Jack White on SNL

On last night’s Lindsay Lohan-hosted episode of Saturday Night Live, Jack White took the opportunity to air out a couple of songs from Blunderbuss, his forthcoming debut solo album. Overcoming the usual woes of SNL’s shitty in-studio sound, he started out with a striking version of the single “Love Interruption,” backed by a white-clad all-female band. When he came back to do the charged-up new one “Sixteen Saltines” — a total feral De Stijl-sounding rager — he had an all-male backing band, and they sounded pretty great too. Watch both below.

Blunderbuss is out 4/24 on Third Man/Columbia.

Comments (60)
  1. That’s a whole lot of Meg White, Loretta Lynn and Karen Elson look-a-likes up on stage.

  2. Great performances. Was a bit worried after the Love Interruption B-side but I’m incredibly excited now.

  3. The drummer on the first song is Carla Azar from Autolux. I don’t think she looks like any of those people.

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  5. I’m kind of sick and tired of people saying that the sound on SNL is terrible. The only times I’ve ever thought the sound was terrible was when the band was terrible. Great bands don’t sound terrible at all. From recent memory: this, Bon Iver, Radiohead, the Black Keys, Arcade Fire, etc. They all sounded great.

    • To be fair, I thought the sound *was* pretty terrible on the second song at least. In this case it didn’t ruin the performance, but it wasn’t great.

    • Brief Analysis of SNL’s “Bad Sound”

      At around 2:08, Jack kicks into one of the most gnarly guitar sounds ever on SNL.

      There may as well have been just Jack, the organ dude and the drummer on stage. Upright, fiddle and mando were non existent.

      While I agree that Bon Iver and The Black Keys sounded fairly balanced, the second song was a failure. A good sound engineer can achieve the artist’s desire to put his signature wooly guitar tone on display, as well as serve the intended instrumental balance of the song.

    • It ruined Sleigh Bells’ performance

      • yeah they had trouble mixing the iPod.

        • I’m pretty sure it’s drum machines they use on record, so I don’t see the point of them switching to live percussion on stage.

          • Prerecorded Drum tracks recorded to an iPod, and because they can afford to hire a human to, at the absolute very least, play the drum machine live. I know this is possible to do, because I play using a drum machine when I play, and I do it live instead of to a pre-recorded track, because I’m not a loser.

          • no offense to you. Offense directed entirely toward Sleigh Bells.

          • Don’t worry mate, I knew that. I personally don’t see the point in replacing the pre-recorded percussion with a live drum machine, but different people expect different things from live performances.

          • djfreshie trust me that no one cares you play a live drum machine instead of a drum machine on an ipod. either way you’re not playing, you are missing the point here.

          • Sorry if I missed the point, but was the point that in the case of someone playing drum machine, or drums, or bongos, or a tambourine, or shakers, or hand claps, they are required to hit notes accurately in rhythm, at a set tempo, in real time while the rest of the band has to adapt to slight variations in that tempo and basically the whole band is filling up a moment with precise notes that HAVE TO match up to invisible lines of time that come and disappear forever never to return again?

            Or was your point that the above is somehow the same or equal to a band that plays to a glorified Metronome? Because that is a dumb point.

          • no offense to you spaghetti. Offense directed entirely to Sleigh Bells.

          • Also I think I understand the discrepancy here… a drum machine can be played two ways: One, using pre-recorded sequences which would be exactly like pluggin in an iPod with pre-recorded sequences. So yes, either way you are not playing.

            However, the other way is like on my Roland R8, or the Akais, or any drum machine with trigger pads where you are “live drumming” but with your fingers instead of sticks and feet. it is absolutely not equatable to plugging in an ipod.

    • not true, compare radiohead on snl vs radiohead on Colbert a lil later on, the sound was 10x better, his vocals were way too weak on snl, just like it seems jacks were a lil weak too.

    • Not sure how true this is, but I had heard this was really more of a union issue. It may have been a band trying to excuse a shitty performance, but there was a claim that when TVOTR performed that their own sound people who were not union had to step aside and let the staff at SNL take over.

    • Well… Aside from Radiohead, all those bands suck. And Bon Iver especially sounded terrible on SNL.

      • Dude, we’re not hearing what the audience hears. It makes no difference where they are playing. The sound is run through a board and could easily be mixed properly so that everyone/thing was heard at the proper level. They even do rehearsals, so it’s a total mystery as to why band continue to look like there are people onstage faking parts when they’re on SNL.

    • They are playing in a goddamned railroad terminal… what do these people expect?

    • Honestly, their sound mixes are usually pretty damn atrocious. There are musicians playing things that you can’t hear in both of Jack’s bands. Bon Iver, however, had one of the best sound mixes I’ve ever heard on SNL. You could hear what all of those guys were playing, which was pretty miraculous.

  6. First he never left … and tell them all that JACKIE WHITE SENT YA….That’s Ikey Owens the ex Keyboardist from Mars Volta

  7. It looks like he’s playing one of those custom First Act guitars in the second video. Kind of crazy how many popular guitarists and bassists are playing them these days, when the ones they sell in Best Buy are super shitty.

    • um you’re joking right? that’s a Gretch Silver Jet, that’s a classic oldschool and very non-cheap guitar i can assure you…(rolls eyes).

      • Jack has played custom Gretsch models in every project he has done outside of The White Stripes, and even seemed to force his bandmates in The Dead Weather to do the same for their album/live shows. Allison Mosshart had a rectangular Bo Diddley style model, Dean Fertita had a big old hollow body and the other Jack had a matching hollow body bass, all of them white with gold appointments. AND, Mr. White played a matching Gretsch drum kit as well.

        First Act Guitars, on the other hand, run the gamut from $75 made-somehwere-in-Asia acoustic guitars, to slightly less cheap Paul Westerberg endorsed model, to the hand made in the USA custom models that all the metal bands seem to endorse these days. The latter being probably equal in build and sound quality to a custom Gretsch.

        Yes I am a gear nerd. Its something I’m struggling to overcome.

  8. TWO separate backing bands?!? weird Jacky weird haha, sounds fuckin’ great though:)

  9. excited to see Carla Azar of Autolux drumming in the first song. I wonder how she got that job.

  10. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • There’s no room for you here girl go away

    • We get it. If someone isn’t making rape jokes, it’s too high brow. Golf Wang!

    • a pretentious fuck who can actually rock out w/out any fucking tricks, if anyone deserves to have a tude in this country, it’s HIM…dumbshit.

    • Relax, technorubberjohnny0829.

    • Not that I actually give two shits, but why would you think that? Jack White is actually a totally down to Earth guy who has been lucky enough to live out his dreams making and selling music that he loves while still keeping his integrity. He does cool shit and has a good time doing it. And when he performs he actually, ya know, TRIES! But have you ever seen the guy when he’s not on stage? Like say, on Pawn Stars? He’s just a regular guy. Your thinking he’s a pretentious fuck is all on you, buddy.

      • I met him a few weeks ago in L.A. at the airport, they lost his luggage and he was pissed because some guitars were missing. He was very nice to me, we chatted a bit, very down to earth….Rubberjohnny hates everyone but Odd Future….I find that Odd.

        • Cool beans. I’ve been in an airport at least 500 times in my life and I’ve never run into anybody of note. I must be doing something wrong.

  11. that’s victoria legrand of beach house on the keyboards in love interuption!

  12. interruption…

  13. Those video stills make me want to not touch this thread with a 10 foot harpoon shot from my gay pirate ship

  14. geez, it won’t let me post a picture. it’s just the standard HTML code right ? well, i’ve already spoiled it so nevermind.

  15. I would like to say that my responses on this thread have appeared in the wrong places. I would also like to acknowledge my awareness of the fact that this holds absolutely no importance to the world at large, or even the other people who post comments at Stereogum. Thank you for your time.

  16. sixteen saltines sounds like every song he’s ever made

  17. Theres something beautiful and musical about his songs that both intrigues and repels a listener, which is what great music is: mixed emotions. Rock on, Jack White.

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