Wednesday, May 09, 2012

White Stripes, "Ball and Biscuit" (2003)


The White Stripes came along with their notorious and somewhat mannered color schema, their primitive squealing and squalling, and the strange relationship between the principals, and the next thing you knew it was all about finding room on the mantel for Grammies. It felt like it all happened in a flash, that's the price I pay. I've been somewhat at sea all this time, ambivalent and not easily or often drawn in, maybe the contrarian as usual kicking at the thought of something actually getting popular. But I like them more and more. This bruising slab of downhome dirtyass rock 'n' roll hangs around longer than seven minutes, Jack White doing his usual business with the bluesy crunch and roar and shriek. I think it succeeds fine as a blues, in fact, though I have to wince a little at the black-cat-scratch 7th-son-of-a-7th-son bent of the lyrics, which are after all hard to ignore in the spaces that White leaves open for them. I'm sure he's running circles around me and's got me out-ironied by a factor of three minimum. You can argue it. Oh hell, white boys will be white boys anyway so that's all right too, when the guitar is played and recorded so hot. And you know what? Now I'm listening close that's some pretty neat drumkit from Meg White too, damn. It all gets to working. This is slow, like tanks entering a city, and loud and piercing no matter where you set the volume. It never quite gets back into the background, remember that if you're thinking about when and where to play this and company is around.


  1. Yeah, I love this jam still - my favorite song from my favorite band of the 00s (though they don't have much competition there, due as much to my own negligence of the period I should have been MOST into contemporary music given my age, but anyway...)

    Got to see them live a couple times, though a few years after Elephant. White Stripes Under Blackpool Lights is great too, grungy Super8 & all. One of my favorite concert flicks.

  2. No worries - looks like your comment disappeared too! Hope this one makes it through. Currently I'm working/living in California, and working on some screenplay ideas that I can hopefully shoot for low cost this summer or fall. I'll be blogging hopefully once a week - tonight I'm seeing a director's cut of Last of the Mohicans (one of my favorite films of all time) with Michael Mann speaking afterwards. That should be worth writing about so hopefully look for a piece on it early next week; no promises though...