More Jack White/Third Man yakity-yak

January 21, 2011
By

There’s a very well-done Jack White/Third Man Records piece on the cover of this week’s Nashville Scene, that city’s alt weekly, in which White talks of Detroit, Nashville and the overall mindset and philosophy behind his Third Man Records. Ben‘s Blackwell and Swank are quoted. There’s even subtext that suggests Third Man can save the Music City.

Despite everything good and bad we’ve written about White over the years — and the vitriolic messages he’d leave this writer — it’s really easy to appreciate White as a star, songwriter, producer and steadfast business owner, particularly if you love music and view it as something that’s intrinsically human and should be treated as such. God damn if White — who Scene writer Adam Gold astutely observes is “the rare post-Napster artist who’s a celebrity even to people who don’t follow music closely” — doesn’t articulate well the importance of music as a tangible. (We here at MT happen to believe you should be able to grasp music and store it on shelves like books.)

Here’s a short excerpt:

Accordingly, the label’s focus is on the tangible. While the rest of the music business struggles to keep up with ringtones and apps, Third Man is doing the opposite — investing in, and capitalizing on, the visceral appreciation of collectible vinyl artifacts, as if records were baseball cards or comic books. And just as the card collector gets little intrinsic payoff from a JPEG of Mickey Mantle, significant numbers of Jack White’s fans get little from an MP3.

“I think the labels are just as confused as the fans are — confused by how many formats, and how many different types of experiences are thrown at them just from the Internet alone,” says White, who describes his business and his aims in quick, disarmingly conversational terms. “[With] this place, we start with something real, and tangible, and things that you can only get and experience if you got up off your seat and went and did it.

“It’s kids getting real records in their hands and listening to them, and starting a whole new trek down some other path that’s not digital, not invisible, not disposable. It’s about appreciating real experiences, and real objects, and art that can be appreciated, listened to, and loved.”

“It’s kids getting real records in their hands and listening to them, and starting a whole new trek down some other path that’s not digital, not invisible, not disposable. It’s about appreciating real experiences, and real objects, and art that can be appreciated, listened to, and loved.”

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  • joe joe

    you guys printed a LOT more bad than good about that guy, and this
    article in his new hometown shows how bad metro times blew it. the
    metro times talks a big game about supporting the local arts but you teach only that the young
    artists coming up right now are going to get punished like the stripes
    should they ever make it big, punished by the metro times.
    the last time the metro times had an interview with white was before
    brian smith started working there. he came to town and immediately
    began trashing the local garage scene, the one genre that was
    getting accepted worldwide. contrarian free weekly much brian?
    you can applaud him all you want now, you should’ve done that
    when the stripes needed hometown support. looks like nashville
    knows what they’re doing.

  • e-time

    It’s a great interview you linked. That interview could have easily been done by yourself or someone at the MT, if you had tried to establish a better relationship with him when you had the best chance, so why did you guys screw that up? The pattern stays the same, whether it was Handysnide, Old Man Holdship, or yourself…start out with a shred of positivity, then pepper it with the backhand, snide, slap-in-the-face comments. It’s cool, y’all can’t help yourselves…too easy of a mark. Why do you even waste space trying to print something about him anyways? Is it because you have to, or is there still a speck of jealousy amongst the gatekeepers there? Or is he truly have an interesting approach to things that one of you honestly admires?
    I think you are better than that Brian…is it too late to try and make peace with the dude?

  • Panic15934

    Or perhaps Jack just isn’t all that great.

  • joe joe

    or perhaps it’s too contrarian to admit he was great when he
    was great when he was living here when they were trashing him.
    contrarian hipster much?