So I’m sitting on the porch of my hotel in Spain and I think to myself, what goes well with gin and lemonade? Why, rock of course. Thus began an intense hour of drinking, listening, and writing.
I set out an arbitrary set of rules for this experiment: one drink followed by three songs (they are all quite short); repeat. The drinks were to be chugged, to amplify the effects. Also, I could not pause a song to write about it for longer than two minutes.
I chose The White Stripes because I have had a fascination with them for quite a while now, and it seemed that the time was right for this love-affair to give birth to something beautiful. So to loosen her up, I poured booze down her throat.
Part I: A gin and lemonade, por favor
I have cracked into a delicious gin and lemonade concotion for this review. It’s just Gordon’s gin and Schweppes lemonade, but it tastes like summer and goes down like a granny without dentures – smooth.
To the music – The White Stripes’ sophmore release, De Stijil. this is one of my all time favourites, for a lot of reasons, the opener being one of them.
‘You’re Pretty Good Looking (For a Girl)’ is a blast from the past with a sound straight out of the ’60s. It is fantastically innocent in sound with the hint of more-than-meets-the-eye slipping you some tongue from the homosexual vibe it gives. What makes this track so endearing is that it has this “days of old” feel to it while featuring just enough fuzzed guitar to still distinctly feel like an indie rock track.
And without warning, all of the innocence wrapped around track one is torn off like the panties of a drunk college girl as ‘Hello Operator’ hits your ears. The guitar licks are sly and they make it easy to forget that there’s only one guitar playing. Jack’s distorted vocals give the impression that he is singing to you through a telephone – a nice touch on a song about making a phonecall. Also, Meg plays with some drumsticks and it actually sounds kind of cool.
This brings us to one of my favourite songs that this band has ever produced – ‘Little Bird.’ This song is dirty. It’s grimy, it’s sloppy, and it sounds the way a drunken barfight feels. The slide guitar is brilliant, as is the tempo change near the end. Even Meg White’s infantile drumming style works wonders on this track, as she creates lots of space for the guitar to come through while still hitting all of the right accents. Songs like this are what The White Stripes shoukd have stuck to for at least one more album.
Part II: Another round with a little extra lovin’ (the lovin’ is chips)
Glass number two down, and we are ready to role. Also, I think my bartender (see: fiancé with a smirk on her face) made that one a double. Typing on my iphone is proving tough without auto correct, not because I’m drunk (I can’t be drunk, it’s only been eight minutes) , but because normal man-sized fingers are not capable of bullseyeing womprats from this range.
Here we have track four, ‘Apple Blossom.’ Again, we are shifting back in time, this time to the ’70s. It has a beautiful mix of acoustic guitar and piano tgat makes Jack’s vocals come through with an extra tinge of suncerity.
‘I’m Bound to Pack it Up’ – Seriously, what the fuck is going on here? This song should absolutely have been written in the ’70s. The strings are genious and Jack really lets rip with genuine vocals that use the imperfections of actual singing (not autotuned garbage) to convey emotion. Very strong song.
‘Death Letter’ – Amazing. Granted, this song is a cover of Sun House, and it is right up Jack’s alley, but it is amazing none the less. The guitar is just so dirty. It’s like the loser in a hobo mud wrestling match. The sloppy sliding coupled with the growl of distortion Jack uses, along with his blatant disregard for tempo, makes this song seem as sad and out of control as a man who just lost his lover would be. Brilliant.
Part III: Three’s the magic number
Okay, just chugged my third glass. I need to catch up to the tunes here.
Sister – If I was in school with Jack, I totally would have been his friend. Especially wih guitar licks like that. Break the rules Jack, just fucking smash them. I need another drink.
Truth doesnt make a Noise – Do do do deedlde deedlde do thos is magic man. but what the fuck is with all of this time traveling? At least this is the only song with Morlocks.
A Boys Friend – This one pulls you straight down. Why are you so sad Jack? Stop making your guitar cry, its killing me. But I must admit that the bridge is a little lacklustre. It doesnt hut home quite like the orhers jack. but that last line is genioys.
You see, I poured mt own drink last time. i cant jushe shots, i just go with what deels right. this is a terrible mrthod of measuring shots. wait, i hear voices.
Lets Build a Home- This comes right the fivk out of nowhere! its so quiet and then bam, rock in the face. that ficking happened to me qhen i was in high school – yeah eric lau, im talkin to you. right in the fucking head eric. seriously?
Part IV: Kansas is gone, I think I’m in Spain
Jumble Jimble – so theres this kid on the balcony right across from me, and hes playing football on his balcony. why? rheres a football field right next door? i assyme is mom wont let hom play outside, or maybe he has leprousy or something. anyway, it eas clear to me immediately thst playing football on a balcony was a disaster waiting to happwn then boom it fucking happened. his ball went rifht over the edge. definitwlt made my day. i cant be too deunk if i still know that football on a balcony is retarded.
okay, slight break. need to pee and i need a fourth drink.
Why Cant You Be Nicer to Me – its cold out. im goin in.
Jimi Hendrix anyone? This song is an excellebt fusion pf 60’s rock and indie groove. Also, strings in the chorus? well done sir.
Southern Can – What the fuck is this song about? I like to tiink it is Jack White’s take on rap – a pimp talking aboyt his hoes. this is seriously messed up. And Meg doing backups doesnt help. but its a pretty great song none yhe less.
Part V: Moving on down the road
Alright, fuck it. The alb’s done, but i need more rockin. in the spirit of Jack’s slide giitar, im heafing to the Rolling Stones.
Little Red Rooster – This is crazy gold. I really feel like a little red rooster, too lazy to crow dor the day. strong song, but not as strong as jack. needs more dirt.
Fifth down. Startin taste alcohol no matter what i drink.
Start me up – This song makes me want to throw a party in my barn. rockin. also, it makes a grown man cru. repeatedly. ill take tou to aces youve never seen!
Next time we drink rainbows.