Would Lester Bangs Listen to the White Stripes?
I almost didn’t go to
I was feeling just as my friend Kassi wrote recently on her myspace blog, saying it succinctly, surely, and sweetly: “i cannot afford my rock n roll lifestyle. but i also cannot afford not to live it.”
But we find the way to make it, no matter what, because the music pulls us in and pulls us to another rock and roll road trip, helpless addicts all of us—like the prostrate muslim during proper prayers or the worst crack-and-meth-afflicted-junky-ho.
So, I left the farm with my family and a flat tire in the trunk. We had to stop on the way to
Checking into the hotel was without worry, but my “hard ticket,” allegedly being Fed-exed from the friendly publicist in
On the way to and from
But Janis and Jimi bless Google, someone had already posed the question. A blogospheric rock critic who claims to channel Kerouac and Bangs had already posed the problem in a sideways manner. (See http://blogcritics.org/archives/2007/07/12/082244.php)
It began with a record review of Icky Thump that took the form of a fantasy involving the writer and Meg White (who can blame him, really). And them the comments raged with all things anti-Stripes and pro-Stripes and all things in between.
I tend to sympathize with the poster called “JC Mosquito” who wrote:
“Would Lester have liked the White Stripes? Hmm... historical (or hysterical) rewriting in the making - I'd say yes he would. He liked the Guess Who, he liked Metal Machine Music, and he took matters into his own hands when he started a band. He would've liked them becuse his sense of humour was right in tune with the lo-fi DIY Stripes' ethic.”
When my male-menopause-cum-midlife-crisis kicked in a few years ago and fully fueled my rock music fan obsessions, I felt blessed to find a burgeoning underground scene made even more palpable by the instant access provided to DIY by laptops and the internet. And almost with perfect synchronicity, while technology made everyone an engineer, a promoter, and producer, this same DIY ethos drove people away from the computer and back to more purely rootsy forms, which in part explains why so much of the old-time music scene is comprised of ex-punks.
So many bands keep me busy that it’s hard to think about just one. But the Stripes are one among the many.
Please see my 'official' review at Interference.com