Posts Tagged ‘Jack White’

Jack White’s been so commonly associated with rock ‘n’ roll over the years that it’s been easy to overlook the fact that he often works similar to how dance producers do. For starters, there’s nothing more explicitly tied to how dance music operates than running your own label to put out releases from yourself and others — and more broadly, since emerging at the turn of the century with his and Meg White’s beloved, now defunct White Stripes, White’s dipped in and out of various projects that more or less function as monikers under which he explores certain sounds.

White unearths or returns to these projects when the mood suits him, and they often bear their own distinct sonic identity. Besides the White Stripes’ arty blues-punk, he’s unleashed jet-black scuzziness with the Kills’ Alison Mosshart as the Dead Weather, embraced an anything-goes mentality with the music released under his own name, and tilted towards country-rock windmills with power-pop whiz Brendan Benson and members of defunct Detroit garage-rock act the Greenhornes as the Raconteurs.

White’s choosing to unearth this month a new Raconteurs’ album the bands third, “Help Us Stranger”. It’s the first album from the group in 11 years and barring the fact that it’s been nigh impossible to predict the machinations behind White’s own creative internal clock, the timing for him to return to more straightforward rock territory is impeccable.

White has effectively split the difference between his last solo album Boarding House Reach’s adventurousness and the band’s past trad-classic rock trappings, the results coming across as appealingly low-stakes. After a series of solo albums that, even at their strongest moments, possessed a nervy atmosphere not unlike grinding one’s teeth, Help Us Stranger is comparatively loose and limber, making for the most collection of songs White’s released in years.

Credit is due to Benson, who  as with 2006’s Broken Boy Soldiers and the 2008 quick-turnaround Consolers of the Lonely shares writing credits with White on almost every Help Me Stranger track. Just like Consolers, the sole song he doesn’t is a cover; this time around it’s a rollicking take on psych-pop shaman Donovan’s “Hey Gyp (Dig The Slowness).” But That’s pretty much the only element that Help Me Stranger shares with Consolers; while the latter sagged from an overlong run time, the Raconteurs’ latest is a comparatively lean and mean 41 minutes, with brisk arrangements and more than a few grin-inducing breakdowns such as the double-time frenzy that closes out the boys-in-the-band opener “Bored And Razed.”

There’s a distinctly stoned silliness to parts of Help Me Stranger, none more evident than on the “Misty Mountain Hop”-ping “Only Child,” in which White sings about a “prodigal son” who’s “come back home again to get his laundry done.” Otherwise, the playfulness streaked across this album is mostly of the musical variety, like the multi-tracked vocals dotting the verse structure on “Don’t Bother Me” or the Tell-tale Heart-esque pulse that courses through “Now That You’re Gone.” There are guitar solos packed into nearly every empty corner of this thing, and plenty of the aggressively hammered piano lines that were so prevalent on Boarding House Reach, the latter playing much more enjoyably to the ears than on that record.

Suffice to say, if none of these sonic elements or the idea of four guys bashing out melodic rock music that nonetheless treads familiar ground — sound appealing to you, then you’re probably better off listening to nearly anything else. But the lack of formal innovation on Help Me Stranger packs its own odd appeal, especially when the old tricks are so capably performed. “Live A Lie” is straight-ahead Motor City garage rock that, ironically, bears some resemblance to once-White nemesis the Von Bondies’ “C’mon C’mon”; the guitar riff that kicks open on “Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying)” recalls Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Happy Gilmore-closing “Tuesday’s Gone,” its midsection breaking into a gooey Beatles-esque breakdown.

Such callbacks to classic rock’s, er, classics inevitably bring to mind Greta Van Fleet, that shaggy-haired band of industry-beloved youngsters who’ve gained equal parts fame and critical consternation for joylessly regurgitating the entire Led Zeppelin catalog But there’s nothing that White and Benson have cooked up on Help Me Stranger that sounds like genre-reliant clock-punching; instead, they make playing around in the classic-rock sandbox sound like so much fun that you have to wonder why it took them eleven years to get back in the habit together. Hopefully, next time around they’ll make a point of getting together again sooner.

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Released June 21st, 2019 ,
2019, 2019 Third Man Records, LLC

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Image may contain: 1 person, on stage, playing a musical instrument and night

Jack White and Brendan Benson of the Raconteurs admitted they couldn’t pinpoint when the band got back together – but recalled that their first show in eight years had been a “rough” affair that nevertheless left them feeling “exhilarated.”

White, Benson, Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler hit the stage together bck in April to mark the the 10th anniversary of White’s label Third Man Records. They later confirmed a North American tour to promote their new album, “Help Us Stranger”, which is released on June 21st.

The reunion appears to have been fueled by White’s creation of the song “Shine the Light on Me,” which he felt didn’t work with any other project he had and sounded like a Racounteurs track. “Just the mention of it – The Raconteurs – jolted me a bit,” Benson said in a new interview. “And then a couple years passed.”

White remembered taking “baby steps” towards any kind of reunion, and also that a full album had never been part of the plan. “The first step for any act in that position would be to have some kind of meeting with a manager and plan out your whole year, like, ‘Hey, we’re going to make an album and tour and start booking festival dates,’ and you haven’t even recorded a song yet,” he reported. “You could very easily fall into those traps in the music business if you’re not careful. So we just got together a couple times and said, ‘Let’s see what happens.’ … but the songs came out really fast and that was a great sign.”

With the new LP in the can, the band regrouped for the Third Man show. “It was a little rough,” Benson said, noting that it was also the first time he’d performed sober in the group. “But it felt good. It was just one of those moments where afterward, we were all very exhilarated and stoked about the future.” That led to more shows and then the North American tour. “We don’t sit around and discuss a plan; we just roll with it,” he added. “We just do what we do – for better or for worse.”

their forthcoming album “HELP US STRANGER” – out June 21st.

Jack White and Brendan Benson’s group The Raconteurs are hitting the road for the first time in years, and are dropping their first album in over a decade “Help Us Stranger” this coming June. The Grammy-winning Nashville based powerhouse teased fans in December with two tracks from the record, and have now they have unveiled a third cut ‘Hey Gyp (Dig The Slowness)‘, a punchy reimagining of Scottish psychedelic folk singer Donovan‘s 1965 song. The Raconteurs‘ rendition inserts a heavy dose of garage punk heft into the tune, while retaining the stripped back original’s lusty soul. enjoy their cover of ‘Hey Gyp (Dig The Slowness)’ version below…

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released April 10th, 2019
2019, 2019 Third Man Records, LLC

The Raconteurs have announced a new album, “Help Us Stranger”, It’s their first new album in 11 years, since their 2008-released second album, Consolers of the Lonely. “Help Us Stranger” is due out June 21st via Third Man Recordings. No new music accompanies the album announcement, but it includes the remixed and remastered versions of two songs the band shared back in December: “Sunday Driver” and “Now That You’re Gone”.

The band features Jack White, Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence, and Patrick Keeler. The Raconteurs formed in 2005 and released their debut album, Broken Boy Soldiers, in 2006. Lawrence and Keeler were also in The Greenhornes and Lawrence has also played with White in The Dead Weather. Benson is known as a solo artist and of course so is White, who released a new solo album, Boarding House Reach, in 2018 via Third Man and Columbia. The band is known as The Saboteurs in Australia, due to another band down under named The Raconteurs.

Jack White and Brendan Benson wrote all the tracks, except for “Hey Gyp (Dig the Slowness),” which is a Donovan cover. The Raconteurs produced the album, which was recorded at Third Man Studio in Nashville, TN, and engineered by Joshua V. Smith. Vance Powell and The Raconteurs mixed the album at Blackbird Studios in Nashville. The album also features keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Dean Fertita (The Dead Weather, Queens of the Stone Age), as well as Lillie Mae Rische and her sister Scarlett Rische.

A special Third Man Vault edition of the album will include the album on 180-gram marble vinyl and a 7-inch featuring early demo recordings of “Help Me Stranger” and “Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying),” as well as a Raconteurs bandana designed by Keeler and an exclusive Raconteurs slip mat.

The Raconteurs Announce First New Album in 11 Years, “Help Us Stranger” Due Out June 21 via Third Man Reordings.

Image may contain: 1 person, guitar

Is this Jack’s White strangest album? Definitely. It’s also his bravest. He’s a known oddball, but there is no stylistic blueprint for this record. Listening to it is an adventure, like a contact sport for one’s ears, and while some find it difficult to digest robot synths, sirens, and shrieks alongside piano dub, there are songs like “Over and Over and Over” that are undeniably fierce rock drenched in scuzzy riffs and pummeling drums. I personally enjoy being sonically assaulted in this way. The track “Corporation” is good point of reference. White emotes a narrative about starting an entrepreneurial endeavor and taking over the world while his guitar schizophrenically fuzzes and freaks in the background. If White’s business is creating a haven to feel free enough to take risks while staying true to his core, then my answer to that shouting chorus line of “Who’s with me?” is a resounding, “I am!”

Music video for “Over and Over and Over” from Jack White’s new album BOARDING HOUSE REACH,  Third Man Records. 

Jack White

Jack White  has announced a new live concert film, Jack White: Kneeling at The Anthem D.C., along with an accompanying six-song live EP. The film and EP premiere September. 21st, .

The film documents White’s second sold-out night at The Anthem during his Boarding House Reach tour, and features a career-spanning set, with tracks from The White Stripes, his solo career and more. It was directed by Emmett Malloy, who directed the 2009 White Stripes documentary Under the Great White Northern Lights.

A six-song EP featuring performances from the same show will be released exclusively on Amazon Music on the same day as the film’s release. The tracklist can be found below. White will be continuing his world tour throughout the autumn.

Watch the trailer for Jack White: Kneeling at The Anthem D.C. Get a front row view to Jack White’s career-spanning concert at Washington, D.C.’s The Anthem flmed on May 30th, 2018 as part of his Boarding House Reach tour.

The film takes from White and his band’s second of two sold-out shows at The Anthem on May 30th, 2018, and also features footage from White’s travels around DC and his surprise lunchtime performance at DC’s Woodrow Wilson High School. A six-song live EP of highlights from that show will also be available via Amazon Music.

The Anthem show, was a 21-song affair that included nine-song encore, featured cuts from Reach, along with White’s earlier solo albums, plus tracks from his work with The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather.

Vault37 Webmockup Retina 1300

To celebrate the release of his album Boarding House Reach in March 2018, Jack White embarked on a mini-tour of intimate venues and small clubs. Starting at his hometown go-to stage in the Blue Room at Third Man Records in Nashville, filtering through dreams and dives in NYC and Los Angeles and London and eventually hitting White’s home away from home at Third Man Records Cass Corridor in Detroit, the performances were explosive and commanding. Chronicled in a new triple-album set. Jack White Live in Nashville / Live in Detroit showcases performances in the two cities he’s called home.

In the spirit of the classic baseball “home-and-away” Vault package #37 highlights the momentous, tour-de-force set White unfurled in Nashville on March 16th and augments it with the unhinged Detroit performance a month later. Highlights include the raucous live debut of stadium anthem “Battle Cry,” the frenetic, stinging guitar fight of “Over and Over and Over” and masterful crowd singalongs for White Stripes classics like “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground.” As is par for the Vault, releases both of these shows are exemplary entries into the twenty-plus years of epic, life-affirming Jack White live performances.

According to a post on the website for White’s label, Third Man Records, much of the album was recorded at the Blue Room at Third Man’s shop in Nashville, with the rest coming from its Detroit counterpart, Third Man Records Cass Corridor. The news arrived with a preview of “Corporation” from the set,

White has also given attention to the LP’s artwork. “Packaged in a die-cut sleeve with peep-in artwork reminiscent of [Led] Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti or the [Rolling] Stones’ Some Girls, the interplay between the sleeve and the jacket will provide fans with hours upon hours of flip-flopping fun,” the post notes. “The discs will be pressed on lustrous black, beautiful blue and wonderful white vinyl.”

The album also comes with three glossy 8×10 pictures courtesy of White’s personal photographer, David Swanson, and a flag featuring White’s logo.

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Watch Jack White Perform Two <i>Boarding House Reach</i> Standouts on <i>SNL</i>

Jack White made his third appearance on Saturday Night Live over the weekend, performing two standout tracks from his recently released solo album “Boarding House Reach” and even making a cameo in a sketch.

White brought two songs from his latest to life on the Studio 8H stage, “Over and Over and Over” and “Connected by Love” White’s the performance was a true team effort, as he’s joined by four back-up singers (one of whom plays a mean tambourine), two keyboard players, his longtime bassist and a kickass drummer. The band’s take on “Over and Over and Over” is a rollicking rave-up that stops and starts on a dime, while their rendition of “Connected by Love” develops gradually, building to dueling organ and guitar solos that shred the song into tatters before Jack White and co. bring it all back home.

The former White Stripe and his band kick off their tour in support of Boarding House Reach this coming week, in White’s hometown of Detroit. White recently described their sound as “very heavy,” adding, “I’ve never been in a band this loud before.” If that (and their SNL set) sounds like your cup of tea, you can find their full tour might be coming near you.
We weren’t the only ones who enjoyed White’s performances Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent got a kick out of his “Connected by Love” track with White playing a guitar designed by Vincent-and-ernie-ball announced in-2017-line-of Annie Clark’s signature Ernie Ball line guitars.

As White briefly discussed with Jimmy Fallon during a recent Tonight Show interview, the musician also popped up in a sketch: the cut-for-time “Wedding Toast,” in which White played a wedding guitarist who happens to be sleeping with John Mulaney’s wife. Though White does little more than play guitar (i.e., himself) in the sketch, it’s fun to see him flex his comedic muscles, however gently—he’s rarely done so since his scene-stealing turn as in 2007’s Walk Hard.

“Connected By Love” from Jack White’s new album Boarding House Reach available now.

 

Since the mysterious clip titled “Servings and Portions from my Boarding House Reach” landed on 12th December last year (directed by none other than Jack White III), we’ve been watching it Over & Over . And even though it sounds like turning the radio dial surfing frequencies, the teaser touched our interest. We were reminded how much we ache for Jack White’s striking blue-and-black colour palette (with flashes of chrome and bursts of colour throughout ). Some believed the words that flashed up onscreen – such as Abulia, Papillon, Vache, Real Hands, Kale (plus some upside down words we’re not quite geeky enough to try and figure out) – were titles of songs from Boarding House Reach,. We’ve always considered Jack White to be a separated-at-birth contender for Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka and this collection of songs is as phantasmagorical as Roald Dahl’s fictional character.

1. connected by love

The first taste of new Jack White material, the album’s lead single dropped on 10th January and those opening bass booms really do call to mind Muse’s most recent single, Dig Down.

When you’ve already seen a song’s accompanying music video, it’s virtually impossible for it not to play in over in your mind every time you hear the song afterwards. The Connected By Love clip is a collage of scenes featuring seemingly unrelated people in different environments: a woman on her death bed, a group of angry youths kicking the shit out of someone, brothers/twins doing their mum’s head in before stumbling upon a dead deer. And then there’s White himself, inside a room in a house somewhere remote. He beats his chest emphatically while trying to convince himself that humans are inherently good, “’Cause I know!/We’re connected by love,” as the gospel BVs emphasise, “We’re connected/We’re connected”. The circle of life (via death), loss of innocence, interplanetary shifts – hang on, they’re all “connected”! Love is all there is, people.

After a whirling instrumental dervish, there’s a glorious, bare-bones piano breakdown. “Don’t forsake me, woman!/And go and choose somebody else,” (as IF, Jack). Yep, this is punch the air, preacher-man stuff and by the time the organ comes in we’re speaking in tongues.

2. why walk a dog

Opening track two, a lumbering drum pattern calls to mind a dog being dragged along on a lead against its will. White asks all the important questions, such as, “Why does a dog need to be walked?” – except that he over-enunciates the word: dawg. White can definitely be a funny fucker as well: “These cats seem to blow everyone’s mind/But mine.”Indeed the bassline evokes a slinky cat stalking and then sneaking up on a bird. There’s a guitar solo that sounds like the guts are being wrenched out of this instrument and amps crackle under the pressure. Occasional organ stabs intensify to become a main melody and this instrument is already a recurring Boarding House Reach motif. Why Walk A Dog proves what we’ve always suspected: White really is Dr Seuss for grown-ups.

3. corporation

This one sounds like it belongs on The Get Down soundtrack. A skittish beat with hi-hats, an organ melody mimics the guitar riff, insistent egg shakers, drum demolition – “WHO’S WITH ME?” WE ALL are. Already. Corporation changes tack just after the two-minute mark with demented bongos and sounds that fly from one earbud to the other (we almost duck at one point). “I’m thinkin’ about starting a corporation!/Who’s with me?” Then in come White’s piercing squeals, like a toddler protesting while being dragged towards the bath. It’s a freeform instrumental jam. Then White and his travelling band of gypsies march right out the door and off down the street, fading into the distance.

4. abulia and akrasia

Dramatic violin evokes a fortune teller gazing into her crystal ball. “These are my demands…” – hold up, we know that voice! It’s the inimitable CW Stoneking! And his storytelling prowess is undeniable. As is Stoneking’s ability to take us waaaaay back to a land that time forgot. Enter words we need to look up in the Thesaurus such as “abjuration”, “repudiate”, “abdicate” – wouldn’t wanna challenge this character to a game Scrabble! A tambourine shimmers to heighten suspense and honky-tonk piano comes straight from a saloon in Westworld. There’s a cute twist to the tale that we’re not prepared to spoil for ya. And we reckon Stoneking’s kids must get the best bedtime stories ever! He has a bright future in talking books if this music thing doesn’t work out.

5. hypermisophoniac

What are those crackling sounds? A super-fast typing speed? Then thumps suggest Godzilla’s traversing a nearby town. Hypermisophoniac sounds like a malfunctioning arcade game, but piano stabs introduce an organic element. Enter thrashing guitar. “Ain’t nowhere to run/When you’re robbing a bank.” Aha! Maybe those sounds at the start are note-counting machines!? We reckon this one would be a great soundtrack for a robot escaping a facility only to run outta battery life.

6. ice station zebra

These song titles, though! This chugging slice of hi-hat-heavy wonderment with insistent piano chords and trippy organ (or is it that theremin?) would perfectly soundtrack a Looney Tunes cartoon. Then enter White in full flight on a spoken-word rant: “You create your own box you don’t HAVE to listen.” This track particularly is best appreciated through headphones. Wow, the drumming on this album is next-level! And for this we have three drummers to thank: Daru Jones (Nas, Talib Kweli), Carla Azar (Autolux, Depeche Mode) and Louis Cato (Beyoncé, Q-Tip) – we salute you.

At one point the drum pattern is sparse in this song, then things turn cacophonous before it all stops on a dime. In the middle of Ice Station Zebra, there’s a breather during which we can take stock of our thoughts. Then more dialogue (“Come on over you can lick the stamp, son”) with funky keys to boot. “The name of the toon is Cold Hand Luke, ‘cause/I got stripes on my pants and boots” – White’s lyrics are absolutely nuts! Fast riffage then silence.

7. over & over & over

This one’s a more standard rock’n’roll number with killer heavy guitar riffs, loose “WOO!”s and frantic drumming. The rowdy-group backing vocals are quirky, almost The B-52’s-esque. “My shoulder holds the weight of the world.” Pitch-shifted BVs. We just wanna bust out and head-bang along to this track Over & Over & Over. “The rock’n’roller/The young and older/Going back to the stroller.” Guitar screeches underscore actual unhinged human squeals. Many different instruments take turns playing the same five-count main melody. Guitars beg for mercy in White’s hands and then bongos take over, like a galloping heartbeat. “And though you all want me/The gods have all scorned me, now.”

Music video for “Over and Over and Over” from Jack White’s new album BOARDING HOUSE REACH

8. everything you’ve ever learned

“HELLO! Welcome to. Everything You’ve Ever Learned.” There’s Gameboy bleeps and we feel like The Wizard Of Oz is speaking to us from behind a dodgy curtain (pay no attention to that man behind the curtain). Then the system malfunctions and it all goes wonky before bongos that sound like a horse bolting hijack this song’s arrangement. White enters the spectrum in full preacher-man mode again. “Do you wanna question everything?/Then think of a good question!” Those hi-hat-heavy drums return and bongos bring the loco. We feel like Marlon Brando’s Apocalypse Nowcharacter when he was losing the plot! Organ gives this track a religious feel and then White shouts before petering out, “SHUT UP AND LEEeeeeaaaaaaaarrrrrn”.

9. respect commander

Also released on 10th January, this is the B-side to Connected By Love and, as such, didn’t land with an accompanying film clip. Are they experimenting with trying to accelerate into the fastest beat possible? I can’t even type at that tempo! This track sounds like a chase scene in the Mission Impossible franchise and we’re tipping White would choose to do his own stunts. The dynamic variety demonstrated in Respect Commander and its constantly shifting tempos build suspense alongside the scattered, excitable “Whoop!”s. Tambourine shimmers like a rattlesnake. “She commands my respect/And I can’t recollect/A better time in my life… And I cannot protect/My heart from her command.” That guitar work! Prince would approve wholeheartedly. Then it all fades out.

10. ezmerelda steals the show

Gentle strumming, which actually calls to mind REM’s Everybody Hurts, and an endless keys drone underscore layered voices. Spoken-word – reverberant, overlapping voices – sometimes sounds like a poem, other times like a script or stage directions: “Ignoring the beauty of fog on a hill, and a kitten with a mouse in its mouth.”

“You can hear a bootlace…” – what would that sound like? “You people are totally absurd.” Ezmerelda Steals The Show sure is “totally absurd”, but it’s also absolute genius.

11. get in the mining shaft

Synths sound like an old sci-fi movie soundtrack (or Stranger Things?) with what seems to be White recounting the first time he ever encountered an old piano “in an abandoned house” and getting hooked after hitting several notes together at the same time. This album could very well be White’s ode to the piano. Guitars are present, of course – White choosing to play a brand new Wolfgang Special and 5150 amp from Eddie Van Halen’s signature brand on the record – but it’s a remarkably keys-driven set of songs. Enter spacey keys, AutoTuned wah-wahs and a casual, strutting drum pattern. Celestial choirs are like an aural epiphany.

12. what’s done is done

This gently swinging duet – White singing alongside a simultaneous female voice – sounds playful, instrumentally, but the lyrics bring a sinister twist. “What’s done is done/I just can’t fight it no more/So I’m walking downtown to the store/And I’m buying a gun.” Enter an organ solo that takes us straight to church. Amen. Directly after What’s Done Is Done track finishes, White says, “Either you go or I go.” Then a female voice whispers, “Then it won’t be me.”

13. humoresque

You’ll immediately recognise Antonin Dvorak’s Humoresque melody if you’ve ever taken a piano lesson in your life (or listened to your mate practising). White’s voice echoes the notes in Dvorak’s piano cycle, “You thrill and fill this heart of mine/With gladness like a soothing symphony.”

In a recent Rolling Stone interview, White revealed he purchased a musical manuscript that reworks Humoresque, which was written by Al Capone while he was imprisoned in Alcatraz in the 1920s. The fact that a gangster could pen such beautiful words moved White, he says. Boarding House Reach thus concludes like a jazzy lullaby, or “a soothing symphony” according to this song’s lyrics.

Rock Werchter 2018 lineup

The 2018 edition of Belgium’s Rock Werchter festival takes place from July 5th-8th at Festivalpark Werchter, and the stacked lineup was just announced. Headliners include GorillazJack WhiteArctic MonkeysQueens of the Stone AgeNick Cave & The Bad SeedsThe KillersPearl Jam, and London Grammar. Other notable acts appearing at the fest include Nine Inch NailsFleet FoxesAt The Drive InDavid ByrneAnderson .Paak & The Free NationalsMGMTPost MaloneCHVRCHESNoel Gallagher’s High Flying BirdsThe BreedersFever RayFirst Aid KitAlbert Hammond Jr., and much more. Tickets are on sale now.