Guitar Slide Wednesday: More Jack White

I promise I’ll stop blogging about Jack White… after this post. Maybe. Seeing the Raconteurs live and seeing him play his guitar, well, pretty much every solo he played could have landed here on Guitar Slide Wednesday.

Since I posted a couple of Raconteurs videos the other day, here’s the kinda creepy video of the song “Portland, Oregon” by Loretta Lynn and Jack White from Van Lear Rose that I mentioned yesterday. I think it’s creepy in the sense that the narrative take of the video implies a sexual relationship between the two protagonists, i.e., Jack & Loretta (not that I’m blaming the rather old Loretta–that Jack is one fine, talented man).

A couple of things about this song… One clue that this isn’t your typical Loretta Lynn song is that there’s a fantastic minute and a half intro (around one-third of the song). Also, I think it’s interesting that when they sing together, they sing unison and not parts. And as a fellow musicology student brought to my attention, the production of the vocals gives Loretta and Jack a strangely similar vocal quality and sound.

But, of course, we’re here for the guitar slides, and my favorite is the slow pedal steel slide at the beginning of the third verse (around 2:40 or so). Enjoy!

A Big Loud Rock Show… or Why I Love Jack White

You may recall that a few Sundays ago, I went to see Taylor Swift in concert, and this past Sunday night I went to see the Raconteurs. That these shows were on Sunday is about all that they had in common… well, that and the fact that there didn’t seem to be much, um, ethnic diversity represented in either of the crowds.

At the Taylor Swift concert, the crowd was mainly female with many young girls. The Raconteurs appear to be incredibly popular with boys of all ages, and I’d guess that the crowd was easily 65-70% male. While singing along and screaming seemed to be the primary crowd response at Taylor Swift, yelling, jumping, and flailing were all pretty common responses at Raconteurs.

A not very good photo of the Raconteurs on stage from the balcony taken by a not very tall person over taller peoples' heads

The Raconteurs are a rock band. A Big Loud Rock Band featuring five talented guys playing very, very well, and well, big and loud. Their sound is mostly big guitars with a few other things thrown in here and there, with hints of blues, pop harmonies, and catchy hooks scattered in and around. Of course, there’s significantly more nuance on their recorded work, as the live show was (I think I mentioned) loud, with a performance style following a rowdy mix of punk, metal, and classic rock, and certainly all about the guitars. As talented as all of the band members clearly are, the draw of this band is Jack White’s guitar abilities, and his stardom and talent pretty much owned the live show.

Seeing this show reinforced my (relatively recent) appreciation of Jack White. I never really got into the White Stripes, and when he was named one of the greatest guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone, well, I was skeptical on principle. Then slowly but surely, he was involved with awesome and more awesomer projects, and I had to acquiesce… until I realized that I was a huge fan. And wanted to marry him (he got divorced, um, again, this summer).

But one of the really big reasons I love him is because of Loretta Lynn’s album Van Lear Rose (2004). He produced this album, sings with her on one track, and plays on all the tracks. This album was the subject of my very first country music research paper during the first year of my PhD studies, which, in effect, set me on my current academic research path. Upon (re)entering the academy, I had no idea that popular music studies would be an option for my musicological research. So in some ways, Loretta and Jack, I’m where I am today, er, because of y’all. So, you know, thanks for that.

Happiness! Fun! Rejoicing!

Reasons for happiness, fun, and rejoicing:

  • I just emailed a real, live, complete draft of the prospectus to Advisor (it included chapter projections!). We’ll call this version the Rough Draft and see what happens.
  • I have two friends from college coming to visit me this weekend. I think they’re awesome and I can’t wait to spend time with them. They are driving this way, even as I type. Safe travels, friends!
  • COLLEGE BASKETBALL IS HERE! Kentucky plays their first regular season game tonight (even if there is a little bad news)!

Rejoice amain!

And since Former Tennis Instructor & Roommate/Guitar Player/Soon-to-be Therapist is hanging out with me today, she very smartly suggested I post a song by the Raconteurs since I’m seeing them on Sunday.

I love this video. It’s not exactly the Raconteurs, but it’s one of their best songs re-worked as a bluegrass-y tune.

Here’s the original, just in case you missed that version. And we just realized there’s a fabulous guitar slide in this song (around 2:54). I’ve never noticed it before, but now it just makes this song that much more awesome. Seriously, happy Friday, y’all!