Jack White

Are We Really Surprised Urban Outfitters Is the World’s Biggest Vinyl Retailer?

We’ve heard it all before: “Vinyl is BACK!” Vinyl sales in 2013 were the highest they’d been in 22 years, with 6.1 million new LPs sold last year — a 33 percent increase from 2012 alone. Jack White sold nearly as many copies — 40,000 to be exact — of his new album in vinyl form as he did on CD during Lazaretto‘s release week back in June. And yet, we can’t stop lamenting the death of the indie record store. We carry on with the well-meaning Record Store Day each April, even as the major labels have overtaken the exclusive offerings with ~*qUiRkY*~ pop novelties and reissue city. Music nerds can attribute RSD’s ubiquity and vinyl’s well-documented resurgence as “wins for the little guy,” but here’s a figure that bursts their indie-loving bubble: Urban Outfitters supposedly sells more vinyl in the world than any other single retailer. … Read More

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Who Won the 2000s Garage Rock Revival War? A Ranking Circa 2014

The rock’n’roll dreams of 2003 are alive in this month’s record release calendar. Yeah Yeah Yeahs leader Karen O released her debut solo album, Crush Songs, last week, while her NYC compatriots Interpol attempted to mount another comeback with their fifth album, El Pintor. Later this month, Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas will release his debut with The Voidz as his backing band, entitled Tyranny. … Read More

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Stephen Colbert, Lena Dunham — Yes, Even James Franco — and the Era of Celebrity as Bookseller

I wrote a post a few years ago about Jewel’s 1998 bestselling book of poetry, A Night Without Armor. The book, while undeniably terrible, has probably sold more copies in one year than the bestselling books of poetry from the last five years combined. What does that tell you? For one, it says that with all the great poetry out there, the general public has really bad taste. But it also speaks volumes about the fact that a celebrity name attached to a book — whether they wrote it or not — sells copies. And although there was probably no study as to how much extra time customers stood in the poetry aisle, browsing the other titles, and possibly buying them, lured there because of A Night Without Armor, I have to believe at least a few young minds were drawn to poetry because of that book. Because, let’s face it: we all have to start somewhere, and that somewhere usually sucks. … Read More

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The Definitive Ranking of Dudes Covering “Royals”

Between scowling at a Cubs games and ending up a meme, Jack White found time to cover Lorde’s “Royals” this week. The news wasn’t all that surprising for two reasons: White has been covering pop songs, like Jay Z’s “99 Problems” and Kanye West’s “Black Skinhead,” on his current tour; and old-school rock dudes love them some “Royals.” (I personally think the latter has to do with its message of anti-consumerism harkening back to a time WHEN ROCK MUSIC RAILED AGAINST SOMETHING, damn youths, grumble grumble, etc.) Most singles that spend more than a couple weeks at No. 1 are going to garner a bevy of covers — from up-and-comers and YouTube unknowns alike — but Lorde’s breakthrough really has inspired an astonishing number of covers… from dudes you would not expect. Let’s take a look at who covered it best, shall we? Worst comes first. … Read More

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Jack White: The Essential Career-Spanning Playlist

This week, Jack White will release his second solo album, Lazaretto. Out of all the music White has made — and all the classic styles he’s attempted to put his own spin on — Lazaretto is the biggest mixed bag of them all, nodding to classic country, bluegrass, jazz, funk, and naturally, the blues (this is Jack White). Lyrically, the songs nod to White’s own past in a more obtuse way than his 2012 break-up album, Blunderbuss: bad poetry and one-act plays White wrote when he was 19 served as the inspiration for some of the fictional characters we come to meet on Lazaretto. It also features yet another set of collaborators: White’s new backing band. … Read More

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Jack White and Skrillex Aren’t As Different As You Might Think

Pretty much every report from last weekend’s Governors Ball has noted the generation gap implicit in its choice of headliners: Jack White and Skrillex. The two played at the same time on Saturday night, and really, you couldn’t get a more neat contrast — the old-school guy who loves vinyl and vintage instruments versus the due who makes tracks on a laptop, the songwriter versus the guy who drops the bass. It’s safe to say there weren’t many people agonizing over the clash, and which artist’s set you chose reflected a choice between the old and the new: the kids lost their shit to Skrillex, while more staid correspondents retreated to White’s set and stared in polite horror at the bug-eyed lunatics with glo-sticks. … Read More

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Exclusive Photo Gallery: Governors Ball 2014

Last year, Governors Ball was mud-drenched anarchy, so the festival organizers were due some good luck, and some good weather, this year. They got both — there was no rain at all, and as such, the 2014 incarnation of Governors Ball was a whole lot more fun that last year’s. Happily, our ace photographer Andrew Boyle was in attendance again, camera in hand, to bring you the best of the weekend’s action. Click through for an epic, exclusive photo gallery of what went down on Randall’s Island this time round: the people, the performers, the giant inflatable… Read More

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The 10 Albums You Need to Hear in June

As we breathlessly wait to see which Iggy Azalea collaboration — “Fancy” or “Problem” — will be crowned the Song of the Summer, there is a whole lot of indie rock coming out this month. Synths also reign supreme in June, from A Sunny Day In Glasgow’s ace new one to How To Dress Well’s return, which manages to be even more revealing than his debut. Round it out with Miranda Lambert’s ass-kicking fifth LP and some NYC rock striving for classic status from Parquet Courts, and summer’s shaping… Read More

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