For those who haven’t been paying attention to the genius of Third Man Record’s Jack White since his band, The White Stripes, became a house-hold name, that must be a pretty big rock you are living under…
Excuse me, perhaps I should introduce myself first, before standing on my soap box for a few minutes. My name is Jonathon Kimbrell: artist, writer, culinary engineer and avid music appreciator. I’ll be your contributing writer/critic on music and such for Boomstick Comics for the duration of this flight.
Ok, getting back to the electioneering. I’ve been a fan of Jack White, his music, and essentially everything he touches for the last 10 years. I wish I could say my fandom has lasted a lot longer, but I first discovered the genius of Jack White and his music in 2000, while a freshman in college, a very impressionable time in my life, I must add. Ever since, I’ve been following his career and the innovations he and his crew at Third Man Records in Nashville, TN have been cooking up.
The White Stripes are a powerhouse of sound, especially for just two people. The Raconteurs are The White Stripes+, will a full on band and sound. Enter The Dead Weather, the new avant garde of dark rock and raw sexual emotion that is White and lead vocalist Alison Mosshart. Only the sexual stage chemistry of Jagger and Richards can rival this duo. If I could have ever asked for the second coming of The Velvet Underground, it would be The Dead Weather. Are you still under that rock? Just go pick up any record Jack White is playing on and you’ll see the light. Might I suggest “Horehound” for starters?
In an odd an interesting age where vinyl is regaining its throne, no one would have ever suspected new frontiers could be found in the vinyl format, and its Jack White that is pioneering these frontiers. The Dead Weather’s “Sea of Cowards” vinyl is the first time I’ve ever heard of music being pressed into the actual label of the record. White’s new ‘Triple Decker Record’ is a 12″ single of “Blue Blood Blues” with an additional 7″ single embedded inside. Simply separate the casing of the 12″ record and voila, you have a second record to enjoy. (I will admit this brilliant invention is harder than hell to get your hands on, as there were only 300 copies made world-wide.) SXSW fans of Jack and Co. were also treated to ‘Texas-Sized’ vinyl this year, making available 8″ singles and 13″ full-length LPs, sighting that ‘things are bigger in Texas.’ This is entirely true, but then again, Jack likes his exclusive goodies just to fuck with us. However, his genius keeps us coming back for more, as we ponder what new invention he’ll come up with next.
Aside from his inventiveness, here is why I like Jack White: he’s saving rock and roll one vinyl record at a time. I also happen to think he is music’s hardest working man in showbiz, rightfully taking that honor from the late ‘Godfather of Soul’, James Brown, as White wears many hats. Not only does he play in like 5,000,000 bands or so, he also dons the role of producer, steering the ship of all the new talent that comes through his Third Man Records studio. Jack White is making the music industry exciting again, in a time where major labels are still pouring shitty music down our throats on a minute-by-minute basis, and where none of them are interested in seeking out and nurturing good talent anymore. Of course, everyone still has their distributor middle-man, but perhaps White is finding ways to deliver the goods straight to the consumer, whenever the hell he feels like it. What happened to the days when an artist could release 2-3 records within a calendar year? Perhaps Jack White knows what the people want, and he’s giving it to us.
I had the fortune to join White’s Third Man Records ‘Vault’ fan club service, for a monthly fee fans get access to exclusive goodies, like rare recordings, vinyl records, videos and other swell stuff that can be possibly hocked on eBay. As I await the next batch of exclusive goodies from The Vault, I’ll be enjoying the records I’ve been able to acquire from Third Man Records thus far. Look for my review of the live ‘Racontwoers’ vinyl that was released for Record Store Day 2010. Yeah, I’m a little late on that one, but hey…sometimes records don’t find you until the time is right.
Keep on keepin’ on, Jack. If music truly does need saving, I’ll bet the farm on you good sir.
To check out what Jack White and the gang are up to, visit Third Man Records online or in person.