How to Mourn the White Stripes' Breakup

Go to Wichita, work the straw

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On Wednesday, the blues-rock duo The White Stripes announced that they were splitting up. The band, consisting of singer/guitarist Jack White and his ex-wife, drummer Meg White, formed in Detroit in 1997. Over the course of the next decade, they became one of the world's biggest bands, on the strength of singles like Fell in Love With a Girl, Seven Nation Army, and My Doorbell. The dissolution of the band may not come as a complete shock to fans, since they hadn't released an album since 2007, and Jack White has been busy with side projects in the meantime. Still, devotees are taking it hard, if the shockwaves of grief spreading through Twitter are any indication. Here are a few suggestions for coping with the loss:

  • Dress In All Black, or White, or Red  This one just seems like a no-brainer. (Don't actually do this if you want people to talk to you.)

  • Take Comfort That It's an Amicable Split  According to the statement on the band's Web site, the breakup "is not due to artistic differences or lack of wanting to continue, nor any health issues as both Meg and Jack are feeling fine and in good health." Rather, "it is for a myriad of reasons, but mostly to preserve What is beautiful and special about the band and have it stay that way."

  • Salivate at the Thought of New Records  The band statement also notes that "Third Man Records will continue to put out unreleased live and studio recordings from The White Stripes in their Vault Subscription record club, as well as through regular channels."

  • Rock Out With the Back Catalog  Rob Harvilla at The Village Voice compiles a top 10 list of White Stripes songs, spanning from Little Bird, a "sing-song bit of slide-guitar nonsense" from the band's early days, to the piano-only version of White Moon found on the 2009 White Stripes documentary Under Great White Northern Lights. Over at Entertainment Weekly, Leah Greenblatt goes a similar route.

  • Remember Them for Their Indelible Weirdness  Ian Port at SF Weekly offers a thoughtful overview of the band's career. "What most clearly separated the Stripes from their peers was the way they successfully left their own imprint on bluesy, garagey, countryish rock," Port writes. "Jack White... didn't just bring blues, country, and grunge back into mainstream rock; he recasted them in a way that made it all his own. 'Hotel Yorba,' off the White Stripes' breakthrough album, White Blood Cells, marries a near-parody of a country chord progression to a childish earnestness that would become a signature lyrical mode for much of the band's music. It's jaunty, and fun, and also cute in a way that little music at that point was."

  • Get Metaphysical About It  "The White Stripes do not belong to Meg and Jack anymore," reads the band's statement. "The White Stripes belong to you now and you can do with it whatever you want. The beauty of art and music is that it can last forever if people want it to." Sean O'Neal at The A.V. Club riffs on this last bit: "Sad, but did you hear that? We're The White Stripes now! We'll be sure to let you know when we're playing next."

  • Jesus, Just Get Over It Already  Gawker's Brian Moylan has a less sentimental take. "Indie band The White Stripes formally announced their breakup today. People in 2003 are very upset."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.