Review: The White Stripes Early Years Recaptured with ‘White Blood Cells’ Live Album

Review: The White Stripes Early Years Recaptured with ‘White Blood Cells’ Live Album
July 18, 2021
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White Stripes – Courtesy


















By AVA LIVERSIDGE

Jack White is and always has been a man possessed. The acesiticsm with which he approaches his craft has left him essentially peerless, unmatched, and navigating a dominion of his own creation. It’s this earnest obsession that often sets White at odds with fame and the music industry at large. To trace the roots of this antagonism, one must look to the White Stripes’s third album, White Blood Cells (2001) — their mainstream breakout and first taste of notoriety.

In honor of the record’s 20th anniversary, White’s own label, Third Man Records, put out an unreleased Stripes live performance that debuted the record just before it came out in June 2001: Live at the Gold Dollar, a venue of seminal importance in the duo’s hometown of Detroit. The release includes live takes of all 16 tracks on the record — live recordings being portents of genius whenever the Stripes are involved.

Motor City is for cynics and the Stripes’ rise to fame was met with frosty disdain from other members of their garage rock ilk. The calamity, severity, and potency the performance yields all testify to this tension and of much to prove. The duo is ever-unpolished, in true decrepit DIY fashion, and the recording, taken straight from the venue’s soundboard, remains virgin and untouched by audio purifiers. Jack’s signature airstream squeaks loudly. Meg’s snare/symbol rotation clangs proudly. When playing live, the Stripes famously and uniquely stand up to their studio recordings and while the shows certainly don’t sound polished, they’re not struggling to pull off multi-layered studio takes. They make records to perform records.

Without a setlist, Jack maneuvers the two in and out of their latest tracks with bulky, but quintessentially Stripe-y transitions. With fuzz tones dominating and a Whammy at the ready for spontaneous soloing, it’s clear the Stripes were beginning to hit the stride that would take them through their next several years of a heyday. Authenticity floods the recording and a certain brand of nostalgia rises amidst the blunders: “Now Mary” undergoes a false start, Meg’s thumping is woefully out of time on their electric rendition of “Hotel Yorba,” and the keys accompagnement on “I’m Finding It Harder to Be a Gentleman” is seemingly being made up on the spot.

These idiosyncrasies, these pockets of humanness, work parallel with the veritable genius that is the White Stripes. It is playing live when Jack White practices the foundational importance of creative stress and limitations that he preaches, and he truly is preaching. As the duo balances on the precipice of stardom, these missteps and the turbulence they spawn is what reminds us of why it’s easy to believe the White Stripes, why it’s so plain that they’re telling the truth. To honor the Stripes’  come-up via White Blood Cells 20th anniversary is to honor the establishment of a new aim for musical veracity.


















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A Tribe Called Quest – Ego (We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service Album)

[Chorus: Q-Tip]
Ego, ego skippin’, trippin’ in my mind
Ego, ego skippin’, trippin’ in my mind
Ego, ego trippin’, trippin’, trippin’, trippin’, trippin’
Ego, ego
I got one, you got one, and now we equal
Sometimes it makes you trip out on your people
Sometimes it has connotations of evil
Sometimes niggas call on it when they need to
It’s called the ego

[Verse 1: Q-Tip]
Ay, it’s hard to really make the subject positively stated
Some may hate it and some may overrate it
It’s a top story and you rarely see a trend
So all you psychoanalysts, pull out your pad and pen
It’s called the ego
Come up with an idea, and no one seems to get it
Then every time you mention it
They stare like you’re two-headed
But one day, in your cubicle, your idea really comes to view
Your boss is walking by, he sees it too and he takes it from you
She put you on the aces of all the stripper places
And has the kinda clientele where niggas trick off very well
You beg her and you plead her and you tuck away your ego
She knows you need the chicken
And you know that she’s your people
They call you fat and lazy, your commentary crazy
They photoshop your face on a box of McCormick gravy
And now that inner voice, that ego, making you get wavy
Change your diet, hit the gym
And say, "What were you saying to me?"
The ego makes you do it, it makes you face the music
Or run away from life so fast that you’ll outsprint Carl Lewis
It has you think your deceptive ways of being are the truest
Had the prettiest brown eyes but you change them shits to the bluest
It’s the ego

[Bridge: Q-Tip]
Ooo, Jack White
Ooo, Jack White

[Verse 2: Q-Tip]
A celebrated genius, my dick game is the meanest
I’ll take the girl that’s augmented, new me is invented
I’ll take the biggest house in Calabassas
Anyone for Michael Phelps swimming classes?
You need it when you’re balling, equally when you’re falling
Or when those kids in school on your locker
They get to scrawling
Epithets that’s racist is stupid and mean in nature
Something that can make you feel stronger when people hate ya
Ego make you violent or govern like a tyrant
Or switch a dictionary’s word from vibrant to vivrant
Fool the thirsty people, selling tap water in bottles
Fooled a girl with NYU scholarship and now she models
Ego has no ending, has people pretending
Religious zealots get jealous ’cause guys want their defending
This is the last Tribe and our ego hopes that you felt us
And closing for our ego, we know only God can help us

[Outro]
Ego, ego skippin’, trippin’ in my mind
Ego, ego skippin’, trippin’ in my mind
Ego, ego trippin’, trippin’, trippin’, trippin’, trippin’
Ego, ego skippin’, trippin’ in my mind
Ego, ego skippin’, trippin’ in my mind
Ego, ego trippin’, trippin’, trippin’, trippin’, trippin’
Ego, ego skippin’, trippin’ in my mind
Ego, ego skippin’, trippin’ in my mind

A Tribe Called Quest – Ego

[Chorus: Q-Tip]
Ego, ego
Skip it, trippin in my mind
Ego, ego
Skip it, trippin in my mind
Ego, ego
Trippy, trippy, trippy, trippy, trippy
Ego
Ego

[Intro: Q-Tip]
I got one, you got one, and now we equal
Sometimes it makes you trip out on your people
Sometimes it has connotations of evil
Sometimes niggas call on it when they need to
It’s called the ego

[Verse 1: Q-Tip]
Ay, it’s hard to really make the subject positively stated
Some may hate it and some might overrate it
It’s a top story and you rarely see a trend
So all you psychoanalysts, pull out your pad and pen, it’s called the ego
Come up with an idea, and no one seems to get it
Then every time you mention it, they stare like you’re two-headed
But one day in your cubicle your idea really comes to view
Your boss is walking by, he sees it too and he takes it from you
She put you on the aces of all the stripper places
That has the kinda clientele where niggas trickle very well
You beg her and you plead her and you tuck away your ego
She knows you need the dicking and she knows you need the people
They call you fat and lazy, your commentary crazy
They photoshop your face on a box of McCormick gravy
And now that inner voice, the ego, making you get wavy
Change your diet, hit the gym and say “What were you saying to me?”
The ego makes you do it, it makes you face the music
Or run away from life so fast that you’ll outsprint Carl Lewis
That has you think your deceptive ways of being untruest
Had the prettiest brown eyes but you change them shits to bluest
It’s the ego

[Bridge: Q-Tip]
Ooo, Jack White
Ooo, Jack White

[Verse 2: Q-Tip]
A celebrated genius, my dick game’s the meanest
I’ll take the girl that’s augmented, new me is invented
I’ll take the biggest house in Calabassas
Anyone for Michael Phelps swimming classes?
You need it when you’re balling, equally when you’re falling
Or when those kids in school on your locker they get to scrawling
Epithets is racist are stupid and mean in nature
Something that can make you feel stronger when people hate ya
Ego make you violent, or govern like a tyrant
Or switch ya dictionary’s word from vibrant to vivrant
Fool the thirsty people, selling tap water in bottles
Fooled a girl with NYU scholarship, now she models
Ego has no ending, has people pretending
Religious zealots get jealous ’cause guys want their defending
This is the last Tribe and our ego hopes that you felt us
And closing for our ego, we know only God can help us

[Outro]
Ego, ego
Spit the truth right in my mind
Ego, ego
Spit the truth right in my mind
Ego, ego
[?]
Ego, ego
Spit the truth right in my mind
Ego, ego
Spit the truth right in my mind
Ego, ego
Spit the truth right in my mind
Ego, ego
Spit the truth right in my mind
Ego, ego
Spit the truth right in my mind