When the Granada Theater reached out to their fans and asked for blog post submissions on our top five favorite bands, I couldn’t resist the temptation to participate in two of my favorite activities; blogging and talking about Jack White. I wondered if Granada would hold it against me that three of my five favorite bands have Jack White as a member. I wondered if it would matter that the fourth band was closely related to Jack White. Lastly, I am still wondering as I type this, which band I will write about for my 5th favorite band. Lucky for you, Jack White collaborations don’t count as a band, or my list could go to 100.
The White Stripes: Remember the good old days? Back when Jack and Meg were making music together? I fell in love with this band from the moment I heard “Fell in Love with a Girl” on the radio back in 2001. I fell in love with Meg’s ponytails and Jack’s red and black split colored pants. I fell in love with peppermint swirls and childhood innocence and amicable divorce. Most of all, I fell in love with Jack’s interpretation of the blues, his guitar, his passion. I fell back in love with rock ‘n roll. When Jack and Meg announced their split this year a little part of rock music died, but Jack and Meg will live on in my heart and on my turntable forever.
The Raconteurs: Never fear. Several years before Jack and Meg called it quits, Jack was already dabbling in a so-called side project, the Raconteurs. Together with his old friends Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler, Jack proves that he can wear other colors than red, white and black. He has even been seen wearing (gasp!) green. Shocking, I know. Jack shares the vocal responsibility with talented singer and songwriter, Brendan Benson. The rhythm section consists of bass player extraordinaire, Jack Lawrence and drumming chops miester Patrick Keeler. After taking some time off since their last album, they have been announcing festival appearances around the country this Fall. I'm still crossing my fingers for a yet unannounced Texas show.
The Dead Weather: Since the man is nothing short of obsessed with the number three, it really shouldn’t surprise you that Jack is also a member of a third band. The Dead Weather’s image is the polar opposite of the candy cane childish presentation of the White Stripes, but the core of the band is rooted in the same place, the blues. The music is dark, bluesy, passionate, and addicting.
Jack wears all black this time, taking his place behind the drums, leaving the lead vocals to everyone’s (well, at least mine) favorite bad-ass girl next door, Alison Moshart (of the Kills).
When they rolled into Dallas in 2009 and Austin 2010, all four members of The Dead Weather (Alison, Jack, Jack Lawrence, and Dean Fertita) put on an intense live show, blowing me away. The most amazing part for me was Alison’s ability to make me forget Jack White was even on the stage. Now, that’s stage presence.
The Kills: Speaking of Alison Moshart, I bring you my next favorite band, the Kills. I should get double bonus blog points from Granada Theater for this choice, because I saw VV and Hotel (Alison & Jamie Hince respectively) this past April at their fine venue. I learned about the Kills because of the Dead Weather, but quickly got up to speed on their studio albums since 2003. I dare you to listen to the album “Midnight Boom” and not instantly become in a good mood. There is nothing not to love about their stripped down, catchy, poppy, punky style. Then, they changed it all up again when they released "Blood Pressures" this year. It was the same VV and Hotel that we have grown to love, but a deeper and more mature sound . You have to listen to it to understand.
(Frantically scrolling my iPod for my 5th favorite band), and the winner is....
The Cold War Kids: The song writing in this band is seriously killer. Who else writes songs about being on death row (Saint John), kids of divorce (Sensitive Kid), being an alcoholic father (We Used to Vacation), a homeless man stealing from the church offering (Passing the Hat) and being in the hospital with no hope of recovery (Hospital Beds), almost all in first person? I leave all of these songs believing Nathan Willett has experienced each of these things personally. He is so convincing in his passionate delivery. I have to admit (at first) they were one of those bands that had to 'grow on me', but now I can't even express to you how these songs speak to my soul. I highly recommend "Robbers & Cowards" and their new album "Mine is Yours". I wrote a blog about their last show in Dallas. You can check it out here.
Honorable mention:Cake: They mainly won the spot because in compared to the many other hundreds of bands that I love and admire, I have been a fan of Cake for nearly 15 years. They win the longevity award. Who doesn't love a band that uses the vibra-slap excessively? In my humble opinion, "Prolonging the Magic" in 1998 was their peak, but I have been thoroughly enjoying John McCrea's monotone vocal delivery for years. Then there are the trumpets, I love the trumpets.
OK Granada Theater, I accepted your challenge. Now I have a challenge for you: Let's get Jack White to Granada Theater!