Documentary images set to the song Grown Ocean from the album Helplessness Blues, out May 3rd, 2011 on Sub Pop Records
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If you thought the Arctic Monkeys had enough of Josh Homme when the latter produced their 2009 album ‘Humbug,’ think again. It turns out that the Queens of the Stone Age overseer has joined forces with the Sheffield quartet for their upcoming album, ‘Suck It and See.’
This time Homme’s role is a minor one — he sings backing vocals on one song, ‘All My Own Stunts.’ Production chores for the new disc, which come out on June 6, were handled by Klaxons/Peaches veteran James Ford.
According to the Monkey’s frontman Alex Turner, the new record will be decidedly “song-based.” Speaking in the May issue of Q, Turner explained, “We used to always try and not go down that route before, because it had been done. But there’s a reason why they’re the classic structures.”
There’s still no word on a lead single for the album, which was recorded at Sound City Studios in Los Angeles. However earlier this month, the band dropped an excerpt, ‘Brick by Brick,’ as a teaser to what its fourth studio project will sound like.
Meanwhile, the band has a busy summer planned, playing alongside the Strokes, Arcade Fire and Primal Scream at the Benicassim Festival. The group has also been confirmed for Oxegen 2011, the 2011 V Festival and Rock Werchter events. Arctic Monkeys will also launch the album by headlining a pair of headlining shows with support from the Vaccines among others at the Don Valley Bowl in Sheffield on June 10 and 11.
Broadcast live Tuesday April 5th at 7pm ET here: www.youareatourist.com
Long known for their ingenious and imaginative videos, Atlantic recording group Death Cab for Cutie are poised to make history with the companion clip for their hugely anticipated new single, “You Are A Tourist.” Directed by award-winning filmmaker Tim Nackashi (TV On The Radio, OK Go, Elvis Costello, Radiohead), and conceptualized by frequent collaborator Aaron Stewart-Ahn, “You Are A Tourist” will be the first-ever live, scripted, single-take music video to be broadcast as it is filmed. Presented by Atlantic Records, Bing and RedLaser, viewers are invited to watch the production unfold before their eyes, Tuesday, April 5th at 7pm EST/4pm PST via www.youareatourist.com
Fans can quickly add the “You Are A Tourist” video event to their calendars using leading mobile barcode scanning application RedLaser and a QR Code featured on Death Cab for Cutie’s website and official Twitter feed (@dcfc). Fans simply download RedLaser to their smartphone and then scan the QR Code to add the video event to their calendars. *
Bing, the decision engine from Microsoft, will offer exclusive behind-the-scenes photos of the band prepping for the video as well as from the live production itself at www.facebook.com/bing beginning on April 5. In addition, a special embed code will be available allowing users to air the video event on their own blog or website.
“You Are A Tourist” is the first single from Death Cab for Cutie’s eagerly awaited new album, “CODES AND KEYS.” The track hit multi-format radio outlets nationwide on Monday, March 28th and is available at all DSPs beginning today Tuesday, March 29th. You can hear the full stream of “You Are a Tourist here: http://atlr.ec/youareatourist
In the meantime, “CODES AND KEYS”, which is out May 31st, is available now for pre-order at www.deathcabforcutie.com/codesandkeys. An array of unique bundles are on offer, featuring such exciting exclusives as the “LIVE AT THE MT. BAKER THEATRE” DVD, a “CODES AND KEYS” t-shirt , a “CODES AND KEYS” tote bag, a full album stream 72 hours before street date, and one-year membership in the band’s official fan club, DCFC Union Local #1138 (or one-year renewal for current members). All pre-orders will receive a digital download of “You Are A Tourist” on Tuesday, March 29th.
Oh snap! Look who just ate Apple and Google’s lunch here? Minutes ago, Amazon rolled out its very own music streaming service which is conveniently dubbed the Amazon Cloud Player. Existing Amazon customers in the US can now upload their MP3 purchases to their 5GB cloud space — upgradable to a one-year 20GB plan for free upon purchasing an MP3 album, with additional plans starting at $20 a year — and then start streaming on their computers or Android devices. Oh, and did we mention that this service is free of charge as well? Meanwhile, someone will have some catching up to do, but we have a feeling it won’t take them too long. Interested? Simple visit Amazon.com
Art-rockers Yeah Yeah Yeahs have been on hiatus since their ‘It’s Blitz!’ tour ended in 2010, but that doesn’t mean the trio aren’t busy working. When guitarist Nick Zinner isn’t thrashing around onstage, he’s also an accomplished photographer, having displayed his work in art galleries around the world. He and friends Zachary Lipez and Stacy Wakefield have published four photo books together, including the recent ‘Please Take Me Off the Guest List,’ for which Zinner supplied the photos and the others wrote the text and created designs.
Last month, at San Francisco’s Noise Pop festival, Zinner appeared at the opening night of his ’1,001 Images’ show at Public Works, marking the second time he’s displayed the collection. “I get nervous a lot, but that’s just my thing,” Zinner tells Spinner. “I never think that all of these people are going to see it. I never think about that final step.”
Perusing his portfolio, his Robert Frank-inspired photos encapsulate intimate portraits of his bandmates, members of TV on the Radio and Marilyn Manson, crowd shots, street scenes, random pictures of kangaroos and snapshots of rumpled hotel beds. As Zinner reveals, he doesn’t have a favorite place to photograph because the desire can strike at any moment.
“I feel like good photos come so spontaneously and so randomly,” he says. “It’s never a specific place I’m excited about shooting. Essentially, I was doing composed snapshots, so it really depends whatever happens in front of me — that could be Tokyo or that could be my friend’s apartment down the street.”
During YYYs shows, audiences can catch a glimpse of Zinner snapping pictures from the stage, an act that exemplifies the marriage of his two passions. “They both kind of inspire each other,” he says. “When Yeah Yeah Yeahs are on tour, I can take a lot of photos. They kind of go hand in hand.”
Though he mainly uses film but will sometimes just snap pics on his iPhone, Zinner says the best part of this hobby is the fans. “It’s great that people are in love with photography,” he says. “That’s all that really matters, ultimately. It doesn’t matter what camera you use or what film you use. If people are thinking visually and are excited about images, that’s awesome.”
Looking ahead, Zinner says he’s building a studio and will accompany his bandmates when they perform at the inaugural Lollapalooza Chile in April. The festival will be the band’s first show together since last September, when they commemorated their 10-year anniversary as a band with a couple of small shows in New York. After a decade together, Zinner still can’t believe their success. “We’re still in awe by it,” he says. “It’s amazing. We’re really happy about it. We didn’t see it coming.”
Mercury Records — home to U2, Arcade Fire and Sir Elton John — is to cease releasing the bulk of its singles on physical formats, though the label will still make a minor contribution next month to Record Store Day
The label announced that it would no longer put out CD or vinyl singles, except for rare exceptions such as charity releases. Company bosses claim they lost money on physical releases last year, with 99 per cent of single sales now downloads.
Mercury’s move begins with immediate effect and label sources say it applies except under “exceptional circumstances,” the Press Association reports. Physical sales usually make up around one per cent of the singles chart and recently there were just 2,292 vinyl and CD purchases in the UK Top 50, making 0.16 per cent.
That Mercury should lead a move that rivals and other Universal Music Group peers may consider is ironic give that Sir Elton’s ‘Candle in the Wind ’97′ remains the UK’s biggest-selling single.
Elsewhere, the annual push to drive music fans back to record shops continues apace, with a slew of one-off releases available in independent outlets to mark Record Store Day on April 16. We already mentioned the Nirvana EP, though special pressings from Beth Ditto, Lady Gaga and Bruce Springsteen show major labels are keen to support the initiative — even Mercury, with a 7″ from its new rock hopes Mona.
The thoughts and prayers of everyone at ATP are with our Japanese friends both new and old as they recover in the aftermath of the recent disaster. ATP urges you to support the victims of the Japanese disaster – today we announce a Benefit Concert at London’s Kentish Town Forum – all of the profits from which will go to the Japanese Red Cross and will be used towards helping the Japanese people recover from this devastating natural disaster over the coming months and years.
The event has a stunning line-up featuring Squarepusher (playing a special improv/jam set), LFO and Fuck Buttons as well as guest DJs Declan Allen and N> E> D>. Everyone who buys a ticket to the benefit, will receive a code to receive a new exclusive Autechre track, ‘6852’. Codes will be sent out from Monday onwards with details on how to redeem it. Art for this event has been generously donated by Tim Biskup – giclee posters (produced free of charge by http://www.jealousgallery.com) will be on sale at the event with all profits going to the Japanese Red Cross…
This year, Record Store Day falls on April 16, and once again, it features a whole lot of bands and labels releasing cool exclusives via independent record stores. As always, those who show up early enough will also get to cop some rare reissues from legendary bands. And this year, the crop of reissues includes EPs from Nirvana and Sonic Youth, as Consequence of Sound points out. (The full list of Record Store Day releases can be found here.)
Nirvana’s Hormoaning EP was originally available on the band’s 1992 Australian and Japanese tours. It features two Nirvana originals, “Aneurysm” and “Even in His Youth”, as well as four covers that the band recorded during a Peel Session: Devo’s “Turnaround”, the Wipers’ “D-7″, and the Vaselines’ “Molly’s Lips” and “Son of a Gun”. Several of its tracks were collected on the Nirvana rarities collection Incesticide. The Record Store Day 12″ release is limited to 4,000 copies.
When Nirvana’s buddies Sonic Youth toured Australia and New Zealand in 1993, they released their own tour-only EP, Whore’s Moaning. It features a photocopy of an image of one of Kurt Cobain’s dolls on the front cover and an original drawing by Cobain on the back, so he must not have been too mad about Sonic Youth making fun of his EP title. The EP features an edit of “Sugar Kane”, instrumentals “The End of the End of the Ugly” and “Tamra”, and covers of the New York Dolls’ “Personality Crisis” and Alice Cooper’s “Is It My Body”. Like the Nirvana EP, the Sonic Youth Record Store Day 12″ is limited to 4,000 copies. (via pitchfork)
Michael Stipe has just been added to Saturday night’s Big Star tribute in New York City. The R.E.M. singer will pay homage to the late Alex Chilton — who died a year ago — by covering the revered and influential band’s ‘Kanga Roo’ at an all-star event at Baruch College.
Billed as ‘Big Star’s Third/Sister Lovers All-Star Collective,’ the concert will benefit three musician-oriented charities. Stipe will be joined by his R.E.M. bandmate Mike Mills, Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake, Matthew Sweet, Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan, Big Star’s Jody Stephens, Let’s Active frontman Mitch Easter and the dB’s Chris Stamey among others.
“There’s something about this record that connects with my generation, and apparently many generations,” Stamey said of ‘Sister Lovers’ in a statement. “We have been trying to create a concert piece that can have a life in years to come, trying to keep the spirit of the music and make it come across with the right emotions live.”
Last December, Big Star’s third album was performed in public with string and wind orchestrations at the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC,with many of the aforementioned names. That experience prompted these indie all stars to come together for the March 26th show at Baruch College’s Mason Hall.
The show’s line-up of songs/performers will be:
1. ‘Kizza Me’ by Matt McMichaels (Mayflies USA)
2. ‘O Dana’ by Ira Kaplan (Yo La Tengo)
3. ‘For You’ by Jody Stephens (Big Star)
4. ‘Nighttime’ by Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub)
5. ‘Jesus Christ’ by Mike Mills (R.E.M.)
6. ‘Take Care’ by Ira Kaplan (Yo La Tengo)
7. ‘Big Black Car’ by Matthew Sweet
8. ‘Stroke It, Noel’ by Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub)
9. ‘Blue Moon’ by Jody Stephens (Big Star)
10. “Femme Fatale” (Singer not confirmed)
11. ‘Downs’ (Various)
12. ‘Dream Lover’ by Tift Merritt
13. ‘Holocaust’ by Django Haskins (The Old Ceremony)
14. ‘You Can’t Have Me’ by Tift Merritt
15. ‘Kanga Roo’ by Michael Stipe (R.E.M.)
16. ‘Thank You, Friends’ (Various)
The concert will benefit the Corona Youth Music Project, Queens, NY and KidZNotes, the El Sistema program in Durham, NC, plus the New Orleans Musicians Clinic.
In celebration of their new album, Circuital, My Morning Jacket are proud to announce a series of concerts at venues they have handpicked to debut their new music. Circuital is out this summer on ATO Records. The band will embark on a North American tour in support of the release beginning in June, and more dates will be announced soon. With this album, the band recorded almost everything live together to allow for warmth and spontaneity. Tickets go on pre-sale to fans Wednesday, March 23rd and on sale to the public on Saturday, March 26th. The band will donate $1 from every ticket sold from these dates to charity.
The group is also in week three of their “T5 Countdown” to Circuital, where they release a live track from each of their Terminal 5 shows this past October. Head over to http://www.mymorningjacket.com todownload “One Big Holiday” as performed on 10/21/2010, and to sign up for the rest of the songs. After the fifth and final Terminal 5 track is released, the following week will see the debut of a new song from the forthcoming new album.
My Morning Jacket Tour Dates:
$1 from each ticket will be donated to a local charity
Go to www.mymorningjacket.com for more details
6/17 – Auditorium Theatre (Chicago, IL)
6/22 – Pantages Theatre (Los Angeles, CA)
6/24 – Fox Theater (Oakland, CA)
6/26 – Paramount Theatre (Seattle, WA)
6/28 – Edgefield (Portland, OR)
6/29 – Orpheum (Vancouver, BC)
7/11 – Kool Haus (Toronto, ON)
7/12 – Metropolis (Montreal, QC)
8/04 – Red Rocks (Morrison, CO)
“Will Do”, the first taste from TV on the Radio’s forthcoming LP Nine Types of Light, has a video to go along with it now. It’s a vaguely sad, sci-fi-influenced clip concerning using virtual reality to experience love and pleasure (or, rather, an artificial substitute). Watch the clip below:
New York, NY – March 22, 2011 – Modest Mouse hits the road this May with four shows including three just announced headlining dates leading into the sold-out Sasquatch! Music Festival on May 29th in George, WA.
Tickets for the band’s headline dates go on sale at 10 AM local time on Friday, March 25th. Please head over to www.modestmouse.com for more information.
Opening on the band’s headline dates will be Talkdemonic.
Modest Mouse players: Isaac Brock, Eric Judy, Jeremiah Green, Tom Peloso, Joe Plummer & Jim (Kirby) Fairchild.
Modest Mouse Tour Dates:
May 26 Boise, ID Knitting Factory
May 27 Missoula, MT Big Sky Brewery
May 28 Spokane, WA Knitting Factory
May 29 George, WA Sasquatch Music Festival (SOLD OUT)
As the catastrophic fallout from the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that recently hit Japan continues to get worse, musicians are finding ways to pitch in towards the recovery efforts. We recently reported on the Mountain Goats’ auction to benefit Doctors Without Borders, and No Age played a benefit show last weekend. Below, we’ve listed more ways that musicians and organizations are raising money for Japan. And, of course, we strongly encourage you to donate to the cause.
– Sonic Youth are auctioning a pair of vintage posters, as well as a pair of band-branded Vans from the era that produced their 1992 LP Dirty, with 100% of the funds raised going to ShelterboxUSA.org, which provides shelter and needs to Japan’s displaced homeless population.
– Sonic Youth are also taking part in the Concert to Benefit Japan Earthquake Relief, which goes down March 27 at the Miller Theatre at Columbia University in New York. John Zorn is hosting the event, which will also feature appearances by Mike Patton, Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, Cibo Matto with Mephista, Marc Ribot, Uri Caine, and Aleph Trio; all proceeds from the sold-out event will go directly to Japan.
– Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, Norah Jones, JG Thirlwell’s Manorexia, Buke and Gass, and many more will perform at a benefit show at the Abrons Arts Center in downtown NYC on April 8.
– Yo La Tengo are holding a benefit concert of their own on Wednesday, March 23, at Hoboken, New Jersey’s Maxwell’s venue, with all proceeds going to benefit Peace Winds Japan.
– Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, Philip Glass, John Zorn, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Bill Laswell, and more will perform at the Concert for Japan, taking place April 9 and New York City’s Japan Society.
– The Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA posted a new track on Soundcloud, Gab-Gotcha’s “Japan”, for free download in support of Japan.
– Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison will headline the Red Cross Fundraiser for Japan at Glasgow venue Stereo on March 30.
– Japanese indie-pop artist Shugo Tokumaru is selling a new track, “Open a Bottle”, at Bandcamp to support Japan.
– Warp Records is selling a t-shirt that will go towards supporting the Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal; the shirt will be on sale until April 4.
– Shoegazers Serena-Maneesh just released a remix of Lindstrøm & Christabelle’s “High & Low” on iTunes; all proceeds go to supporting the Japanese Red Cross.
– Arty experimental hip-hop/rock outfit WHY? are auctioning off a whole bunch of rare LPs from WHY?, as well as affiliated projects cLOUDDEAD and Hymie’s Basement, over at band member Josiah Wolf’s eBay page; all proceeds from the auction will go to supporting Hands on Tokyo.
– Ponytail guitarist Dustin Wong will be taking part in tonight’s benefit concert Help Japan from Brooklyn: A Benefit Through Film/Music, which is taking place at Brooklyn Winery and will be in support of the Lions Club Japan Earthquake Fund.
– If you purchase music through the dance-focused online store Beatport today, the company will donate 100% of its profits to Japan.
– Dance-oriented label Turbo Records will be donating all proceeds for subscriptions to the label’s catalog sold until May 1 to the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.
– Artists on the electronic labels Ninja Tune and All City, as well as Hyperdub head Kode9, are among some of the many contributors featured on the Nihon Kizuna compilation, which is available now for purchase on Bandcamp and iTunes Japan. The proceeds will go towards supporting the Japan Red Cross.
Jack White has admitted that he doesn’t know what his former White Stripes bandmate Meg is up to these days.
He and Meg announced that they were no longer a band on February 2.
When quizzed about what Meg was doing in the wake of the split by Pitchfork he replied: “I don’t know. I’ve never known.”
Speaking at the South By Southwest festival, he also revealed why it took so long for the group to announce details of their split, pointing to their 2010 live album and film ‘Under Great White Northern Lights’.
“That box set and movie, that took a lot of time,” he said of the project, which was recorded in 2007. “People don’t really know how much time that stuff takes. More than albums, I mean, albums we make in two weeks, but films and editing and box sets and premieres and all that, that was a long project.”
He added: “We had thousands of hours of footage that we went through. Any time I wasn’t working with The Raconteurs or The Dead Weather that’s what I worked on. So that swallowed up a lot of time. So it kind of seemed like we hadn’t done anything in a couple of years.”
The newly released sci-fi thriller ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ starring Matt Damon gave American audiences a preview of former Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft’s fourth solo album, ‘United Nations of Sound,’ due out tomorrow.
The album’s soul-fueled cut ‘Are You Ready’ plays during the credits for the movie, but there’s the added bonus of a brand new piece of music that Ashcroft and the film’s incidental music composer Thomas Newman wrote together.
“It was another thing that turned up out of the blue really,” Ashcroft tells Spinner from his London studio. “It came out of the director, George Nolfi, hearing ‘Are You Ready’ and wanting to use it as the outro of the film. Then he suggested we do something together for the start of the film.”
Instead of collaborating via email or Skype, as is commonplace, the two actually worked together in person. “Yeah, God bless him,” says Ashcroft.
“The guy flew over from L.A. to London and we went into a studio here. He had a Wurlitzer keyboard and I had a Vocoder, and we just did a tune. Then I got some of the guys from the United Nations of Sound band to put some guitar and drums on it in Australia, when we was on tour. It was finished in L.A.. Yeah, it was all good.”
Ashcroft recorded his album in America over ten days, working firstly in New York with producer No I.D. — who has worked with music heavyweights like Jay-Z, Common, Kanye West and Rihanna in the past. “The work ethic, the amount of energy was immense. What was forged out of that was something really exciting. It got close, at times, to what I went out there for.”
“When we did more of the recording in L.A., I was lucky enough to work with a guy called Benjamin Wright, who arranged the strings. Again, a fabulous guy, a great man, someone who’d been in the business for a long time,” he says of Wright, who has most famously worked with Michael Jackson. “The process of making it was important to me. Unfortunately, there’s probably only me who’s going to take anything out of it, the good and the bad.”
Recording stateside fired Ashcroft up and left him longing for more, too. “So many things were popping up while I was there. You’re starting from way behind someone who is in L.A. or New York,” he says of working in London. “You can try and capitalize on the amazing opportunities that there are, if you know the right people.”
Radiohead’s Thom Yorke is working on a new album with rapper DOOM.
New York MC DOOM, who has also performed under the name MF Doom, said that the album would feature duets and was in its early stages.
He told 3D World magazine that he was “doing some stuff with Thom Yorke. We’re working on some duets, some duet songs and shit. Just like preliminary shit but we’ll probably end up doing a whole record together.”
He added: “He’s cool – he got a lot of ill ass ideas and shit, you know.”
Yorke remixed the rapper’s song ‘Gazzillion Ear’ in 2009.
The Radiohead man recently released a collaboration single with Four Tet and Burial. Shortly before that he made a surprise DJ appearance in Los Angeles.
Radiohead’s ‘The King Of Limbs’ album came out last month.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard new music from Björk, but come this summer, that’s set to change. She has announced a series of UK shows planned as part of this year’s Manchester International Festival, during which she will preview material from her forthcoming album, Biophilia.
A press release describes Biophilia as not only an album but also “A multi-media project encompassing music, apps, internet, installations and live shows”. Her six-show, three-week residency at Manchester’s Campfield Market Hall will feature her performing with collaborators as well; the festival will also assist Björk in bringing the Biophilia performances to other cities after the Manchester residency. Also, the press release outlines an intriguingly strange assortment of instruments that will be used for the show: “a bespoke digitally-controlled pipe organ; a 30 foot pendulum that harnesses the earth’s gravitational pull to create musical patterns– creating a unique bridge between the ancient and the modern; a bespoke gamelan-celeste hybrid; and a one-off extraordinary pin barrel harp.” Cool.
You might remember hearing about Biophilia in the beginning of the year, when a new iPad app titled Solar System, featuring a three-minute instrumental taken from the project, was unveiled. Well, NME reports that Björk has pulled a Gorillaz and partly recorded the new record on an iPad, and plans to release the record as a series of apps for the electronic device. In other words: keep your fingers crossed for a Björk-ified Angry Birds! Check out the dates for the residency below, as well as the video for “Declare Independence”, from 2007′s Volta, below. (via Pitchfork)
06-30 Manchester, England – Campfield Market Hall
07-03 Manchester, England – Campfield Market Hall
07-07 Manchester, England – Campfield Market Hall
07-10 Manchester, England – Campfield Market Hall
07-13 Manchester, England – Campfield Market Hall
07-16 Manchester, England – Campfield Market Hall
Björk: “Declare Independence” video:
Tom Waits was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last night by Neil Young before performing 4 songs, including “Get Behind the Mule” with Young himself. While the broadcast won’t air on FUSE until Sunday (3/20), reports from the event have surfaced with a sneak peek at the ceremony. One great quote (of many) from Waits: “They say that I have no hits and that I’m difficult to work with, and they say that like it’s a bad thing.” For a longer excerpt of his speech, visit Anti Blog.
Download the new single (free and legal) from Fleet Foxes who’s new album is due May 3rd on Sub Pop / Bella Union
Download: ‘Helplessness Blues’ (MP3)
“Jack White has a record label, Third Man, based in Nashville. He’s also got a store in that same city that contains a photography studio, a live venue, a recording studio and a record press. Time to add four wheels to White’s empire: Today, the Third Man Records Rolling Record Store made its maiden voyage to a parking lot in Austin, Texas…
But let’s cut to the chase: Jack White hopped out of the truck to perform two songs, one from Buddy Holly and the other, a White Stripes tune, “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground.”
White also introduced a new Third Man recording artist, Seasick Steve, who appropriately played the blues on just three strings…”
“New York Times”::
“South by Southwest is about music, lots and lots of it: 2,000-plus bands over six days. But partly as a result of there being so much music, the festival is also about attention-getting stunts: bands playing up to a dozen gigs in unusual spaces, announcing last-minute performances on Twitter, teasing crowds with “TBA’s” on schedules.
This year Jack White, formerly of the White Stripes, has one of the better stunts, a yellow and black truck representing his Nashville-based record label and studio, Third Man. Docked at various spots throughout Austin this week, the truck will sell some of Third Man’s lovingly produced products, much of it in elaborately designed limited editions, like the “tricolor” records pressed on a symmetrical pattern of white, yellow and black vinyl. After South by Southwest, the truck will continue on a national tour.
But the really big stunt was that for its debut in a downtown parking lot on Wednesday morning, Mr. White himself was hiding out in the truck. As a crew dressed in bumblebee colors buzzed around the vehicle — Mr. White himself was all in Johnny Cash black save for his scuffed tan boots — he stepped outside to briefly perform for a crowd of about 300 fans, journalists and social-media documenters. Introduced as “Third Man Records recording artist Jack White,” he played Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away” (“a Texas song,” he called it) and the White Stripes’ “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground.” Less than six minutes later he was back inside the truck.
Shortly before his performance, he gave me a brief tour of the vehicle, showing off the Third Man albums and 45’s that lined the back in specially designed racks. And with a sound system playing Chuck Berry and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins overhead, he chatted about South by Southwest and why digital music will never have the romance of a tangible record. Here are some excerpts from that conversation.
Q. How long have you been on the road with this?
A.This is our maiden voyage. The idea was, there are a couple clubs across the street from Third Man’s headquarters in Nashville, and I thought, those guys stand in line for shows for a couple hours sometimes — we should set up a table some time and sell records over there, play music for them while they’re in line. And if we do that, we can do it other places too. What if we do that on a truck?
We’re selling almost our whole catalog. These carts are designed to slide right into the wall; they don’t rattle when you’re driving. It’s temperature controlled so we can leave it overnight right here. So if it’s 100 degrees, the vinyl is not going to melt.
Q.And you’re not worried about people throwing a brick through the window and walking out with some Wanda Jackson records?
A.I’m from Detroit — of course I’m worried about that!”