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Jack White - Blunderbuss

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Solo album in April; first single coming later tonight.

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Sooner than expected... "Love Interruption."

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As Paste notes, the video features the musicians who played on the recording, Ruby (of the duo Sam and Ruby) on bgvs, Emily Bowland on Bass Clarinet, and Brooke Waggoner on keys.

One connection that may be interesting to some here is that Charlie Peacock has produced projects for both Ruby and Brooke. (They both performed recently at the 20-year celebration of Charlie's "Art House America.") And Brooke, at least, has told me she will be touring with Jack White for this album.

Emily plays some of the recording sessions I have for various projects, and also plays with a couple different symphonies, I think.

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"Sixteen Saltines"

Totally awesome.

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A rave from Mulvey.

White is predictably proud and defensive about his various work since the White Stripes’ “Icky Thump”, but there’s no doubt that “Blunderbuss” is the record that most of that band’s fans have been wanting him to make for the past few years: “Sixteen Saltines”, in particular, sounds more or less like a fleshed-out take on the “Elephant”-era sound, particularly “The Hardest Button To Button” (In case you hadn’t heard, White’s live bands are playing songs from throughout his career: no Year Zero absolutism here, pleasingly).

Interestingly, though, if there’s one White Stripes album that “Blunderbuss” reminds me of, it’s “Get Behind Me Satan”, with its tricksy R&B piano songs, its playfulness and viciousness. Flourishing piano lines (often played by Brooke Waggoner rather than White. Keyboardists are central to the new live bands- hence the recruitment of Ikey Owens from The Mars Volta as her opposite number in the boy band) anchor a bunch of the best songs here, especially in a run through the middle of “Blunderbuss” that ranks as one of the best sequences White has ever recorded.

It begins with the title track, a country-tinged story song that feels very much like a sequel to “Carolina Drama” (the best track, I think, on the Raconteurs’ underrated “Consolers Of The Lonely”), rich with the imagery and swagger of mid-‘70s Dylan. Then there are two extraordinary piano numbers, around which the whole album hinges: “Hypocritical Kiss” and “Weep Themselves To Sleep”, the latter a wonderfully bombastic examination/indictment of male vanity (“And men who fight the world and love the girls the girls that try to hold their hand behind them”) that’s also blessed with the album’s best and most indignant guitar solo.

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Paste has the video for "Sixteen Saltines."

It's really strange and more than a little disturbing, like if Cronenberg had directed George Washington.

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There was a fantastic article on White in the NYT last week, which included details like this:

We headed for Third Man, where White was squeezing in a quick rehearsal. He’d assembled two new bands for the record — one of them all women, the other all men. He was taking both on tour, but only one would perform each night. He wasn’t announcing which until the morning of the show — even the bands would be surprised. He’d barred them from listening to each other, because he wanted them to evolve separately.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/08/magazine/jack-white-is-the-savviest-rock-star-of-our-time.html?pagewanted=all

Edited by Stephen Lamb

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A five-star rave.

The demise of The White Stripes still lays heavy on the hearts of both fans and the man, even after all this time. But Jack White’s Blunderbuss finally puts a candy-cane bouquet on its gravestone and seals the tomb firmly – just by being what a Stripes record could never hope to be. The full-color character immersion present on the man’s debut solo LP, recorded at White’s Third Man Studios in Tennessee, establishes a tri-colored middleground amidst the bands with which we associate him – namely the White Stripes, the Dead Weather and The Raconteurs – and transcends them all with a razor-sharp singular vision and staggering versatility that defies any of his group designs.

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Neil McCormick:

Somewhere between these two poles, between a fan-like enthusiasm for the historic base of “classic” rock ’n’ roll and a restless, itchy urge for originality, Jack White has concocted an absolute corker: a rich, ripe masterpiece with two feet in the past and a nose for the future.

Blunderbuss is billed as the 36 year-old’s solo debut but, since he was the driving force in the White Stripes, the Raconteurs and, to a slightly lesser extent, the Dead Weather, it feels more like a continuation, or distillation. He weaves together all his influences with a spirit of loose invention and the command of a veteran band leader.

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This is going to be streaming in full, on iTunes, starting at 9PM tonight.

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This is going to be streaming in full, on iTunes, starting at 9PM tonight.

Thanks, Josh. I'm two listens in, and very much enjoying it. Can't believe I've never listened to Jack White before (other than a song here and there).

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NPR--Jack White: How I Made "Blunderbuss'

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My reaction is exactly the same as Stephen. I've never been a big White Stripes fan. I've owned White Blood Cells since around the time it came out but haven't listened to it a great deal. I liked its hits but couldn't get behind it as a whole. Since then I've bobbed my head to the singles but haven't payed too much attention.

Blunderbuss is flooring me. It's varied musically. Pianos, handclaps, and all that jazz has fleshed out his stock and trade guitar and drums that White normally has lived on. (Note, this isn't a slight. It's just an observation. And I'm aware that Get Behind Me Satan expanded the instrumentation.) It hits hard. It pulls back. It gets funky. It slows down. This will end up on the top of many a year end lists and as far as I can tell, rightfully so.

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