The Nurse

Never having seen the White Stripes is one of the biggest things in life I’ve missed out on. They came, went, and ended all before I had the resources to pursue seeing music. But at least I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the developing phenomenon of Jack White in real time. I think he’s without a doubt the most important figure to emerge within my lifetime, and I’ve met plenty of people who speak of him in even more trembling terms. I’m ready to love anyone who wants to just be weird for the sake of it, and few people get as weird as Jack. The more experimental, the better. The mighty marimba, for example, is sorely underused in popular music. Incorporating the unexpected into their vision so seamlessly was one of the best things about The White Stripes; in their singular world, obsolete equipment and odd instruments were like lost toys rediscovered. Each album was like a musical thrift store of forgotten treasures.

My Doorbell

When you gonna ring it? When you gonna ring it?

Keep it sweet and astute, Jack. The White Stripes managed the oxymoronic feat of making simplicity into a high concept. A three-tone color scheme, a guitar and a drum set can carry a world of intricate personal vision, it turned out. Being a concept group wasn’t sustainable, in the end, but how well they sustained it while they could. I was immediately awed by Jack White’s masterful command of image and reference, and it’s still one of my favorite things about him. But having a cohesive graphic image aside, let’s not overlook the bare bones of what makes The White Stripes still matter. Their music was always just so simple and sincere. No amount of funny hats could distract from that.