White Lies

Caucasian rockers addicted to black blues. So-called siblings with an intimate past. Meet the myth of Detroit's White Stripes

Maybe so, but Detroit was also the subject of a recent "next Seattle"-style Entertainment Weekly travel piece that would be the envy of Twin Cities garage howlers like Andy Hound. The package even trotted out E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt to announce that he is using his months off from The Sopranos to promote garage rock. The glossy's designated buzz band? You guessed it.

More mixed up than Stryper? The White Stripes
More mixed up than Stryper? The White Stripes

Little wonder that the sleeve photos of White Blood Cells find the Whites being menaced by black-clad paparazzi. (The pair willingly poses for the cameras.) The album's "Little Room" describes the classic alt-rock paradox of feeling epic in the attic and stupid in the arena. Still, "I Can Learn" seems more hopeful, if no less contradictory: "I wish we were stuck up a tree," Jack sings. "Then we'd know/it's nicer below."

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