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June 24, 2011  | by: Kerri O'Malley

Stephen Rips It Up

Stephen Colbert has chiseled a place for himself in the pantheon of pop culture as a comedian with a spot-on news host personality.  But lately, Stephen’s been choosing tunes over tirades, with appearances from the Black Keys to Lupe Fiasco on his show this year.  Now, Colbert’s wrapped up a week-long music fest under the hilarious title “Dr. Pepper Presents StePhest Colbchella ’011: Rock You Like a Thirst-icane,” finishing with a little help from Jack White and The Black Belles.

Starting off the week with Bon Iver and Florence & The Machine, Colbert continued with Talib Kweli on Wednesday, interviewing each up-and-comer and featuring two-song performances every night.  Last night, Colbert capped off the week with his own performance, backed by The Black Belles and introduced by Jack White.

White’s spent the week with Colbert in an elongated three-part segment called “2011: A Rock Odyssey featuring Jack White.”  The premise was that Jack would help Stephen record a single on White’s Third Man Records label.  Though the title rocked, the video series was a little strange.  White appeared as uncomfortable as a senator opposite Colbert.  Most of Colbert’s jabs were met with a frigid stare from Jack, especially when Stephen asked, “What’s your price for your integrity?”  I guess Jack White isn’t a huge yogurt (or Bob Seger) fan.

The Black Belles

In the last installment of the segment, Colbert got White to deliver a forced f-you to Rolling Stone and its founder, Jann Wenner, while Stephen attempted to don the iconic red-and-white White Stripes uniform.  Colbert also shot the cover photo for his single with Third Man’s The Black Belles.  But White still seemed out of his element.

Perhaps he suffered from some bad editing, though, as his in-studio appearance last night  found him pale as heck but lively as ever.  He told Colbert that working with him was a “pleasure from start to finish…the finish, especially the finish.”  During the interview, Jack and Stephen displayed the newly-minted single, which comes in a special all-American tri-colored edition as well as the typical black 45.

Of his penchant for records, Jack told Stephen, “I like the idea of having it in your hands, of holding it…This is about dropping a needle and sitting down and looking at this cover and reading that.  I mean, that’s the romance of music that we’re losing in this generation, I think, and [with a smile at Colbert] you’re bringing it back.”

Stephen is certainly doing his part with “Charlene II (I’m Over You).”  Check out his single with The Black Belles below:


Fans of White and Colbert living in NYC, trek on down to the lot at the High Line between West 30th St and 10th Ave TODAY!  Starting at 11am, the two icons will be parked in Third Man Records’ Rolling Record Store, selling Colbert & The Black Belles’ new single.  It’s first come, first serve, so get there early and expect a wait!  To promote the single in your hometown, go to Colbert’s website and print out his hilarious promo posters.

Though Jack White might not need any help gaining press, his Black Belles are definitely about to get that “cool beer bump” he’s heard so much about.

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