Swarming the music headlines this week, political funnyman Stephen Colbert debuted a musical collaboration produced by the hardestworking man in music, Jack White. With the fanfare surrounding his new song "Charlene II (I'm Over You)," the sequel to "Charlene (I'm Right Behind You)," lurking as his black-suited backing band stood the Black Belles. Not to be confused as just being Colbert's band, the Black Belles are their own band--and a darn good one.
Demonstrating real business savvy, it was a smart move on White's part to recruit the stylish but fledgling band from his own label to thrust into the national spotlight. When introducing the band on "The Colbert Report" this week, White called the band just "the Black Belles," twice, leaving the host to remind the audience "and Stephen Colbert!" The band is technically called "Stephen Colbert with the Black Belles." And it worked: Here I am, frantically writing about my new obsession, a band that touches right to the black heart of my own not-far-gone gothic youth and a lifelong obsession with garage rock.
But who are these ladies of darkness? Not much is known thus far--no names, no origins, very few photos (which only adds to the mystique). From what I could dig up from the Belle graves, the quartet is a brand-new band, discovered in the last year or so by Jack White, and they're currently signed to his Third Man Records label. Besides "Charlene," the Black Belles have only have one original recorded song, a fantastic cover of the Knickerbockers' 1960s classic "Lies," and have yet to record a debut album. Their one original song, "What I Can Do," has been appropriately used for the opening credits for the show "Elvira's Movie Macabre." A ghoulish brand of garage complete with off-kilter guitars, ominous pipe-organ keyboards and an infectious kick drum beat, The Black Belles are a perfect female counterpart to the Horrors. Truly, a match made in heaven (or hell).
Check out their first song (sans Stephen Colbert) "What Can I Do," released in 2010:
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