Big show tonight at the Commodore Ballroom: The Raconteurs. Ahem, you know the "other" band of that guy. We're going to focus on the guys in the band who don't really get their fair share of the limelight. Using the liner notes of Consolers of the Lonely, we've got "Little" Jack Lawrence ("Bass, Banjo and Back-up Vocality"), Patrick Keeler ("Drums and Repercussions"), and Brendan Benson ("Sing, String, Ring, Ding, Dong").
Okay, okay, it's nearly impossible to talk about the Raconteurs without mentioning Jack White III ("Vocals, Frets, Stylophone, Pianos and Vital Organs"). You'll learn quickly that all these guys are inter-connected in curious ways dating back way before their 2006 debut as the Raconteurs, so we're going to end up playing a little six degrees of separation (but more like 3 degrees).
The first time I saw Patrick and Little Jack, they were two-thirds of The Greenhornes, the opening band for back-to-back White Stripes shows here in Vancouver in 2005. I remember after the second show, hanging around the side door in vain just in case The White Stripes came out, which they didn't. I did end up shaking Patrick's hand and getting his autograph, which I promptly lost. The Greenhornes are a garage rock band, reviving the sound of the 60's with influences such as The Yardbirds, The Kinks, The Animals, and so on. Their official website seems to have changed since I last saw it (now it's basically an image of a horse with "coming soon" underneath) and judging by comments from Brendan Benson, The Greenhornes' indefinite hiatus may be ending soon...
The Greenhornes - Nobody Loves You
The Greenhornes - I've Been Down
A couple of my favourite Greenhornes originals.
The Greenhornes - Lost Woman [originally by The Yardbirds]
This Yardbirds cover was a hidden track on Sewed Soles, an album made of selected tracks from their previously releases...almost like a Greenhornes sampler.
Loretta Lynn - Have Mercy
Loretta Lynn & Jack White - Portland Oregon
The Raconteurs - Portland Oregon (live in Portland, Oregon)
The White Stripes - Rated X [originally by Loretta Lynn]
I didn't realize at the time, but Patrick and Little Jack were both involved as the rhythm section for Loretta Lynn's 2004 album Van Lear Rose produced by Jack White.
The Greenhornes - Shelter of Your Arms
The White Stripes - Shelter of Your Arms [originally by the Greenhornes]
From The Greenhornes' 2005 East Grand Blues EP, produced by Brendan Benson. Perhaps in a little bit of cross-promotion, The White Stripes covered it as a b-side to The Denial Twist single.
The Greenhornes - There is An End (with Holly Golightly)
Holly Golightly - There's An End
The White Stripes - It's True That We Love One Another (with Holly Golightly)
The third member of The Greenhornes is lead singer/guitarist Craig Fox who wrote There is An End. British singer Holly Golightly sings on two versions of the song, the latter from her 2003 album Truly She is None Other, which has liner notes by Jack White. She also joins Jack & Meg on the great track It's True That We Love One Another, a cheeky little ditty from Elephant.
Now it's time for fun trivia with cult filmmaker Jim Jarmusch:
- There is An End was used as the theme to Jarmusch's 2005 film Broken Flowers starring Bill Murray
- Jack & Meg White both appeared in a sequence of Jarmusch's Coffee & Cigarettes
- Jarmusch directed one of two music videos for The Raconteurs debut single Steady, As She Goes.
- At the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards, The Raconteurs (serving as the house band) were joined by Jim Jarmusch to sing "Internet Killed the Video Star"
- Jarmusch produced a "First Nations remix" of The White Stripes Blue Orchid, featured on a 12" vinyl with another remix by Michel Gondry
OK, before this post gets too unwieldy, I'm going to cut it off here and talk about Mr. Brendan Benson tomorrow. I'll also be off at 7am to catch a bus to Seattle to see Raconteurs, round 2! Let's see how well this blogger post-dating thing works...