In the wake of the White Stripes' official breakup last week, the music world reeled with the loss of one of the defining bands of the past decade. Some applauded the end of a band they saw as too simplistic, buoyed by a sub-par drummer and warbling attention-addict. Different strokes, y'all.
But their mark will always be felt, for better or worse. Just as Creed and Nickelback gave birth to... ehhhh, the White Stripes also did their part to make the music world a much stranger place for everyone. From bichromatic wardrobes, pencil moustaches, sweet stripes mint candy, and Dolly Parton, the Stripes brightened the world, two or maybe three colors at a time.
Nightly during their live era, the White Stripes would expose virgin ears to the music of blues legends and pioneers like Son House, Leadbelly, Blind Willie McTell, and Robert Johnson, in addition to plenty of Captain Beefheart cuts. There is no telling how many people were turned to the blues after hearing one of these covers. This would come in handy once the Black Keys came into the picture by 2007.
Anticipating No Age's Fitzgerald's date a few weeks back, we ran down our favorite rock and roll two-pieces, with the Stripes getting a mention (of course). The Stripes opened musician's minds yet again to the notion that you can make a beautiful noise without a bassist, or even a Neil Peart-style drummer.
If not for the strides that Jack and Meg made, a band like the Black Keys wouldn't be on modern-rock radio, hovering in the Billboard Top 20, or playing on national televsion.
The Hives (above), The Strokes, The Vines, The Caesars, The Cribs were all huge in the wake of the White Stripes. They may have not caused the "The" movement, but they sure get blamed for it.
With Third Man Records, Jack brings to mind a sort of PT Barnum for the neo-indie set. Limited edition vinyl releases, hucksterist business practices, re-installing influential artists with new albums, and all the while incubating a bed of bands that aren't that far off from his own Stripes. Also, producing songs for Conan O'Brien.
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Sure, bands were loud before the Stripes, but few were making noise like that with just two people onstage without having ecstasy or glow-sticks involved. Anyone who saw the band in their 2001-04 prime will tell you that their ears physically hurt due to Jack pummeling his guitar like it looked at him sideways.