When you were young and naive, you saw the world in terms of the haves
and have nots
-- the "Man"
and those who wanted to "stick-it-to-the-Man
." To that way of thinking, your reaction to hearing a song by a favorite artist in a movie trailer might make you recoil and think "they sold out."
Well, now there is a Third Man. And the Third Man might license some songs here and there to big films and perhaps even a commercial. But all of that bacon goes back into the slowly cooking roux that is Third Man Records. And if GI Joe
and some other blockbusters can help fund a vinyl record mobile, a single by Carl Sagan and albums by Wanda Jackson and Jerry Lee Lewis, then tell "The Man
" he's welcome anytime.
Jack White III is the Willy Wonka of rock and roll. His mysterious record factory is making record buying, record selling, and music collecting fun again. For all those disgruntled rockers who are whining about the music industry, take some lessons from Jessica Frech
and Jack White. It's a big blue world out there. And it's filled with helium.
Even if you didn't like the music, you have to smile at the fun, entertaining, smart, and ingenious endeavors coming out of the little label that's screaming' and hollerin' the blues.
On April 1, Third Man Records premiered the as yet unreleased Jack White album track, "Freedom at 21", exclusively via 1000 flexi-disc records attached to helium balloons launched from the label headquarters in Nashville. "Statistics for similar balloon launches show a recovery rate of approximately 10%," announced Third Man Records, "so it's quite possible that less than 100 of the 1000 records launched will ever be discovered."
If only blues legend Charlie Patton, the Masked Marvel, could have lived to have recorded for Third Man Records. He'd be all over releasing some special liquid-filled vinyl 45s or flexi-discs-by-balloon as a "new form of distribution." Be sure to check out our interview with Epiphone's Fats Kaplin
, who is currently recording and touring with Jack's touring group for Blunderbuss
the new album out 4/24. And take a good look at the trees on your way home from work today. If you see something blue, you might want to pull over and check it out. It could be the record that changes your life.