Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Play Dumb Play Dead Play Straight: The Dead Weather

This album is like a carefully constructed sloppy outfit; a carerected slopfit, if you will. You know exactly what I'm talking about: the kind of outfit that a [insert emo/hipster/etc. stereotype] takes hours to build, but all in an effort to make it seem, well, effortless. It is a just-rolled-out-of-bed, recording-our-band-practice kind of sound.

Not to say that this album is sloppy: it isn't. And not to say that it seems effortless: it doesn't. In fact, it is delicately imbued with an intoxicating kinetic energy. The idea that I'm trying to get at is that this album is meticulous anti-synchronicity. The syncopations are not consistent, but they are sure as hell intentional. Every beat, every dirty chord, is placed exactly where it is meant to go. It is the epitome of "brand new worn out" jeans: broken in so you don't have to.

If this all seems to be a terribly confusing description, then good. Because I'm doing it on purpose. You have now experienced the written equivalent of my listening to The Dead Weather's freshman effort. Maybe it's my mindset, maybe my lack of focus--I honestly don't know--but it took me a good FIVE listens to actually "hear" this album. For the record, this is incredibly untypical for me; usually I can listen to something once and tell you exactly what I like and don't like about it; I'm that kind of opinionated ass. But this...this was different.

And I want to say right here that I dig it. Really dig it. This album is just downright fucking sexy. If this album was a one-night stand, it would be with that hot fucker from a smoky dive bar that you bang in secret in your tiny college apartment. Sure, it might be good ol' missionary style sex, but it is a deep, intense penetration that you talk about for weeks. And maybe booty call a few times, just for the hell of it. Maybe more than a few times. This could go on regular booty call rotation.

I have been hearing a lot of backlash against Jack White these days, and I can relate to where that is coming from. Yeah, he is in, like, FIFTY different bands. Yeah, he has that whole "I'm a rocker, I'm too cool for skoo" vibe. Yeah, he has the scuzzy black hair, motorcycle jacket, and big black boots. But in spite of any possible comparisons to rocker cliches that you could impose, you cannot deny that the man can CHURN OUT some fucking listenable music. He has a gift: a gift of rock. If Jack White was the little boy Jack Black in The Pick of Destiny, it would have been Led Zeppelin talking to him from a poster on the back of his bedroom door.

I'm going to shy away from a track by track description, other than to leave you with this video. This FUCKING AWESOME video. They call it a short film rather than a video, and I can see why.

The Dead Weather, Treat Me Like Your Mother

AND the behind the scenes. Apparently, it is algebraic.

And for you film geeks: This is YES.

They really are too cool.


Sean said...

I'm just back from a listen to this, and I think that you've nailed it, Boo. I feel kind of kicked-around and dirty. A little abused, even, but in a good way.

mixtapetherapy said...

Boo always gets it right. And personally I don't mind that Jack White's prolific...I just wished I could get a surprise or two from him. Kinda same ol, same ol...but that said, I like his music.

So there.

Ms. Mix & Bitch

Spender said...

As brilliantly entertaining as John Mendelsohn's long ago review of Led Zeppelin II and yet even grander in scale, bringing levels of snark and sarcasm to music criticism that make Lester Bangs look down from Rock Valhalla and smile while blinking back tears of joy. Jack White can, in fact, churn out the boogie and regardless of the sidemen chosen for any particular vanity project, you damned well know that it's JACK freakin' WHITE'S boogie that you're hearing.
I must be off now to choose a proper vest and decide on which hat to wear before strolling oh, so casually into my very fave indie record store where I shall purchase this new opus. Now... which hat? Do you think the Porkpie is apropos?

Felicia said...

Jack White is great, but Alison Mosshart MAKES that album. She fucking rocks!!!!!!!!!!

Boo said...


Felicia, you are the only person (out of FOUR; note sarcasm) to point out Allison.

I purposely didn't write about her. But I fully agree. She makes the album.

That woman is hot.