Posts Tagged ‘Third Man Records’

The White Stripes' 1999 debut

Jack White will mark the 20th anniversary of The White Stripes’ self-titled debut with a new companion vinyl release.

The White Stripes XX (as its called) contains previously-unheard outtakes from the album’s recording sessions, a live recording of a September 1999 performance in Raleigh, NC, a DVD containing performance footage of two Michigan shows that year, a 24-page archival booklet featuring never-before-seen photos, lyrics, flyers, and other insights, all housed in a hard-cover hinged case.

The cache of unreleased material includes an acoustic demo of “Dead Leaves”, alternate takes of “Jimmy the Exploder”, “I Fought Piranhas”, and “Wasting My Time”, and cover of Burt Bacharach’s “Little Red Book” (listen to a sample here). Burt Bacharach and Hal David may have written “Little Red Book” for the film What’s New Pussycat?, but Love’s version (their 1965 debut single) was clearly the inspiration for The White Stripes’ cover, which will be on the 20th Anniversary Box set for their debut album. Jack and Meg play this like they wrote it.

Other rarities include versions of “Screwdriver”, “Sugar Never Tasted So Good”, and “”Why Can’t You Be Nicer to Me?”. All of these tracks were newly mixed by White in celebration of the album’s 20th anniversary.

The White Stripes XX is available through Third Man Records’ Vault subscription program. You can get more info and sign up here.

In related news, Jack White is presently touring the country with his other acclaimed rock band, The Raconteurs.

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The White Stripes played their final concert at the Snowden Grove Amphitheater in Southaven, Mississippi 12 years ago. Now, their full recorded performance is accessible for the first time ever, The White Stripes: Live in Mississippi is available to stream and download via Nugs.net, and it features the band’s 20-song set from July 31st, 2007, along with a four-song encore. Tracks include “Icky Thump,” “In the Cold, Cold Night,” “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground,” and more.

The White Stripes’ archivist and Third Man Records co-founder Ben Blackwell posted a statement on Nugs.net recalling the group’s final performance, and the moment he realized it would be their last. Find Blackwell’s full post along with the White Stripes’ hand-written setlist from the show here.

“I can’t even tell you how much it means for me to be here tonight…so I’m not even gonna bother”

Jack White, July 31st, 2007

Not long after I walked offstage as the hired-gun drummer for opening act Dan Sartain, an assortment of crew and musicians and friends gathered together and took part in a celebratory, raise-the-glass toast, all led by Jack White to mark the end of the run of nine shows in the previous ten days.

As the crowd thinned, Meg White and I were the last ones left standing there. Apropos of nothing, cups in hand, not even in a conversation at that point, Meg said to me, “I think this is the last White Stripes show.” Confused, I responded “Well, yeah, last show of this leg of the tour.” She replied “No…I think this is the last White Stripes show ever” and slowly walked away. I was dumbfounded. I had no idea what she was talking about. I had no idea what she meant.  I had no idea what to do. I looked around to see if anyone else heard what Meg had said, but I was all alone.

Within minutes, the band was onstage. The White Stripes had never played Mississippi prior to this performance and it’s clear the deep musical heritage of the state loomed large in Jack’s mind as he attacked the performance setlist-free.

“Stop Breaking Down” was an unexpected opening song. Despite being released in 1999, it had only opened a set once before, just three weeks earlier. The inspiration behind that first opening performance was the band headlining the Ottawa Bluesfest, being met with newspaper headlines that asked “Are the White Stripes bluesy enough to headline Bluesfest?” Seems as Jack’s intention of starting both these shows with the Robert Johnson classic was to leave no doubt to a skeptical homegrown audience of armchair connoisseurs or a lazy Canadian newspaper editor that the band was well-within their powers conveying the blues to the masses.  All that was only further buoyed by Jack later throwing in an unexpected tease of another Robert Johnson song “Phonograph Blues” to assuredly placate the ghosts of the Mississippi Delta.

Inspired, one-of-a-kind takes on both “As Ugly As I Seem” and “Astro” now jump out to me as beautifuleach song’s last hurrah from the band that birthed them. Exploratory adventures the both of them, proving that no piece was ever finished or finalized or etched into stone. Rather, they were all living, creative works, changing and adapting over the years and begging to be recorded and shared and analyzed by all of you reading this right now.

Jack began the encore by himself, pouring every last drop of feeling and emotive vocal quiver into a solo offering of “300 MPH Torrential Outpour Blues” that was achingly bare. The raw force behind it feels beyond naked…as if Jack had pulled back his own skin to reveal his truest, innermost thoughts, particularly when he changed the lyrics on the fly and sang…

“See there’s three women in my mind that know they have the answer, but they’re not letting go…

What else is new? I’m the only one that seems to care where I should go”

After re-listening to this show for the first time in ages, I feel like only now have I fully absorbed the enormity of that line. Frankly, it just hit me like a freight train to the chest. I was caught entirely off-guard. I couldn’t help but be moved to tears.

Moments like that make me feel this show is the audio manifestation of opposing, equally-powered forces clawing for control of my brain in an id-versus-ego battle of monumental proportions. On one end I’m mourning, absolutely fucking hurt that this huge presence in my life, my occasional reason for being, my family both by blood and by choice…just ceased to be. And yet at the other end, I am so goddamned lucky that the White Stripes ever existed at all…that people even paid attention, that the band was able to make a lucrative career out of their passion, out of art and that I had a side-stage seat to the entirety of their existence.

After the completion of a bombastic, career-defining version of “Death Letter”, Jack poignantly says “Son House, thank you for finally letting me come home.” House was a passive participant in this matter, having died in the band’s hometown of Detroit in 1988. But Jack’s comment has seemingly little to do with any physical structure…what he is saying is that Son House (and to a larger extent, blues music in general) provided both he and Meg with an avenue to pursue their artistic vision. In this sense, home is not spoken in the predominant, noun usage of the word to describe where one lives, but rather in a more colloquial, adverbial sense meaning ‘deep, to the heart.’

In short, the blues is home. The blues provides comfort, the blues provides center, the blues provides foundation.  It provides a manner to express one’s feelings, both a connection to the past and a path through the future.

Ending the set with Leadbelly’s “Boll Weevil” and the singalong chorus repeating “he’s looking for a home” only further drives this point, well…home. The White Stripes were only able to become THE WHITE STRIPES because of the blues. Able to find their voices, to spread the word in a way that was seeming antithetical to two white kids born in Detroit in the 1970’s.  Blues was the language, not chosen, but seemingly divined, to best communicate themselves, to express, to converse, to paint this masterpiece. Upon the completion of the set, with a backdrop of Who-like synth arpeggiations singing out into the night, Jack sincerely says the following…

“I can’t believe how long it has taken us to get here. Thanks for waiting. Thanks for coming. Thanks for buying our records. Thanks for buying a ticket. We love you very much. Thank you. God bless you Son House. God bless you Robert Johnson. Thank you so much.”

I can think of no better epilogue for Jack to punctuate the White Stripes last-ever live performance. Each thought a simple sentence that, upon closer inspection, opens up to a wider meaning…not just spoken to these folks in suburban Memphis on a Tuesday night. Rather, they speak to all their fans across the world. About the journey. About patience. About action. About appreciation. About presence. About gratitude. And ultimately, about the blues. Which is, arguably, all it was ever about.

In the intervening twelve years I’ve had countless conversations with Meg White. And I have never once, not for a moment, even considered asking her what was going through her head that night in Mississippi. To me, she has found her home and that is all that matters.

What would YOU do if half of your favorite band told you (and ONLY you) it would be their last show immediately prior to taking the stage?

The White Stripes recently also announced a 20th anniversary box set reissue of their self-titled debut.

Jack White’s been so commonly associated with rock ‘n’ roll over the years that it’s been easy to overlook the fact that he often works similar to how dance producers do. For starters, there’s nothing more explicitly tied to how dance music operates than running your own label to put out releases from yourself and others — and more broadly, since emerging at the turn of the century with his and Meg White’s beloved, now defunct White Stripes, White’s dipped in and out of various projects that more or less function as monikers under which he explores certain sounds.

White unearths or returns to these projects when the mood suits him, and they often bear their own distinct sonic identity. Besides the White Stripes’ arty blues-punk, he’s unleashed jet-black scuzziness with the Kills’ Alison Mosshart as the Dead Weather, embraced an anything-goes mentality with the music released under his own name, and tilted towards country-rock windmills with power-pop whiz Brendan Benson and members of defunct Detroit garage-rock act the Greenhornes as the Raconteurs.

White’s choosing to unearth this month a new Raconteurs’ album the bands third, “Help Us Stranger”. It’s the first album from the group in 11 years and barring the fact that it’s been nigh impossible to predict the machinations behind White’s own creative internal clock, the timing for him to return to more straightforward rock territory is impeccable.

White has effectively split the difference between his last solo album Boarding House Reach’s adventurousness and the band’s past trad-classic rock trappings, the results coming across as appealingly low-stakes. After a series of solo albums that, even at their strongest moments, possessed a nervy atmosphere not unlike grinding one’s teeth, Help Us Stranger is comparatively loose and limber, making for the most collection of songs White’s released in years.

Credit is due to Benson, who  as with 2006’s Broken Boy Soldiers and the 2008 quick-turnaround Consolers of the Lonely shares writing credits with White on almost every Help Me Stranger track. Just like Consolers, the sole song he doesn’t is a cover; this time around it’s a rollicking take on psych-pop shaman Donovan’s “Hey Gyp (Dig The Slowness).” But That’s pretty much the only element that Help Me Stranger shares with Consolers; while the latter sagged from an overlong run time, the Raconteurs’ latest is a comparatively lean and mean 41 minutes, with brisk arrangements and more than a few grin-inducing breakdowns such as the double-time frenzy that closes out the boys-in-the-band opener “Bored And Razed.”

There’s a distinctly stoned silliness to parts of Help Me Stranger, none more evident than on the “Misty Mountain Hop”-ping “Only Child,” in which White sings about a “prodigal son” who’s “come back home again to get his laundry done.” Otherwise, the playfulness streaked across this album is mostly of the musical variety, like the multi-tracked vocals dotting the verse structure on “Don’t Bother Me” or the Tell-tale Heart-esque pulse that courses through “Now That You’re Gone.” There are guitar solos packed into nearly every empty corner of this thing, and plenty of the aggressively hammered piano lines that were so prevalent on Boarding House Reach, the latter playing much more enjoyably to the ears than on that record.

Suffice to say, if none of these sonic elements or the idea of four guys bashing out melodic rock music that nonetheless treads familiar ground — sound appealing to you, then you’re probably better off listening to nearly anything else. But the lack of formal innovation on Help Me Stranger packs its own odd appeal, especially when the old tricks are so capably performed. “Live A Lie” is straight-ahead Motor City garage rock that, ironically, bears some resemblance to once-White nemesis the Von Bondies’ “C’mon C’mon”; the guitar riff that kicks open on “Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying)” recalls Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Happy Gilmore-closing “Tuesday’s Gone,” its midsection breaking into a gooey Beatles-esque breakdown.

Such callbacks to classic rock’s, er, classics inevitably bring to mind Greta Van Fleet, that shaggy-haired band of industry-beloved youngsters who’ve gained equal parts fame and critical consternation for joylessly regurgitating the entire Led Zeppelin catalog But there’s nothing that White and Benson have cooked up on Help Me Stranger that sounds like genre-reliant clock-punching; instead, they make playing around in the classic-rock sandbox sound like so much fun that you have to wonder why it took them eleven years to get back in the habit together. Hopefully, next time around they’ll make a point of getting together again sooner.

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Released June 21st, 2019 ,
2019, 2019 Third Man Records, LLC

Jack White and Brendan Benson’s group The Raconteurs are hitting the road for the first time in years, and are dropping their first album in over a decade “Help Us Stranger” this coming June. The Grammy-winning Nashville based powerhouse teased fans in December with two tracks from the record, and have now they have unveiled a third cut ‘Hey Gyp (Dig The Slowness)‘, a punchy reimagining of Scottish psychedelic folk singer Donovan‘s 1965 song. The Raconteurs‘ rendition inserts a heavy dose of garage punk heft into the tune, while retaining the stripped back original’s lusty soul. enjoy their cover of ‘Hey Gyp (Dig The Slowness)’ version below…

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released April 10th, 2019
2019, 2019 Third Man Records, LLC

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Is this Jack’s White strangest album? Definitely. It’s also his bravest. He’s a known oddball, but there is no stylistic blueprint for this record. Listening to it is an adventure, like a contact sport for one’s ears, and while some find it difficult to digest robot synths, sirens, and shrieks alongside piano dub, there are songs like “Over and Over and Over” that are undeniably fierce rock drenched in scuzzy riffs and pummeling drums. I personally enjoy being sonically assaulted in this way. The track “Corporation” is good point of reference. White emotes a narrative about starting an entrepreneurial endeavor and taking over the world while his guitar schizophrenically fuzzes and freaks in the background. If White’s business is creating a haven to feel free enough to take risks while staying true to his core, then my answer to that shouting chorus line of “Who’s with me?” is a resounding, “I am!”

Music video for “Over and Over and Over” from Jack White’s new album BOARDING HOUSE REACH,  Third Man Records. 

Listen to The Raconteurs' New Songs, "Sunday Driver" and "Now That You're Gone"

The band’s first new singles in over a decade are off an as-of-yet-untitled new album, The Raconteurs have shared two new songs (and accompanying music videos), “Sunday Driver” and “Now That You’re Gone,” off their as-of-yet-unnamed forthcoming album, due out in 2019 through Jack White’s Third Man Records.

The songs mark the first new music from the band in over a decade. Their last album, Consolers of the Lonely, came out in 2008. New music from the band was first teased back in October by Third Man, and today’s new tracks were previously made available in physical form to subscribers of the label’s Vault series as part of a special edition anniversary re-release of Consolers.

“We’re knee deep in the trenches of our first new album in a decade,” White is quoted as telling Mojo Magazine in a press release. “We have a vast amount of genre-pushing songs that bridge the gap between Detroit and Nashville rock and roll. The album sounds like a World War. It’s great to be co-writing songs with Brendan Benson again, the man is a song craftsman.”

“Sunday Driver” was directed by Steven Sebring – acclaimed photographer, filmmaker, inventor, and vanguard in artistic 3D imaging – and captured at the Sebring Revolution Media Lab in New York City.

Music video for “Sunday Driver” by The Raconteurs. New double A-side single also featuring “Now That You’re Gone”

“The video is a very rock and roll approach to the wide range of emotions a person goes through when dealing with a broken heart. Feelings of being weak, angry, vengeful and ultimately the strength to overcome and “crash” through it all. I had such a lovely time collaborating with such wonderful artists and people.”

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London rock trio Yak have announced the follow-up to 2016’s Alas Salvation. Their second studio album Pursuit of Momentary Happiness is out on February. 8th 2019, via Third Man Records and Virgin EMI. They’ve also shared their latest single, “Fried,” following the release of previous tracks “Bellyache” and “White Male Carnivore.” “Fried” is full of fuzzy punk grumbles as the track ramps up via frontman Oli Burslem’s jagged howls and an epic, distorted cacophony of guitars.

If these three new cuts from their record are a good indication of the album’s overall sound, it appears that the heavy-rock origins of Alas Salvation have been rekindled, as their turbo-charged guitar flamethrowers have been dusted off and wielded with a bold ferocity once again.

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Father John Misty  has announced a new live album, Father John Misty: Live At Third Man Records, out September. 28th through Third Man Records.

Recorded in September of last year, the record features a smattering of tracks that span the career of the psych-pop provocateur, all performed in a stripped-down solo acoustic setting in the tiny Blue Room venue at Jack White’s Third Man Records in Nashville. The performance included a debut performance of the then-unreleased “Mr. Tillman,” as well as an impromptu recording of “Now I’m Learning to Love the War” that was pressed to a 12” and given to a lucky fan in the audience.

Third Man has hosted multiple notable performances in the Blue Room, and the concerts are all recorded direct to acetate for vinyl pressings.

check out FJM’s performance of “Chateau Lobby #4” at Third Man headquarters in Nashville, in which he delivers a stripped-down rendition of I Love You, Honeybear standout track “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins).”

Stripped of its layered percussion and mariachi horns, the song feels far more somber than celebratory, transforming its spirit of over-the-moon infatuation into something more like sadness. The video, lensed by Dan Newman, intersperses shots of Third Man’s packed Blue Room with close-ups on a scruffy and serious Misty.

Side A:

1. I Love You, Honeybear
2. I’m Writing a Novel
3. Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings
4. Chateau Lobby #4 (In C for Two Virgins)

Side B:

5. So I’m Growing Old on Magic Mountain
6. Holy Shit
7. Everyman Needs a Companion

Misty also recently shared an outtake from this very same Third Man performance, in which he cuts “I Love You, Honeybear” short after realizing he’s begun his set with the wrong song. The Pure Comedy mastermind continues to tour in support of his magnum opus, sharing numerous live videos from those shows.

Vault37 Webmockup Retina 1300

To celebrate the release of his album Boarding House Reach in March 2018, Jack White embarked on a mini-tour of intimate venues and small clubs. Starting at his hometown go-to stage in the Blue Room at Third Man Records in Nashville, filtering through dreams and dives in NYC and Los Angeles and London and eventually hitting White’s home away from home at Third Man Records Cass Corridor in Detroit, the performances were explosive and commanding. Chronicled in a new triple-album set. Jack White Live in Nashville / Live in Detroit showcases performances in the two cities he’s called home.

In the spirit of the classic baseball “home-and-away” Vault package #37 highlights the momentous, tour-de-force set White unfurled in Nashville on March 16th and augments it with the unhinged Detroit performance a month later. Highlights include the raucous live debut of stadium anthem “Battle Cry,” the frenetic, stinging guitar fight of “Over and Over and Over” and masterful crowd singalongs for White Stripes classics like “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground.” As is par for the Vault, releases both of these shows are exemplary entries into the twenty-plus years of epic, life-affirming Jack White live performances.

According to a post on the website for White’s label, Third Man Records, much of the album was recorded at the Blue Room at Third Man’s shop in Nashville, with the rest coming from its Detroit counterpart, Third Man Records Cass Corridor. The news arrived with a preview of “Corporation” from the set,

White has also given attention to the LP’s artwork. “Packaged in a die-cut sleeve with peep-in artwork reminiscent of [Led] Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti or the [Rolling] Stones’ Some Girls, the interplay between the sleeve and the jacket will provide fans with hours upon hours of flip-flopping fun,” the post notes. “The discs will be pressed on lustrous black, beautiful blue and wonderful white vinyl.”

The album also comes with three glossy 8×10 pictures courtesy of White’s personal photographer, David Swanson, and a flag featuring White’s logo.

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Third Man Records is absolutely ecstatic to be releasing the excellent live document of (Sandy) Alex G’s Blue Room performance. Recorded on the 2017 US tour supporting his critically-acclaimed album Rocket (voted among the best albums of that year) and not long after a notable feature on Frank Ocean’s album Blonde, this standalone LP is his first live set to be captured and made widely available for his very loyal fan base to enjoy.

Featuring work from self-released tapes, Lucky Number, Orchid Tapes and Domino Recordings, this daydreamy and intricate retrospective opens a private window into (Sandy) Alex G’s lovely lyrical wordplay and cozy stage persona.

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