White Stripes, at the Cumberland County Civic Center, 8 pm July 22, 2007
Break out your best red-and-white ensemble: the White Stripes are coming to town. To promote their sixth album, Icky Thump (Warner Bros., to be released June 19), Jack and Meg White have hit the road for the first time since 2005’s Get Behind Me, Satan (V2 Records).
The duo return to their raw garage-rock roots in Icky Thump (an intentional misspelling of the Lancashire slang, “ecky thump”, a term akin to our “wtf?”) after the relatively-quieter, marimba-driven Get BehindMe, Satan. The tunes are splashed with new sound elements — ’70s-sounding guitar and organ riffs, special-guest musicians playing Scottish bagpipes and mariachi horns, and more vocals from drummer Meg — that keep the blues-rock platform from sounding stale and overworked. The title track, using a bright, melodic guitar line to carry the lyric-free chorus, is a refreshing new development.
The White Stripes expand their tour coverage this year, too, hitting all 16 states not previously visited, starting with the Maine on July 22. This follows a European tour, a stop at Tennessee’s Bonnaroo festival, and a Canada tour.
Jack, who told a British magazine in 2001 that the Stripes would dissolve after “another one or two albums,” now denies rumors by critics concerned that the success of his other band, The Raconteurs, would interfere with the White Stripes and that Icky Thump would be the end. The group have recorded consistently for ten years and the Whites’ recent musical and business shifts (like signing to major label Warner Bros. after indie V2 Records closed and left its artists hanging as free agents and Jack’s 2006 commercial song for Coca-Cola, “What Comes Around,” for British and Australian TV) suggest something more lasting. We can only hope.
Dan Sartain opens; $32 tickets are available at theciviccenter.com.
: New England Music News
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