The White Stripes release ‘Under Great White Northern Lights’ documentary. Whenever Jack and Meg White make music in their new doc about their 2007 Canadian tour, they’re a peppermint swirl of electricity—the culmination of decades of greasy blues and DIY punk; the American garage writ large. They’re the heirs apparent to everyone from Ledbelly to Bill Monroe to John Lee Hooker to the MC5, Led Zeppelin, the Flat Duo Jets and Nirvana. They careen from riff to riff, idea to idea, clinging for dear life as they dig their spurs into the mythical rodeo beast of rock ’n’ roll.
Offstage, though, they engage with that outside world. Instead of holing up in hotels and shuffling from arena to arena, they’re out connecting with the communities they’re touring through. They trade songs with Inuit elders, throw spontaneous free shows at pool halls, a YMCA camp and a bowling alley in Saskatoon, and pop up on a fishing boat to play Muddy Waters’ “Catsfish Blues.” Their love of what they do—their desire to share their music in such a forthright way—is as admirable as their discography. Their lean guitar-and-drums approach allows them to turn on a dime, following any stormy muse they please. Thanks Paste Magazine, that last line describes them perfectly. This documentary is brilliantly shot and one of the best concert films in years!