Saturday, January 31, 2015

Unrivaled Rocker: Jack White So Awesome He Will Appear on Baseball Card

In the spirit of this blog of focusing not only on music new and old but also on pop culture and the interaction between the two, I am pleased to be writing a little bit today about the illustrious career of that eccentric bluesman/rocker/electroshocker known as Jack White (born John Anthony Gillis, 1975). As an expected one day shoo-in for the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame, and a veteran of the rock scene for over 25 years, you may wonder why Jack White's "Rookie Card" is just coming out... Read on and ye shall see!

Jack White is perhaps best known for his founding of the White Stripes in which he was the lead singer and guitarist. The White Stripes rose out of obscurity in the Detroit underground rock scene and attained widespread commercial success and critical acclaim in the early to mid-2000's. Often credited with catalyzing the garage rock revival of that era, the band would score big hits with the singles "Fell in Love with a Girl" and "Seven Nation Army", both of which propelled them to stardom. A fusion of hard blues rock and garage rock, the White Stripes style utilized a lo-fi, simplistic recording technique that let their vocals and riffs shine through with unusual poignancy arguably unrivaled since Nirvana's classic albums of the 1990s. Jack White's deft guitar skills and Meg White's Spartan drumming proved to be a killer combination. By the time the band broke up over a decade since its founding, it would boast six Grammy awards. Yet even with the eventual cessation of recording by the band in 2007 and its 2011 dissolution, Jack White became the father of many other successful bands that would bear his unique stamp of creativity and style. The Raconteurs, for example, were a successful band he helped create with members of other high-profile groups. They played in a similar style to the White Stripes but with an added incorporation of bluegrass and country influences. Jack White continues to rock on and has produced two solo albums, "Blunderbuss" (2012) and "Lazaretto" (2014), both of which peaked at #1 on the U.S. Billboard Top 100 Charts.

For those of you who have been waiting all these years, you will soon be able to purchase a Jack White baseball card from Topps if you so desire (as well as an Eddie Vedder if you prefer)!

Shockingly, White is smiling with a broad goofy grin on the card--quite unlike his usual madman, evil genius smirk. Perhaps it's because he just threw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Detroit Tigers home game!

You never looked better Jack!

For contrast, let's take a look at Jack and Meg White as the walk the red carpet at the 2004 Grammy Awards...

Check out the smirk! Also, the outfit. Stylish, but in a creepy "I Am Michael Jackson" kind of way. Not exactly the kind of guy you'd bring home to mama.

So, congratulations, Jack, on learning how to smile! Your musical genius will only be more appreciated.

More on White and Vedder's baseball cards from Topps:

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What's Next?

I'm planning on reviewing Ben H. Winters' trilogy that began with The Last Policeman. I've yet to read the final installment, World of Trouble, but I just might have to get some thoughts on paper about the series so far.

For those unfamiliar with the books, they are a purported history of man's last days on the planet as an asteroid hurtles toward earth to destroy it. Yet one dogged, idealistic young detective in New Hampshire clings to whatever meaning he can find and is still determined to solve one particularly puzzling case.

EXTRA! REVIVING BLOG! Today's list of questionable Indie band names.

Hello, travelers of cyberspace and good people of the Digital Age.

I have decided to revive this blog seven years since its inception in the original spirit in which it was first created. Expect book and film reviews, humor, cultural commentary, and maybe a little creative writing thrown in the mix.

For my inaugural blog post, a list of potential, though perhaps questionable names for new Indie bands. Maybe ones that never quite made it? Or might they be household names by 2016,,.?

Potential Indie Band Names

Jose Conseco
Band of Cows
The Gospel According to Christopher Walken
There is no Sequel.
No Redeeming Qualities
Al Gore and the Internet
Archival Tendencies
Beethoven's Fro
Southern Cheese Revival
Permanent Hardon
Silent Fixation
Sensitive Thugs
The Inventors of Sound
Accounts Payable
Loretta's Sweater

For the low down on this blog's true purpose, please read the following post I revised today from an original 2007 entry entitled "Starting from Scratch, and a Non Sequitur":

The non sequitur, of course, is the title I have chosen. The "Blues Star Wedding Cafe" sounded something like the title of a Tom Wolfe novel and also expressed the spirit of the online space that I'm trying to infuse with life (if only as a great and maniacal experiment a la Frankenstein or The Fly).

I'm inaugurating this new blog which I hope will serve as my own mental clearing house. The only rule for selecting topics on this blog will be "eclecticism above all". Expect book reviews, movies reviews, humor, maybe some creative writing, and hopefully an open space in which dialogue about contemporary culture can take place.

Hope you enjoy it; feel free to participate in the discussion if a topic interests you or you have something new to bring to the table here. COMMENTS and INSIGHTS WELCOME!

Until then,