The White Stripes
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|The White Stripes is a minimalist rock and roll duo from Detroit, formed in 1997, composed of Jack White and Meg White, who rose to prominence with their albums White Blood Cells and Elephant.
Billing themselves as brother and sister, guitarist and singer Jack White and drummer Meg White released their self-titled debut album in 1999. (In reality, they are ex-husband-and-wife and Meg is seven months older than Jack; their divorce papers were revealed online.) They were a struggling local band in Detroit for a long time, even after touring with Pavement and Sleater-Kinney. The second release from the White Stripes, De Stijl (2000), was named after the minimalist Dutch art movement, which they cited as a source for the approach to their music and image. The De Stijl album cover pictures a sample art piece from this movement, made in 3 colors - red, white and black - characteristic of the duo's uniforms. The number 3 also has significance for this band, not only for their tri-colored uniforms but their 3 instruments: vocals, guitar and drums, although Jack occasionally plays organ and piano.
Their stripped-down, garage rock sound made them a much hyped-band in 2002, as a result of the critical raves given to the major label release of White Blood Cells in 2001. The White Stripes enjoyed their first significant success in the UK in 2001, with the critical acclaim, especially for the band's energetic stage performances, spreading to the US in the following months. They have no bass player, and unofficial bass-added remixes have appeared, notably Steve McDonald's Redd Blood Cells. In 2002, Q magazine named The White Stripes as one of the "50 Bands To See Before You Die". The Lego-themed video, directed by Michel Gondry for the single "Fell in Love With a Girl" (off White Blood Cells), brought them attention outside music circles.
Their follow-up, entitled Elephant, was released on April 1, 2003, again to widespread critical acclaim, and even more commercial success. Elephant became The White Stripes' first UK chart-topper and US Top 10 album. On February 8, 2004 the song "Seven Nation Army" won a Grammy for best Rock Song, and the album Elephant won for best Alternative Album. In 2003, Jack and Meg White appeared in Jim Jarmusch's film, Coffee and Cigarettes in a segment entitled "Jack Shows Meg His Tesla Coil".
Released in 2004, the Under Blackpool Lights DVD has a special treat for fans who collect their bootlegs; it contains every major live cover that the band played during the 2003-2004 tours, approximately a dozen songs. Jack White alerted fans to secrets within the film on his site postings, one of which was sure to be the writing on his arm. Recorded over two nights shows, this writing says NOXIOUS which changes to OBNOXIOUS at certain point when film from a different night is used.
A fifth album, Get Behind Me Satan, was released in North America on June 7, 2005 and has already garnered critical acclaim. Its first single, titled "Blue Orchid", is currently a popular song on satellite radio and occasionally FM stations.
On June 1, 2005 Jack White and model Karen Elson were married during the band's tour of South America. The band's manager Ian Montone was the best man and Meg White was the Maid of Honor. Jack White's new spouse also appears in the video for "Blue Orchid." The White Stripes website claimed "this was the first marriage for both newlyweds", despite documentation showing that Jack and Meg were once married.
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