Friday, August 6, 2010


The other day I was looking in the Village Voice, and I saw an ad for The Dead Weather's album.  It was a full page ad, and it was a picture of frontwoman Allison Mosshart giving 110% in front of a huge crowd.    That's exactly right.  The band gets a lot of attention, of course, because of drummer and leader Jack White, but it is Allison Mosshart who makes the band awesome.  No one else can steal the spotlight from Jack: not Meg White, not Brendan Benson. But with The Dead Weather, you mainly watch Mosshart.

And don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of The White Stripes and The Raconteurs, as any reader of No Expiration knows.  And it's not even because I have a thing for Mosshart: in fact, if I saw her on the street, I don't know that I'd recognize her.  On stage, she's mainly a blur, she reminds me of a combination of Iggy and Morrison.  She just has such presence, and, judging by the Voice ad, the band is fine with her getting the attention.  Hopefully, this will lead to more people discovering her other band, The Kills.

Anyway, the show was incredible.  When I last saw The White Stripes, I felt like they weren't as good as their records.  The Dead Weather is just the opposite.  I think they made good records, but they really come alive on stage. I thought they were really powerful.  It was fun watching Jack hammer away at the drums - he was clearly the band's leader, even though he's not the frontman (he did come out front to play guitar a few times). They played songs from their two albums, plus a few extras (like a cover of Pentagram's "Forever My Queen," which is also on their iTunes live EP).  The highlights were their cover of Bob Dylan's "New Pony," "60 Ft. Tall," "Treat Me Like Your Mother," "I Cut Like A Buffalo," "Hustle And Cuss," "Die By The Drop," "Will There Be Enough Water" and "Die By The Drop."

I gotta mention, it's not just about Jack and Allison.  Watching The Dead Weather live, you see that it is a band, and not just a side project.  Dean Fertita is a monster guitarist, and Jack Lawrence (who also plays in The Raconteurs) holds it down on bass. The fact that they have done two albums in a row, two albums in a year, speaks to how serious Jack is about the band. I look forward to hearing more from them.

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