What's Jack White's next supergroup going to be? A few ideas.
For someone who made his name playing in a rigidly defined, almost cartoonishly simple band, Jack White sure knows how to branch out. While his main gig, the White Stripes, doesn't appear to be going anywhere — the duo is currently at work on its seventh album — White has kept busy over the past few years with two high-profile side projects: the Raconteurs (with singer-songwriter Brendan Benson and members of the Greenhornes) and now the Dead Weather (featuring multi-instrumentalist Dean Fertita of Queens of the Stone Age and bluesy chanteuse Alison Mosshart of the Kills on lead vocals). But where will White's extra-Stripes dalliances end? As he continues his ascent into the rock pantheon, it's not hard to imagine a few supergroups he might put together in the near future.
The Down Unders
Although he doesn't live in Detroit anymore, White remains famous for offering his coattails to his fellow Motor City musicians as his own star rose in the '00s. A great many non-Detroit bands, however, tried hitching their wagon to the White Stripes earlier this decade — including a puzzlingly large number of Australian garage-rock bands, most of which sucked ass and wound up as one-hit wonders (if they were even that lucky). Wouldn't it be a dazzling show of magnanimity, then, if White formed a not-so-supergroup comprising members of down-under outfits like Jet, Wolfmother and the Vines? As an act of charity, it would be admirable; too bad it would probably also be unlistenable.
We Are Detroit
In an effort to help patch up his destitute former home town, White could assemble a fundraising supergroup to play a one-off concert, Farm Aid-style, in the heart of downtown Detroit (which we hear resembles a Third World country nowadays). Just imagine the laundry list of native sons and daughters taking the stage together to sing their own Detroit-centric version of "We Are the World": White, Madonna, Bob Seger, Kid Rock, Ted Nugent, Eminem, Iggy Pop, Andrew W.K., Insane Clown Posse and the surviving stable of Motown's founding artists. They're the ones who make a brighter day, so let's start giving.
Traveling Wilburys 2.0
White has been quoted as saying he has three dads: his biological father, God and Bob Dylan. And White appeared on stage with his hero when the Raconteurs toured with Dylan in 2006, which has led to a swirl of rumors hinting at a collaboration. It seems only logical that White should mastermind a reunion of one of the most star-studded supergroups of all time: Dylan's Traveling Wilburys. Granted, two of the group's five members, Roy Orbison and George Harrison, are dead — but it's not hard to see White stepping in and filling Orbison's role as the enigmatic, idiosyncratic pop icon. As for Harrison: Maybe White could flex one last bit of that Detroit solidarity and get Wayne Kramer of the MC5 to take the late Beatle's place.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.