Monday, July 06, 2009

Jack White on The Vault

I continue to wonder if I have enough money to pay for a subscription to The Vault. Apparently I missed Jack White hisself blogging about why I should consider it. 

"Dear Suckers,Welcome to the vault. Stop, pause, breathe, and open your ears to what i’m here to tell you. You’ve been swindled! Ha ha! Why would we do this to you? Is it true? The answer; It is if you want it to be. Pleasing people. What’s it like? Someone should let me know. Pleasing fans? Is it possible? Let’s find out! Does third man care? C’mon! We who brought you the limited silk screened poster for every show possible? The record store open to anyone with legs able to come to our headquarters? Of course we care. We live to show it. And more importantly we live to share it. We wanted to devise a system that would incorporate the best of what the internet has to offer fans, along with a way to get exclusive recordings directly into the hands of people who can’t make it to shows or the third man store to get all of the limited items we produce. This place is for that fan. The community we are building here will be like no other you’ve been a part of in regards to music. We hope to have a place where positivity and beauty in music and art can be shared together as a community. A place that has content that you can only see if you truly want to explore the deepest depths of the third man records vault. The vinyl records we are producing are only available to you! That’s no easy thing to do mind you! We won’t be selling these in stores, and even if any of the songs we have coming your way appear on some other God forsaken disc someday, they won’t be in the form you got them in; the third man records vault vinyl pressing. Now all of you who never got a tri-colored vinyl of any of our releases will have something to wave in your friends faces. You can swap with that kid in illinois who has that Rob Jones poster you’ve been dying for. But most importantly, you can listen and hopefully love the music that is on these discs. They are meant for listening and experiencing. So don’t be afraid. Experience is what this is all about, if it’s not enough, no problems; just don’t reenlist in it. Hopefully it will be beautiful enough, and interesting enough for you to join into and inspire others and yourself. Without you the fans, we wouldn’t be able to make more records, so we sincerely thank you for joining this world of ours, and we hope to keep you well pleased."
- Jack White's Introduction to Third Man Records via the online portal
It starts out, unpromisingly, "Dear Suckers" and goes through a very defensive patch, but clambers out of it about a third of the way through, swells into a plea to those who appreciate positivity, art, beauty, inspiration and experience, adds a stirring admonishment to those of us who might suffer fear, and climaxes with a shout out to 'the fans' without whom 'we' wouldn't be able to make more records.

I'm skeptical of the idea that I am guaranteed my money back if I don't like it, by selling the 'tangible' items I've received on eBay. It occurs to me that everyone who was prepared to pay a fortune on eBay will have joined the Vault. Since the upfront money paid to the Vault is used to press as much vinyl as there are Vault members, the market's de facto saturated.

The only people left to buy on eBay are going to be the stupid who didn't foresee this happening. Oh, and future fans, but who wants to sell expensive vinyl to a new fan? Usually older fans like to give new fans shows for free. That's what fans do. (And why I am very grateful to other fans, who have turned me on to some wonderful stuff over the last few years.)

But it's not really the value of the 'tangible' items that bothers me. It's the streaming. For it to work, you have to join Twitter and respond to the times given in the tweet, get in front of a computer and watch a stream. Streaming's a form of DRM, and the very worst kind. You're strictly limited in the device you can watch it on, but more importantly, like no other media anywhere, you are limited to watching it in real time. It's like going back to the 1960s!

Now, I stayed up all night to watch the moon landing in 1969, but am I going to pull a sickie at work to watch a Dead Weather interview or attend a chat with someone famous?

Oh, you know the answer's yes.

(Edited because Modlife is no more, so the original link decayed. Full text of his blog post now placed here. 07/2017)

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