Music world, what gives??

As I mentioned a couple posts ago, Jack White released a video for Freedom at 21, and based on the lack of any sort of reaction, you’d think it never happened. I can’t be the only one who was completely blown to shreds by it… right?? Come on, music world… What gives??

First of all, this song is a rock and roll club banger. It’s got energy and attitude and makes you wanna kick someone in the face and sassy dance with them all at the same time. It feels like after hours at a hip-hop-country-western bar that would most likely fail its health inspection. Ladies, don’t sit on the toilet seat… I’m just saying.

This is all a product of the crazy, strong twangy beat that Jack white raps/sings over in a  tone of voice that’s begging you to try to step to him. Every line of this song could end with a mic drop and Jack throwing the deuces as he slings his guitar on his back and cowboy walks offstage.

In other great news, said beat is delivered by REAL INSTRUMENTS!!! With only a touch of computers… The cool thing about this, for a huge nerd like myself, is thinking about when White Stripes came out and were cutting edge for making music the old fashioned way with minimal technologies involved. On Freedom at 21, Jack seems to only be dipping into the modern age where he needs to, and the product is mind-scrambling-good.  I would argue that this song could get people moving and shaking as much as any Pitbull or Rihanna or LMFAO joint, and it was made by a group of musicians playing things. Am I cool enough to call a song a “joint?” Probably not.

Now onto the video. Things get kind of scandalous!! In another genres collide type move, Jack turned to Hype Williams to direct. There’s fast cars, a hot lady cop, even hotter lady prisoners, and Jack White trumping all of their hotness in a Johnny Depp costume. That said, the most x-rated thing about this video is Jack’s telecaster. It could beat any of the ladies in a wet t-shirt contest, which I wouldn’t recommend cause everyone would get electrocuted in the process. But it really stands out. It’s all about the guitar.

Music videos are one of my favorite modes of artistic expression, and I’m a big fan of experimenting with the genre. I loved the Lego Seven Nation Army clip and when the Black Keys dressed up like deranged stuffed animals for Gold on the Ceiling. That said, I can also appreciate a straightforward narrative that is shot well and fun to look at, which is what Hype Williams delivered. A little pop never hurt anybody.

So for your reconsideration, watch Freedom at 21. Like now please. It’d be fun to have someone to talk with about it. I guarantee you’ll be as jazzed as I am.

Holy Music Monday!!!

Yesterday was a big day in the land of tunes. We got a new Green Day single,  a single/video double whammy from No Doubt, and some new video eye candy from Jack White. Check it all out below as I try and peel myself off the ceiling.

No Doubt – Settle Down


Green Day – Oh Love


Jack White – Freedom at 21*

*This was freaking directed by Hype Williams!!

Jack White at Roseland

Oh hey guess what… I went to ANOTHER concert. This past week has kind of been like the high holidays for music. That’s a joke for my Jewish readers. I saw Jack White at Roseland and he did this really great thing where before the show, his manager came onstage and asked people to refrain from taking photos and videos. He suggested watching the show with your eyes– which has always been my preferred method. He continued by saying that fully-downloadable, free photos would be posted on Jack’s website, so I trusted the man and didn’t touch my iPhone for the rest of the show. Here are three of my favorite shots that they posted:

As one expects with a Jack White show, there was a very strong aesthetic. Everyone from Jack to his band and even the roadies were dressed in matching blue and black suits, ties, and hats that coordinated with the simple backdrop on the stage. All the instruments followed the blue theme as well and it set a really interesting tone. Especially when he played some of his harder rock songs like “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” and “I Cut Like a Buffalo.” With the dim lights and the haze, it was like people were moshing in a dream.

I know I called out Butch Vig yesterday as being a highlight of the Garbage concert, but I’m about to call out Jack’s drummer Daru Jones as being my go to focal point at the show when I didn’t know where else to look. His drum kit was set right on the edge of the stage and he tore through the ethereal backdrop and just murdered every single song. He sits real high and keeps his drums real low, so there’s a unique posturing and movement that comes along with all his beats. Jack went over to him quite frequently, and it was mind-blowing to see them lock in together and ride out the resulting guitar/drum magic.

I know this makes me a HUGE nerd, but when Jack pulled out his famous Kay guitar for the encore, I was totally stoked. I could try and count for you the times I’ve watched “It Might Get Loud” but it might get embarrassing. To hear that sound in person was a real treat and added an extra awesomeness to an already great finale. It was definitely the cherry on the best sundae of a performance and I can’t wait to go see him and his Kay again.

Jack White on Colbert





Oh my gosh guys, it’s here. I have it. Blunderbuss has entered the building.

Now, if you’re a dedicated reader (as I know about 3 and 1/2 of you are) you’ll find the disc art interesting.

Especially if you read this post from a couple weeks ago that contains the photo I’ve been using as my iPhone wallpaper since.

This means Jack White and I are soul mates… Right?

Conan and Jack White

As stated by Josh Eells from the NY Times “Jack White is the coolest, weirdest, savviest rock star of our time.” And as stated by amateur blogger Brianna Hope, “Conan O’Brien is the coolest, weirdest, savviest comedy star of our time.” That said, it only makes sense that the two would be BFF’s.

I stumbled across this video yesterday of Jack White performing with Conan on the premiere of his TBS show, and in addition to being a good performance, it brought back a lot of memories of the time when I was lucky enough to work for Conan at NBC.

From the humble point of view of my small role on the show, music was a HUGE part of Late Night. Conan is a lover of music. He has a great group of bookers that bring on some really sweet acts and has given countless, now crazy famous bands their first TV spot. If you saw his theatre tour a couple years ago or decided to watch the video above, you know that Conan is an accomplished guitar player and can carry a tune as well. And after watching many episodes of his show, I feel like you can really see him at his nerdiest when watching a band rock it out. And then he’s even nerdier than that when he gets around Jack White.

For whatever reason, I didn’t know until reading Eells’s article (linked above) that when the White Stripes performed on the last episode of Late Night with Conan O’Brien, they were no longer a band. Jack and Meg reunited as a favor to Conan and my luck continued as I got to watch it in the studio. I know this is trite, but it really was magical to see just how touched Conan was during this performance and it perfectly encapsulated the importance of that moment. The mutual love and respect was palpable and was the perfect sign off for the show. It seems NBC has taken down all the videos but you can find audio of the White Stripes on Conan over at Stereogum.

Based on interviews I’ve read, it seems like Jack White does everything on his own terms. He owns all the masters of his music, carefully crafts the aesthetics of his red and white world, and says his whole motivation with the White Stripes was to trick people into liking the music he loves. I can only imagine that this contributes to his affection for Conan as he’s the same type of guy. He carried on the tradition of Letterman and with an incredible team of people crafted a TV show that didn’t really follow the rules and continually takes risks comedically and otherwise. And when it all comes down to it, I am really glad Jack and Conan are friends as we’ve gotten to see a lot of killer performances that are a result of their regard for one another. Hopefully this will continue as Jack releases his newest album, Blunderbuss, next week. I’ve already set my DVR.