No question about it, Jack White’s got style. More than just about anyone else who’s not named Gaga, Jack White understands that an ounce of appearance is worth a pound of effort, and that’s not to say that there isn’t plenty of effort in his work. He just makes it look effortless because he looks so goddamned good doing it.
This first video from his collaboration with rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson is another in a long line of examples with a tasty Dylan cover, “Thunder on the Mountain.” Backing the tiny Jackson with a band decked out in black and pink stage wear, White dances and stomps around his muse like a lovestruck hillbilly. Much like his earlier collaboration with Loretta Lynn, White knows how to embrace the elements and style of a genre without coming off as a parody. As someone who plays a lot of shows with bands with fake accents, I can tell you that ain’t easy to do.
The Party Ain’t Over is available on pre-order from White’s Third Man Records. First 1,000 orders come in an “exclusive Third Man greeting care gatefold sleeve,” 100 of which will randomly come with fuschia colored vinyl. Don’t you just love that sort of thing?
It used to be Rick Rubin. Music geeks across the world would play the party game “Who would you like to see Rick Rubin produce?” After the Johnny Cash revival, it seemed the bearded guru could do no wrong. That, of course, was bullshit even at the time. Immediately after the success of the first American Recordings album, Rubin attempted to recreate the magic with Donovan on Sutras. And failed.
Since Cash’s death in 2003, Rubin has attempted “comeback” albums with Weezer, Metallica, and, um…Linkin Park. Mixed results would be putting it mildly. His two albums with Neil Diamond (2005’s 12 Songs and 2008’s Home Before Dark) have come the closest to the spark that was lit with Johnny Cash.
Meanwhile, a new kid on the block took the torch and ran with it. Loretta Lynn‘s 2004 album Van Lear Rose proved that there was more to Jack White‘s production abilities than Detroit garage rock. And now it looks like he’ll be producing rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson.
Metallica, Run-D.M.C. and the Stooges lead the list of nine acts up for induction next year into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Five will be chosen in January for enshrinement during an April 4 ceremony at Cleveland’s Public Hall.
Also on this year’s ballot are Jeff Beck, Chic, Wanda Jackson, Little Anthony and the Imperials, War and Bobby Womack. Acts are not eligible for the Rock Hall until at least 25 years have passed since the release of their first single.
Does anybody even care if the Stooges get passed over for the third year in a row?
I love rockabilly as much as anybody, but you know you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel when Wanda Jackson gets nominated. This travesty of an organization has outlived its usefulness. Put a fork in it.
Jann Wenner is still a douche. The Monkees were far more important and influential than the Dave Clark Five.
Not surprisingly, this CD suffers from the same wretchedness as the other DCN disc I reviewed, Trent Summar & The New Row Mob – Live At 12th & Porter. This label’s m.o. is to release live performances recorded at small clubs (including Chicago’s Schubas). While this can be cool, it can also be abominable, as evidenced here. To explain, I once had a conversation with a guy in a pretty good rockabilly band that was playing on a Tuesday night in Memphis. While it was clear the band was talented, a lot of the show was awful stuff, approaching a bad comedy act. He told me how much they hated having to do this shtick for the tourist crowd, stuff like playing a rockabilly version of “Stairway to Heaven.” But they were a full-time band that had bills to pay. The point is that these sorts of shows do not deserve to be captured for posterity: No one needs to hear Wanda Jackson belt out Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock & Roll.” She was a true rockabilly great in the 1950s. That time is long gone.