The White Stripes have finally uploaded their 2005 From the Basement performance to YouTube. The 16-minute set features five tracks from their album Get Behind Me Satan and a cover of the Captain Beefheart song “Party of Special Things to Do”.
Last May, Nigel Godrich’s independent music performance program From the Basement announced that their full archive was going to be gradually uploaded to YouTube. The series kicked off with Radiohead’s beloved studio performance of The King of Limbs, which was followed by archived sets from Sonic Youth and PJ Harvey later that year.
When news of the YouTube releases first broke, part of the set from Jack and Meg White was uploaded as a teaser. Now, the entire performance is officially available for digital viewing for the first time ever. It was actually the first-ever episode of From the Basement, and it was a helluva way to kick off the live music series.
The set was recorded the same year The White Stripes released their fifth album, Get Behind Me Satan, which found them at the height of their popularity after the explosive success of 2003’s Elephant (the album with “Seven Nation Army” on it). The duo were a stadium act at that point, so watching them kick through songs with absolutely no production fanfare was particularly special at the time.
The White Stripes’ From the Basement set begins with their 2005 single “Blue Orchid”, followed by their rendition of Captain Beefheart’s “Party of Special Things to Do” (which was released as a Sub Pop seven-inch in 2000 alongside two other Beefheart covers). From there, they power through “Forever for Her (Is Over for Me)”, “As Ugly as I Seem”, “Little Ghost”, and”Red Rain”.
The White Stripes always had a slightly confrontational relationship with the expectations of fame, so hearing them eschew the hits to play a hair-shaking handful of deep cuts was a pretty bold move. Check out the full performance below and relive those halcyon days of Stripe-dom.
This From the Basement set is the latest in a string of nostalgic content that The White Stripes have been rolling out since quarantine began. Last year, they unearthed an early video performance of the gnarly “Death Letter”, uploaded their first-ever TV performance to YouTube, rolled out a new music video for their 2000 song “Apple Blossom”, and dug up some rare B-sides and old SNL performance footage. They also released a 26-song Greatest Hits album that featured deep cuts and fan-favorites alike, and came packaged with a bonus disc of rarities that have been hard to come by in the streaming age.