The White Stripes - the formerly married tandem of guitarist-singer Jack White and his fake sister drummer Meg - have broken up. What's the big deal, you say? Jack wrote and sang and soloed on almost all of the raw-boned art-damaged gutbucket blues-derived songs, and Meg played drums, rather poorly, on them.
But there was something about the band's self-imposed creative limitations - everything visual presented in only the three colors of red, white and black, and a similar self-conscious faux-primitive simplicity in the musical approach - that worked worked smashingly well. And for whatever reason, neither of Jack's other bands - The Raconteurs or The Dead Weather - has come close to measuring up in comparison.
I saw some great shows over the years - at the North Star Bar, the House of Blues in Atlantic City, and the Grand Opera House in Wilmington - and I'd still put 2001's White Blood Cells on top of the list. But really, I like them all, from the 1999 self-titled debut to 2007's screechy Icky Thump. I'm not sure if they were the best band of the 00's, but I can't think of one that I liked more. Below, the Michel Gondry-directed "The Hardest Button To Button,"from 2003's Elephant.
On the band's web site, there's a statement, which ends thusly: “The White Stripes do not belong to Meg and Jack anymore. The White Stripes belong to you now and you can do with it whatever you want. The beauty of art and music is that it can last forever if people want it to. Thank you for sharing this experience. Your involvement will never be lost on us and we are truly grateful.”
Previously: Amos Lee Tops Billboard Chart