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#41 Kali Durga

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 02:25 PM

That's a fantastic interview, Jellybee, thank you for finding it! I love the title :)

CK: Any big future plans for Third Man? New releases?
BB: We’ve got so many exciting releases that I can’t tell you about! It’s awesome — I’m just gonna say that January is gonna be really, really fun.


Hot damn, I love those people down there. I think Ben spoke for a lot of us when he said this-- "I can’t imagine my life without it. I feel like my life would be boring without them."

And here's a permalink to the article, just in case-- http://fnewsmagazine...s-record-label/



Frickenfrackennewpage.

Edited by Kali Durga, 08 December 2011 - 02:28 PM.


#42 jimd_md

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 02:29 PM

Aw, I have a restriction on that page from work. How am I going to kill time until I get to go home?

#43 Kali Durga

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 02:31 PM

^^ I feel that way every time someone posts a video or download link.

Here ya go--

Third Man Records is the brainchild of the revered rock’n’roll phenom Jack White (the White Stripes, the Raconteurs, the Dead Weather). Since transforming the label from an intangible paperwork caveat in Detroit to a studio/performance space/store in Nashville in 2009, Third Man has offered unconventional and inventive vinyl releases from a wide range of artists (Loretta Lynn and Insane Clown Posse have released music with Third Man). The label is especially known for its “Your Turntable’s Not Dead” vinyl preservation ethos and mostly stays true to the garage, blues, and rock’n’roll music that made Jack White the force he is in popular music today.

In this interview, Ben Blackwell, Director of Operations at Third Man Records and blood relative of founder/mastermind Jack White, discusses his history with the White Stripes, the founding of his own label in 2003, and the inner-workings of the elusive and compelling world of Third Man Records, Nashville.


Chris Kareska: Before you worked at Third Man you worked for Italy Records and then started your own label Cass Records. When did you start Cass Records and what was the operation like?
Ben Blackwell: I started Cass Records in January of 2003. I was still living at home with my mother and I was constantly touring with the Dirtbombs. I never really saw the benefit of paying rent where I never got the chance to sleep. So when I was gone my mom would basically cover mail order and things like that. When I was home I was doing mail order and all the other business. It wasn’t a huge undertaking, it was a pretty small operation.

CK: What was it like starting your own label? How did you fund it and decide which artists to sign?
BB: As a music fan it’s the most fun you can have. It’s both liberating and empowering. I was given money by my mother to start the label. She had this reasoning that she had paid for both my brother and my sister to attend university, but I got a full scholarship so she never had to pay any tuition. So she said, ‘I gave them the equivalent of however many dollars for school and you never needed it so I feel it’s only fair if I give you that to start this label.” It was one of the most genuinely sincere things anyone’s ever done for me. From there, I’d been touring enough and been in touch with bands and going out to see shows so finding bands that I wanted to put out was not a problem. Finding bands that would actually follow through and actually put something out — that was the next step. I think I moved at a pretty good pace and the only criteria of releases was music that I wanted to hear — stuff that I liked. Between the releases there’s no real connection to them other than that I think it’s good music.

CK: And Third Man began in 2001, correct?
BB: Well, Third Man kind of existed on paper. When the White Stripes started signing deals with bigger labels, Third Man was created as an entity to just kind of make sure that the band was protected from things like losing ownership of their masters and stuff like that. All those White Stripes releases on V2 and XL, they’re all basically licensed from Third Man Records, but Third Man records only really existed on paper. There wasn’t a physical location, there weren’t offices or anything like that.

CK: When you started Cass Records was there any overlap between what you were doing with Cass and what Jack White was doing with Third Man?
BB: No, because Third Man wasn’t really putting out other artists. Third Man did the first album by the Whirlwind Heat … that might have been 2003 as well. We kind of collaborated on…there was a release by a band in Detroit called the Muldoons and their first LP was kind of a co-release between Third Man and Cass, but it was the Third Man logo on it. “Third Man” covered some of the costs with manufacturing, production — that kind of stuff. But Cass was running the distribution, the mail ordering and everything. If you look at Third Man from 2001-2009 and you remove the White Stripes and the Raconteurs there’s not really much there.

CK: You’re Jack White’s nephew and the official archivist of the White Stripes — could you talk a little bit about your involvement with the band early on? What was touring like?
BB: I was just really young and really excitable — I just wanted to be involved, and like most teenagers, anything you love or believe in you get kind of fanatical about. Everything just kind of lined up. The age when I was in a position to be involved was right when the White Stripes were starting out. It was a lot of putting amps into the back of the van or the car. By the time they got 7-inch records to sell, I was at the merch table selling them. Every step forward they took afforded me a little more responsibility. When they started touring, I took my fair share of driving the van. The drive from Fargo to Missoula is a long one and there’s only two folks in the band — they’ve gotta play the shows so anything I could do was always a help. It was fun, man! I can’t imagine my life without it. I feel like my life would be boring without them. It’s a great way to see the country and it’s a great way to learn about things.

I had done a decent amount of time on the road with the White Stripes before ever really doing a substantial tour with the Dirtbombs. By the time I was doing that I was already fairly accustomed to what to expect. It was just a great learning experience on multiple fronts — how to survive on tour, what you need to know, what you need to look out for, what to avoid — all that kind of stuff. Everything I’ve learned with them has composited itself into stuff that I still use on tour and still use when I’m working here in the office at Third Man.

Our last Vault package was the last live show that the White Stripes ever played. I was there at that show working for them, and playing in the opening band as well. That stuff that I kind of have a connection to. There’s something intangible there that I don’t think you could find if you just hired someone off the street to do my job.

CK: What is the staff at Third Man is like? Who’s there and what do you do?
BB: We’ve got a staff of approximately 10 at this point. We’ve got people who do the website, people who do design, people who handle our merchandising, our Vault subscription series, promotions and radio, a couple of people who run our physical store and mail order as well. It’s an expanding business. When we started out it was two people here.

CK: How involved is Jack White in the daily activity and decision making at Third Man?
BB: Extremely hands on. If he’s not in the studio or on tour then he’s here almost everyday. Everything from listening to test pressings with me or going over the fine points of the visual design and the website. All of this is basically fueled by his creative push. His desire to create records and to produce records is what keeps us going. I love it. His work ethic is great and keeps me on my toes and keeps me working hard as well.

CK: When you have groups come in to record at Third Man, what kind of things do you do with them around Nashville?
BB: Well the recording sessions usually start out with a celebratory jump off the Shelby Avenue bridge into the river just to make sure that they’re serious. [laughs] No, usually it’s pretty quick. It’s probably a day in the studio knocking out two songs — the mixing is usually finished after the artist has left. On day one or two, the cover photos are taken here in our offices — where we have our blue wall. Usually not much more than that. We show them around Third Man and maybe give them a tour of the city, but we try to keep it pretty quick and focus on the task at hand. We don’t get bogged down doing touristy stuff with the artists, we just want to make great records.

CK: How are some of the newer or less established artists — like We Are Hex or Mildred & the Mice — discovered for Third Man?
BB: There’s no hard and fast way. I get a phone call at least about once a week from someone asking, “How do I get signed to Third Man Records?” There’s no answer to it. Between all the employees here, we’re seeing shows probably every day of the week. That’s kind of a system. We’ve got friends all over the country — all over the world really — who are all pretty well embedded in local scenes, touring, etc. It takes two seconds to find someone on YouTube or Facebook, so we can find out about things pretty quickly and we’re fairly proactive in regards to working on putting out their records.

CK: How are some of the non-musical or non-primarily musical acts decided upon for Third Man? For example, Elvira or Carl Sagan — how do acts like that get records?
BB: Carl Sagan was easy. Jack saw the YouTube video for “A Glorious Dawn” and said, “I love this. We need to put it out.” He charged me and my co-workers with figuring that out. My coworker Ben Swank did a great job of tracking down Carl Sagan’s estate and the original producer behind the actual track, a man by the name of John Boswell. We just did that and worked really, really quick to get it out. It’s been a great seller for us. Jack and Elvira kind of became friends after meeting at some point — so when it came up that she had a new show coming, Jack just casually said, “Oh you should check out this band [the Black Belles] — you might like them. The songs might be up your alley.” She said, ‘That’s it! I want to use that as my theme song!” She used it, and we put out a picture disc with some really cool artwork and packaging. Things like that all come up similarly organically.

CK: With things like the glow in the dark, the “triple decker” record, the rose petal Karen Elson record, you guys are obviously known for your inventive packaging. Who comes up with some of those designs?
BB: It’s kind of just a collaborative effort between the folks here at Third Man and the people at the pressing plant we use, United Record Pressing. They’ve been really great, working with us on almost all the records we’ve done. The rose petal record was done with Erika Records in California, but the triple decker record, the glow-in-the-dark, the scented vinyl, the grooves underneath the center label, that was all stuff that we figured out with United. Sometimes we’ll just shoot around ideas here and a lot of times we’ve got an idea but we don’t have the record to pair it with. There are a couple of ideas that we’ve got on hold just waiting for a record on which it makes sense to utilize them. There’s definitely more innovation on the way.

CK: Have there ever been any artists that Third Man has wanted to record or any albums that you’ve wanted to reissue that haven’t been able to happen for whatever reason?
BB: To be vague, yes there have. To be optimistic, we’re not giving up just yet. We’re in this for the long haul so there might be some reissues that we’re working on that might not happen for another year or two — but we’re going to keep working on it until we get something together.

CK: Any big future plans for Third Man? New releases?
BB: We’ve got so many exciting releases that I can’t tell you about! It’s awesome — I’m just gonna say that January is gonna be really, really fun.


You'll have to wait till you get home to check out the cool photo of Ben ;)

Edited by Kali Durga, 08 December 2011 - 02:34 PM.


#44 roxxan23

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 03:17 PM

Ugh, I want to work somewhere that I am passionate about too!

#45 Kali Durga

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 03:21 PM

^^ I feel the same way every time I read anything like this about that company. More and more I feel like I'd send my resume to them in a heartbeat, if I didn't think they'd pay only an intern's salary.

#46 dreamover

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 03:32 PM

there is a new interview with ben blackwell

http://fnewsmagazine...category/music/

:)


CK: Any big future plans for Third Man? New releases?
BB: We’ve got so many exciting releases that I can’t tell you about! It’s awesome — I’m just gonna say that January is gonna be really, really fun.

YOU HAVE MY ATTENTION.

#47 macwacky

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 04:12 PM

thanks again, jellybee! i'll have to check this out later.

#48 goodmorningspider

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 04:50 AM

but the triple decker record, the glow-in-the-dark.... that was all stuff that we figured out with United

that's odd, when I was at United, the guy working the press who makes tri-colours said that the Triple Decker was the only one they didn't work on...

#49 thee radical eclectic

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 06:24 AM

that's odd, when I was at United, the guy working the press who makes tri-colours said that the Triple Decker was the only one they didn't work on...


yeah... they figured out how to make it by learning what not to do there and then shipped it off for finish work elsewhere... :D

this would be my educated guess as to how both truths fit togeher to form the reality of the situation

#50 Kali Durga

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 11:47 AM

From the Seattle Weekly blog, in an article about The Fine Art Of Selling "Only Shit That I Like"-- http://blogs.seattle...cobs_the_fi.php

A few years ago, I was chatting withIsaac Brock of Modest Mouse on the back deck of his Portland, Oregon home when he began telling me about his idea to open a store.

"It's more of a miscellaneous junk shop that carries all of the things I like," said Brock. "I wouldn't mind it being three stories. One story I could turn into an apartment, one story to have as a studio/practice space, the bottom floor would be the junk shop and bar. And a restaurant where the only two choices were vegetarian and not."

But most importantly, Brock said he would also sell records--but only about thirty at a time that came with a guarantee: "It's guaranteed I'll like it. If you don't like it, you're wrong!"

It was a typical Brock idea, one that he unraveled with his usual child-like enthusiasm. And of course, his store never did open. But as it turns out, the man may have been on to something.

In the last couple years, two stores have opened in the U.S. that fit the mold Brock hypothesized--Jack White of the White Stripes' Third Man Records in Nashville, TN, and fashion designer Marc Jacobs' Bookmarc in NYC. White's retail outfit comes closer to Brock's in terms of Third Man being not only a record store with a narrow selection befitting of White's overall aesthetic, but also a performance venue, studio, and home office for his operation. But Bookmarc also deserves mention because unlike most bookstores, you won't find the latest releases let alone bestsellers. Instead, you'll find a sparse selection boasting only books that have a Marc Jacobs seal-of-approval--from Mailer's The Naked and the Dead to those oversize fashion and art books that are always hard to find.

Of course, celebrity is a major force in American commerce--it can sell anything (shit, imagine if Oprah decided to open a store!) But I think both Third Man and Bookmarc are picking up on something consumers are more desperate for than they'd like to admit--brand-name curatorship.

As Kornelis pointed out in his post yesterday, there is a "tabloid-like fascination" with the so-called demise of record stores. Same goes for bookstores. Appealing to the broadest demographic was one of many nails in the coffins of Tower Records, Virgin Records, and Borders. But consumers form a bond with brand names because they come to trust that the brand stands for a certain set of values. Starbucks and NPR have become two of the major powers in selling music these days. True, their customers/listeners are largely older and have a few extra bucks to spare. But their customers/listeners mostly trust what the brand name is offering because it stands for something they believe in. Starbucks doesn't carry a broad selection--only a handful of CDs at a time. But each one--from Fleet Foxes to Barbara Streisand to Esperanza Spalding--carries a Starbucks stamp-of-approval that customers find reassuring.

That said, I have to wonder if the key to the indie record stores surviving is to think of themselves more like a record labels--brand names that stand for something (which I would argue our own Easy Street and Silver Platters do to a certain degree). The greatest record labels are mostly just great curators--SST, Sun Records, Def Jam, Sub Pop. You buy/bought records from the label because you trusted the label to sell you music of a specific aesthetic. Music listeners and consumers are overwhelmed by the amount of music on the Internet. True, the Internet promised to make us the curators (damn those labels for telling us what music to like all those years!) But the truth is, most people still have no idea what they like. But they do know they like Starbucks, so this She & Him Christmas album in front of the cash register they're selling is probably pretty good, right?

Similarly, Isaac Brock knows what he likes. So do Jack White and Marc Jacobs. Sure, Isaac and Jack White and Marc Jacobs would only try to sell you "shit that they like". But if you like Modest Mouse or the White Stripes or Marc Jacobs, it stands to reason that you'll like what they're trying to sell you in their stores...right? Curatorship might be more crucial today than some would like to think.


Relevant sections have been bolded. I think this hits the nail on the head. There was a time when all the music I listened to was stuff I learned about from friends. But as time went on, either various friendships faded away or my tastes diverged from those of the people I knew and I ended up in a period of musical monogamy, getting hooked on one band or musician at a time and diving deeply into pretty much only their music. The last two years, though, has brought me back to a much greater diversity, so much so that I often feel like i don't have enough time to listen to it all. The "friend" who has recommended all this great new stuff to me? Jack. Tastemaker, curator, call him what you will, but what he's created at Third Man definitely fills this role and it's so wonderful to think of how much more there is to come.

#51 Kali Durga

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 06:30 AM

From hypebot.com-- Jack White’s Third Man Records: Embracing Both The Past & The Future

The record industry is still trying to find its feet in the digital age, and with a plethora of labels popping up, claiming new business models and fresh trajectories, it often feels like the future of music has to be something radically different to succeed. However, the majority of people fear change - that is until the flow of progress effortlessly takes them there, or alternatively, the path laid out seems glaringly familiar.

Third Man’s bond with the past is undeniable.



With its focus on vinyl output, shirking of streaming services, and earthy embracement of analog recording techniques, one could mistake the label as a side hobby for Jack White’s musings. But it is this nod to the past that makes White’s label a blueprint for future independent labels, and a lesson to the majors on how to become efficient in the new era.

CORPORATE MELTDOWN

Anyone familiar with the mass layoffs of the past few years experienced by corporate America - not only in the music world, but also across all businesses - will understand that these layoffs have come with a renewed focus on individual productivity. Prior to the recession the large companies were spiraling out of control, each department was stocked with people hired to tie up the lose ends that the person above them didn’t want to do. Companies created positions for those they felt were essential assets, though they were not quite sure why. Invariably, when it came time to trim the fat, companies realized they could cut 100 people and still function. In fact, not only function, but by pushing those remaining into more challenging and wider breaching roles, the loss of personnel could actually lead to a boost in productivity.

INDEPENDENCE DAY

Based out of a single facility in Nashville, Third Man encompasses a recording studio, photo studio, and performance space, as well as the label offices and its own record store. To cut it in the new music industry, every musician, band, artist, and label has to embrace this efficiency, or they simply will not be able to survive. Furthermore, to really make headway, the need for labels to be helmed by someone with the definite vision and multitalented core as Jack White, becomes more apparent everyday.
The argument could be made that Third Man only exists because of the success of the White Stripes and continued success of White’s other projects, but this is exactly why it is a success.

White has intelligently used these achievements to build something bigger, bolder, and quite frankly more fun than just a successful band. Having released singles for Conan O’Brien and Stephen Colbert, he has aligned himself with those in a position of direct connectivity to the Third Man demographic. Coupled with a series of “Live at Third Man” releases, featuring acts like Cold War Kids, Jerry Lee Lewis and the Drive By Truckers, plus releases from Seasick Steve, Tom Jones, and ICP, White has grown the brand into something that people can trust. It becomes bigger than being just another label, it creates a scene unto itself.

LOOKING BACK, MOVING FORWARD

Each release is not pushed as the next worldwide smash, it is based around a limited vinyl run. White also produces the recordings himself, creating an undeniable Third Man sound. If something blows up there is the structure to support it, but by limiting releases then the goals set are always attainable.

Mass-market saturation is largely a thing of the past, it can happen, but these days it happens due to the unique alignment of many factors. The majors still think the route to success is throwing huge amounts of money at something that they are in control of, but where is the return in their investment going to continue coming from?

The business model currently being exercised by the majors is honestly just hopeful at best.

Jack White and Third Man Record demonstrate that self-sufficiency, creativity, and awareness of your core audience are key to staying afloat in these ever changing times. It may not be seen as the future of the recording industry, but maybe that is because there is just not enough Jack White's quietly doing their thing.



#52 kluczmen

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 07:41 AM

thanks for those digs :)

#53 Kali Durga

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 10:25 AM

Article about the Nashville garage rock scene that includes a brief mention of TMR's involvement, while focusing on several bands that TMR fans have come to know and love-- http://www.guardian....ic&type=article

Why the garages of East Nashville are now American rock's hottest property

Forget the Grand Ole Opry; there are more thrilling new bands in East Nashville than anywhere else on earth. We meet its stars, from Pujol to Paperhead via Jeff the Brotherhood

Posted Image
At Battle Tapes studio, Jeremy Ferguson (seated centre, in glasses) with collaborators and musicians from the Nashville scene. Bands represented here include Quichenight, Ranch Ghost, Turbo Fruits, D.Watusi, Bad Cop, Hands Down Eugene and Pujol. Photograph: Jo McCaughey

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, this place doesn't look much like hipster central. Detached houses – those sprawling, wooden ones you see in US dramas – are set in wide, healthy lawns. There's no sign of a thrift shop, a record store, or dimly lit bars. Just houses and more houses, split by the occasional mini-strip at an intersection: coffee shop, deli, filling station. Nevertheless, this homely area of East Nashville, across the Cumberland river from downtown, is now home to possibly the biggest concentration of exciting guitar bands in one city since the White Stripes and their garage cohort emerged from Detroit at the start of the last decade.

There's Pujol, playing a snarly, unconstrained version of rock'n'roll; there's Natural Child, with their goofy Stonesisms; Heavy Cream, beefing up a more traditional version of indie rock; D Watusi, bringing the beat pop; there are the teenagers of the Paperhead, offering a Sealed Knot-style re-creation of the sound of Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd; there's the noisy sibling two-piece Jeff the Brotherhood, who would be the parents of all this, were it not for Be Your Own Pet, the Nashville teens who caused a brief sensation in the middle of the last decade. Oh, and did we mention one of Jeff was also in Be Your Own Pet? There's more, too – how about Diarrhea Planet, and their toppling-sideways take on hardcore punk?

And the houses matter. These were the venues in which the aforementioned bands learned to wrestle their instruments to their will, to play to crowds. Take Meemaw house. That's where Daniel Pujol – now the creative force and sole permanent member of Pujol, as well as a graduate student in world affairs – started putting on the house shows that fed so much of the current scene. He'd started making music at college in Murfreesboro, just outside Nashville, because he'd "got tired of watching people smoke weed and play Halo and not be allowed to talk". Sitting in a coffee shop called the Sip Cafe, he gestures vaguely across the street. "I moved up here to find people who were interested in collective living, who really wanted to make art. I moved right across the street over there into a large Victorian-style house and me and some people experimented with the collective living scenario."

He was joined by Wes Traylor (now of Natural Child) and Jessica McFarland (who's now in Heavy Cream) and the three formed Meemaw. "We didn't have the money to go on tour," Pujol says, "so we decided to do reverse touring – basically, finding all the bands we liked and then we would do shows with them in our basement." That led to them meeting Jeff the Brotherhood, and the emergence of bills of like-minded Nashville bands. "It got up to about three shows a week where there were 100, 150 people in our backyard, and the last show we did was the first time the cops got called."

A lot of thought went into putting on bands. "If we're going to throw shows, we're going to have local bands and they need to be from totally different aesthetic spheres," Pujol explains. "It was a lot of different people who were into a lot of different things, coming in to an intentionally aesthetically inclusive place. With some really cool Christmas lights."

To promote them, he and his friends would sit in college classes using MySpace to flyer anyone and everyone. Come show night, that led to "new people getting together, and that created a lot of new bands".

"Those house shows were really big in developing this wave taking flight right now," confirms Jeremy Ferguson, who has recorded scores of the young groups at Battle Tapes studio in his East Nashville house. "A lot of these bands formed from being in bands that played in that basement, or hanging out with those kids. Each wave of bands has where they got their thing, and a lot of it here was with Meemaw and Jeff."

Guitarist Jake Orrall was 15 and his drumming brother Jamin just 13 when they formed Jeff the Brotherhood in 2001. Like many in the Nashville underground scene, they have family connections to music – their father Robert Ellis Orrall is a country songwriter and producer, with Taylor Swift among his credits – but Jamin doesn't think that made a difference to the brothers' choices. "Dad has never really done what we did," he says, referring to the house shows, the back-of-a-car touring, the self-released records. "He'd been in the music business, but when we first started touring on our own, he just stepped back and said: 'You guys do what you want.' We just started booking shows through our friends, playing as many shows as we could for whatever money we could get."
Following their fifth album, 2009's Heavy Days, Jeff decided to go full-time. "We were both back in Nashville, both working and we both really liked this record. We had never really tried to push our band – we toured every summer just for fun – so we decided we were gonna try to do it 100%. We both moved out of our houses, put our stuff into storage and just went on the road for the next two years." Their work sparked wider interest in the Nashville garage sound, and suddenly its extent became apparent.

What no one's quite sure about, though, is why the Nashville bands have gravitated so eagerly to the garage-psychedelic-punk lineage. "It's just coincidence," Pujol says. "I don't know a lot about garage rock." He knows his punk, though – he explains that one of the reasons he formed a band was "because of the social and artistic limitations that we saw in the persona and delivery of hardcore music, having actually been fans of old, original hardcore music, which was a little more normative".

Jeremy Ferguson thinks the beloved Nashville record shop Grimey's, which stocks the original garage and psychedelic albums, has played a role. He also stresses the importance of happenstance, though: "I don't think bands set out to sound like each other, but when Jeff started using a wah pedal, suddenly all the other bands started using a wah pedal – but to do their own thing. So it's not like a copycat thing, more: 'That's a cool idea! Let's all do that!'" Jamin Orrall offers the most succinct explanation for garage rock's popularity: "It's easy to play, and it's fun."

Jack White's Third Man Records came into this bubbling scene in 2009, bringing with it a studio, rehearsal space, and offering opportunities to some of these local musicians. Pujol says: "Third Man totally changed my life." Before its arrival, he'd assumed he needed to be opposed to the music industry. "When they came here, what they really did was say: 'Hey, music's art and you can do it professionally. You can respect your material and respect your art and behave respectfully.' This conversation might not have been possible without them coming to town. The story might just have been: Punk rock bands hate music industry! Good times! House shows! Beer party! They made things a little classier."

White's lieutenant Ben Swank, a former Detroit rocker himself with the Soledad Brothers, says it was important to Third Man that it support the Nashville underground rock scene, "but because it was already happening and had its own momentum and its own thing, let it be what it is and not get too involved in pushing it in any one direction. We try to book local bands here at Third Man as much as we can. We've done singles and live records with Pujol and Jeff the Brotherhood. We're out at shows all the time and a lot of the kids that are in bands, they come down here and intern. We try to be part of it, but let them get on with their own thing."

Getting on with their own thing – at least, not yet being beholden to anyone with a commercial interest in their careers – is why the old saw that musicians make music for themselves and if anyone else likes it, that's a bonus, sounds true here. Why wouldn't it, when these groups are also the founding cores of each other's audiences, when they play on each other's records, when they've all been in bands together before, when so many of their records have been released on the same label, Infinity Cat?

That's why Natural Child can sound like a tarmac-chewing rock machine on one song, but then turn into a having-a-laugh high school band the next. It's why the Paperhead think it wholly unremarkable for a group of teenagers from the deep south to sound the way they do. "I dunno," says their 19-year-old singer-guitarist Ryan Jennings when asked why they chose to so perfectly emulate the sound of the UFO club in 1967. "It's just what we had in mind when we started. We all love the first Pink Floyd record."

Getting on with their own thing applies on a wider scale, too. D Watusi's Ben Todd isn't just a 23-year-old in a band. He's also the co-founder of Nashville's Dead, an influential blog that also promotes shows and has spawned its own record label (the website also lists the houses where you might expect to be able to see a band). The night before my visit to East Nashville, D Watusi played to 300 kids with the Paperhead at the latest off-the-grid venue to emerge: the Zombie Shop, a motorcycle repair joint that opens its doors to bands after hours.

It's all been noticed. "There are majors around in pockets," Jeremy Ferguson says. "There are plenty of bands having meets and greets." He doesn't think anything much will come of the slow dance, though – in an age of declining record sales and royalties, what have major labels got to offer a young band except the prospect of debt on an unrecouped advance?

That might save the Nashville underground from being artificially inflated in the way Detroit was a decade ago, but it's hard to see it – in its current form – lasting for ever. Scenes always blow over sooner or later, and this will be no exception. Ferguson sees lasting talent at work, though he anticipates their futures being different from their presents, citing former Be Your Own Pet drummer John Eatherly, who is now working with Fiery Furnaces' Eleanor Friedberger among other projects, "and he's 20 or 21 or something, and he makes a good living… A lot of the bands are training grounds for the voices that come out of them. Most of these young people are really passionate about their music. Some of them will drop out of the music industry and get real jobs, but there are others who won't."

For now, though, this group of bands charges on and on, exciting themselves, exciting each other and gradually exciting more and more strangers, too. "We were in Atlanta the other night," Ben Swank says, "and there was some record shop open, and it was blaring some music out. We couldn't tell whether it was Natural Child or the Stones, and that made me really happy."


Edited by Kali Durga, 26 March 2012 - 10:26 AM.


#54 thee radical eclectic

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 06:46 PM

that second feature on the Nashville Scene was written by Michael Hann from The Observer,

its only right if you are going to feature the mans entire commentary to drop his name the way i see it

From hypebot.com-- Jack White’s Third Man Records: Embracing Both The Past & The Future


thanks for the link ... its a unique read instead of more AP media 'White wash' ... for those who only read the text let me actually provide you with the original author at hyperbot's details////

Robin Davey is an Independent Musician, Writer and Award Winning Filmmaker. Follow him on Twitter @mr_robin_davey

Kali ... its not often that you post the entire blog commentary which i dont disagree with as a practice but im thinking if you go that far then maybe you ought to actually tag the text with the name of the author right on the text... it only seems right that i mention it given how much media we have all be reading lately... as for the content of the text and its suppositions... i think there is some debate and discussion warranted

The record industry is still trying to find its feet in the digital age, and with a plethora of labels popping up, claiming new business models and fresh trajectories, it often feels like the future of music has to be something radically different to succeed...


This quote opens that entire passage and its kinda like the person who wrote this blog was not really paying attention or possibly not born yet when the transition from LP to cassette to the many incarnations of disc digital sound emerged... that having been said its fairly well documented and the fact that its still trying to find its feet is really naive as a rushed statement to get on with singing a bunch of praises about the Third Man Niche Market ... This next quote shoots itself in the foot again:

Coupled with a series of “Live at Third Man” releases, featuring acts like Cold War Kids, Jerry Lee Lewis and the Drive By Truckers, plus releases from Seasick Steve, Tom Jones, and ICP, White has grown the brand into something that people can trust. It becomes bigger than being just another label, it creates a scene unto itself.


We all have praises we can sing about Jack's ability to define a healthy niche with the sort of quality that music as a part of humanity needs but really i think the writer needs to get back on target and look at the true nature of the crass commercialism in the 'record industry' which is what they are criticizing for not only having found its feet but also having found its sprinters spikes which it uses to upgrade formats and hardware along with its combat boots it uses to homogenize market stream as well as the little baby pop stars that it sacrifices on its altars .... purely at the cost of individual and grassroots movements as culture/style

Personally this blog seems to miss the real juice of what its getting at by only mentioning Jerry Lee Lewis and not the unsung praises of the real first woman of Rock and Roll in the legend of Wanda Jackson or ICP instead of acts like Black Milk or even the likes of the return of Loretta Lynn to her rightful place as the first lady of hard hittin country with Van Lear Rose which is truly how the stellar power of Jacks talent has done the job of widening the margin which allows innovation its own path and true talent its grace which can never be rushed or substituted for flash and smoke of some twists of phrases and lifted riffs

Edited by thee radical eclectic, 30 March 2012 - 06:52 PM.


#55 mittensonfire

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 11:46 PM

http://www.dailymail...ng-survive.html
"The Third Man Factor"

#56 Aquamarine

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 12:08 AM

Divine intervention, eh? <_<

#57 Kali Durga

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 11:26 AM

Swank just posted a link to this article over in the Vault. Chock full of TMR goodness and quotes from Ben B.-- Color Collection: Behind Music Fans' Growing Obsession with Colored Vinyl

#58 Nogard

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 08:17 AM

That was a good reading

#59 Kali Durga

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 08:30 AM

Isn't it? Interesting to know that the yellow/black/white tri-colors had originally been envisioned as glittery gold.

#60 kts1997

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 09:34 AM

http://www.dailymail...ng-survive.html
"The Third Man Factor"


:D very cool.




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