Monday, February 28, 2011

But it bears repeating - 53DT Cassette "Hello Operator" - Track List - available free throughout Blowout (Mar 2 - Mar 5)

Frank Woodman of Woodman - "(Wife) Shelley and I stumbled into the Gold Dollar on a night in Feburary, 1998 and fell in love immediately. So raw, the guitar was huge! We thought he sounded like GeddyLee, ha!! I have not missed a Detroit show since. Seen 'em in Toledo, Cleveland, Ann Arbor, Bonnaroo. The DIA show was the shit. My son (Woodman guitarist Derek) covered the Stripes at his 9th grade formal. (Singer) Hillary was 10 at the DIA show. So, we were very honored to be apart of this project. We hope you like our different take on "Dead Leaves... ...We wanted to change it up but keep the melancholy. It's no secret that the Third Mans' brother recorded our single. He takes a lot of shit from Detroit, but he's been nothing but sweet to my family. Five pretty amazing records. Long live the White Stripes!"

Continuing from a previous post regarding news of Detroit-based Five Three Dialtone's cassette, compiling more than a dozen area musicians and a few groups south of the Mitten State, reinterpretting White Stripes songs (in the wake of the renowned duo's recent break-up announcement). Hello Operator is available throughout this year's Metro Times Blowout. (Mar 2nd - Mar 5th in Hamtramck).


1. Aquarius Void - The Big Three Killed My Baby (Live)
2. Lettercamp - The Denial Twist
3. Chris O. – Screwdriver
4. Lightning Love - Red Death at 6:14
5. Carjack - Sugar Never Tasted So Good
6. The Kodaks - I’m Bound To Pack It Up
7. The Satin Peaches - Bone Broke
8. Darling Imperial - I Can’t Wait


1. Chapstik - Girl, You Have No Faith In Medicine
2. Illy Mack - My Doorbell > Fell In Love With A Girl > When I Hear My Name
3. Child Bite - Blue Orchid
4. Will Yates - I’m Finding It Harder To Be A Gentleman
5. Woodman - Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground
6. Anonymous - The Union Forever
7. Mick Bassett - Hotel Yorba
8. Human Reunion - The Big Three Killed My Baby
9. Marc with a C - You’re Pretty Good Looking (For A Girl)
10. Summer Lungs - The Nurse

Let's hear a bit more from the bands who worked on this...

Lo-fi-Bri (of Carjack): "Personally, I have a lot of respect for Jack White. I've always been imperssed with his vision as a musician, a song writer and performer. He's always dones things his way on his own terms, whether you like it or not. He's the one who originally championed Detroit when he got attention, then the scene got a bit greedy. But--Anways...Jack continues to this day to keep people guessing and becoming an even better musician. ... ...I wanted to do one of the first songs Jack used to play at the early shows. ("Sugar Never Tasted So Good") was almost like a local hit at the shows, before it was recorded and that single ("Lafayette Blues / Sugar Never Tasted So Good") still holds up. I thought it'd be fun just becuase that song is so stripped down (recorded with just one mic, an acoustic guitar and one cymbal)."

Pan!c (multi-instrumentalist and drummer of Lettercamp): The devil asked me to produce "The Denial Twist." He said '...let there be side-chaining!...' and so there was! It was excited to produce this track and I'm glad some people might get to hear it. It has a certain R&B feel to it so it was really easy to expand upon, and it's something I am really into. Analog synths and 808's are a pretty simple formula when you have a well written song and a great vocalist like Liz; it's super easy. Liz and I did this on a Sunday afternoon at Mansion Studios; we played it for the band, who always have clever ideas for edits, made a few changes and sent it off. I'm happy the direction this went in and I think it hints towards some of the sounds that will be on the next Lettercamp album.

Mick Bassett (singer/songwriter, leader of the Marthas): "The White Stripes meant a lot to me coming up and still do now. Whatever the feelings people have for (White) around Detroit, I personally consider him one of my musical idols and respect what he's done, especially in his work with The Stripes. I hope (Hello Operator) turns out to be a tribute. If any of us that have been apart of the Detroit scene can't recognize the Stripes' contribution then there's something wrong. That being said,...this was fun and I think it should be fun. It shouldn't take itself too seriously...I think more Detroit artists should collaborate together. ... ...I really wanted to try reinventing ("Hotel Yorba") rather than imitate it. I think in Jack's writing and especially in (Yorba) it's part of a musical tradition of influence and expansion and I wanted to show that there's more within the song than meets the eye. ... ... The way I chose to record brings (the lyrics) out in a different way what Jack was writing. It's not the goal to just be different for the sake of it, but I was inspired when I started working on the song because within great songs there's so many dieas that can be expressed and I wanted to key into some of them and take it in a direction that not anticipated. ... ...Working on it inspired me a lot to start working on re-imagining more songs and possibly putting out a cover EP or something. I've been wanting to do an Elvis album for sometime so we'll see..."

George Jacobsen (of Darling Imperial): "We are mainly in it for the fun of it, but on another level I've always enjoyed Jack White's White Stripes songs. So do a number of Darling Imperial members. 53DT has been pretty good to us and having projects is always a good thing... ... We chose "I Can't Wait," really, based on what song wouldn't be obvious or whatever, as well as what worked best for (singer) Sarah (Sandovsky)'s voice as decided by her. Wasn' ever one of my favorites, but it was fun to make a more acoustic-oriented song out of it."

Shawn Knight (of Child Bite): "None of us are heavy White Stripes listeners, but I do remember really liking "Blue Orchid" when it came out. I was thinking of doing "Conquest" originally, but we didn't want to do a cover of a cover. We recorded our tune with Zach Shipps from the Electric Six. His was the only studio in town that had rototoms, so it was an easy decision..."

Chris O. - singer/songwriter (from The Recital/Mas): "I'm excited about the project and about tribute albums in general. It's always interesting to hear what musicians can do with a specific 'assignment.' ... ...The song I chose ("Screwdriver") and recorded, was suggested to me, and to be honest: it's not a song of theirs I particularly enjoy. But I figured it would be a fun challenge to take a song I'm not really into, and make something out of it I really do like.

...For some strange reason, several unusual and unexpected computer/software problems arose during the recording process. Which is ironic..."

(or is it a bit eerie?)

"...considering the White Stripes notorious, adamant stance against recording methods."

(cue ghostly moan)

"...Sorry, Jack, did what I could do..."

Illy Mack: Jen David: "We tried to do it exactly like the recordings but still make it fun and surprising. That's where the whole medley came from ("Doorbell / "Fell in Love with a Girl" / "When I Hear My Name").

Steve Kendzorski: "We wanted to do a devolution, where you heard three Stripes tunes in reverse sequence of release. And, we tried to sonically get the song so that when the tune started, hopefully you wouldn't even know it wasn't the Stripes until the vocals started."

JD: "The devolution is also a clean to dirty sound, not only back in time but it shows a band's progression, dirty and raw to cleaner and poppy. The hardest part was trying to sing like Jack White, his unique pronunciations, he doesn't just sing "disappear..." it's hard to do it like him without sounding like an idiot."

SK: "It's timbre vs. delivery; some people's voices have different timbres, shapes and colors, that's uncontrollable...If you listen to Jen's voice, it's very clean, becuase we did these vocal takes over several days. I made Jen work, Jen was begging me to stop making her do takes. I kept on, 'please Jen, one more take, one more take, one more take...' And this is the 'one more' take."

JD: "I doubted it at first...that I could pull it off."

SK: "...and there's real anger in her voice, coming through, because I made her do so many takes..."

More info here

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I had a lot of fun making Darling Imperial's version of "I can't wait" and am excited to hear what the other bands have come up with!