“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!”