Jack White's 'Sixteen Saltines' Disturbs
Jack White's first solo album Blunderbuss made its debut this week, and the haunting, backwoods suburban video for his second single, Sixteen Saltines, is as riveting as it is disturbing – as if David Lynch and Harmony Korine colluded with Johnny Knoxville. Remember kiddies, don't try this at home…
Conceptually, the video is like Rush's Subdivisions on meth. The imagery of bored kids looking for thrills in the short directed by AG Rojas -- including a little boy forced to tattoo his face, a teen suffocating himself with a plastic bag over his head, a child fiddling with a bloody, detached finger and a blue-painted boy gleefully preparing to immolate a car containing a hog-tied Jack White -- is a serious 180-degree turn from the prolific artist's first single/video from Blunderbuss, Love Interruption.
Having conquered all as one half of The White Stripes and then venturing off into side projects (The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather), soundtrack offerings (including the Quantum of Solace title track Another Way to Die with Alicia Keys and now The Lone Ranger) and in-demand producing gigs (including albums by Loretta Lynn and Wanda Jackson), it's hard to believe that White is only now delivering his first solo project.
Fans and newbies alike will not be disappointed, as the album's overall sound is modulated to be easier to swallow than some of the complicated, "acquired taste" arrangements of The Dead Weather. On Blunderbuss, White once again mines a variety of musical roots, from country-tinged folk to blues, gospel, jazz, piano rock and hard-charging assaults – complete with the Detroit-based musician's eccentric, trademark guitar-riff style.
Blunderbuss was written, recorded and produced entirely by White, who is currently on a world tour to support the album and will be one of the headliners of Lollapalooza 2012, taking place August 3-5 in Chicago.