White Stripes | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

White Stripes 

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Though the simplicity and directness of the White Stripes' attack has barely changed, they consistently breathe new life into their sound--though they were once considered spearheads of the latest garage-rock revival, they're really too broad-minded to be comfortable in such a narrow role. Jack and Meg White don't do anything crazy on Get Behind Me Satan (Third Man/V2), unless you count Jack swapping his guitar for a marimba on "The Nurse" and playing a whole lot more piano. And Meg's drumming (not to mention her singing on "Passive Manipulation") remains hopelessly subworkmanlike. Jack's catchy melodies and loopy caterwauling are still the White Stripes' greatest strengths, but the details keep things exciting. On "My Doorbell," over simple piano chords and an insistent tambourine rattle, Jack nearly matches Robert Plant at his most swaggering--his charismatic singing rescues the song from beats that sound like a five-year-old playing with a hammer. On "Take, Take, Take" he paints a restrained portrait of fandom turning into sick compulsion, in which a glimpse of Rita Hayworth escalates into a growing need; the fan's obsession sounds reasonable enough from verse to verse, but the song becomes increasingly disturbing as it goes along. See Section 1 for more on Get Behind Me Satan. The Greenhornes open. See also Tuesday and Wednesday. Mon 8/29, 7:30 PM, Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress, 312-922-2110 or 312-902-1500, $35-$45. All ages.

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