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Jack White thunders rock power at MSG

Jack White thunders rock power at MSG

How do you expound on the impassioned artistic and commercial monster sensation that is Jack White? He is a guitar god that by all common logic of modern, forgetful, and wishy-washy hipster music-listener standards should already be considered a dinosaur, after all, his commercial heyday was almost a decade ago. So, how is he considered by most to still be the best rock guitarist in the World? How does he still sell more vinyl than any other artist in an age when only a few music freaks actually still buy music, let alone any physical media at all? It was just back in 2008 when he appeared in a guitar-fanatic’s flick called It Might Get Loud, and jamming alongside axe greats Jimmy Page and the Edge, and in which, to say he stole the show would be putting it mildly. Just that beginning scene where he takes apart a porch and in minutes builds a makeshift guitar and then proceeds to shred on it is awe-inspiring to say the least. The man, the guitarist, and the voice known as Jack White first blasted into our ear drums in the little-known obscure duo from the back-woods of outer Detroit called the White Stripes with a simplistically sweet drummer by the name of Meg White that no one seemed to know whether she was his sister, wife, or girlfriend. Within just a couple years of playing together they had managed to whip a new frenzy up for low-fi garage rock, just when many had thought the death of the grunge scene had finally put a nail in that coffin, but within a number of singles and two killer albums they had brought new life to the straight-from-the-heart, straight-forward, loud-and-bold rock sound. By 2001, most seemed to know that the two were actually formerly married, although he strangely always seemed to refer to Meg as his “sister,” and by which time their infectious blues punk stomp had reached epic heights with their third hit LP White Blood Cells, and thusly they made a move to loud major label rocker status with their following three discs Elephant, Get Behind Me Satan, and Icky Thump. In 2008, the band went into a seemingly spotty hiatus, brought on by sex-tape scandals, tour anxiety, and constant badgering by music a-holes that Meg White wasn’t a good enough drummer to back him, and it seems as though Jack finally became a de facto forced free agent. For many years, before and after the Stripes breakup was officially announced in 2010, Jack seemed to hook up with outfits where he no longer needed to be the only frontman and majority musician, like the expansive line-up of The Raconteurs, or as the drummer in The Dead Weather with Kills singer Allison Mosshart, or even just axing for classic artists as diverse as Loretta Lynn, Danger Mouse, and Wanda Jackson. Still, it wasn’t until a couple years ago that he finally began to record full-lengths as a true solo artist with the albums Blunderbuss and then last year’s Lazaretto, both of which were quite diverse, but tended to revolve around a certain bluesy yet folksy bluegrass sound, a feel that many of his fans would not exactly hate, especially considering it had made it’s way into many of his past works, especially that of the White Stripes and Raconteurs. Still, even though he can now even sell out a stadium as massive as MSG in NYC as a solo rocker, no one seemed absolutely sure what he would play or what kind of special guest stars would show up, but sure enough, we were all about to find out…

Jack White at MSG, NYC 1/30/15 review by Dean Keim, photos by David James Swanson & Dean Keim

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Alice & The Lovers

lovers-apple-grabs-01-26ALICE & THE LOVERS


Wow. I love all girl bands and thanks the legendary Mr. Steve Blacknell (MTV and Top Of The Pops) I have found a new one – and they rock. Indeed Steve quoted them as sounding like the Bangles on acid and that’s not a bad comparison. They’re melodic, nice harmonies and jangly guitars and their downbeat mellow new single, “Valentine,” reminds me of Big Star with shades of the Spector girl groups of the 1960’s and the fabulous Shangri-Las. Their other songs I’ve heard have a sleazy, late night lost lovers vibe to them with the weird, “Mother’s Room,” and the anthemic, “Fucked Up,” a garage pop song ala Jonathan Richman destined not to be played on national radio…shame.

Apparently they formed on Valentines’s Day this year to release this single and are fronted by singer songwriter Alice Offley. I think they’re destined for big things and the world does not have enough all girl bands.

Anyway, if you’re feeling a little mellow and lonely this February 14th take a listen to Alice & The Lovers and enjoy the  downbeat aural bliss.