tried to live tip to it. then you‘d feel trapped by it all. I love the constriction that we‘ve presented because it keeps us from over-thinking things. And that gets us closer to the truth because we don't have any other option.‘
White's fixation with the number three has been noted many times so it is wholly appropriate that it was their third album. 200] 's ll'lii‘li' lilmu/ ('r'lls, that facilitated their rise to international infamy. That record sold over a tnillion copies and it looks like its successor. lz'lt'p/iiml. is set to do the same. clocking up 300.000 sales since its release in March. Despite this and their second billing to Rli.\l here at T in the Park. White claims not to even know if he's fanious yet. “I'm not sure what that means.‘ he says. ‘I don't really know what l'm looking for. I‘ve always just wanted to write songs and perform them. I guess I get to do that all the time that‘s success. But famous."
The appeal of the White Stripes is simple: they are direct. dynamic. intense and controlled. Btit don't let their peaks of live ferocity overshadow the tenderness and gothic romance that is all too apparent in their tnore tempered moments. if you want a mission statement. they are a band in search of tnusical ‘ti‘uth'.
‘When you want the truth. or you're trying to get towards the truth in any sort of art form. it's always digging back into the past. and going back. digging back into something really simple.’ says White. "l’hat's what everything's based on and people relate to it easier. The storytelling. melody and rhythm - those three are the things that people really relate to in music. When you can break it down to jtist those components. there‘s really no need for anything else.’
White‘s musical reference points are numerous. lle namechecks Loretta Lynn and Willie Nelson. as well as the clutch of Detroit's more accomplished underground rock outfits: the l)irtbombs and the Soledad Brothers among them. The White Stripes sound a little like a myriad of
artists from over the past 70 years btit sound
(’.t’u('I/_\' like no one except the White Stripes.
That‘s why. when he cites Beck as a kindred
spirit. it all clicks into place. Beck‘s original
shtick was roughly hewn from equal parts
Woody (iuthrie and Beastie Boys btit is. in
truth. much. much more than that. Beck 'COS YOU PLAY LIKE A LITTLE
carved otit a niche for himself until what he
did becatne defined as nothing else except ‘Beck‘. That is what the White Stripes are in the process of doing for themselves: their music transcends categorisation and in doing so. make music that is simply 'the White Stripes'.
Simplicity is another key to the White Stripes‘ appeal. They have always done things simply. be it live shows. record labels or arrangements exemplified in Meg‘s primal rhythm keeping: proof that music can be raw and visceral without being slapdash. l’or White. there are more base intentions at heart.
‘lt just became that this childishness becatne the goal of writing the songs — let's just be childish without being humorous. Let's be svrioirs/v childish. And that became a presentation and aesthetic.‘
The danger of such an aesthetic. however. is that it can have a limited life span. bttt this is something White has already considered.
‘1 always thought we'd bring out about three records and that would be it. btit I really don't know how much longer we can go with it. It‘s hard to say. I always feel like it's not going to last. it's not something I want to do for 20 years. 50 years — I definitely don‘t want to do that. As soon as I start to feel that it‘s not relevant to me and Meg anymore and it's not relevant to anybody else. we'll definitely stop before it's time. I don't want to be a dead horse and all.‘
But for now. that horse is galloping like a prize-winning thoroughbred. White remains cleverly unassuming about the feverish excitement he and his twife/ex-wife/sister — delete as if you care anymore) have generated. RliM might be the undisputed heavyweight
rock‘n'roll champions of the world — defending their title with a hail of
hits. And spunky young bucks (‘oldplay might look slight btit can bob and weave with the million—selling sluggers.
Btit then there’s the White Stripes. the Rocky Balboa of the arenas. wearing rock'n‘roll like a cockily-perched trilby hat. a dreamer from another of America‘s forgotten cities. punching well above their weight and threatening to KO Stipe and Martin to win the title of the highlight of T in the Park. For us all. a Great White Hope.
The White Stripes play the Main Stage before REM on Sat 12 Jul
sup-mm Tired of waiting for the oft-predicted Prince renaissance? There's a new stumpy, funky Minnesotan on the scene. Last year Harold Martin Tillman modelled an assortment of truly horrible pants. supported the Strokes, held down a ManurriisSion residency and. in second album You Can FOf—P/ Me. made a record that heaves Wllll sordid abandon.
The iOurney from Bergen to central Scotland isn't too long but it's; still taken Reyksopp two years. The harmonic Melody AM burnt slowly. the duo toured and travelled and, eventually, came from a small town in Norway to headline the Slam Tent in Balado. They deserve every preCious minute of it.
Disproving the cliche that chill-out has the personality of a comatose hippy, the Lemon Jelly live experience involves two men scurrying between 20 instruments and occaSIonal audience games of bingo. The tunes are top. too.
5 DAMIEN RICE
Singer/songwriters don't have to be maudlin and mainstream. Rice's superb 2002 debut O was made with the help of Dawd Arnold. combining lush strings with fragile acoustica and choruses about Eskimos. If you've heard him before. y0u'll want to hear more. If not, get up early on Sunday.
Mixing prog and punk? Eh? The Mars Volta feature one-time At the Drive-In vocalist Cedric Bixler and guuarist Omar Rodriguez. and showed off their take on the rock template at the Chili Pepper's arena gigs. “If we're getting
it. there's got to be other people who will too.‘ reasons Rodriguez.
7 808 MATCHBOX B-LINE DISASTER
Frantic post-punkers. whose debut album. 2002's Horse of the Dog. contained such gems as 'I wanna fuck your mother/ It's a dirty lOl) but someone's got to do it well.’ Like lkara Colt. only better. Just don't bring y0ur mum.
..-. ."-“,.~‘v," u _ -_ ,,.,‘ Li ~,l ' I"; W I ‘ﬁ...)- , i 1‘. It _ A V flit For what felt like years. you couldn't find properly edgy American mUSIC,
however hard y0u looked. Now. jittery new wave looks to have an outside
chance of becoming the new nu-metal. All of which could make these funky
punky New Yorkers the hit of Sunday's action.
9 DEEP DISH
Two years ago a half-strength Deep Dish pulverised the Arches. How the Iranian/American duo of Sharam Tayebi and Ali ‘Dubfire' Shirazinia fare in a big tent remains to be seen. but believe: the house will be deep.
Hotly-tipped Tenessee rockers currently more famous for their appearance (the progeny of Tim Buckley and Lynyrd Skynyrd) and genealogy (three brothers and a c0usin) than their raw and rangy sound. Debut album Youth and YOung Manhood is out in August.
- THE LIST 19