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Record Store Day at Third Man Records was an unequivocal success... where do we even begin?
From the die-hards who camped out overnight (more than 24 hours before doors opened!), to the transcendent live performances by Karen Elson and Mark Watrous, the sundry delights provided by our friends at Hot Diggity Dog (they killed it with their Detroit Dog), Fat Bottom Brewery, Bang Candy and Las Paletas, coverage from TWO local news stations... we are absolutely ecstatic as to how the day unfolded.
To be fair, most of our excitement is tied-up in the success of our Third Man Record Booth. The dozens of people who waited in line to record their very own 111 seconds of vinyl magic walked away with one-of-a-kind audio mementos that we (and they) will never forget. Whether it was a marriage proposal, folk song, last will and testament, poem, one act play, a Sir-Mix-a-Lot cover or birthday greetings, accompanied by everything from a vintage 1920's Gibson mandolin, a boombox or an iPhone, every last recording from the booth was inspired and fulfilling. Even Neil Young stopped by and recorded a song in the booth.
The booth was carefully monitored by two engineers throughout the day to ensure all the mechanizations were in fine working order. Third Man made the decision (at least for Record Store Day) to use the highest quality aluminum substrate lacquers. These blanks offer the best fidelity for cold needle record cutting and can be played dozens and dozens of times without any noticeable audio degradation.
Record Store Day weekend has really put the booth through its paces and our engineers (Third Mangineers?) have learned a lot from this weekend and are making the necessary modifications to ensure the booth can soon be a permanent fixture in the Novelties Lounge.
Jack White also did a recording in the booth this weekend and we share that with you here for free so you can hear the warm analog fidelity that radiates out of this booth.
Just a reminder that Record Store Day is tomorrow, April 20th!
Our Nashville headquarters will present our new Third Man Record Booth, live performances, food & libations, and the previously announced exclusive record offerings. We will open at 11am CST. Please note that the Elephant reissues will be available in the Blue Room for $30 each, and they will be Debit/Credit card only. This will help to keep the line moving as quickly as possible. All food and drink vendors, however, will be cash only. Document Records Volume 2 colored vinyl reissues will be $30 each and available in the store, cash or card accepted. You can access more information on the happenings in Nashville here.
Record Store Day at our Desert Gold Pop Up is a 2-day affair complete with loads of live music and exclusive merch. Details here.
We've been getting a lot of excitement and questions about the new Third Man Record Booth, as you can imagine, so we wanted to answer as many additional questions as we can. The Record Booth is not just for Record Store Day. It is going to be a permanent installation at Third Man's Novelties Lounge in Nashville, but due to the possibility of long lines for several things on Record Store Day, we are making arrangements to have a separate entrance and location for the booth alone to keep the flow moving in the store.
The recording process runs on the Third Man tokens you see Brendan Benson using in the video, and yes, shockingly it will not be 35 cents anymore. Things have changed since the 1940's. The materials involved and the process and labor are very expensive, but worth every penny to us (and we hope to you as well). The stamp and envelope also involve the weight of a blank vinyl and cardboard, so it costs more to mail than a standard letter.
We also have some future upgrades up our sleeve for the booth, so watch out in the coming months. Just like the Scopitone, which has been running elegantly in the last few months, to which we've added viewing windows for people to see the inner machinations, we have some ideas for the record booth as well. Some of you noticed in the video that the sign reads "you have 65 seconds to record". That was true for a 6" record at 78 speed, the original speed for the booth in 1947. Our brilliant Third Man family engineers (Josh Smith, Kevin Carrico, George Ingram, and Ross Blomgren) have modified the motors to run at 45 speed, expanding the recording time from 65 seconds to 111 seconds, making it much easier to play on modern turntables that might not have a 78 speed option, with little loss in fidelity. Instruments will be available next to the booth to use for free and we are currently looking into ways for different machines in the novelties lounge to not play music at the same time, but for now people will just have to be polite while someone's recording in the booth and not blast a Scopitone video simultaneously.
All of the records recorded in the booth will have Third Man Catalog number "333" and the uploads that fans will send to TMR for our page of recordings made in the booth will appear in that catalog location. Users of the booth write their recording info on the labels themselves, pen provided in the booth of course. The fidelity of the booth will be better than it ever sounded in its day, but the process uses a cold needle, not a heated needle as in modern acetate cutting. Because of this, the volume is not as loud as a modern vinyl due to the way the groove is cut, but the playback amplifier in the booth compensates for this as will your home stereo system.
In one of my final acts as Record Store Day ambassador, I encourage everyone who comes to the Third Man Record Store in Nashville to be able to hear themselves on a vinyl record, and maybe even mail it to someone they love.
Actively venturing to your local record shop is one of those honors and privileges in this life that we just shouldn't take for granted. Certain beautiful experiences can only happen in the environment of a record store and I just thought that nothing could drive that point home more than a one-of-a-kind machine that lets you not only record your own vinyl record, but send it to anyone, anywhere in the world to share a song, poem, or private message with. I know those warm, scratchy tones send tingles up (and sometimes down) MY spine. Even if you aren't instrumentally inclined, you could hold up an iphone playing a song and sing along with the music and combine the best of all worlds tangible, digital, and romantic. And for those still skeptical or not sure if they're brave enough to do it, think of it this way; it's almost the same thing as illegally downloading an mp3 and emailing it to someone. Well…, Almost.
Enjoy record store day everyone. i hope that you find that special song and someone makes you smile in the process.
- Jack White III
On Saturday, April 20th, Jack White and Third Man Records will unveil their Third Man Recording Booth, a refurbished 1947 Voice-o-Graph machine that records up to 2 minutes of audio and dispenses a one-of-a-kind 6" phonograph disc to the user. Whether it be a song, a message to a lover, an audio postcard or just the curiosity of a process that has mystified so many folks for ages, the ability to "hear yourself as others hear you" is not only a tagline here...it's an invitation, a charge, a call to arms.
An arcade staple through the middle of the 20th century and famously used by Martin Sheen's character in the film Badlands, these "make your own record" booths were popular audio peculiarities that fell out of vogue in the 1960s and 70s. Like the records of old, users of the Third Man Recording Booth are encouraged to mail their recording to a loved one. Third Man even offers custom-printed envelopes and postage stamps to make that happen. Located across the room from Third Man's Dip'n'Dunk photo booth folks can even throw in a photo strip with the record to make it extra special.
The Third Man Recording Booth will be the only machine of its kind in the world that is both operational and open to the public. The booth will run on custom Third Man tokens already in use in the Third Man Novelties Lounge
Fans who record in the booth will be able to submit digitized versions of their recordings to Third Man to be streamed on a dedicated page on the Third Man Records website.
Additionally, Third Man will be hosting live performances by both Karen Elson and Mark Watrous and selling limited edition colored vinyl copies of the White Stripes Elephant to celebrate Record Store Day at its Nashville location.
For those who are unable to make the trek out to Nashville, Third Man is also hosting a pop-up shop and live performances at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, CA. as part of their 10-day Desert Gold event.
Just a reminder that we are selling a limited edition 7” box set housed in a one of a kind snake skin style 45 carrying case featuring 5 Live singles that will be recorded at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, CA over the course of the second weekend of our residency there. The pre-sale for this box set is available only at the Ace Hotel Pop-Up shop and, like all exclusive pop-up items, is available first come first served. When they are gone… they’re gone.
The bands playing include Eagles of Death Metal, Redd Kross, White Fence, Dirty Ghosts, White Mystery, Gap Dream, The Dough Rollers and Carly Ritter, so expect to see many of these bands represented in the box set.
Get to Palm Springs and place your pre-order NOW.
Courage. What makes a King out of a slave? Courage. What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage. What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage. What makes the Sphinx the 7th Wonder? Courage. What makes the dawn come up like THUNDER?! Courage. Whatmakes the Hottentot so hot? Who puts the "ape" in ape-ricot? Whatta they got that we aint got?
Sign up to become a Platinum Vault Member HERE.
In celebration of the ten-year anniversary of the White Stripes album Elephant, Third Man has gone searching underneath couch cushions and in shady back alleys for the perfect Vault package to accompany the label's reissue of the album. We think we've nailed it.
Of utmost excitement is a 2 x LP blistering live set by the White Stripes recorded July 2nd, 2003 at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. Titled Nine Miles From the White City, this 26-song, 79-minute, tour-de-force performance is indicative of the absolute explosiveness Jack and Meg embodied at the height of their 2003 touring. Highlights include a rare live performance of Captain Beefheart's "Party of Special Things to Do", an especially frenetic "The Hardest Button to Button" as well as the Stripes Christmas tune "Candy Cane Children." Hearing "Seven Nation Army" in the middle of a set (and not as a closer or encore where it would soon find itself for the remainder of the band’s career) is a quaint reminder of the inauspicious beginnings of the future stadium anthem. The crystalline soundboard recording is best experienced through the impromptu, off-the-cuff performance of a song written on-the-spot that would be come to called "Little Cream Soda." The song would be re-discovered (via an audience recording) by Jack and Meg during the recording of their album Icky Thump, dusted off and recorded for what would become the White Stripes final studio album.
Providing rare insight into the demo process, the 7" in this Vault package features Jack White's solo demos of the songs "I Want to Be the Boy to Warm Your Mother's Heart" and "Little Acorns." Accompanied only by his trusty piano (salvaged from a Catholic school in Detroit as it was being shuttered), Jack's double-tracked vocals lend an otherworldly air to "...Heart." "Little Acorns," in the most happy of accidents, pairs a parable spoken by legendary Detroit-area news anchor Mort Crim with White's germination of a song idea, all through the magic of recycled 1/4" analog tape. Of special note are White's previously unheard guide vocals...edited out of the final mix once it would appear on Elephant.
Finally, tying all previous components back to the actual making of Elephant, the "bonus" item for this package is a 56-page collection of photos taken byDavid Swanson during the recording of the album. With the wonderful Toe-Rag Studio in London as the setting, this peek into the White Stripes' recording process is both revelatory and intimate. With only three of the fifty-plus images having ever been published before, such a cache of striking images only furthers to cement the depth and breadth of Third Man's Vault. The live show, the demos and the photos all help to contextualize Elephant, the surroundings it sprung from, the resultant whirlwind it created and all the chaos in-between. Ten years later, it's a time that still resonates very deeply with us at Third Man and we hope you feel so too.
The White Stripes Nine Miles from the White City tracklist:
-When I Hear My Name
-Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground
-Love Sick (Bob Dylan)
-Cool Drink of Water Blues (Tommy Johnson)
-The Hardest Button to Button
-I Want to Be the Boy to Warm Your Mother's Heart
-Stones in My Passway (Robert Johnson)
-Stop Breakin' Down (Robert Johnson)
-In the Cold, Cold Night
-Seven Nation Army
-The Same Boy You've Always Known
-Black Jack Davey (traditional)
-We Are Going to Be Friends
-Offend in Every Way
-Little Cream Soda
-Cannon/Party of Special Things to Do (Captain Beefheart)
-Candy Cane Children
-The Air Near My Fingers
-Ball and Biscuit
-Let's Build a Home
-Goin' Back to Memphis (Henry & June)
The White Stripes Nine Miles From the White City
2 x LP (LP one on red vinyl, LP two on white)
The White Stripes
I Want to Be the Boy to Warm Your Mother's Heart (demo) b/w Little Acorns(demo)
Opaque red vinyl with black whisps
Enclosed in a red/white/black die-cut sleeve
V A U L T T R A N S I T I O N:
We are transitioning the Vault from being hosted by Modlife to being a part of the Third Man Records’ web properties beginning May 1st. Here’s what you need to know: Your last subscription payment and your deadline to sign up for Vault Package #16 remain April 30th, business as usual. This is also the final day The Vault will be hosted by Modlife.
Beginning May 1st, all online Vault activity will be hosted through the Third Man Store. Once we launch May 1st, you will have to resubscribe to the new and improved Vault in order to a) have access to online content, and b) maintain a continuous subscription. Platinum subscriptions for the new Vault purchased between May 1st and July 31st will assure your order of the Vault Package #17, which will be announced in July.