Web Toolbar by Wibiya Bears and Bullets: 2011-01-30

Thursday, February 3, 2011

In Memoriam ...

As everyone has already heard, the White Stripes are no more. For over a decade, the iconic two-piece band comprised of Jack and Meg White established a more than well-deserved reputation as one of rock music's most preliminary acts, issuing stellar album after stellar album. During the time, the duo also earned a reputation as one of the most invigorating live acts in the world.

Since 2007, after the release of the band's now final studio album Icky Thump, Jack has been jumping around from multiple side-projects with the Raconteurs and Dead Weather, along with producing work for other artists. It was a somewhat long hiatus for Jack's original project, which was rumored off-again, on-again to be returning to the studio and on tour, but to no avail.

In the band's official statement, the two wrote that, "The White Stripes belong to you know, and you can do with it whatever you want." There was no collective difference between Jack and Meg, apparently, and there were no outside issues that prevented the group to continue their work, but rather the decision to go out on top. For an industry that far too often sees its greatest artists fall by the wayside in their twilight years, the White Stripes never left their prime. If any solace exists in the news of the group's demise, that's it.

But it's never fair to a band or artist of this quality to just say, "they're done," there's little justice to what the White Stripes actually accomplished in that. Few artists in the 2000s were more groundbreaking, earthy, and consistent as the Stripes. From their low-fi self-titled debut in the late 90s, the band truly emerged in 2001 with their breakthrough album White Blood Cells, and Michel Gondry's instantly memorable music video for "Fell In Love With a Girl." For those that may remember, White Blood Cells was also featured on Bears and Bullets list for the ten best albums of the 2000s as well.

The group's stellar career continued to tick upward through the years, peaking with 2003's Elephant. Their last two albums, Get Behind Me Satan and Icky Thump may not have been as sincerely enriching as the group's first four LPs, but they were still remarkable achievements in its own right.

Personally, a little hole was left open when I heard of the band's breakup. Through my concert-going years I've never had the privilege to see Jack and Meg together live. I've seen the Raconteurs and Dead Weather, ironically, but not the band that had me interested in those two in the first place. For those who have, I now am forced to only imagine the experience.

There's a saying among sports fans when talking "one of a kind" players - players who combine such sporadic and unique elements to their game that can define them and only them. When those kind of players retire, fans know we'll never see another one like them again. We'll never see another Hakeem Olajuwan. We'll never see another Bobby Orr. And, unfortunately, we'll never see another White Stripes. Jack and Meg combined such an ephemeral veracity with Jack's otherworldly talent to create an awe-inspiring, and, at times, polarizing act that many music fans truly failed to appreciate.

Luckily, history will remember them well, as a band that rarely (if ever) failed expectations during their now too short career.

Usually I'd put a few music videos here for a situation like this, but I think this performance of Son House's "Death Letter" typifies the band better than any singular song.

The White Stripes - Death Letter (Live)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The end of the White Stripes

Very sad news today.

Jack and Meg White have officially announced the end of the White Stripes, one of modern music's most collective, powerful, and endearing groups. Read the group's statement here.

White Stripes (1997 - 2011)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Best Coast bring "Each and Every Day" to Letterman

Last night, Best Coast, who are just pretty much everywhere lately, appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman with "Each and Every Day," which, by my count, is the 80th single from Crazy For You.

Bonus: You can grab the "Each and Every Day" MP3 for free exclusively at Amazon. Get to it.

Best Coast - Each and Every Day (Live on Letterman)

James Blake "Wilhelm Scream" official video

About two weeks ago, James Blake showed up at BBC's Maida Vale Studios to perform a batch of new songs, including "The Wilhelm Scream," from his anticipated full-length debut, which is scheduled for release next Monday, Feb. 7.

The song got its official due, which features Blake standing in the same room he stands in to make all of his album covers, apparently.

James Blake - The Wilhelm Scream

Tuesday Bears: New Kills - Satellite

Yesterday, Twitter (hey, I have one of those) went ape shit, somehow, over Fleet Foxes newest single "Helplessness Blues." In the thick of it, the Kills newest single "Satellite" seemed to be unfairly overshadowed.

Three years after the release of the release of Midnight Boom, Allison Mosshart (taking a break from the Dead Weather) and Jamie Hince are set to release Blood Pressures, an album which was famously delayed when Hince's notorious girlfriend Kate Moss through his laptop, which contained six brand new songs, into a pool for some Kate Moss-ish reason.

Blood Pressures is due out April 5 via Domino Records.

The Kills - Satellite