Well jumpin’ Jesus d*ck. The White Stripes’ fourth album Elephant turned ten years old this week and my, my has it been a quickie decade. The United States fought a few wars, Emma Watson went from being a frumpy-looking kitten of a ten year old to this, some other stuff happened, and the Stripes broke up. Now we’re here.
At this point, there’s really nothing else that can be said to ameliorate Jack and Megs’ importance to music and the cataclysmic effect their major-label breakout, White Blood Cells, and Elephant played on popular music today. Although, we’d be remiss to not mention Rob Harvilla’s Spin retrospective on the album, which brings up the single-most important reason why Elephant was the most kick-ass album of 2003:
“It begins and ends with ‘Ball and Biscuit,’ and by ‘it,’ I mean ‘Western civilization.’ The 21st century’s most astounding, most wryly pornographic, most brain-meltingly electrifying blues song. Did the electric guitar even exist prior to ‘Ball and Biscuit’? Did distortion? Did hype? Did critical praise? Did the colors red and white? Did outlandishly oversize declarations of virility? Has there been a single memorable guitar solo performed anywhere, by anyone, in the decade since its release?”
Because, yeah, “Ball And A Biscuit” disintegrates diamonds, reduces rocks to puree, and will impregnate your girlfriend with triplets. Christ, it’s so lascivious. It’s so dirty it just makes you feel like you stuck your face into the snatch of a 50-year-old hooker who’s seen one too many rodeos.
Anyways, here’s the Stripes’ live version of the cut from a 2005 “Unplugged” performance for VH1. Hook up as many extra speakers to your computer as its wiring allows. After ten (eight, in this particular version’s case) years, this still gets very, very loud. Eat sh*t and die, prudes–this is f*cking rock ‘n’ roll.