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As Third Man Records Cass Corridor in Detroit continues to exceed expectations, the neighborhood and its history continues to occupy our creative mind. While Vault Package #26 showcased a wildly beautiful White Stripes performance from the Gold Dollar in 1999, there’s still so much to tell about that time, the bands kicking around and the spirit imbued into all of it.
Our 27th Vault package seeks to address that concern. Showcasing full live show recordings from three important bands of that era, each act inhabits a different world stylistically and contributes to a more-detailed overall picture.
First off is Two Star Tabernacle. While the band only released two songs (both covers) while they were together, the group was a jumping-off point for the critically-regarded band Blanche, which Dan John Miller and Tracee Mae Miller would later go on to found. With the addition of Damian Lang (Detroit Cobras) on drums and Two Star Tabernacle was quite the confluence of varied influences. Two Star is also where Jack White debuted some songs that would later become known the world over through the White Stripes. This particular set by Two Star Tabernacle, recorded at the Gold Dollar on January 16th, 1998, features spirited takes of “So Long Cruel World” and “Garbage Picker” which would find more-refined lives on Blanche’s If We Can’t Trust the Doctors… album. White’s “Hotel Yorba” and “Now Mary” renditions are twangier older siblings to how they exist on “White Blood Cells.” Of supreme interest to audio archeologists is the White-penned song “Itchy” all spirit and rockabilly rhythm that has yet to find a place in any of his subsequent musical endeavors. A splendid cover of Merle Travis’ “Sixteen Tons” help round out the set of a band, while mentioned often, is infrequently heard. The equal parts country and punk are in full effect here. Take heed.
Recorded at the Gold Dollar on November 25th, 1998, the ferocious set by the Go highlights the momentary period before the band had signed to Sub Pop and was still honing material for its Whatcha Doin album. Opening with a blistering take on their anthemic “Meet Me at the Movies” and closing with powerful version of the Sonics’ classic “Psycho”, the smell of sweat and Stroh’s permeates this recording. Aside from a radio session and an underwater audience recording, this is the only live document of how intense this line-up of the Go was. With band mainstays Bobby Harlow, John Krautner and Marc Fellis helming their usual positions, Dave Buick (Italy Records, Third Man Cass Corridor) is on bass and Jack White is on lead guitar. Included here is a live take on White’s “Turn Your Little Light Bulb On” a song penned for the Go that has remained relatively unheard in the intervening eighteen years. The Go are essential in understanding Detroit rock history and this, their first live release, cements their place in the pantheon.
Opening for Royal Trux on September 16th, 1999, Jack White and the Bricks were actually never called that name during their brief existence across a half-dozen (or so) shows. We’ve reproduced the flyer proclaiming “Jack White Band” to prove it. While Vault Package #15 showcased a live recording of the Bricks that left a lot to be desired in regards to fidelity, the multitrack masters from the Gold Dollar were available to create a truly stellar mix here. From Brendan Benson’s harmonic accents (on both vocals and guitar) to Kevin Peyok’s even-keeled bass runs, through Ben Blackwell’s competent drum work…the performance here is sublime. If you’ve ever daydreamed about hearing Jack tackle White Stripes songs with the attack of two guitars behind them…this show will delight. Divergent interpretations of Stripes’ catalog staples “Candy Cane Children” and “You’ve Got Her in Your Pocket” do not disappoint. The otherwise unreleased Jack White song “One and Two” is particularly fascinating. Rounded out with a cover of Little Richard’s “Ooh! My Soul” (which may be an inspiration for “Fell in Love With a Girl”) and what exists here is the definitive document of this outfit.
Each LP comes in it’s own custom stylized jacket and will be housed in a soft touch telescoping box highlighting the Gold Dollar building. Keep ‘em in the box or file ‘em away in your individual band sections in your record collection…whatever you want! Vinyl pressed on our non-metallic approximation of gold vinyl.
The box will be filled up with all sorts of facsimile reproductions of setlists, flyers, band ephemera and material the likes of which fans have come accustomed to expecting in the unrivaled Vault packages.
For our 7” offering in this package…we continue along the path of Dead Weather Dodge and Burn with the electrifying “Let Me Through” backed with the frightening “Be Still.” Housed in a tasty glue-pocket sleeve and pressed on the hazy mix of yellow and black vinyl, this further solidifies the idea that the Dead Weather are as equally as deadly on single as they are on LP. If you’ve got the first four of these, you can’t tap out now. Collect the whole series.
The bonus item in Vault #27 is a custom Third Man Records Challenge Coin. Usually used as totems to signify membership in a military organization, challenge coins are slowly making their way into other realms of culture. The Third Man Records 2016 Challenge Coin will entitle its bearer to 10% off any purchases in our Detroit or Nashville store fronts for the duration of this year. It will also double as a large hole 45 adaptor. If you want to wear it on a chain around your neck, hell, we won’t stop you. And if you want to “challenge” your Vault member friends to see who’s holding theirs with any empty-handed folks buying the next round of drinks…well that’s just the kind of camaraderie we hope to foster amongst our most loyal and die-hard fans. We’re hoping to make this a continuing feature of each year’s first Vault package, so get in now on the ground floor. These coins will not be made available at a later date, so if you want to be able to prove inclusion (and not be on the hook for any drinks) you absolutely need to sign up for Vault Package #27. And if you want to sign up for more than one…we won’t mind.
For more information about the Gold Dollar visit golddollar.com