her beautiful blue confection of a gown with a very young man in strangely strange fitting gray pants singing, 'Portland, Oregon and slow gin fizz, now if that ain't love, then tell me what is.' ooh, I love it. I have had a great time with Van Lear Rose, the album these two collaborated on. She was 70 at the time ... and he, a young whippersnapper at 28. I like country music, some. But this blew my mind. I love the blend of she and him. And it showed to me ... man, this guy has got something. I'm still not crazy about the White Stripes ... but I am definitely building an adoration for the man. 28, hard rocking dude with legions of nephews across the nation that love loud, fast, and a screech. When Loretta won the Grammy for Best Country Record, she said, 'now come up here Jack and thank the nice people.' Jack shy'd up to the podium and gave a bow, if I remember correctly. yeah.
Loretta Lynn and Jack White perform on the David Letterman Show 2004
The next time I noticed Jack was in the documentary This Might Get Loud. I was really excited to see this to check out the Edge (ah! me and U2 baby!) and Jimmy Page. I grew up on some Led Zeppelin, and some of their songs would definitely make my top 'this is the only thing that you get to listen to for the rest of your life' list. Jack, though, really showed to me that he is a student of music. I don't play. I don't sing well. I don't know how to read music. I have a very difficult time articulating what it is that I understand, but what I do know is that I know something very definitely about what I like, and have a clue about those that have talent. Or are doing what it is that I want to listen to, wonder about, and discover.
And in This Might Get Loud, the boys actually work through Seven Nation Army, and the RIFF (I figured that out) that swims in my head every so often! Check it out ...
Jimmy Page, the Edge and Jack in This Might Get Loud
Next on the Jack-odyssey, I ran across a record by Karen Elson, Jack's second wife. I sort of knew that they were married, she being a fashion model and me reading a lot of fashion magazines every month. I believe that they married on a boat on the Amazon river. She's British. He's Motor City ... ok. But once I realized it, I thought, man, I need a man who is a big famous rock star who can produce my record in the family barn! And she kept her songs a secret. She wrote them in a closet of couture. I think that their story is a little fishy, but I don't always take to female singers, and she I like. I over-listened to the record when I first bought it. I liked the musicality of it ... the whirl of different instruments that lent to an ethereal sort of calm. And her voice, like her, is pretty enough. She's a ... quieter, possibly sweeter, Florence Welch.
Hmmm.... why can't Jack be a little more like this on an album, I thought while listening, more dimensional. Move some of the drive into a cruise ... check out the colors as you pass them by ...
And then there was Blunderbus. Oh, I am in love! It has some hard, but it also has plenty of soul. I think that Jack is growing into the man he's meant to be. Oh, that sounds corny or sappy or possibly, just ridiculous. But I feel that I've been on that Jack-Odyssey weaving around and through different sounds, and I've come to a rest stop and there's a party.
And here's the party ... here's Jack on SNL singing 16 saltine crackers ... then I lick my fingers. Jack, I think that we've established here that I will be glad to help you with that task! My nephew, apparently, is not happy with the CD ... I think that it may just be too grown up for him. That's ok, 'cause I'll take his place in the line. (note: the SNL link was closed. This is the official video).
Here's what I'm really talking about ... beautiful. I'm just going to stop writing. You've gotta listen to this album. It's just got it going on. U2 sings, 'let me in the sound ...' I want in this sound.
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