It Might Get Loud

Two Music docs in one week?! Well get used to it cause I plan to watch Dig! and The Devil and Daniel Johnston by the end of the week, so… here’s Jack White.

It Might Get Loud is about the electric guitar, but not like the history of the electric guitar because that would be boring, and It Might Get Loud is far from boring. No it’s about the love affair three very different but great musicians have for the electric guitar.

Jimmy Page- The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, apparently the soundtrack to Goldfinger

The Edge – U2

Jack White – The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, and the Theme from Quantum of Solace

I love all three of these guitarists. I actually went through three main phases musically in high school, starting with Led Zeppelin, going into U2 (where I listened to Joshua Tree everyday), and finishing out with The White Stripes, and I continue to love and listen to them, so this documentary was kind of tailor-made for me.

Some of the best music ever made.

The connective chunk of this flick is a conversation and jam session between the three guitar gods, the majority of the film, however, takes the three men separately so they can tell their stories.

Page’s sections are the weakest, the stories about his early days learning guitar and playing in studio bands are really interesting but once he gets to Zeppelin about half way through it becomes a case of reverence from the filmmakers and me knowing all these stories and not giving enough of a shit to listen to them again.

The Edge’s stuff is pretty cool, because he really sticks to the early days when U2 was just a bunch of punk Irish kids trying to play music, and these stories intercut with concert footage of U2 being the biggest band in the damn world makes for an intriguing bit of visual storytelling. Also intriguing is the footage of teenaged U2 (or lil’ U2) with Lil’ Bono sounding and looking like the bastard offspring of David Bowie and Adam Ant, while Lil’ The Edge tries to glower at the camera and ends up just looking like he has to poo.

but as we all know The Edge never poops

Something I have a problem with, not withe the movie just in general, why is he called The Edge? Sub-question: Why is he called The Edge all the time? I don’t think it’s because he’s that edgy, he wears a beanie hat all the time and is in possibly the least edgy rock band of all time. Is it because he’s the edge that U2 has that makes them different? I don’t think so because to me the aspect that makes them different is making really catchy and memorable rock songs about human rights violations. Its it because he really liked that Alec Baldwin Anthony Hopkins flick?

Yeah, that must be it

Full disclosure: Jack White is my personal favorite guitarist, living or dead, so please forgive me if I seem biased because, well, I am. That being said everyone should agree that his stuff is the most interesting, Jack White is a notoriously tricky interview, often creating different identities and dodging questions when he doesn’t flat-out lie about the answers. I read an interview once, i think in Entertainment Weekly, where he said he’d never met his wife nor his 3-year-old son, it was odd, hilarious, and to me summed up the public attitude of the White Stripes, so to hear White give a candid, honest time line of his life was pretty cool.

It Might Get Loud also goes about showing the different styles, tricks, and philosophies that go into each of the three individuals relationship with the electric guitar. This is another area where Page’s segments flounder, he doesn’t really talk about his style or philosophy, there is a point where he talks about the necessity of the double neck guitar in order to play Stairway to Heaven, that was kind of cool but The Edge and White go way deeper into it.

The Edge is all about technology, towards the beginning of the film he says something along the lines of Technology pushes the music forward, or something like that, he uses effects and shit to creat really awesome sound, then there’s Jack White and the first thing he does is make a guitar out of a coke bottle, a two by four, and a shitty piece of wire, then after The Edge talks about his love of and constant use of technology White comes in and says technology kills creativity, and about ease is the death of music and struggle is the only real way to do things. Seeing these two totally different philosophical musical standpoints in the same documentary, and to see those guys sensibilities work together is really interesting.

One thing i feel I need to mention, kind of question I have, what’s with the Jack at age 9 thing? throughout It Might Get Loud Jack White plays music with and teaches music to his 9-year-old self, what’s the deal with this, am I to believe that Little Jack is a time traveller who came to 2009 and learned guitar from himself, because that would be rad.

All the parts where Page, The Edge, and White jam together are really fucking rad, I especially like the part where Jack teaches them Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground because it’s so totally different from what Jimmy Page and especially The Edge are known for playing.

I had a great time with It Might Get Loud, it was very different from any other music doc I’ve ever seen, it’s about the electric guitar but only three people are in it instead of a bunch of talking heads ramble on vaguely about the instrument, we get really great, in-depth stories from just three.


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