Jack and Karen in Vogue
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Since then, the drummer has only made sporadic public appearances, and not played a full gig.
Asked if he wanted to reconvene with Meg any time soon, the White Stipes man told The Times: "I would like to," before adding: "I don't think her anxiety exists any more. But I don't know."
White, who is currently gearing up to release his second album with The Dead Weather, 'Sea Of Cowards', on May 10, continued by saying that he and Meg still see each other regularly.
"She was there when we were rehearsing for The Dead Weather, and Karen [Elson, White's wife]'s band was rehearsing in the next building," he explained. "She's still involved and everything, but we've never sat down and gone, 'OK, so don't forget to block out three months...' Although we never did that, even in the thick of the craziness of The White Stripes."
Back in March, White praised Meg's drumming skills, saying her simplicity "inspires people" to follow her lead.
by Katie R. / noctems
There is a day, a certain day, who for the poor you may be sure will lift their spirits again. What is this day? This certain day? THE THIRD OF EVERY MONTH. Why you might ask? Well, a few months ago my friend Caitlin (skeletonnkey) and I decided we would listen to the White Stripes (and only TWS) for an entire day on the 3rd of each month. The number three does hold special meaning, Jack White is slightly obsessed with it, okay? And since we're slightly obsessed with him, it worked.
Obviously, you're not out of the loop if you're a member here but any additional recommendations to those who are, are appreciated.
[Warner Bros. / Third Man; 2010]
In the final scene of the White Stripes tour documentary Under Great White Northern Lights, Jack and Meg sit on a bench in front of 88 black-and-white keys. Jack starts to play the piano and sing his ballad "White Moon". Meg starts to cry. It's a heartbreaking, out-of-nowhere surge of intimacy that briefly lifts the curtain on one of the most fascinatingly private bands to ever reach arena-rock ubiquity. It's also one of those revealing moments that raises more questions than it answers. Are the tears a harbinger of the crippling anxiety that struck Meg soon after the film was shot in 2007, forcing the Stripes to cancel dates and enter a mysterious hiatus that continues to this day? Is Meg acknowledging a hidden truth behind her ex-husband/little brother/good friend's song? Maybe she just didn't get enough sleep the night before. We don't know.
It's this sense of unknowing that makes the White Stripes such a riveting live act. The exquisitely packaged Under Great White Northern Lights box set aims to summarize the duo in their most potent form-- onstage, with two spotlights beaming straight through them, using little more than eye contact and reflexes to figure out where to go next. And it's a wild success. In a 2002 Spin interview, Meg summed up her musical goals succinctly: "The point is being a live band." This comprehensively indulgent live set drives that point home with force.
The box's centerpiece is the UGWNL film directed by Emmett Malloy, which follows Jack and Meg as they hit small Canadian towns with names like Yellowknife and Whitehorse while making their way through every province and territory in the country. The pair also celebrate their 10th anniversary near the end of the trek, lending the affair some sentimental heft; the strange trip from being a couple of married oddballs in peppermint duds to being divorced, canonized Saviors of Rock can sometimes be seen flickering across their faces.
In order to recapture their early days playing for a handful of doubters at Detroit's Gold Dollar, the Stripes scheduled a slew of impromptu, word-of-mouth "B-side" shows along the way at a bowling alley, a flour mill, on a bus, and at a cafe in the Northwest Territories. The weirdest and most unorthodox gig goes down at an old-folks home in the sparsely populated city of Iqaluit. The resident elders treat their dark-haired guests to avian myths ("ravens used to speak like us... they are smarter than us") and raw caribou-- the meeting is warm, out of time, and charmingly absurd. Kind of like a White Stripes song.
Those searching for behind-the-scenes dirt on the band would be better served by an exploitative, unauthorized biography. UGWNL is ultimately a hagiography meant to bolster the White Stripes' status as porcelain, godlike geniuses. And Jack and Meg indeed look impeccable while simply walking across frozen tundra or posing in front of customized red, white, and black tour planes. (Some 200 pages worth of their shutter-ready mugs grace a gorgeous book by ace photog Autumn de Wilde that's included in the box.) No matter where they are or what they're doing, it's tough taking your eyes off these two.
The pair almost comically play into type in the few non-performance candid scenes, often shot during post-show comedowns. Jack is loud and intense; Meg's first words are spoken a full 23 minutes into the film-- and they're so soft they require subtitles. The movie's most contentious exchange is pretty mild, and actually revolves around Meg's refusal (or perhaps inability) to speak up. Throughout, the White Stripes live up to their mythic roles: Jack runs around, charismatically blabbing, yelping, and flailing like a little brother while Meg's big-sis stoicism keeps things grounded. Unlike the similarly formatted 1967 Bob Dylan pic Don't Look Back, which featured the young singer interacting with outsiders and sometimes coming off like a jerk, UGWNL rarely lets us see the Stripes outside of their carefully controlled realm. Even so, moments like Meg's minor breakdown poke through. And more than enough personality comes across in their manic live shows anyway.
The UGWNL movie neatly packs concert highlights into quick-moving medleys. But to explain this band's appeal onstage, the uncut White Stripes live experience is a must. For that, the box offers a manageable 16-track, hit-filled album on both CD and double vinyl and a more hardcore 135-minute DVD of the Stripes' 10th anniversary show in full called Under Nova Scotian Lights and filmed at Glace Bay's Savoy Theater on July 14, 2007. The album sounds ridiculously heavy, with many songs-- including the gurgling "I'm Slowly Turning Into You" and the Dusty Springfield cover "I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself"-- easily trumping their studio counterparts. But the LP is also relatively linear and song-based, which isn't really how White Stripes shows work.
On the flip, the Under Nova Scotian Lights DVD is the best simulacrum of a Stripes live set ever produced. The pair are locked in, switching songs up on the fly, tumbling into old blues covers without pause, and generally proving exactly why they're considered musical superheroes in real time. There's no net for these gigs, and dropped notes or beats happen now and then, but the overall streak of spontaneity is key. In a UGWNL interview segment, Jack talks about how he purposely sets up his instruments far away from each other on the stage as a masochistic motivator to force him to hustle-- he starts sweating through his shirt early on, and doesn't stop. Without a single drum fill or snare roll, Meg once again proves to be the ideal foil for Jack's virtuosity as she fills the room with her crash cymbal while pounding out staunch hard-blues beats John Bonham would appreciate. When Jack sings about "lookin' for a home" on traditional closer "De Ballit of De Boll Weevil", it's clear he's already found it as he flies feedback through a crowd with Meg to his right. It's exactly where he belongs.
The UGWNL box is also a triumph of Jack's ongoing quest to show the world that "there is more beauty and romance in tangible, mechanical things than in invisible, digital things." Though he's ramped up the web presence of his label, Third Man, Jack is still a Luddite at heart, obsessing over outmoded instruments and recording techniques. His aversion to technology can seem stubborn, but a big part of this set's power lies in its physicality. It's blocky and sturdy and aesthetically beautiful in its three-color minimalism. And the seemingly slight bonuses-- a photo-illustration book with Jack as the Tin Man and Meg as Dorothy, a colored 7" single, a silkscreen print-- add up to give the package a fanclub-style sense of exclusivity (note that the live album and documentary DVD are sold separately). But its over-the-top grandness as well as its stark black box with red inner-lining also give the set an air of casket-like finality. "I hope you appreciate what I do for you," sings Jack on "A Martyr for My Love for You" near the end of the anniversary show. He then steps away from the mic for a good 15 seconds, letting the words float in silence. Then he finishes the song.
— Ryan Dombal, March 26, 2010
"Her femininity and extreme minimalism are too much to take for some metal heads and reverse-contrarian hipsters. She can do what those with 'technical prowess' can't. She inspires people to bash on pots and pans. For that, they repay her with gossip and judgment. In the end she's laughing all the way to the Prada handbag store. She wins every time."
Posted by Ryan Dombal on March 24, 2010 at 4:25 p.m.
(2) The White Stripes
(8) Jack White
(10) Meg White
(15) Them Crooked Vultures (mainly Josh and Dave)
Comment = Credit = No Hotlinking = Enjoy
( "You've got her in your pocket..." )
You can get the tracks separately.
"Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" from the pair's 10th anniversary show. Video: Watch a Live Performance From the White Stripes Box Set
On March 16, the White Stripes return (kinda) with an incredible-sounding box set that orbits around their live film Under Great White Northern Lights. (Watch the trailer here.)
Along with the Under Great White Northern Lights documentary on DVD, a live album, and a 208-page book, the box includes a DVD of the duo's 10th anniversary show, dubbed The White Stripes Under Nova Scotian Lights. And now you can watch an excerpt from Nova Scotian Lights-- a grainy and intense take on "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" is after the jump (via Spinner).
Dear Meg, please come back:
Video of Dead leaves on the dirty ground
I'm such a lame ass that I preordered my copy of the box set complete with vinyl, book and insert at Christmas just so I could get the Christmas card.