Before you unfollow me or send me your list of “10 Reasons Jack White’s Dick Tastes Like Cinnamon”, let me explain:
I miss The White Stripes. I loved The White Stripes, and I love just about everything else Jack has put out in the last decade or so. He’s worked with interesting artists, tried new things and continues to push creative borders with his work.
So here’s what I don’t love: all these local bands that think the secret to success is being exactly like the White Stripes. The White Stripes were good because they were different, they turned heads, and even though they had strong ties to their influences, their image and sound was different than what was mainstream at the time. You couldn’t put your finger on it, but you had to take a chance and check them out. But that was late 90’s/early 2000’s. Now, I can’t go to a local show without seeing a band doing a JW vocal impression, imperfect drums and drowning their guitar in fuzz on an intentionally shitty Jack White-style guitar (seriously dude, you can clearly afford 27 different distortion pedals but you couldn’t spring for more on your instrument? Please).
For what it’s worth I think Jack White’s awesome, and I love all that stuff I just described but that isn’t my concern. My concern is we don’t need 500,000 other Jack White’s. No one is trying new things. It’s so easy to go, “Hey, this sounds cool and different. Maybe if we try to look and sound exactly like them, we’ll be cool and different too!!” But you expect me to follow your band if you’re not offering me something I haven’t already heard 500,000 times before?
It’s a shame too, because these kids are supposed to change music. They need to; Music isn’t meant to be copied and pasted, it’s meant to be created from scratch, from collaboration, used as a tool, a voice of expression and experimentation, trying new things and, yes, going against the grain and what everyone else is doing. And why just force yourself into a box and only listen to what your iTunes has so cleverly labeled ‘Alternative & Punk’? There’s so much good stuff out there, so many great places to pull ideas and influence from. Why stick to one gun?
So give us some new shit, musicians. I dare you to prove me wrong. Be a leader, not a follower. Dare to do something different.
In fact let’s make this interesting. If you don’t know who I am and just found this post by typing in ‘Jack White’s Dick’: 1) I’m an avid music fan, always looking for new music (50,000 songs on my iTunes is not enough). 2) I’m a director, always looking for new bands to collaborate with. I, too, have been pushing myself into a little box creatively but now I’m itching to come out, take the gloves off and make something that hasn’t been made before.
So If you think your shit’s worth its salt, leave a link in my ask box. But If you want a new fan, a new collaborator or even my $15 to see your show that includes a cover and coax me into buying your merch, you’re gonna have to do better than “we sound kind of like The White Stripes”. The White Stripes sound like The White Stripes, and they were great at sounding like The White Stripes. Sound like something else.
And if you want to argue with me, feel free to drop that in my ask too. I’ll get to it later though; I’m gonna go check out some local music on 6th tonight, and I really want to see something new. You have no idea.