Jack White has quickly attained a legendary, iconic status, even without the aging it typically takes for one to achieve such accolades. In the last decade, he has rocked our world, and is something of a King Midas of indie music. Everything he touches seems to turn to gold. He is not only a brilliant songwriter and performer, but he's a phenomenal producer, and has an ear and appreciation for music as an art form, regardless of style or genre.
The '00s brought the rise of not one, not two, but three well received White groups, (White Stripes, Raconteurs, and Dead Weather,) as well as Grammys, gold and platinum records, and a number of unique and unlikely collaborations. His "back-to-basics" style, humility, and reverence for the work of others earns him respect and endearment. He maintains strong connections to his hometown of Detroit and its music scene, even though the city is one of the most depressed parts of the country.
Here's to you, Jackie! Can't wait to see what gifts you will impart to us in the '10s.
10. He doesn't take himself too seriously. While you may remember his appearance in Coffee and Cigarettes, you may have missed his acting debut in Mutant Swinger from Mars.
9. He is young, and is considered innovative by many, yet he resists modern technology in a way that even many who are senior to him find perplexing. He has stated that he prefers to play older, damaged instruments because he enjoys the challenge of figuring out how to work with them.
8. Though his songs are typically stripped down with only a few components, he knows how to hook you and drag you in, every time.
7. He's one of the few popular, public figures that you can't read like a book. Not only does he keep his privacy, but he challenges convention and makes up information. How long did it take for us to know if Meg was his sister, wife, or ex-wife?
6. He is unapologetically eccentric. For example, in 2007 the White Stripes played in every Canadian province. The poor folks in St. John's, Newfoundland got the shortest concert in recorded history. One note.
5. He approaches his music with sincerity and admiration for those who came before him. In the recent film It Might Get Loud, he is clearly in awe of Jimmy Page and The Edge. While he's very different stylistically from both, it's quite endearing to watch him watch them with wide eyes.
4. He is in the process of producing a new album with Wanda Jackson, the 72 year-old Queen of Rockabilly.
3. Van Lear Rose. His down home, blue collar collaboration with Loretta Lynn.
2. Another Way to Die. Yeah, it was the theme to a James Bond movie. But on the upside, listen to the song, (without watching the video), and you can't deny how cool it is. The production on it is remarkable, and the transition of his voice to hers and vice versa is actually a bit eerie.
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1. For Phoenicians only: In the summer of 2006 the Raconteurs came the Marquee Theatre. Towards the end of the show, they performed a rendition of Cher'sBang, Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)
. It was one of the single greatest concert moments I've ever experienced. Talking to others years later about it, it was just as memorable for them. I realize that just yesterday I wrote that covers usually suck, but this is one of those rare exceptions when it was not only merited, but welcomed.