It seems you can’t turn on the television or look at the Internet news this week without hearing/seeing something about ex-White-Stripes frontman Jack White—and thankfully, the buzz is for all the right reasons.
Of course, the biggest news this week is the release of White’s first solo record Blusterbum…er, Buggerbutt?…his first solo record, which is getting rave reviews across the board as perhaps his finest work to date. White also appeared last night on The Colbert Report to talk with friend Stephen Colbert, as well as to perform the song “Freedom at 21” (video clips are below). Also, tonight, you can watch the official kickoff of White’s Blunderbuss tour with a live streaming concert on Jack White’s YouTube channel, to be directed by none other than Gary Oldman as part of the American Express “Unstaged” concert series.
But that’s not all—not by a long shot.
This week, it was also reported that Jack White has been tapped to provide the soundtrack for next year’s Gore Virbinski film The Lone Ranger, which stars Johnny Depp as Tonto. That’s right—Johnny Depp and Jack White participating in the same motion picture. Hm–I wonder how they will tell the two apart.
As if that isn’t enough—news pieces today are already sparking rumors of another solo project, as Jack White admits that he actually wrote enough songs to fill two albums. That’s not actually “news”, more like “speculation”—but it just goes to show that right now, anything with Jack White’s name on it classifies as “news.”
So what is it about this guy that makes him so press-friendly these days? What is this obsession with Jack White?
Well, for one thing, he’s a character, filled with inconsistencies and contradictions. How many rock stars do you know who take their wife’s last name, then divorce their wife/bandmate, then keep said ex-wife in the band and start calling her their “sister”—and just expect us to believe that’s normal? (BTW, Jack White’s new “ex” is also in the band, so to speak, providing BGVs on the new solo record.) It hardly classifies as scandalous, but it’s just weird enough to be intriguing. Jack White seems eccentric and elusive, and even reluctant of all the media attention—and yet, that’s just what the media loves about him.
But media sensation without substance is not lasting. Behind the mystique and off-centeredness of Jack White, the dude is a kick-ass musician, one of the best guitarists on the planet right now. He can take a $50 dollar guitar and a 40-year-old amplifier and absolutely mesmerize a crowd.
And that’s the substance behind Jack White’s success. His eccentricities get him the media buzz, but his talent is what gets his records sold.
If you haven’t had enough Jack White lately, I’ve embedded the video clips from his appearance on The Colbert Report below. Enjoy!