Set your PVR for this Friday's episode of Conan O'Brien, his last on the Late Show before he takes over the reins of the Tonight Show from Jay Leno at the beginning of June. The White Stripes will be sending him off in style with the duo's first live performance since their abruptly cancelled tour in fall 2007. You might remember a few years back in '03 when they were booked as the musical guests on Conan for a solid week. Conan also appeared in the music video for The Denial Twist directed by Michel Gondry, which was a surreal re-enactment of their appearances on Late Night. In 2007, Jack and Meg were back on the show performing the opening and closing tracks of Icky Thump. Not surprisingly, The Raconteurs have also been on the show in promotion of each of their albums.
Last summer Conan was on KCRW's Guest DJ Project and one of his music picks was The White Stripes' Ball & Biscuit. Surprisingly, Conan reveals that he first met Jack and Meg, pre-White Stripes in a Detroit bowling alley... listen here [MP3 REMOVED].
The bowling bit isn't that surprising. Back when The White Stripes toured cross Canada, they played one of their legendary secret shows in a Saskatoon bowling alley and it wasn't uncommon to hear stories of them lurking around bowling alleys all throughout the tour. I think there are at least two bowling-themed songs in the White Stripes repertoire (Hand Springs and Red Bowling Ball Ruth). And according to Tegan and Sara, Meg's got mad bowling skills...
The White Stripes - Black Jack Davey [trad.]
This folk ballad dates back in various forms to the 1700s and Bob Dylan covered it on his 1992 album Good as I Been to You. If you're a White Stripes fan, you'll know that they do more than their fair share of Bob Dylan covers.
The Raconteurs - Many Shades of Black (Live on Conan O'Brien)
On last year's appearance on Conan leading into Many Shades of Black, the boys pay tribute to Bo Diddley who had passed away earlier that day.
Conan O'Brien - Blue Moon of Kentucky [originally by Bill Monroe]
An unlikely, but sweet cover by Conan during a show last year.
C.W. Stoneking - Seven Nation Army [originally by the White Stripes]
I think Jack would be a big fan of this cover which sounds like an old school blues recording of St. James Infirmary, which the White Stripes incidentally covered on their self-titled debut album. This remarkable reworking of Seven Nation Army by Aussie artist C.W. Stoneking is from Triple J's Like a Version 4 compilation. More St. James Infirmary covers than you can shake a stick at here and here.
**EDIT: I was just listening to some other songs on C.W. Stoneking's myspace page and I can't believe it's a thirtysomething dude with that voice. It reminds me of that scene in Walk Hard where a young Dewey Cox jarringly sings with the ravaged voice of a old bluesman. Great sounding tunes.
- ... and here are some awesome youtube videos of little kids singing the White Stripes:
- Toddler sings along to My Doorbell
- Class of kids singing Apple Blossom
- 5-year old girl sings The Hardest Button to Button a cappella!