Jack White, harbinger of all things cool and creative, best known as the progenitor, singer/songwriter, and guitarist extraordinare of The White Stripes, whose main purpose was to simply usher back in the power of rock and roll for rock and roll’s sake in this day and age, has been named this year’s ambassador for Record Store Day, which is to take place on April 20, 2013.
That day becomes a celebration of all things vinyl, that black spherical piece of wax which for so many decades was the norm and rightful heir of how music was played, creating not just a “revolution” (pun firmly intended) in sound and sound production and presentation, but also created an entire lifestyle for so many of its fans and collectors.
In the wake of the supposed vinyl demise about a decade or so ago, when digital mediums became the norm in how one listens to and collects music, the vinyl record has become a sort of mainstay still, not just to those who have a penchant for the vintage and historic, but it’s also created a sub-genre unto itself of multitudes of fans who still swear by its sonic glories.
And one of the biggest champions of this is Jack White. He owns his own record company and has experimented with the vinyl’s physicality, manifesting itself in the form of the company having released X-Ray, Triple, and Blue versions of vinyl, which have not only become instant collector’s items in some respect, but have also shown that there still is an ART in releasing this sonic medium.
Following in the footsteps of past Record Store Ambassadors like men who made their careers during the time vinyl releases were at its peaks, Iggy Pop and Ozzy Osbourne respectively, White released a statement via his Third Man Records label in which he “waxes” (again pun firmly intended) passionately and fervently about the culture of the record stores and his being appointed this years Ambassador:
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.
White has also made a short film which is done like a school field trip, which he lovingly takes us through a vinyl pressing plant, in Nashville. You can view that film here below.
Check your local record stores for more info and visit the Record Store Day official website for more information.
[Source: Record Store Day | Consequence Of Sound]