February of this year marked the official break-up of The White Stripes. For nearly a decade, The White Stripes could be considered my favorite band that was still together and producing new music. What drew me to them? First of all, they were quirky. From the contradictory stories about their relationship (Are they brother and sister? Husband and wife? Ex-spouses?) to Jack White’s enigmatic personality, there was a quirkiness behind the band that didn’t betray a hint of insincerity. Jack White doesn’t, to my analysis, presume to be someone else for the sake of image. He is who he is, and that is refreshing in the world of music where so much of image is fake and insincere to market to a specific demographic. But obviously the music is more important than the image. The music of The White Stripes didn’t stay in one particular style, morphing between blues, country, hard rock, punk, folk, and occasionally Celtic. There was never any doubt about the identity of the band, they made each song, regardless of style, their own, but there was a range that never became mundane. The band was never static. And it was quite obvious that they were always having fun.
It is somewhat tragic to me that The White Stripes went out on a live album. The announcement was quite sudden and it felt as if there wasn’t the opportunity to give a proper send-off. Or perhaps I am just irritated that I will never be able to see them live. Regardless, they are a band that will probably not be doing many more releases (beyond, perhaps, live shows, unreleased demos, singles and b-sides compilations, etc). Since they are no longer touring or recording, this means I no longer get to look forward to a new album. Which means, quite simply, I need a new favorite, current band.
What are my qualifications for a new band? First of all, they must still be recording and releasing music. Sure, I’m as excited about the upcoming Pink Floyd Immersion albums as the next guy, but these would hardly count as new material. I want a band that is still looking and moving forward rather than looking to release the ultimate experience of their back catalogue (which isn’t a bad thing, necessarily). Second, their material must be fairly accessible and affordable, preference being on bands currently on Spotify. I don’t have a lot of disposable income at the moment, so I’m not that interested in importing music from other countries. Spotify is great because I can sample a large amount of music for free before making my final decision. Sure, I’d love to be able to just pick out a bunch of CDs from my local music store or mp3s from Amazon, but money is tight and I have other projects that rank somewhat higher on the list of priorities. Other than these two qualifications, I’m open to just about anything. Make some suggestions and I’ll check things out. I’m in no particular hurry to find a new band, so hopefully I’ll be able to give a lot of bands and albums a fair shake.
Now, I won’t be going in to this cold. I have a few bands that I’m going to give serious consideration to. Here are the groups that are currently under consideration (in no particular order):
Over the next few weeks, I hope to go a bit more in-depth over why I’ve chosen these four as contenders, some of which (Radiohead in particular) I have more history with than others. Ultimately, the goal of this project is to have fun and find some new music. Again, feel free to make recommendations and share opinions along the way.