TOY PIANO

Music, Art & Life

Icky Thump- Reviewed July 4, 2007

Filed under: music,white stripes — ivynoelle @ 6:03 am

The White Stripes made my summer 10,000 times better by releasing their sixth studio album, Icky Thump. Due to some real crappy…crap…I couldn’t get my hands on a copy until two weeks after its release, so I’m sorry if this review is a little stagnant. I’m like that guy who JUST saw Borat for the first time and is going around saying “what is up, vanilla face!?” to his obviously unamused coworkers. Or that person who still wears Napoleon Dynamite shoelaces from the Hot Topic.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. Let me begin my review by stating that I really, strongly, disliked Get Behind Me Satan (the ‘Stripes 5th release, if you’re not in the know); I thought it was pretentious, draggy, and completely lacked any energy (wow, those words do NOT make it sound like a White Stripes album), so my expectations for Icky Thump were somewhere along the lines of, “MAN, THIS IS GOING TO SUCK.” This feeling was reaffirmed when I heard the eponymous single after it was leaked on the internet. The pseudo-rapped lyrics, the awful electronic-y synth break, the…ZZ Top quality that the song possesses made me feel like I was completely right in my convictions that The White Stripes had made a permanent home in the land of suck. But I was determined to get the album and give it a fair shot anyway.

Icky Thump cover

And I’m so glad I did. This album completely saves the White Stripes! Its still got its draggy moments (“300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues”, “A Martyr For My Love For You”), and I have to admit, I couldn’t even listen to the songs that featured bagpipes (I Just hate bagpipes, though, that’s nothing the White Stripes did wrong), but the album is mostly composed of good, rocking songs. Now, it must be said that my favorite White Stripes album is their first one, the most bare bones minimalist guitar-and-drums-only of their releases, so the slicker, studio-produced feeling of their later albums, especially the last two, hasn’t really been all that pleasing to me, but that being said, I still really enjoyed a lot of the songs on this album. “Little Cream Soda” is great, even though it does lack any sort of flow lyrically. With “Rag and Bone”, Jack White continues to prove my theory that he has completely lost his mind, and “I’m Slowly Turning Into You” is one hell of a catchy song. “Effect and Cause” is fun, and reminds me strongly of the ‘Stripes Dolly Parton cover “Rated X”, while “You Don’t Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You’re Told)” is essentially a Brendan Benson song (maybe a little too much Raconteurs?), but I like Brendan Benson, so that’s cool by me.

But the best song on the album is, by far, “CONQUEST”. It’s a cover of an early 50’s song, which was only done once before the White Stripes decided to cover it. This song is fantastic, more fun than anything I’ve heard recently. Don’t buy the album for this song, but love the hell out of it once you get it.

All in all, I give Icky Thump a 7/10.

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SO UNFAIR. May 6, 2007

Filed under: shows,white stripes — ivynoelle @ 4:52 am

So, I was recently informed that THE WHITE STRIPES were coming to the Grand Opera House in Wilmington, DE (I live about 30 minutes outside of the city). Needless to say, I was stoked: not only are the White Stripes tied in the much-coveted “Ivy’s Favorite Band” spot, but they were coming to WILMINGTON, the freaking city I grew up in! No one ever comes to Wilmington! What the hell!

So, I find out that tickets go on sale Saturday May 5th at 10 am. No problem, right? Okay, little problem- you can only get them by going to or calling the Opera House’s box office. That’s right, NO online ticket sales WHATSOEVER. Still, I thought to myself, that shouldn’t be too hard, I’ll just start calling a little early.

So I call. and call. and call. The number was busy from 9:50 am to 11:05 am, when I finally got through only to have a man curtly tell me that the show was…

SOLD OUT.

Okay, now I say “what the fuck” a lot, but seriously WHAT THE FUCK. They had only TWO phone lines you could call to get these tickets. TWO! For a fucking White Stripes show! Were they not expecting much in the way of interest or something?!

I’m sorry, I just find it a little unfair that in spite of me calling literally NON-STOP from ten minutes before they even went on sale, I still couldn’t get a ticket.

In short, the Grand Opera House is now re-named the Grand LAMEASS.

 

Is it okay to be a little in love with Jack White? March 3, 2007

Filed under: music,white stripes — ivynoelle @ 7:26 am

Let’s face it, the man is a guitar god, there’s no denying that. But there’s something else that makes Jack White so attractive, and I just can’t put my finger on it.

No one is just okay with our dear Mr. Gillis, you either love him or you hate him. My boyfriend, for instance, is totally in love with the man and would probably murder a baby for a chance to meet him, whereas another one of my friends hates him and will begin to fuss if he even hears the first three seconds of a White Stripes song.

So here’s my question: What is it about Jack White that makes him so fascinating?

Theory #1: Stage Presence

Look at that ugly guitar.

Anyone who has seen the White Stripes will tell you that Jack White has amazing stage presence. My mother was actually friends with the White Stripes before they made it big, and she claimed from the first time she saw him perform that he was one of the most enigmatic musicians she had ever seen (since I was about 12 at the time, I didn’t really appreciate this). I actually had the pleasure of seeing him in concert this past November (Raconteurs/Bob Dylan. Oh yeah.), and I finally saw what she was talking about. In spite of the huge girly crush I have on Brendan Benson, I couldn’t take my eyes off Jack. He completely stole the show from the rest of the group. It was like he pouring his soul out onstage; it was all guts and raw emotion and I was completely entranced. This may have been when I fell a little in love with him.

Theory #2: Appearance

Jack White is no different from any number of popular musicians, he likes to change his look. But here’s the kicker, at least in my book, IT IS COMPLETELY RANDOM. One day he’ll look like Michael Jackson, the next a delta bluesman, and the next time you see him he might be wearing a bunny suit for all you know. For example:

awwwwww EEEE

Cute / Horrifying

I think it’s this total fucking randomness that makes people want to pay attention to him. Is he gonna look normal today? Will he be dressed like a matador? Will he have shaved his head?! It’s anyone’s guess!

 

Theory #3: He’s Totally Insane

OLE!

This kind of ties in with my last theory, but that doesn’t make it any less true. For chrissake, the man is using a MARIMBA in most of his recordings today. He beat the bejeezus out of that dude from the Von Bondies, and he got married at the merging of three rivers in Brazil (I kid you not). He’s completely off his rocker and he’d probably punch you soon as look at ya. But there’s nothing Americans (nay, humans in general!) love more than an amusingly insane person.

 

So there you go. I love Jack White.

 

Listen To These: Hand Springs (White Stripes), Level (Raconteurs), Death Letter (White Stripes)