Thursday, July 22, 2010

Live Picks #2: The Hardest Button To Button 2007/07/29

Here’s one for the ages. In 2007 things were supposedly rosy, Icky Thump supposedly came from a happy place and The White Stripes was nothing short of a complete triumph. But as we know a certain amount of fatigue set in as it all became too much for poor Meg and the tour was cut prematurely short. However I think the warning signs were beginning to show towards the end of the tour anyway. The set lists started to become a lot less predictable, covers were more sporadic and even Seven Nation Army wasn’t an assured thing. That ol’ Sea Of Cowards now firmly controlled everything and that happy place Jack was coming from seemed to be slipping away as he became the lone soldier against mediocre modernity. Third Man Records was not too far off and the candy colored chapter of Jack’s life, at least for now, was about to close. Excuse the hefty write up but I think it’s necessary to set the scene for the end of the White Stripes as they performed the last shows of their American tour. If 2005 was catharsis then the end of 2007 was a fucking revolt.

So the House Of Blues show (the second last I believed) shows Jack and Meg in the most rebellious of moods, playing some truly obscure songs and rarely staying on one track for it’s full duration. But the clincher of the concert came towards the end when he decided to rewrite one of their biggest hits on the spot and make a momentary anthem against the dullness of celebrity. It starts off as a slowed down blues number with some of the most flawless vocals the man has provided while Meg, in a way she could only do, slowly catches on to his train of thought. The petulant child of the original lyrics has grown up into a man disgusted with what he sees before him and Jack delivers his rant which is met by a decidedly supportive series of cries and boos by the crowd.

The new verse is as follows:
Oh, that’s how it goes
In the name of her/hurt
Like (?) no one knows
Just what they’re supposed to do
Only what there told to do
Britney Speers
Jessica Simpson
Ashley Simpson
Paris Hilton
Lindsey Lohan
Someone else
Oh yeah, just what your told to do
Wear gym pants and shirt and suit to the zoo
Now we know this
And I can show you this
Now we know this
Just like to make a point (?)
Catch up, catch up
Wake up, wake up
Wake up, before you throw up!

Wise words, from a wise man…

If that was a bit of a wank forgive me, but please download this fucking thing, it’s great and once your convinced download the entire show, because they’re at this caliber all night.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Live Picks #1: Ball & Biscuit 2005/10/02

I've started doing these on The Little Room but I thought I may as well post them here as well. Every week (remember the last time I said that) I'll post one of my favourite live tracks by one of Jacky White's bands.

My first pick is from my favourite year of touring, 2005. The main focus of Jack's guitar playing in It Might Get Loud was his belief that it's all about the struggle and no other performance illustrates this more beautifully then this version of Ball & Biscuit. Previously in the concert Jack had attempted the song but had abandoned it for My Doorbell however after endlessly tuning it (unfortunately left out of the mp3) he kicks into the song in full blast. Jack's guitar playing is like him taming a beast and that's true of most of his songs but this is the only one I've heard where it sounds like the beast might actually win. The guitar constantly fights back, clanging and clanking, going out of tune and cutting out. But it's Jack persistence that makes it so inspired and after dragging his inglorious piece of plastic back under his control he strums the shit out of it until the songs end, emerging victorious at last.

If you like this (and frankly you must) then I'd definitely recommend downloading this entire show which is in the same messily inspired vein and in beautiful satellite radio sound quality.