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.