Living with…The White Stripes…for a week
It’s not difficult to make a tenuous link between this picture of The White Stripes and vampires. So I will.
Of Vampires and Zombies
With the tenuous link bit out of the way I’ll deal with the delicate subjects of vampires and zombies.
Firstly, the one that sends me to sleep.
That would be vampires then (and maybe even werewolves I guess). In preparation for the impending cultural moment that will be the Twilight series finale, I was sat down in front of the fourth part (Breaking Dawn Part 1). I had a losing start as I’d missed out on parts two and three (and had just survived part one) but a brief catch up can be found below for anyone else who like me hasn’t kept up.
Anyway, secure in the belief that this was Mills and Boom with fangs I then sat through fifty minutes of a vampire wedding and honeymoon. I was struggling. I had a brief lift at one of the funniest honeymoon scenes in cinematic history (although I’m not sure it was meant to be) before sinking in to sleep when shock, horror it was discovered that a vampire baby might be on the way. I never reached the end and I don’t think I’m invited to the cinema for BD Part 2 as my snoring apparently ruined the atmosphere of the film.
Oh well, I sort of preferred it when the only good vampire was a dead vampire. Hang on a second, they are dead aren’ they? Or are they somewhere in between? I really should have been paying more attention.
And then there’s the zombies that have been keeping me awake.
I’d caught a preview of one of next year’s blockbusters World War Z a week or so back. A world war between zombies and humans to be honest. It sounds very trashy and B movie but the lead is Brad Pitt and so I was intrigued as to why he was so keen to make this movie.
Cue the book which has been keeping me awake for the last week – World War Z by Max Brooks. The premise of this is excellent and gripping. It is written by a journalist ten years after the war to end all wars who goes and interviews survivors all around the world. There is no central character, but the story unfolds through scores of different accounts and piece by piece the collapse of our world unfolds. Zombies aren’t nice but actually we’re our own worst enemies – the politicians cover up, the army bungles, humans just are humans. The view can be from the international space station, from under the sea in a Chinese nuclear submarine, from the wastelands of Siberia. It is a totally compelling account of humanity under pressure.
Which is why zombies are keeping me awake at night.
But I could always catch up on Twilight again if I’m struggling to sleep.
Elephant by The White Stripes
Where has this album been all my life? Apart from obviously catching Seven Nation Army on the radio from time to time and knowing that Jack White had done a pretty cool Bond theme I can’t claim to have known much about The White Stripes at all before this week. I feel so shamed.
I guessed that Jack and Meg White were husband and wife, but not that they were actually divorced by the time they were doing their best work. And I certainly didn’t realize there was this gem of an album. Raw and basic, the whole album has a classic feel having been recorded on ancient equipment with no computers involved in the making thereof. At times you can hear strains of Bowie or The Stones at others the grunge of Nirvana.
I’ve loved my week with this album – favourites include Seven Nation Army (obviously), The hardest button to button, the epic Ball and Biscuit, and a great reworking of Dusty Springfield’s I Just Don’t Know What To Do with Myself. The humour is brilliant – take a song with the chorus
Give it a whirl, girl
Be like the squirrel
oh oh uh uh oh
Clearly squirrels have motivated us all over the years by stashing away their nuts.
So discover or rediscover this album. It may not be very refined but they do say that raw food is better for you.
My video choice is actually The hardest button to button – maybe not as slick a shoot as the better known Seven Nation Army but you can’t go wrong with a cascading drum scene.