i’ve posted here with some regularity about music that really gets me and i spend several days listening to it as much as possible. during my prolonged M.I.A. phase i ran across a few white stripes videos (recall, if you will how i usually loathe videos) that i enjoyed mainly because they were concert footage videos. The one i found the most enjoyable was a video of a live performance where they play Jolene, the title track from Dolly Parton’s first big solo album in 1974 (later reissued on CD in 1999) . The footage of this video is a bit grainy (which in this context i actually enjoy), and looks like Meg and Jack have been on stage for some time and have been really working it – they’re sweaty and they look beat. And the performance is wonderful, heartfelt and evokes the desperation of Parton’s well executed lyrics.
In an interview with Terri Gross this summer which originally compelled me to buy the new album, Get Behind me Satan, Jack White talks about his love and appreciation for blue grass music which the Stripes dabble in a bit in track 5 of the new album entitled, Little Ghost. I wonder if covering Jolene is another product of that interest. They seem to be performing the song live with some regularity – the video is from what appears to be a late 2004 performance in the UK and they performed it again at the Merriweather on September 27th of this year. You can hear the entirety of the show, including openers the Shins and M. Ward, via NPR in an ingenious move to provide access to live performances of selected concerts for free. I’ve already listened to this show 4 times in the past 4 days.