Preview: Jack White_lowres


If the blues is the ultimate obsessive-compulsive disorder — the strict four-bar repetitions, the relentless self-examination and devilish wallowing — then Jack White, with his precise period costumes, fidgety handiness and systematic two-color chromotherapy, is some kind of case study. Except for one thing: White, who would have been an upholsterer if he hadn't struck a Faustian rock 'n' roll bargain with ex-wife Meg in the White Stripes, isn't out to fix his music; he's out to push it, stretch it, flex it until it breaks. Blunderbuss, his first solo outing after steadily increasing his numbers with the pop-centric Raconteurs and wicked witchery of the hard-rocking Dead Weather, bleeds blue but features the widest spectrum of all his releases, incorporating saturated guitar stutters and watery piano hues, gussied-up harmonized standards and lowdown jitterbug ditties. This stop — number five on a 30-date, summer-spanning world tour, which commenced in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last week and wraps Aug. 31 in Calgary — comes exactly one week in advance of Lazaretto (Columbia/Third Man), a sequel to Blunderbuss in sequence only, if early tracks are any indication. First single "High Ball Stepper" is a warped, wordless six-string/88-key seance; "Just One Drink" sneers and veers into honky-tonk Rolling Stones territory, and the aggro-funk title track (named for a leper quarantine) is pitched between Rage Against the Machine and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, dissolving into a smeared violin meltdown. It's blues set to a whole new rhythm. Tickets $70.65-$92.35 (includes fees).