Former White Stripes mastermind Jack White inspires a lot of mixed reactions. Love him or hate him – it’s usually one or the other, with few music fans abstaining. We think that means he’s doing something right. As he branched out of the White Stripes, White took on some challenges as an artist and businessman. Starting The Raconteurs with Brendan Benson was a bit of a surprise, sharing the spotlight with a co-frontman and making slightly more accessible pop music. As a producer, he brought focus on some interesting music, with The Black Belles and The Greenhornes, among others, and helped create a fresh new work from country legend Loretta Lynn with her Van Lear Rose album. His work as head of Third Man Records has also brought us some interesting projects, including a studio, record store on wheels, a legacy label that re-releases rare albums, a “novelties lounge,” which includes a recording booth, and, most recently, the world’s fastest-released record. NME tells it:
At 10am on Saturday (April 19), the singer took to the stage in the Blue Room of his studio to record a limited edition direct-to-acetate single. The room is the only live venue in the world where artists can record live shows straight to vinyl. The masters were then rushed over to United Record Pressing plant in Nashville, which began pressing the 45s before they were delivered back to hundreds of fans queuing outside Third Man, some of whom had queued all night to be there.
…Some 3 hours, 55 minutes and 21 seconds later, White returned in a black car flanked by the two men on motorbikes dressed as police officers to sell the first copy of the 7″ on the specially constructed stall outside the Third Man shop.
Come on, that’s pretty cool.
Jack White effectively effed up a whole bunch of “most anticipated in 2014” lists when, in a chat with fans this weekend, he casually announced that he’s almost finished recording a new album. This is why it pays to procrastinate, people — get those lists in late! Since we here at OurStage are huge fans of waiting until the last possible minute to get stuff done, we’d like to take this opportunity to tell you that we’re all anticipating the new Jack White record. So hard.
And, uh, it’s probably time that we tell you about some of the other albums slated for release this year that have us really excited. You can only put these things off for so long. Without further ado, here are 10 more records we’re super pumped to get our ears on in 2014.
1. Against Me!
When Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace, formerly known as Tom Gabel, announced her transition back in 2012, some fans wondered if a female-fronted iteration of the band would have the same intensity and infectiousness as its predecessor. The answer: Yes, of course. Last year’s acoustic True Trans EP was beautiful, and if the first few singles from the upcoming Transgender Dysphoria Blues are any indication, that record will absolutely rip as well.
Jack White was recently named the ambassador of Record Store Day 2013. What that means exactly has yet to be revealed, but to celebrate White released a letterhttp://www.recordstoreday.com/NewsItem/3405 to fans and music lovers worldwide that is stirring quite the debate. You can read White’s message below:
Years ago someone told me that 1,200 high school kids were given a survey. A question was posed to them: Have you ever been to a stand-alone record shop? The number of kids that answered “yes” was… zero.
Zero? How could that be possible? Then I got realistic and thought to myself, “Can you blame them?” How can record shops (or any shop for that matter) compete with Netflix, TiVo, video games that take months to complete, cable, texting, the Internet, etc. etc? Getting out of your chair at home to experience something in the real world has started to become a rare occurrence, and to a lot of people, an unnecessary one. Why go to a bookstore and get a real book? You can just download it. Why talk to other human beings, discuss different authors, writing styles and influences? Just click your mouse. Well here’s what they’ll someday learn if they have a soul; there’s no romance in a mouse click. There’s no beauty in sitting for hours playing video games (anyone proud of that stop reading now and post your opinion in the nearest forum). The screen of an iPhone is convenient, but it’s no comparison to a 70mm showing of a film in a gorgeous theater. The Internet is two-dimensional¦helpful and entertaining, but no replacement for face-to-face interaction with a human being. But we all know all of that, right? Well, do we? Maybe we know all that, but so what?
Let’s wake each other up.
The world hasn’t stopped moving. Out there, people are still talking to each other face-to-face, exchanging ideas and turning each other on. Art houses are showing films, people are drinking coffee and telling tall tales, women and men are confusing each other and record stores are selling discs full of soul that you haven’t felt yet. So why do we choose to hide in our caves and settle for replication? We know better. We should at least. We need to re-educate ourselves about human interaction and the difference between downloading a track on a computer and talking to other people in person and getting turned onto music that you can hold in your hands and share with others. The size, shape, smell, texture and sound of a vinyl record; how do you explain to that teenager who doesn’t know that it’s a more beautiful musical experience than a mouse click? You get up off your ass, you grab them by the arm and you take them there. You put the record in their hands. You make them drop the needle on the platter. Then they’ll know.
Let’s wake each other up.
As Record Store Day Ambassador of 2013 I’m proud to help in any way I can to invigorate whoever will listen with the idea that there is beauty and romance in the act of visiting a record shop and getting turned on to something new that could change the way they look at the world, other people, art, and ultimately, themselves.
Let’s wake each other up.
After reading this message this morning, the OurStage staff had a lengthy discussion regarding what exactly White intended with his words. After hours of debate, Account Manager Martin Stubbs stepped forward with the idea to respond to Mr. White, and now we have his response for you to enjoy. Please read Martin’s thoughts below and feel free to comment with your own thoughts and insight.
Jack, let me begin this by saying first and foremost that I’m a big fan, and I completely understand a lot of what you’re going for here. I’m an independent songwriter and guitarist who understands the many hardships facing music in modern times, and I love record store day and what it means for music. That said, I’m extremely opposed to the condescending and misinformed nature of this piece, and I think we need to keep a couple things in mind¦ (more…)
Pony Boy, the brainchild of Marchelle Bradanini, is a self-described “junkyard country” group that sounds like a dusty old Ford rumbling down a deserted road. Having already put in time as a member of the eclectic Bedtime for Toys, Bradanini channeled her rediscovered love of classic country, blues, and Americana into her latest project. We caught up with her to chat about her poetic past, her distaste for manicured pop, and what really separates her from R. Kelly.
OS: You’ve been involved in some eclectic musical projects in the past such as Bedtime for Toys or you DJing project Pony vs. Tiger. What got you interested in the aesthetic of your current band?
MB: I started out just as a girl with a guitar influenced by Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan. Then, I ended up starting a band with some friends and that was about playing music that a group of people came up with collectively at a different point in my life. When that band broke up, I was trying to figure out what I was doing next. Oftentimes you get asked to DJ after playing a show, and I had a pretty decent vinyl collection. While I was working out exactly what the solo project would be, I started getting asked to DJ all over the place. The nice thing was that those gigs were for people who wanted rock ‘n’ roll or classic country, and it was a great opportunity to go back and rediscover all of these old, great artists that I love: John Prine, The Allman Brothers, and even Ram Jam [laughs]. There’s the electronic DJ scene, but then there are also people who want to hear actual songs that were initially released on vinyl. Getting into that scene was really great because I got to work on playlists all day. (more…)