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Jack White releases glass-shattering video for ‘Lazaretto’

- June 4th, 2014

Leave it to Jack White to come up with the ultimate eye candy for his sizzling title track, Lazaretto.

The slick new video – directed by Jonas & François (Iggy Azalea, Kanye West) – features raging bulls, burning rubber, and a whole heck of a lot of broken glass (watch below).

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The promo coinsides with the full stream of his second solo album on iTunes, which is available for your listening pleasure here. If you’d like to pre-order the album on iTunes instead, you’ll get High Ball Stepper, Lazaretto and Just One Drink right away.

White will also be returning to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon after appearing alongside Neil Young a few weeks ago. He’ll be chatting and playing on Monday, June 9, ahead of Lazaretto’s release the next day. The performance/interview will air at 11:35pm EST on NBC.

Here’s Jack White’s Canadian dates:

07/31/14 – Toronto, ON – Air Canada Centre
08/01-03/14 – Montreal, QC – Osheaga Music Festival
08/29-31/14 – Edmonton, AB – Sonic Boom
08/30-31/14 – Calgary, AB – X-Fest

Jack White apologizes to Black Keys…kind of

- May 31st, 2014

Jack White is sorry for being a s— disturber.

On Saturday, White published a lengthy response to a series of dramatic arguments the singer stirred up recently with a variety of musicians.

The “nonsense” White said he’s been faced with all started when TMZ gained access to an email he sent to his ex-wife Karen Elson, demanding he take their kids out of a Nashville school because they were hanging out with Black Keys’ frontman Dan Auerbach’s kids.

According to the email, White felt having his children in the same school as Auerbach’s would give the Black Keys singer the perfect opportunity to harass him. White continued to call The Black Keys music a rip-off of his sound and basically referred to them as talentless hacks.

The Black Keys, as rock stars do, responded to White’s vicious allegations. While Auerbach told Rolling Stone he didn’t know Jack White and the allegations were “extra-unexpected,” bandmate Patrick Carney took it just one step further.

Carney told the magazine that while he had never met White, he sounded like “a bit of an a—hole” and admitted he felt sorry for him.

Hoping to squash their beef (and make the negative headlines go away), White wrote that despite past snarky comments, he wished nothing but the best and brightest for the band’s future.

“I wish the band the Black Keys all the success that they can get,” White said. “I hope the best for their record label Nonesuch who has such a proud history in music, and in their efforts to bring the Black Keys songs to the world.”

White went on to praise their producer and constant collaborator Danger Mouse, and offer some more hope for their careers, but not without turning the spotlight on himself…again.

“Lord knows that I can tell you myself how hard it is to get people to pay attention to a two piece band with a plastic guitar, so any attention that the Black Keys can get in this world I wish it for them.”

White then tries to rationalize his –to be honest- completely blatant insults, explaining that he doesn’t like commenting on other musicians or the industry because simpleton readers wouldn’t be able to understand his “behind the curtain” language.

“I should’ve been smarter to know that it would be pointless to use comparisons like I did to readers who most likely don’t understand the scenario and that my words would seem very negative in nature,” White said.

But wait! What’s that hovering over the horizon? It’s an apology for referring to his readers –and financial supporters- as simpletons.

“That’s not me trying to sound like I’m above anyone, it was just “shop talk” and it sounded a lot more negative than it was meant to.”

White even took a second to apologize for his remarks about ex-wife and ex-bandmate Meg White.

“Meg White, who I also talked about to Rolling Stone about our working conversations, or lack thereof, is, of course, a musician I’ve personally championed for 15 years,” he said, adding the headlines had misconstrued his remarks about her as a musician.

A wordy apology that by the end of it didn’t read like an apology at all.

One’s left to wonder if White’s been taking his apology lessons from the school of Sorkin.

New Jack White album ‘Lazaretto’ due in June

- April 1st, 2014

This is no practical joke, Jack White fans. The busiest man in rock is set to drop his second solo record this summer.

Lazaretto, the follow-up to his critically-acclaimed 2012 effort Blunderbuss, will be released on June 10, his label Third Man Records announced today.

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The tracklist has not been revealed as yet, but we do know that the title track will be the first single off the album, and will be available later this month. And if you know a little bit about White, you’ll know he goes all out with several different deluxe editions of his records. For the full details, head over to Third Man.

White gave fans a first taste of the album by posting the instrumental song High Ball Stepper on YouTube. Listen below:

And if you, like me, have no clue what a “lazaretto” is, here’s the definition, according to Wikipedia:

A lazaretto or lazaret is a quarantine station for maritime travellers. Lazarets can be ships permanently at anchor, isolated islands, or mainland buildings.

Well, there you go. Anchors away, Jack.

White has already been announced as a headliner at the Osheaga festival in Montreal, which runs from Aug. 1-3.

From Katy to Feist to Bieber, author Ben Kaplan shares his ultimate celebrity running playlist

- January 13th, 2014

KaplanBook

So, you’re a few weeks into that 2014 running regime, and your playlist already feels stale. You need some new music to propel you out into the cold winter air. The solution? Call Ben Kaplan.

Kaplan, Toronto-based journalist born in Brooklyn, seems perfectly suited to this situation. After making a name for himself as a pop music writer – contributing to publications like GQ, The New Yorker, Spin, The National Post and others – he’s slowly crafted a new identity as a running author.

This week, the 39-year-old writer releases his first book, the unconventional training manual Feet, Don’t Fail Me Now: The Rogue’s Guide to Running the Marathon.

“It’s real personal,” says Kaplan. “It’s all about the birth of my child, and it’s about my love-hate relationship with alcohol. It’s got everything. It’s training, it’s memoir, it’s interviews, it’s anecdotes. A real labour of love.”

I should mention that I’ve ‘ran into’ Kaplan a few times in my life – in the National Post newsroom, in the stands of a Toronto Raptors game, and on small-town running trails two hours north of Toronto. The man loves to run. I’ve seen first-hand evidence.

In his book, he includes running song recommendations from various musicians he’s interviewed throughout his career. Here, he gives us a sample of that. And, in a little twist, he salutes the artists he’s interviewed by picking one of their tracks for his own personal playlist:

Paul Simon

Paul Simon recommends: The Delmore Brothers (any song)
I Let the Freight Train Carry Me On by The Delmore Brothers on Grooveshark

Ben Kaplan recommends: Paul Simon – The Boxer
The Boxer by Paul Simon on Grooveshark

Kaplan on his pick: “Because when you’re out there, 32k into a marathon, it’s good to remember that you’re in the fight of your life.”

Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez recommends: Britney Spears – Toxic
Toxic by Britney Spears on Grooveshark

Kaplan recommends: Selena Gomez – Come and Get It
Selena Gomez-Come & Get It by Selena Gomez on Grooveshark

Kaplan on his pick: “It’s a monster radio jam. Remember: When making your mix, diversify genre and tempos!”

Moby

Moby recommends: Black Flag – Damaged 1
Damaged I by Black Flag on Grooveshark

Kaplan recommends: Moby – Natural Blues
Natural Blues by Moby on Grooveshark

Kaplan on his pick: “There was a time around the release of Play when I had stories on Moby going in about eight different places. I still listen to this album and miss New York.”

Jack White

Jack White recommends: The Who – Baba O’Riley
Baba O'Riley by The Who on Grooveshark

Kaplan recommends: The Raconteurs – Steady, As She Goes
Steady, as She Goes by The Raconteurs on Grooveshark

Kaplan on his pick: “I can’t believe I didn’t recommend this tune in the book. There’s no artist I prefer more – well, maybe Kanye or Feist or Neil Diamond – but there are few musicians I’ll take over Jack White, the king.”

Feist

Feist recommends: J.J. Fad – Supersonic
Supersonic by J.J. Fad on Grooveshark

Kaplan recommends: Feist – Mushaboom
Mushaboom by Feist on Grooveshark

Kaplan on his pick: “When Julie and I got married, we walked into the party to this song. Can you listen to this without smiling? Not me.”

Katy Perry

Katy Perry recommends: Willow Smith – Whip My Hair
I Whip My Hair by Willow Smith on Grooveshark

Kaplan recommends: Katy Perry – Roar
Roar – Katy Perry by NewThingRadioWeb on Grooveshark

Kaplan on his pick: “I don’t know. If this comes on the radio, I might change it. But if it comes on at 36k, I might turn it up. It’s a new tune and untested. Play it with care.”

Will.i.am

Will.i.am recommends: Boogie Down Productions – My Philosophy
My Philosophy by Boogie Down Productions on Grooveshark

Kaplan recommends: The Black Eyed Peas – Where is the Love?
Where Is the Love? by The Black Eyed Peas on Grooveshark

Kaplan on his pick: “The most important thing to consider from a running song, to me, is how good it makes you feel. This song makes me feel good.”

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber recommends: Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana
Dirty Diana – Michael Jackson – General Pop – Bad by Michael Jackson on Grooveshark

Kaplan recommends: Justin Bieber – Baby
Baby (feat. Ludacris) by Justin Bieber on Grooveshark

Kaplan on his pick: “This is a tough one, but I do like this song. It’s light and soft as the heel on a sneaker. A nice rap from Ludacris makes it complete.”

bookcover

Jack White recording follow-up to Grammy-nominated ‘Blunderbuss’

- February 11th, 2013

Jack White never slows down.

According to Rolling Stone, the busy rocker is deep into the recording process for the follow-up to his Grammy-nominated 2012 solo debut, “Blunderbuss.”

“I’ve got about 20 to 25 tracks I’m working on right now – a lot of songs,” White told the magazine. “It’s a good time for writing for me.”

He has been in the studio once again with his separate backing male and female bands, the Buzzards and the Peacocks, and says the sound varies from track to track.

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“It’s definitely not one sound,” he says. “It’s all over the place. After going out on the road with two bands, my influences have just spread out even more.”

As for when it will see the light of day, White says: “I don’t know if it’ll come out this year or not,” he adds. “The last one kind of came together so strangely, I was in the middle of making it and I didn’t realize I was doing it, you know? I was just doing it because I needed to get these songs down and then I realized I was making a record.”

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Check out his performance from last night’s Grammy Awards below: