When a teenager in his hometown of Detroit, a certain Jack White set up Third Man Upholstery, his one-man furnishing operations. Its theme colours were yellow and black, its furniture was scribbled over with Jack’s poetry, and its slogan read, “Your Furniture’s Not Dead”. Rather than being the kind of legit and profit-making business, Third Man Upholstery was more a stylistic statement, allowing Jack to not only go wild on people’s furniture, but to also establish a set of eccentric standards that he’s never forgot. Enter Third man Records….
Decades on, after The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and becoming one of our generation’s most important music-makers, Jack has resurrected his teenage dream in the form of a record label. Like his upholstery business, Third Man Records bears a yellow-black colour scheme, a slogan of “Your Turntable’s Not Dead”, and even better, the hallmarks of Jack White’s imagination.
Vinyl – the shiny, limited edition, tri-coloured type – forms the core of the label, reflecting Jack’s nostalgia for a pre-Internet age, while his bizarre tastes get repped in his small but quaint stable of artists.
Heading up Third Man Records is The Dead Weather, which gathers Jack, The Kills’ Alison Mosshart and The Raconteurs’ Dean Fertita and Jack Lawrence for a run through the swampiest blacks and blues. There are also the iconic rock chops of The Dex Romweber Duo, the theatric songwriting of Rachelle Garniez, and the enigmatic goth-garage of Mildred & The Mice (rumoured to be Jack’s wife, Karen Elson, in disguise). And of course, room has been made for Jack’s other bands, The White Stripes and The Raconteurs.
On top of all that, Third Man Records also gets its own HQ in Nashville, packing a store front, a recording studio, a space for photo shoots, a darkroom and a live stage. There, Jack is installed as producer, director, store manager and label owner all at once, fulfilling his long-held business plan, while issuing some pretty cool musical cuts and concepts to keep your turntable very much alive.
Find out more about Third Man Records at www.thirdmanrecords.com.
Text Min Chen