The White Stripes.
How could you not witness old videos of the raw, uninhibited bluesy power of the dynamic duo of Jack and Meg White? There was something so primitive and also juvenile somehow about the mixture of guitar virtuosity and the manic screaming of Jack, alongside the simplistic two-note pounding on the skins provided by the most underrated drummer, Meg White, doing what she does best. There was magic in those two. Jack White has since been one of the most prolific and arguably modern day legends of our time with the Dead Weather, The Raconteurs, and on his own with his powerful, fantastic solo albums. But I don’t know if it gets any better than The White Stripes. I’d love to hear what these two would be capable of in this day and age.
Critically panned, most infamously and notably by everyone’s favourite pretentious music blog Pitchfork, JET certainly didn’t have the best reputation with people who ‘knew what they were talking about’. Having said that, their debut album stormed onto the charts with the sort-of one hit wonder, “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” and instantly captivated everyone. The foot-stomping, hand-clapping, riff-heavy garage anthem still plays in bars today and there isn’t a soul who won’t get up and dance. JET were lost amongst all the other ‘The’ bands (White Stripes, Hives, Vines, Von Bondies, and so on and so forth) but these Aussies were what they were and gave what they gave; throbbing melodic garage pop with torn edges. I loved every minute of it. Fuck you too, Pitchfork.
Eclectic folk/pop outfit Fruit Bats only called it quits last year, and I can still feel the pain of the split like a fresh wound. My other other favourite Chicago-based folk band, Fruit Bats were a small and highly underrated band with lineup changes over the years but an uncompromising easy, breezy twee sound with clever songs involving losing teeth in earthquakes and taking a date to see Three Dog Night at the fairgrounds. I never had the opportunity to see Fruit Bats live, and I’ll always wonder how it would have been to sit in the audience drifting away to Eric D. Johnson telling me he’ll be the lump of sugar in my tea.
If only. If only the Davies’ could resolve their differences and all other problems with these garage rock Gods could be solved just so they could hit the stage one more time. Despite outlasting decades and decades however, and releasing great album after great album, changing sounds and adapting to the times and doing everything right to keep current, the fact remains that the Kinks cease to survive. And that’s a shame. I think the world needs a Kinks reunion. Irreconcilable differences between genius collaborators is a creative, professional and music fandom tragedy. I’d love to see the Kinks live once again and everyone else would, too. Everyone that is, except for Ray and Dave. Come on, guys. Patch it up.
I’ve often said that the one concert that at this point might blow my mind the most, it would be The Rolling Stones playing anything, anywhere. I would do anything to see them. And that’s only because they’re still together, and Zeppelin are not. I cannot even imagine seeing Jimmy Page and Robert Plant together on the same stage, doing what they do, even past their prime. I was born in the wrong decade, I think to myself sometimes. And it’s only because I didn’t end up an 80lb Zeppelin groupie watching Robert Plant stagger around on stage as if he’s possessed and Jimmy Page melting off my frail drug-addled face. It’s a cruel world.