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White Stripes @ Icky Thump Records Review and Video

Watch White Stripes @ Icky Thump Records

Enjoy Some White Stripes @ Icky Thump Records

White Stripes tap Tower Records store for show!

Jack and Meg White make thumping good use of the recently vacated Sunset Strip site.

By August Brown, Times Staff Writer

The White Stripes want to bring physicality back to rock music. Nearly every decision Jack and Meg White make as a band reminds listeners that the best rock and folk music is never ephemeral and faceless. It comes from places you can visit and sticks with you like a black eye.

The band's latest stunt of self-mythologizing is Icky Thump Records, a note-for-note re-creation of the former Tower Records store on the Sunset Strip, tweaked to fit their peppermint candy-meets-Flannery O'Connor-mortician aesthetic. The venue hosted a one-off White Stripes performance Wednesday for the first 200 shoppers (a mix of hipster demimonde such as Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis, frat dudes waiting for "Seven Nation Army" and Strip metal-heads who wandered in off the street) who had come to the "store" opening Monday to buy the new "Icky Thump" album.

"I'm quite fond of Amoeba, but this is the coolest thing," said Delta Johnson, a Hancock Park resident who visited Monday and admitted to a bit of sweet-talking to get into Wednesday's show with her sister.

Icky Thump Records acted as a three-dimensional MySpace page that slyly disguised a promotional onslaught as a chance to let the audience tangibly enter the White Stripes' universe. Jack and Meg are the most reliably on-message rock band today, and each detail from the red cellophane over the house lights to the pillbox-hatted waitresses plying sweets and water bottles (if there was any alcohol in Icky Thump Records, it must have required extraordinary diligence to find) seemed designed to break through the fourth wall.
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