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Under Great White Northern Lights

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Under Great White Northern Lights

Artist: The White Stripes

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Label: XL

?A pure blast of the fierce joy of live rock 'n' roll.? MSN
?A true gem.? Spin
?Arty but accessible, this is a treat for any White Stripes fan: a document of a global band visiting the ends of the
Earth to deliver their delicious clatter to their most out-of-way followers.? NME
?Can credibly be included alongside such canonical rock-docs as ?Gimme Shelter? & ?Don't Look Back?.? LA Times

In the summer of 2007, The White Stripes embarked on a cross-country Canadian tour to accomplish their goal
of performing in every province & territory across the expansive northern nation.

March 15th sees the enigmatic duo releasing their first-ever official live album, featuring 16 songs on both vinyl &
CD, as well as the Emmett Malloy-directed documentary film, Under Great White Northern Lights on DVD.

These two incredible pieces will come packaged together (CD with DVD) & are a unique documentation of that
journey, providing a fascinating look into the on & off stage lives of one of the world?s most enigmatic bands.

Having first premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2009, Under Great White Northern Lights
documents the band playing to crowds in towns of all sizes across the Great White North ? from traditional venues
to matinee gigs at unusual locations such as a bowling alley, a boat & even on a city bus ? culminating in a
momentous White Stripes 10th Anniversary show at the historic Savoy Theatre in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia.

A captivating mix of striking live footage & poignant off-stage moments, this visually stirring & emotive feature
length film celebrates the band?s 10yr history; while the live album continues that celebration & is a perfect
companion piece to the film, featuring 16 songs recorded at various shows throughout the Canadian tour ? a
collection that captures all the aural intensity & spontaneity that The White Stripes have become known for.

Tracks:
CD: 1. Let?s Shake Hands
2. Black Math
3. Little Ghost
4. Blue Orchid
5. The Union Forever
6. Ball & Biscuit
7. Icky Thump
8. I?m Slowly Turning Into You
9. Jolene
10. 300 MPH Torrential Outpour Blues
11. We Are Going to Be Friends
12. I Just Don?t Know What to Do With Myself
13. Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn
14. Fell In Love With a Girl
15. When I Hear My Name
16. Seven Nation Army

DVD:
Under Great White Northern Lights Documentary


Performer Notes
  • Given the White Stripes' reputation for powerful concerts, it's a little surprising that they waited until more than a decade into their career to release a live album. However, Under Great White Northern Lights was worth the wait: While nothing can really replace seeing the band live, this set captures most of their riveting on-stage presence. The album was recorded during the Stripes' 2007 Canadian tour, which was such a special experience for them that they chronicled it with a DVD as well. The band was touring in support of that year's Icky Thump, and the Scottish and Celtic motifs that are woven throughout that album pop up here, too, from the bagpipes intro to a brisk version of "Little Ghost" that sounds almost like a reel. Like most White Stripes concerts, Under Great White Northern Lights features an evenhanded mix of early songs and newer ones -- Jack and Meg White go way back for incendiary takes on "Let's Shake Hands" and "When I Hear My Name," which sound right at home next to the lunging "Icky Thump" and "I'm Slowly Turning into You." The album opens with four furious rockers that show just how primal the duo is live -- on "Black Math" and a breathless "Blue Orchid" they sound like they can barely keep up with the energy flowing through them -- but many of Under Great White Northern Lights' brightest moments happen when they slow down. Jack and Meg settle into a groove on "300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues" that makes the song fresher than it was on Icky Thump, while a particularly stunning version of "The Union Forever," with extra-desperate vocals from Jack surrounded by a swelling, horror-movie organ, just might be the album's standout. The Stripes also include plenty of favorites, including "Jolene," a bluesy "Fell in Love with a Girl," a singalong "I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself," and a bruising "Seven Nation Army" as the finale, all of which capture the kind of show the band puts on for its fans. Since a big part of the Stripes' live show also rests on their visuals, the Under Great White Northern Lights DVD gives the complete experience, but this album is satisfying enough to make it a must for most fans. ~ Heather Phares

Professional Reviews
Entertainment Weekly (p.92) - "[W]ith go-for-broke performances....If UGWNL is their last hurrah, it's one hell of a goodbye." -- Grade: A

Pitchfork (Website) - "The exquisitely packaged UNDER GREAT WHITE NORTHERN LIGHTS box set aims to summarize the duo in their most potent form -- onstage, with two spotlights beaming through them....It's a wild success..."

Uncut (magazine) (p.111) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[The] live album begins with a dramatic flourish, a bagpipe skirl prefacing the hammer-blow riffage of 'Let's Shake Hands'."

Format:CD (0 Disc); Stereo
Country:USA
Other Information:XLCD333
Studio/Live: Live
Release Date:15 March, 2010

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1 review(s)
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Jamie on
 
The White Stripes' recent decision to go their separate ways makes 'Under Great White Northern Lights' a must have for fans of Jack & Meg White, or of rock music in general. The CD captures the raw energy and emotion of the band on stage. It needs to be listened to loud, preferably at eleven. With "Let's Shake Hands", "The Union Forever" and "We Are Going To Be Friends" being some of the standouts, it will really wake up the neighbourhood.
Whilst the CD makes for greatest listening, it's the film that shines in this package. This is one of the greatest concert tour documentaries ever made. The concert footage shows the awesome intensity of the 'Stripes on stage - intensity which bands with two or three times as many members could never dream of attaining. The live footage is spliced with interviews with the Whites (mainly Jack, but several quiet words with Meg) and moments across the "The Great White North" (The "One Note Show" in particular) that makes for great watching. The film is beautifully shot and stays true to the band's three colour ethos by using black and white for outside shots and colour for concert footage. In conclusion, the CD & Film are a testament to one of the few truly groundbreaking bands of modern times. The White Stripes will be sorely missed.

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