Tag Archives: Third Man

New Brendan Benson: Dear Life

Video: Brendan Benson -- “Dear Life”

Brendan Benson - Dear Life (Official Video)

Directed by Brad Holland. From Dear Life, out now on Third Man.

Brendan Benson’s got a lot of cool gear in his home studio in Nashville. Which is a good thing during stay-at-home orders, right? Lots of fun toys to keep you busy.

The last time we checked in on Benson he was telling that it was good to be alive. And now he’s sharing a couple verses about people who are barely hanging on.

Some days, it comes over me
And I can barely breathe
All this fury pressing down on me
I don’t ever want to leave
It’s got me hanging on
To dear life

“There’s something about this record,” Benson says. “A friend of mine called it ‘life-affirming.’ I thought it was a joke at first but then realized, well, it’s about life and death for sure. I don’t know if that’s positive or optimistic or whatever, but that’s what’s going on with me.”

Brendan Benson: web, twitter, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Brendan Benson video: Good To Be Alive

Video: Brendan Benson -- “Good To Be Alive”

Brendan Benson - "Good To Be Alive" (Official Music Video)

Directed by Ben Chappell. From Dear Life, due April 24 on Third Man.

Fresh off the heels of the third Raconteurs album, Brendan Benson is back with his seventh solo album. The first single sounds a little less rock than his previous stuff but that’s not so bad. There’s some deliberately noticeable autotune on the vocals that’s a little disconcerting at first but it works with the synth tones of the bass and programmed drums.

The video features rollerskating and dancing with a horse. And why not?

And I’ve been searching for that hunger
That I knew when I was younger
When I was never satisfied.
Now my body’s getting older
But my brain is aging slower
And I feel young inside.

This is a sentiment that a lot of middle-aged dudes can attest to. I’m about the same age as Benson and it’s weird to be in this spot where you look in the mirror and think, Who the hell is the old guy and how’d he get into my bathroom? Getting old sucks balls, no doubt about it, but as Benson suggests in the chorus, it’s certainly better than the alternative.

Brendan Benson: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Raconteurs video: Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying)

Video: The Raconteurs -- “Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying)”

The Raconteurs – “Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying)” [Official Music Video]

Directed by Ben Chappell. From Help Us Stranger, out now on Third Man.

Brendan Benson writes his own “Tuesday’s Gone” while he and his fellow Raconteurs visit the House On The Rock in Spring Green, Wisconsin, which looks a lot cooler than Uranus, Missouri. Last spring we took a family road trip on what’s left of Route 66 from Chicago to the Grand Canyon and I had purchased a little guidebook to make sure we didn’t miss out on any of the cool stuff along the way. One of the spots was a place called Uranus, which had a fudge shop, and since one of my travel companions was a 12 year old boy, I figured we had to stop at least to get a “I love Uranus” t-shirt. They claimed, after all, that the best fudge comes from Uranus.

Guess what: Uranus stinks.

As soon as we got out of the car we were hit by a dank cloud of cigarette smoke. It was so disappointing. I went in thinking that there had been a town in Missouri that was called Uranus and some hilarious person decided to open a fudge shop there. Nope. There is no town named Uranus. The closest town is St. Robert. It’s just a tourist attraction that a former strip club operator started in 2002. That’s way less funny than doing it in a historical place with an unfortunate name. And it certainly doesn’t belong in a “things to do along Route 66” book. It was just gross. The idea that somebody developed a whole fake town just so his employees would have to greet their customers with “Thanks for picking Uranus!” is a little creepy.

I enjoy scatological humor as much as the next guy, even if the next guy is 12, but Uranus is a poorly executed shithole. Maybe that’s part of the joke. If so, that’s some next level meta action.

The House On The Rock, on the other hand, looks amazing.

The Raconteurs: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Lillie Mae video: You’ve Got Other Girls for That

Video: Lillie Mae -- “You’ve Got Other Girls for That”

Lillie Mae - “You’ve Got Other Girls for That” (Official Video)

Directed by Misael Arriaga. From Other Girls, due August 16 on Third Man.

Nashville’s Lillie Mae is a back with a new album on Third Man Records, produced by Dave Cobb, the guy who got the Oak Ridge Boys to cover “Seven Nation Army.” (He also produced the last three Jason Isbell albums and has won multiple GRAMMYs but what’s cooler than working with the Oak Ridge Boys?)

The video for “You’ve Got Other Girls for That” is a little creepy with Lillie Mae coming on to an extremely unresponsive lover.

I ain’t your first choice
Maybe once upon a time
When I was living
With delusions in mind

She told Rolling Stone, “It’s basically a true story. It’s just about somebody that was in my life that had other girls.”

Not cool, dudes. You gotta treat people with with respect!

Lillie Mae: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Raconteurs video: Help Me Stranger

Video: The Raconteurs -- “Help Me Stranger”

The Raconteurs - "Help Me Stranger" (Official Music Video)

Directed by Yasuhiko Shimizu. From Help Us Stranger, out June 21 on Third Man.

A funky little groove with Jack and Brendan singing harmonies throughout, “Help Me Stranger” is gonna be lit live. Shades of all the genres that made Detroit a hothouse for any variety musical pollinators in the late 60s and early 70s.

The video is more of the symbolism of life in a broken land we’ve seen of late. Whether it’s Jack holden a baby in what appears to be an abandoned Asian city or images of that baby then smoldering in Jack’s arms, things are not well.

We might as well dance.

The Raconteurs: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Raconteurs videos

Video: The Raconteurs -- “Now That You’re Gone”

The Raconteurs - "Now That You're Gone" (Official Video)

Directed by Dikayl Rimmasch. Single out now on Third Man.

I am a big fan of Jack White’s, more so his approach to the music business even than much of the music he makes. He’s an aesthete, which makes for great branding, but sometimes needs to be challenged by other influences. My favorite examples of his work are when he partners with somebody else. Someone like Loretta Lynn. Or Brendan Benson.

The Racanonteurs are by far my favorite Jack White joint, mainly because he has a foil in the pop sensibilities of Brendan Benson and the backing of one of my favorite rhythm sections in Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler of The Greenhornes (my second favorite Third Man Records act).  

But Jack’s been a busy boy and it’s been more than a decade since we last heard from The Raconteurs. They’re back now, with Benson confirming some tour dates via Twitter, and a couple of killer new videos.

“Sunday Driver” is a great example of the successful smashing of sounds that make The Raconteurs so good. The intro sounds like a Greenhornes’ jammer with a garage-psyche break under Benson’s melody. Success in a most unlikely way!

“Now That You’re Gone” is my favorite of the two though. A simmering break up songs accompanied by a super hot video of lust and destruction. Oh yes.

A new album is due later this year and I cannot fucking wait.

Continue reading New Raconteurs videos

New Margo Price video: All American Made

Video: Margo Price -- “All American Made”

Margo Price - "All American Made" (Official Video)

Directed by Kimberly Stuckwisch. From All American Made, out now on Third Man Records.

This is a powerful song. Consumerism disguised as patriotism and the twisted reality of the source of many of our problems.

I have been all over but I can’t help feeling stuck
Something in my bloodline or something in my gut
Says go to California in a rusted pickup truck
That’s all American made

Price said, “We actually wrote that song during the Obama administration, but it really altered meaning for me on the day Trump was elected. That song embodies the good and the bad in the ugly in this country. America is so beautiful to me, but it’s in a really hard spot right now. I feel like I was one of the first and only country artists to speak out so openly against Trump, and I had a lot of people tell me I shouldn’t be giving my opinion, but as far as I’m concerned, there’s not a lot of doubt about the difference between right and wrong.”

Margo Price: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Jack White video: Corporation

Video: Jack White -- “Corporation”

Jack White - Corporation (Official Video)

Directed by Jodeb. From Boarding House Reach, out now on Third Man.

We all know Jack White is from Detroit. It’s an elemental part of his whole persona and that city’s musical past is a crucial element to influencing his music. That influence has largely focused on a sliver of Detroit’s musical heritage: the screaming power of garage rock and proto-punk. Yes, The Stooges and The MC5 loom large in White’s record collection.

What’s always amazed me though is the fact that Iggy and Sonic Smith and the Asheton brothers and Rob Tyner were bellying up to the same bars and scuffing up the same stages as George Clinton and Fuzzy Haskins and Eddie Hazel around the same time. Detroit’s racial strife in the streets of the late 60s and early 70s is much better documented than what was going on inside The Grande Ballroom, and that’s too bad. Imagine what it was like to see such a diverse set of musical influencers emerging at the same time from different directions? Here we have the prime ingredients of Punk and Hip Hop percolating in the midwest as the politics of unrest were driving everyone mad. And did I mention Motown or Bob Seger?

And so it’s great to hear Jack White tapping into some of the funkier influences in “The Corporation.” I don’t claim to know what is going on in this video beyond White acknowledging that he has multiple facets to his personality, and that extends to his music. I hope he settles into this character for a bit and gets the kids to dance.

Jack White: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Jack White video: Over and Over and Over

Video: Jack White -- “Over and Over and Over”

Jack White - Over and Over and Over

From Boarding House Reach, out now on Third Man.

The media narrative for Jack White’s new album is that this is where Mr. Analog ditches the primitive gear and embraces 21st century technology. That involves drum machines, Pro Tools, and — apparently — an Eddie Van Halen “Wolfgang Special” guitar. Alright, so he no longer cares about doing things “the right way, the hard way, the difficult way,” but how does it sound?

It sounds good! It still sounds like Jack White. It’s just a little glitchy, as my videogame-obsessed kid would say. It appears that he’s not utilizing the tech to simplify or “fix” things but rather to fuck it up a bit. Sounds weird but cool. Which has pretty much been his thing all along.

My hunch is that Third Man will immediately follow this up with a live album, recorded direct to tape with no overdubs, not only to satisfy the purists but also to prove that these new songs don’t need the fancy gimmickry of modernity to stand on their own.

Jack White: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Jack White video: Over and Over and Over

New Jack White video: Connected By Love

Video: Jack White -- “Connected By Love”

Jack White - Connected By Love

From Boarding House Reach, due March 23 on Third Man Records. Single out now.

One of my favorite heckles happened during a performance in Milwaukee. Sylvain Sylvain of the New York Dolls was playing a loud, sweaty show shortly after the 9/11 attacks and paused to deliver a monologue on how we’re all brothers and sisters who should try to find what we have in common with each other instead of trying to tear each other down. As he paused to lift his saggy snap-brim hat and wipe his sweaty brow, someone in the crowd yelled out, “Play ‘Trash,’ hippy!”

It was the perfect heckle. It not only reminded us who it was preaching these platitudes with some good old-fashoioned Midwestern comeuppance, but it broke the self-aware tension that suffocated us all in those early post-9/11 days. It was a bit of obnoxious normalcy.

And so I am tempted to yell at Jack White today with the release of his new single and video, “Connected By Love,” but I just can’t. On the surface, it’s another hippy dippy tagline. But the video and the song are sincere, and in this suffocating era of post-truth Trump-ism, a little sincerity is a breath of fresh air. It’s also a good jam.

Jack White: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Jack White video: Connected By Love