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White Stripes Nation Manifesto XI: “There’s No Home for You Here”

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Generalissimo Alberto: Yahweh did not ban Satan lightly. He loved Lucifer. Lucifer was beautiful. But he was wicked and had to be banished from His presence. The devil was cast into hell with his fallen angels.

The Revolutionary Counsel freely admits that Mariah Carey is hot. Granted. She looks good. I will admit that her vocal instrument intrigues me.

LegendaryMonkey: You’ve got to be kidding me. I’m not even hearing this. Mariah Carey? She looks like My First Hooker Barbie.

GA: Hush up now, woman. We’re trying to play nice.

Nonetheless, come the revolution, Mariah Carey must be put to the lash, and banished from the realm.

LM: You’re damned right she will!

GA: We’ll be re-opening the former Abu Ghraib complex, under new and – of course – improved, White Stripes Nation management. We might bring John Ashcroft back to run the thing.

Thus, it’s convenient to call our death camp of tolerance “Camp Mimi” because her lambs are a bunch of sheep to the slaughter who will voluntarily herd into a place so named.

LM: If she’s there, I’m in favor of calling it, “Shut your stupid mouth and disappear, please.”

GA: Now, womanchild, we need a kinder and gentler machine gun hand. If we “disappeared” her, that’d just cause Sting to write a song about her — and at this point I’d just about as soon hear her as him. I’m just saying, you don’t want that, do you?

LM: Mariah Carey is the worst example of empty-headed bullshit music out there, and it’s doubly worse because she should be able to produce something of beauty with all her training. Instead, she’s just as bad as the damned Pussycat Dolls for promoting a ridiculous and unrealistic image of womanhood. Finally, she doesn’t even compare to Meg! I can’t believe you even invoked the name of Mariah Carey here, in this place, in this time.

GA: This is a pretty messed up state of affairs when it’s down to ME to be the good cop on Mariah Carey. I’m trying to be moderate and reasonable. I mean, I just want to send her to a re-education camp.

megwhite1.jpgLM: Mariah Carey is a plasticized bimbette who’s had so much surgery that she doesn’t even look like the same person as when her first album came out. Look at her! Whereas Meg… lovely Meg, who is woman-shaped and beautiful. Delicate and feminine, but I bet she’d kick your ass if you pushed her too far. Or at least shove a drumstick up your nose. What will Mariah do? Break off a fingernail and run screaming to fling herself on the bed and cry? Meg doesn’t look like street trash, either. She’s got more class in her pinky toe than Mariah’s exhibited in her entire “career.”

GA: Well. Perhaps we should stop and consider the all time classic:

“There’s No Home for You Here”
Elephant, 2003

GA: This album and this song in particular represent a strategic expansion of the White Stripes original basic “garage band” premise. The band is just the two of them, with no outside musicians. That represents the most specific musical commitment to anything like punk rock principles. It provides a useful framework to focus their art.

LM: Damned Beyonce wannabe… stupid, empty-headed…

GA: “There’s No Home for You Here” and other more recent records have fuller arrangements than the earlier work. This is MUCH more of a record than anything off the first three albums. This seems to have led to a bit of grumbling in some corners of Jack’s kingdom.

But they’re still within the technical limits of that, if that counts. It’s just that he overdubs a whole chorus of Jack’s to get that Queen effect. Particularly, the best break in the whole White Stripes catalogue may be about 1:55 into this record, when the instruments drop out in favor of a whole chorus of Jacks harmonizing the command of the title. Then add that beautifully modulated and expressive lead guitar shrieking across those pristine harmonies, and you’ve got a really prime moment.

LM: Within technical limits? I’ll say. All vintage instruments, no computers… just a couple of kids making music because they love it. Unlike SOME people, who are so produced you don’t know WHAT they might sound like….

GA: Yes, Jack and Meg are still working in a minimally processed and fairly transparent manner — particularly as compared to such demonic divas as Mariah. The duo format was such a strict frame to start with that they can liberalize considerably from there and STILL be pretty earthy and holistic.

LM: Are we going to talk about the music or are we going to talk about the bimbette? Because I’m okay with talking about the music, but if you’re gonna bring up street trash, I’ma get a broom. It’s up to you.

GA: OK, sorry to mention She Who Must Not Be Named. Back to Jack: Principally here, he affects an air of cold aloofness. The extended long strings of words in the verses are an articulate Brit kiss-off. This could be something like Hugh Grant might say if he were agitated. The way he purposely generates a lot of words to use in generating a baroque kind of blues melody reminds me a bit of Prince‘s underappreciated classic “Joy in Repetition.” I particularly like the crunchy flow of

I’ve not been really looking forward to the performance
But there’s my cue and there’s a question on your face
Fortunately I have come across an answer
Which is go away
And do not leave a trace

This whole song makes a good example of how to use influences. For this centerpiece of their “British” album, Jack was obviously using Queen as the model, particularly for those “Bohemian Rhapsody” style vocal harmonies. Yet it doesn’t come out sounding like Queen. For one thing, Jack and Meg can swing, which Queen just couldn’t on a bet.

LM: Yo Al, what do you mean with “swing”? Jack and Meg are a lot of things, but they’re not Frank Sinatra.

GA: Wise question, young Grasshopper. I’m referring, of course, to the classic philosophical statement of Duke Ellington, “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.” I’m using the term broadly, more an indication of a loose rhythmic fleet-footedness rather than a specific musical genre.

It would perhaps be better to say that Queen were only rock, but that the White Stripes are rock and roll. I don’t mean to pick on Queen, as they were an excellent band in many ways, and had quite a few good songs. But listen to “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.” It’s an excellent rockabilly song, but they couldn’t perform it properly. Dwight Yoakam totally takes over the song, just by giving it some basic Elvis swing.

It’s a big beef with most modern era rock music that they might ROCK you with big loud guitars- but very few have the ROLL that had so much to do with making Chuck Berry and Elvis and Fats Domino so appealing.

LM: So you’re basically saying that the White Stripes are more rhythmically supple than Queen or modern rock bands.

GA: Yes. White Stripes got swing, even in this relatively more produced song. Korn and Green Day do NOT swing.

The special depth of the song, though, comes from the mixture of emotions expressed. Variations on “There’s no home for you here girl, go away” express at least a couple or three distinct emotions being blended in. There’s the idea of a cold command. By the end of it, it’s distinctly more a plea. PLEASE quit tormenting me.

More specifically, please Mariah, don’t make me cast you from the kingdom into a dark dungeon in Iraq. Jack has to be tough to be a leader — but truly he is not malicious, and wishes no ill upon even so egregious an offender against Public Decency as Mariah Carey. It gives him no pleasure to have send her to an internment camp — but his public duty compels. him. What’s he to do?

LM: Public decency is right. Ain’t no room for plastic hoebags up in HERE!

GA: Perhaps Mariah could still be of use to The Revolution.

LM: What, staff concubine for the Generalissimo?

GA: I’d like to find a more respectful way to say that.

LM: There’s no respectful way to say that. Besides, I don’t think we have enough Lysol for that, and I am so not putting up with the smell. This revolution is clean, classy, and disease-free. She can just get on out of here with that trashy plastic face of hers.

GA: Thus, the moral of this song is: It’s White Stripes Nation — love it or leave it.

VIVA LA REVOLUTION!
——————-
LegendaryMonkey Alisha Karabinus provides the inner voice of sweet reason for evolved primates at Sudden Nothing.

Al Barger plots the overthrow of the government and his continuing crusade for Moorish dignity at More Things.

THIS IS WHITE STRIPES NATION!

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About monkey2man

  • http://www.djradiohead.com DJRadiohead

    Bravo! Bravo!

    The read was entertaining as hell. I have started banishing people to Camp Mimi myself. I fucking love that! The role reversal was nice, too. Most of the time, GA provides the Hammer and LM the glove. This time, LM is bringing the hellfire hatred. Some great one liners in there, HRP.

    As a candidate for Secretary of Defense of The People’s Revolution let me say, “GA, we can find you a better piece of trim than Mimi. Drive her from The Realm forthwith. I hear Renee Zellwegger is available again. We’ll keep working on that. Perhaps LM could give us a list of acceptable nominees for us to… vet.

  • http://www.djradiohead.com DJRadiohead

    Now, onto the important stuff. This is one of my favorite songs from my favorite White Stripes album. Well done noticing the British sensibilities on Elephant. They managed to broaden their sound without losing their identity. Great, great song and album.

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