March 11, 2010

WIN! The new White Stripes documentary


CORRECTION: Fuel/Friends gets to give away the White Stripes’ new DVD of Under Great White Northern Lights and the companion live CD. My deep apologies for the confusion between me and the PR people (but hey, it’s still a cool prize, for free).

Under Great White Northern Lights was filmed to capture moments from Jack & Meg’s summer 2007 tour across Canada, from the big city venues to the smalltown bowling alleys. This tour (in support of Icky Thump) represented their last live performances for a good two years, until they recently resurfaced on Conan.

shows_ive_seenTO WIN: Leave me a comment telling me about either your favorite White Stripes concert moment or your favorite White Stripes song, and why. I will pick one winner before I board a plane to SXSW next Wednesday.

third manAnd speaking of White Stripes and SXSW in the same breath, how awesome does this look? I’ll be there, and try to not wear my Third Man Records shirt to the store that day. Last year at SXSW, in another one of those surreal moments that thankfully seem to pepper my life lately, I had tapas with the director of this film, Emmett Malloy, and we chatted about the making of this documentary. It feels full circle that I’ll probably get to finally see a screening of it at SXSW this year. Wahoo!

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  • My favorite White Stripes song is Seven Nation Army from Elephant. I know, I know… this was one of their big hits… However, I love the driving kick-drum, the reserved vocal on the verses, the angsty release of the chorus. I can’t keep my head from bobbing or my feet from tapping throughout, and by the time the song is finished, whatever troubles I might have had on my mind seem to have vanished into the aural release Seven Nation Army provided.

    Brandon Shillington — March 11, 2010 @ 10:06 am

  • my favorite White Stripes song would still have to be “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” from White Blood Cells. i just think it epitomizes everything that’s so great about the Stripes: it’s timeless and it’s got that stomping swagger yet a clear vulnerability in Jack’s quivering vocals, with the weight of what sounds like a full band behind it.
    even the first few seconds of the song, the way the guitar squeals and descends into that amazing riff and spirals on down, still gives me chills.

    Mike P — March 11, 2010 @ 10:18 am

  • well, my favorite concert moment was scoring tickets for a show at the Riv in Chicago. It was actually my mom who got them (she’s so awesome) since I was busy at work. Fast forward to three weeks before the show, we find out the tour is canceled.

    it’s hard to pick a favorite song but I’ve always thought “hotel yorba” was pretty great and really sums them up as a band.


    kourtney l. — March 11, 2010 @ 10:19 am

  • I’ve seen several of Jack white’s projects, but not the White Stripes. That said, my favorite song has to be Seven Nation Army, the song so good that the Edge unconsciously stole it, and then played it to Jack White as U2′s new track (the Edge denies this).

    Miles Buckingham — March 11, 2010 @ 10:21 am

  • I saw the White Stripes years ago at a pretty small venue, it was a real treat of a show, from the preshow of cartoons to the performance. I like Hardest Button to Button and Doorbell, but my favorites change all the time.

    I would give this to my friend Ron for his birthday though, he doesn’t go to many shows and he loves them, it would totally make his day!

    Laura — March 11, 2010 @ 10:25 am

  • The White Stripes were playing the Boston Orpheum on April 20, 2003. Unfortunately, I hadn’t been able score tickets to this sold out show. I worked for a medium-sized law firm in Boston as a paralegal and was talking about the concert with one of the partners in the office, asking if he had ever seen a show at the Orpheum. One of the younger associates overheard our conversation, and when I got back to my desk I had an email from him asking me to come see him about a big assignment that might require me to work into the evening. I was pissed, because I planned to try to buy tickets off a scalper, and now there was no way I’d make it to the Orpheum in time.

    When I walked into the associate’s office, instead of giving me work, he handed me one ticket to the concert and told me to meet him and his friends at a nearby bar before the show. The ticket was a thank you for an earlier project I did for him. I didn’t even know he listened to the White Stripes! He had heard me talking about the show a couple days before, and when one of his friends canceled, he decided to give me the ticket. I was floored. Very cool act by a very cool guy.

    Needless to say, the show was amazing. We were in about the 5th row of the balcony. That building is really old, and the balcony was actually swaying during the White Stripes’ set.

    A couple years ago I finally purchased a copy of the concert poster ( and found a bootleg of the show ( Awesome. A night I’ll never forget.

    Jason — March 11, 2010 @ 10:41 am

  • Isis, by Bob Dylan. One of the best Dylan covers, period. Jack White’s guitar sounds like lightning, and the thunder of Meg’s drum accents during the chorus really give the song “umph.” And I just love the inflection of Jack’s voice as he sings this 6+ minute song in just over 3 minutes. Fantastic stuff. See here:

    Zimm — March 11, 2010 @ 11:24 am

  • Sadly, I have never had the good fortune to see The White Stripes in concert. However, My favorite White Stripes song is probably Girl, You Have No Faith In Medicine. Whenever I am feeling down or anxious I play that song on my ipod and I am ready to stomp all over everything.

    Katelyn — March 11, 2010 @ 11:31 am

  • ‘let’s shake hands’ first song off this live disc. sums up the white stripes perfectly. fast, sweaty, and to the point. cant wait to see that one on the live dvd!

    Justin — March 11, 2010 @ 11:37 am

  • I think Jack screaming “JOLENE!” in their cover of the Dolly Parton song is just a rip-roaring musical performance. Seeing them play that at the 9:30 Club in DC awhile back was an unexpected treat.

    Rupe — March 11, 2010 @ 12:01 pm

  • My favorite White Stripes concert moment had very little to do with the music so I guess I’ll go for song. My favorite song has to be ‘Fell in Love With a Girl.’ I like it for I guess three reasons, one the music video, two it was the song that made me fall for them, and third the fact that its just so… unpolished. Even though it became quite popular it just feels like they’re just rocking out without a care in the world.

    Zeke — March 11, 2010 @ 12:05 pm

  • My favorite White Stripes song is not really their song at all but I still adore it. Their cover of Jolene really brought that song back to me after ages of not really thinking about it. The vocals are just the right blend of agonized and powerful to really put out a haunting sound. I was even more excited to discover that Jolene is on Under Great White Northern Lights.

    Chris — March 11, 2010 @ 12:06 pm

  • My brother and I have not always had the best of relationships, he’s older by a few years and I was always the annoying younger brother getting in his way. Occasionally though something will pop up that connects us in the way I’ve always hoped for. Some years back he offered me a ticket to tag along with his friends to see this new band, the White Stripes. Needless to say, Jack and Meg rocked our faces off, Jolene and Pretty Good Lookin’ being two standouts from a standout heavy show. We’ve seen a few more White Stripes shows together in the years since and whenever I hear one of their songs I’m reminded that despite everything we are indeed brothers.

    J.R. — March 11, 2010 @ 12:09 pm

  • hey all – please see the updated post. there was some confusion with the PR people about what prizing was available. the prize is not as cool as previously thought, so there’s no risk I’ll run off it with myself as mentioned earlier, but it is still a neat prize. thanks and my apologies.

    browneheather — March 11, 2010 @ 12:21 pm

  • I first heard The White Stripes in the early morning hours during the late winter of 2002. I battled depression and insomnia, and to fight the loneliness and boredom that would often accompany the sleepless nights, I would often drive…aimlessly…listening to college radio. That’s when I heard it…one minute and fifty seconds…head to the wall…thrashing and pounding drums over a broken and distorted guitar. And that voice…the whine…”Fell In Love With A Girl…” It was perfect. I remember feeling out of breath…pulling the car over and grabbing a pen and scrap of paper to scrawl the band name down before the DJ moved on. I was spent…and drove home to attempt to sleep.

    Flash forward 2 weeks and my wife and I were in (of all places) Springfield Illinois. Not much of a town…more infamous for crooked politicians anymore. We stayed at the Hilton. A phallic looking building next to the Capital. As my young wife napped in our room, I wandered the downtown looking for something to do. And there it was: Records & Antiques. I remember stepping in and smelling the dust, oil, and age brought on by years and years of accumulating…well…junk. Piles and piles of ephemera, broken radios, bikes, small engines, and every conceivable shape of bottle and glass. The place had a wooden floor that creaked with every step. In the corner I found a sagging wooden staircase that had a sign pointing upstairs promising “records” at it’s end. The stairs groaned as I made my way up, and at the top I found a room…wall to wall vinyl…posters…playbills…all from bands and eras past. In the corner an old man sat smoking behind a wooden counter, complete with an ancient cash register. I made my way through the isles of vinyl, stopping here and there to flip through the vast collection of 45s. And then I saw it…and really, it was the only thing in the place that betrayed the whole mystique of the experience. A small rack of CDs. And by small, I mean a rack of 10 titles. I stepped forward and flipped through…sure I wouldn’t find anything. And there it was. The White Stripes, “White Blood Cells”…. I snatched the CD and scanned the cover, the back…and saw the song that had shook me from my stupor just a few nights earlier. Fumbling for my wallet, I paid for the CD and quickly exited the building.

    Back at the hotel, I remember my wife smiling at me in puzzled amusement as I described the band…the song…that I now held in my hand! I unpacked the discman from my suitcase (this was all pre-ipod for me) and slipped in the CD. I hit the search until I found it…”Fell In Love With A Girl”…that song, THE song. And there was my wife…smiling at me…half asleep from her nap…watching me watch her with the song roaring in my ears.

    Later that night I played her the album in the car as we drove through the surrounding farmland. She too, was hooked. Back in our room, with the lights low, I listened to my wife sleeping next to me. The soft breathing…the smell of lavender in her hair… I felt at peace, happy, and for the first time in weeks, quickly fell into sleep.

    jeffrey k. — March 11, 2010 @ 1:12 pm

  • In 2005 I had just broken up with my girlfriend who loved the Whitestripes even more than I do. We’d been trying to hash out the nature of our new friendship for a while, and we planned to see a White Stripes show in Detroit as part of that.

    I’d never bought tickets on Ticketmaster before, and only got my hands on a credit card a few weeks before. The entire experience was baffling to me, with the timers and the release dates and all that nonsense. With everything going on, I opted to buy one ticket. My thinking was that she’d be responsible for buying her own. We weren’t dating anymore, so there was no sense in buying it for her, right?

    After I’d completed my purchase, I called her up and proudly told her about my single ticket. There was a long silence on the other end. “You bought ONE ticket?!”

    In a moment I froze and realized that we were never going to be friends after this, and that I was a pretty big idiot. “…yes?” I said.

    She hung up on me.

    A few days later my single ticket arrived in the mail. I was so thoroughly fed up from the entire experience that I just gave the ticket to a friend of mine (who had his own band, and I figured would get more out of it than me).

    So that’s my story. Five years ago I missed the show, and haven’t had the chance to see them since. I’ve moved to Virginia since then, but frequently drive back to my ancestral home in Michigan. On the return trips, I think of the band and this silly story every time I drive past the Hotel Yorba on my way out of Detroit.

    Max — March 11, 2010 @ 1:32 pm

  • max, hotel yorba’s one of my favorite WS songs. thanks for the smile.

    browneheather — March 11, 2010 @ 1:39 pm

  • It’s kind of hard to pick my favorite White Stripes song. It varies depending on how I’m feeling, so probably the best I can do for now is pick my favorite right at this exact moment. Which I guess would be their cover of “Your Southern Can Is Mine.” Coincidentally, this is also my favorite song about domestic abuse.

    Jack and Meg make it sound so affectionate, though. Maybe it’s their love of blues showing, or their residual affection for each other, but their cover of this violent song is strangely sweet and playful.

    Kris — March 11, 2010 @ 2:03 pm

  • One time, too long ago now, one of my best friends in the world bought me tickets to see the White Stripes at Red Rocks for my birthday. We’d only known one another a few short months when she did it, but it pretty much solidified our friendship, this many years later. She knew I was a huge fan and had cut out photos of Jack and Meg and put them in a homemade flipbook (the big reveal was on the last page). Drove to CO from UT and crashed in cheap hotel and absolutely had our heads opened watching Jack jump from guitar to drums to piano, with a very dutiful Meg helping keep time. It was absolutely magical, it really was. An obscene amount of talent + a budding close friendship + a big fat moon above our heads in that natural setting = one of the greatest musical experiences of my life. I won’t even try to top it. It just exists. It just is.

    Dainon — March 11, 2010 @ 2:50 pm

  • my first and only time seeing the white stripes was in halifax, nova scotia in 2007 on the canadian tour. as someone who grew up and was teased for playing the bagpipes as a youngster it was amazing to see jack bring out the bagpipers on stage and play with them, it was amazing and at no point in my life was i prouder to be a bag piper

    andrew — March 11, 2010 @ 3:30 pm

  • I’ve got a friend that is a huge Tegan & Sara fan, so I’m going to say my favorite White Stripes song is their cover of “Walking With A Ghost.” I’ve never been a real fan of Tegan & Sara, which has lead to more than a few drunken arguments with my friend, who’s a bit of a super-fan. It was during one such argument that I stated that the only time I could stand T&S was when the White Stripes sang the song.

    Bruce — March 11, 2010 @ 4:37 pm

  • I gotta say my favorite White Stripes song is “Rag & Bone.” I am such a sucker for songs that feature talking, and the bit where Jack riffs on houses makes me smile every time.

    Kari — March 11, 2010 @ 6:11 pm

  • So many but by far my favorite song is Party of special things to do (cover). To be more specific I LOVE the live version done on the FROM THE BASEMENT set.

    It is Blue Orchid with a transition in to Party…and Jack and Meg just flat out rip it.. I’m pretty sure you are a fan of From The Basement but if not I should win for turning you onto that! there are plenty of artists on there you like…enjoy.

    Chris G — March 11, 2010 @ 8:11 pm

  • My favorite White Stripes concert experience was when they played Merriweather Post Pavilion in support of Icky Thump. A friend and I had lawn tickets, and lounged through the openers. Then this guy approached us and said he had pavilion tickets for friends who never showed. My friend, a tough bargainer, got him to give us the tickets for free. We were maybe ten rows back, mid-pavilion. A glorious view, and a marvelous concert. Watching Jack switch between guitar and a kajillion different types of keyboard is a treasured memory.

    Hilary — March 11, 2010 @ 8:30 pm

  • I have not had the pleasure of attending a White Stripes concert. My favorite White Stripes song is Hardest Button to Button! I love the drum beat and the video directed by Michel Gondry is such a visually interesting piece of art! Jack & Meg are playing their instruments outside and moving throughout the urban landscape with them. The repetition of the visual elements and the motion in the video fits perfectly with the song. It has a very addictive quality that makes me want to watch the video over & over and listen to the song over & over!

    Lena — March 11, 2010 @ 8:46 pm

  • The television debut of “Effect and Cause” was played on the final episode of Conan Obrien’s late night show, as my friends and I watched together on the same night as my birthday. It was the perfect cap to a night celebrating friendship, just as Coco was doing with Jack & Meg White.

    Gabriel Nylund — March 11, 2010 @ 10:17 pm

  • My one chance so far to see the White Stripes was at Austin City Limits a few years ago. Unfortunately, due to one issue or another, they had to cancel. I’ve seen Jack in many various bands, but never the two Whites together. Here’s to another shot at dancing in a crowd to Jumble, Jumble, Rag and Bone, and all their other deliciously dirty-blues, helter-skelter songs.

    P.S. I love the blog, thanks so much for sharing! I miss Denver and CO every time you mention the mountains/snow/etc. :)

    Mary Ann — March 11, 2010 @ 10:31 pm

  • I’ll try to keep this short, but my favourite White Stripes show was absolutely epic! In 2007 when The White Stripes did their cross-Canada tour, a couple of friends and I decided that one show was not going to provide us with enough Jack White. Living in Edmonton at the time we decided to go for the Edmonton show first, but then fly out to the maritimes and indulge in as many shows in as many nights as possible. We ended up doing 4 shows in 5 nights in Moncton, Charlottetown, Halifax and (yup!) Glace Bay. As you can guess, my favourite show and the most epic show in the history of mankind was the Glace Bay show on July 14, 2007.

    I could seriously write a 3 page comment on every minute of that show recalling things like “sitting” in the 2nd row in front of the blaring speakers (3 seats away from Jack White’s great Aunt), jumping like an insane person when they played Seven Nation Army and yelling constantly (as I did all tour) for them to play Conquest. Jack and Meg put on a 2.5 hour set that night and every single person in that audience was drenched in sweat and rocking out to every second of it. It was the most impressive 2.5 hours of entertainment I’ve ever witnessed. Epic.

    So now you’re saying: “if you’re such a big fan, why didn’t you order the DVD box set already?”. Well, although I am a premium member of The Vault, funds are limited these days as I’ve become a poor student again. I know I will regret not having that DVD in my collection, but maybe thanks to you my chances aren’t done yet…maybe ;)

    Sheldon P — March 11, 2010 @ 10:42 pm

  • my favorite moment is due to 7 nation army. In 2006 when Italy won the world cup, I was in Spain. Apparently 7 nation army was dubbed as the theme for the Italian team. I couldn’t go anywhere without hearing people singing the bass line. And I mean EVERYWHERE! In cars, at cafes, randomly in the streets but especially during breaks in songs at all the clubs. As i’d be dancing to some of the loudest sound systems i’d ever heard – the song would breakdown and anywhere from one to hundreds of people would sing the bass line. “O – O uh O – uh OOOOO – oooooooo” To this day when I hear that song, I go right back to Ibiza, Spain and how excited people were that Italy just took the cup. I’ll never forget it. I never thought 7 Nation Arms would be the next “Ole.”

    Frank — March 11, 2010 @ 11:16 pm

  • “Well you’re in your little room
    and you’re working on something good
    but if it’s really good
    you’re gonna need a bigger room
    and when you’re in the bigger room
    you might not know what to do
    you might have to think of
    how you got started
    sitting in your little room”

    A lot of musicians could use a little of this ideaology.
    I find that it’s quite helpful when I stare at a blank page…

    Bartholamew Twang — March 12, 2010 @ 4:53 am

  • Arva – really as simple and complex as that. Arva is a small Canadian village north of London, Ontario where in July of 2007, the White Stripes treated their fans to a beautiful and powerful outdoor concert. They played on the loading dock of the Arva mill (still selling ground flour and sugar)and connected with the audience in a way I had never seen before. What Jack and Meg gave; the crowd in turn gave back – amazing energy and appreciation from both. The WS toured Canada in a way never seen before from a band in their prime; taking their show to the small communities and outlets which make Canada such a great place. They connected with us and we connected with them. Is there a better experience?

    PN — March 12, 2010 @ 6:55 am

  • My favorite White Stripes song depends on the day, but one of my favorite moments is the intense, tight rhyme scheme in “The Air Between My Fingers.” The whole song is impressive, but I love where White says, “Don’t you remember/ you told me in December/ that a boy is not a man until he takes a stand/ well, I’m not a genius/ but maybe you’ll remember this/ I never said I ever wanted to be your man.” It’s just so exactly rhymed and metered that it feels as much like percussion as it does songwriting.

    Katie Darby — March 12, 2010 @ 8:28 am

  • When my wife and I got married in March of 2002, the White Stripes had just started to make their way into the cultural mainstream. We loved the album White Blood Cells, and still do.
    When the time came to pick music to be played at our wedding reception, we of course made two mix discs. On one of them we put “Hotel Yorba”, because it was fairly mellow (remember: wedding reception) and we really liked the lyrics “Let’s get married/in a big cathedral by a priest/cause if I’m the man that you love the most/you could say I do at least”. That and the lines about sitting on the porch and not locking the door really spoke to us about where we wanted to be in our life together.
    At the reception, my wife and I were sitting together when the song came up in the mix, and during the 1, 2, 3, 4 choruses we spontaneously started smacking our hands on our thighs and clapping in time together, singing along and laughing.
    It was just one of those cool magical moments that made our wedding day really great, and to this day whenever “Hotel Yorba” comes on we do our little dance and look at each other, smile, and think about that day.

    Justin H. — March 12, 2010 @ 8:35 am

  • Little ghost – simply because of the passion that my daughter expresses as she sings it. It’s that kind of emotion and energy that draws us to music, to performers like the white stripes. Jack White is a performer, whether the white stripes, the raconteurs or the dead weather his live performances are a necessary part of life. A demonstration of something larger than us that we long to be a part of. I have only seen him a handful of times but each has left me charged, spent and full of a desire to be more than I am. He delivers his soul with each performance and we are privileged to gather it up and infuse it with ours.

    MP — March 12, 2010 @ 8:40 am

  • A few years back my buddy called and said he had an extra ticket to see The White Stripes. They were playing at the Masonic Temple in Detroit. I’ve always been a big fan and was really excited to see them for the first time. The concert was amazing. Everything on the stage was dressed in red and white and I vividly remember Jack White telling the crowd how he had grown up not too far from the venue. At one point we were standing in line for t-shirts when a lady cut in front of us in line. She told the person behind the table her name and asked for a poster and a t-shirt then walked away without paying. Once she left we angrily asked who she was, the cashier quietly said …Meg’s Mother… Two of my favorite White Stripes songs are ‘It’s true that we love one another’ and ‘Rag and Bone’. I like both songs because of their quirkiness. On “it’s true that we love one another” I like when Holly Golightly asks Meg if she things Jack really lovers her and Megs response is “You know, I don’t care because Jack really bugs me”…Rag and Bone is another fun song where Jack and Meg get excited over other peoples trash. I love when Meg asks if ‘they’ were gonna give her some stuff, Jack quickly comes back and tells his little Sister not to be rude because they might need it. Great Stuff.

    Scott — March 12, 2010 @ 8:52 am

  • My favorite White Stripes song is 300 mph. Torrential Outpoor Blues. I like how the beat slowly and steadily builds up. I guess compared to a lot of songs they do (save for get behind me satan) they tone down the noise and chill out for a bit but eventually when your least expecting it they have this grand crescendo in the form of Jack’s guitar solo. I really felt that songs like this where evidence of jacks maturity as a musician due to being influenced by his other project.

    Besides that I’m very partial to Effect and Cause.

    Jason Stallings — March 12, 2010 @ 9:13 am

  • The Denial Twist…love the keys. Love everything about it!

    David — March 12, 2010 @ 9:37 am

  • I have never seen the white stripes in concert. So I will explain why I love the song Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground. This is the first song I liked by the white stripes, I saw the video for Fell in love With a Girl and the video was cool, I just did not like the song at first. Not too long later I heard the song Dead Leaves and I was dumb founded because I didn’t expect such a different sounding song from this new band (new to me). I expected another uptempo rocker because most bands are stuck in one feel for most of their whole album let alone all of their singles. I knew there was something different about this band when I heard this song and I had to learn more about these two pale kids. This was the start to my obsession with the stripes.

    Andy — March 12, 2010 @ 11:08 am

  • either Ball & a Biscuit because just after college I stayed around and played music. a buddy and i covered this song and always improvised lyrics. the crowd always loved it.

    Jason Jancosek — March 12, 2010 @ 12:55 pm

  • or There’s no home for you here girl, go away. same time in my life. i can recall one time listening to it with this girl who was kinda stalking my friend and we turned it up to 11. oh, then there’s that time i was waiting for the bus in SF with my mega-headphones on and the solo came on and nearly deafened my right ear. awesome.

    Jason Jancosek — March 12, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

  • My favorite White Stripes concert moment?….It might be Meg White singing “Rated X” and winning the adoration of the crowd with her shy, demure, yet sexy deliver of that song. It was during the “White Blood Cells” tour which is the first time I saw them perform.

    Larry D — March 12, 2010 @ 7:27 pm

  • Hyde Park, London back in 2007 – ‘I Think I Smell A Rat’

    Paul Church — March 12, 2010 @ 9:53 pm

  • I’ve never seen the White Stripes live.
    Not a White Stripes song per se, but I love ‘Portland, Oregon’ from the Loretta Lynn album that Jack White produced and played on. As far as songs recorded by the White Stripes, ’300 MPH Torrential Outpour Blues’ is one of my favorites.

    Mark — March 13, 2010 @ 5:37 am

  • I saw the white stripes at the patriot center in Fairfax virginia while they were touring for Icky Thump. With how orchestrated concerts have become Jack and Meg are a god send to true music fans that need the thrill of a live show. My favorite stripes moment was a medley they played that night of When I hear my name –> Icky thump –> when i hear my name. I have a crappy bootleg copy of the show, but I always find myself going back to that moment. It is not a technically perfect version of either song, but the power that is harnessed by the performance just touched me. I have seen so many shows and very few moments stand out like that (or bands). It is right up there with hearing Neil Young play “Hey Hey My My” in a thunder and lightning storm. They are true innovators.

    Thank you,

    adam — March 13, 2010 @ 6:36 am

  • favorite white stripes song has to be take take take…unfortunately, philadelphia must have done something wrong to Jack White because NONE of his bands (including the White Stripes) have played any of the Philly venues in the pasy few yrs (AC and Delware don’t count)…this DVD will be the closest thing

    John Collius — March 13, 2010 @ 1:07 pm

  • I’ve seen The White Stripes twice, and both shows were on the same day. I was in attendance at the very first secret show the Stripes played on this 2007 cross-Canada tour. It still feels weird to say it now.

    It took place at the youth centre that I work at in Burnaby, BC. Their “secret show” tour manager contacted us about a week before to say he was interested. When my boss (also a big music fan) said “you’ll never believe who just called” and told me the news, I thought that it was a joke. I didn’t know it was the real deal until the manager showed up a couple days later to check out the space and make sure it was what they were hoping for.

    So we quietly spread the word to our youth and some friends, and much to my disbelief, at 3pm the next day Jack and Meg showed up to play to about 30 kids and staff… as well as a handful of Stripes obsessives who were following them on tour around the country and heard about the show last-minute via a Stripes message board! It was a surreal experience that still baffles me to this day. Sometimes I go to work, look at the corner of the room where they set up their gear and think “oh shit… The White Stripes played here?” The entire 45 minute set (which mostly consisted of rarities) was filmed for this documentary, and I’m anxious to see if/how much of it made the cut.

    I went and saw them outdoors at Deer Lake Park the same night during a major rain storm, and although it was terribly muddy and messy, it couldn’t have been any cooler to see them play to a huge crowd under thunderous clouds following that tiny little afternoon set.

    I still have the pics posted on my Facebook, you should check them out.

    Btw, my faves are “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” and “I’m Slowly Turning Into You”.

    Megan — March 14, 2010 @ 12:42 am

  • Shelter of Your Arms – Daaaaaaamn good.

    Who's Marcus — March 15, 2010 @ 8:34 am

  • One of my favorite songs and videos is Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground. It’s such a combination of a bad relationship / good acid trip video. I feel like I lived that video one weekend. Inspired! Love it!

    Andrew Meteor — March 15, 2010 @ 10:51 am

  • My favorite White Stripes song is The Air Near My Fingers, which I think is kind of funny because I read somewhere that Jack White doesn’t really like it. It’s my favorite because of all of their songs, it is, in my opinion, the best to sing along to, and the organ is pretty awesome; the feel of the song itself seems to be somewhat representative of Elephant. The White Stripes was one of the first bands I ever got into, and I listened to Elephant for hours at a time while learning geometry; I got stuck on The Air Near My Fingers and constantly had it on repeat. Even now, years later, I can’t skip it when it comes up on my ipod.

    Madi — March 15, 2010 @ 1:25 pm

  • favorite concert moment – without a doubt watching them at the tiny Ernestine & Hazel’s on south main in memphis. this was the night of 9-10-01. they played well into the night and every damn body in memphis was crammed in there. i made a crappy little 10 second recording with my primitive cell phone sometime after midnight. i kept it forever. it was 9-11. they blew the doors off the joint and there was never a show as good – there again. and of course that day wound up being one of the worst moments in american history. they are linked vaguely… somehow… i’ve never seen them since. i want to remember them live just in that way. it was bad-ass. it was a pretty damn legendary memphis moment. i’ve seen a few of them i will hold in my heart forever.

    will — March 15, 2010 @ 5:22 pm

  • I saw them play live in a hotel concert hall in Guatemala City. Get Behind Me Satan was still a few weeks from being released. This was a small miracle as I live and breath the band and never expected them to play there. Guatemala is an extremely poor country and not many bands visit. I had to buy tickets at this one particular gas station in the city. As far as I know it was the only place that sold them. I sat with the press on a second-story mezzanine overlooking the crowd and stage for the show. The show saw Jack White do several unique things. When he played marimba on The Nurse, the crowd came unglued as the instrument itself is widely used throughout the country almost like a national instrument. White also sang, “No, I’ll never, no I’ll never, no I’ll never let you down now, Guatemala”. Later, he let us know the band would be back to play on top of the temples in the ancient Mayan city of Tikal.

    During Jolene the crowd enthusiastically sang along and it struck me how this band from Detroit managed to bring a roomful of hundreds of Guatemalans to an emotional response through song. A song several in attendance did not understand the words to. I know Jack has said in the past that if you are a fan of the band then you are really a member of the band. It certainly felt like it when they got the crowd to sing along with them. The universal nature of the band was really on full display. For them to play their songs and mention Tikal and use the marimba was a nice nod of validation to the country and it’s people. If I could speak to them directly, I would thank Jack and Meg for performing in Guatemala City. It means a great deal to me that the band played there. I know I will remember the experience for the rest of my life.

    Tom — March 15, 2010 @ 7:03 pm

  • My favorite White Stripes song is Hotel Yorba because it is my 5 yr old grandson’s favorite song. I introduced him to the WS awhile back and now he knows many songs and can recognize Jack’s voice in an instant. He loves to watch the video and I indulge him by letting him watch as many times as he wants. Last summer, when he was 4 and before I knew he was such a WS fan, we were sitting on my front porch and I was singing to him. Probably something along the lines of “I’ve Been working on the Railroad” or something. He said “Grandma, could you not sing that song and sing the elevator song instead?” I was puzzled and quickly tried to think of any children’s songs I knew with an elevator story line but couldn’t come up with anything. I said “Is there anything else you can tell me about the song?. He replied “You know, he counts 1,2,3,4 and then they go on an elevator.” I jumped at the chance and in a short while he knew all the words and now we sing it together alot. I always grab hold of him and give him a hug when we sing “Grab hold of me cuz I’m your favorite fellow”. BTW, his favorite part of the video is where Meg is jumping on the bed.

    Thanks for the chance to tell one of my favorite stories.

    Marcia Barnes — March 15, 2010 @ 8:21 pm

  • There’s the most gorgeous moment on The White Stripes’ live performance of ‘Jolene’ in Blackpool, when Jack White asks the crowd about how George Harrison used to say “The Beatles used to go and see Blackpool Lights”. Met with a rumble of discord and boozy confusion, he continues “Different place altogether..?” and the crowd vaguely responds “Nooo!”. Jack White replies, “I’m in the right place, the wrong time?”, to which the audience cries out happily, and White says “That’s how I feel every day!” In that sentence, he reveals everything you need to know about Jack White and everything I love about the White Stripes. Their otherworldly genius is equal parts frightening and intoxicating, and little gems like this at their live shows remind us why.

    Viantha — March 16, 2010 @ 1:31 am

  • My favorite white stripes song is “astro” from their self-titled debut. The reason being is that is was the first stripes song that got me interested in the band. Their cohesive, straight ahead rock and roll sound captivated me with this song. I found myself chuckling at the lyric “maybe mama does the astro astro” which made me realize the simple yet profound way they carry their sound. As I listen to it all I can picture is the red and white peppermint candy rolling down the street…

    Rick Gallant — March 16, 2010 @ 9:31 am

  • My favorite White Stripes song is “Ball and a Biscuit”, live on VH1 ( I love the way he is just hacking at the strings, hitting weird combinations of open strings that shouldn’t sound good, but he makes them sound good in a really fantastic raw blusey way. I also love the way he delivers his vocals with such swagger and playfully hits all the innuendo. And the solos absolutely shred, but that goes without saying, its Jack White.

    Tim McIntyre — March 16, 2010 @ 7:38 pm

  • September 25th, 2005-Coney Island,N.Y. My friend Graham had an extra ticket to the White Stripes in my own backyard, Brooklyn.

    It was a Sunday and I had my regular plan of meeting my father for drinks and watching football, then hit Coney island for the gig.

    I remember walking up the boardwalk seeing Graham, his girlfriend and my old friend Tracy, Tracy’s brother Chris and HEATHER. God, she had red hair for days. Blue eyes that would make the sky envious and a heart melting smile. God, she was beautiful.

    Initially, we met two years earlier at a Morissey concert at the Apollo in Harlem. Tracy sat in between us that night, I would sneak peaks at her all night long. I was way to shy to speak to her and she didn’t seem to notice me.

    A year after that, I had plans to meet with Tracy for M. Ward at the Bowery Ballroom on a Sunday night. My girlfriend at the time broke up with me a week before my best friends wedding where I was to be best man the Saturday night before M.Ward. The wedding was great, I had a good time,but, the empty chair next to me that day wore at me. Come Sunday morning, I wasn’t going anywhere.
    Heather was at that show with Tracy.

    Back to September 25th,the White Stripes in Coney Island, we got there early for drink at a local pub. We talked about M.Ward, who was opening for the White Stripes. About how i used to go to Coney island with my Dad as a kid. It was cool and easy.

    During the show, we hooted, danced and sang together. We held hands as we walked to make a beer run together. It was great. We exchanged numbers and made plans to have dinner soon.

    Flash forward to the present day and we are engaged to get married,Saturday, September 25th, 2010. Six years to the day we met at the White Stripes.

    As for the White Stripes that day: I remember them being great, I remember enjoying myself,but, it really is all secondary. I am very appreciative to the band for being the impetus of bringing us to Coney Island that day.


    Michael — March 16, 2010 @ 8:40 pm

  • Man alive, these were all great to read. Every one of them. Thanks guys for sharing.
    The winner I picked is jeffrey k., for his eloquent comment that sums up what we all hope to find in the music we love. Thanks.

    browneheather — March 16, 2010 @ 10:06 pm

  • My favorite live white stripes moment was when…..well…errr….when i never saw them live because they backed out of ACL ’07 at the last second because of Meg’s bullshit “mental breakdown”

    Todd Hansen — March 21, 2010 @ 10:47 am

  • One of the best shows I have ever seen was the White Stripes’ set at the now-defunct Music Midtown Festival in Atlanta Georgia. I believe the year was 2004. My friends and I were situated near the stage and also near the hospitality tent for the “alternative” radio station in town that shall remain nameless because they sucked.

    The benefit of our location was the use of their port-a-potty, and it was inside said toilet that I had one of my finest concert experiences, which is also related to my favorite White Stripes Song: Black Math.

    Have you ever taken a leak while watching one of your favorite bands play one of your favorite songs? Not on television or off a screen mind you, but in the flesh, through the perforated holed of a port-a-potty window?

    Well, I have.

    Dana — March 23, 2010 @ 1:01 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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