Third Man Records vinyl exclusives, Part 37: Jack White “Live At Third Man Records ||| Nashville & Cass Corridor” (2018)

The 37th set of exclusive vinyl items offered to Platinum members of Third Man Records’ Vault service was mailed out to the members in September of 2018. For those who are unaware, Third Man Records is the label owned by Jack White, who is the leader of the White Stripes, the Raconteurs, and the Dead Weather, and is now a solo artist. The Vault service promises to deliver exclusive vinyl-only records (usually one full-length album and one 7” single) to its Platinum members every three months.

The 37th Vault package consisted of a 3-LP live album by Jack White titled Live At Third Man Records ||| Nashville & Cass Corridor. The set documented two performances at the two Third Man Records locations in Nashville and Detroit in the spring of ’18, which celebrated the release of White’s third solo album titled Boarding House Reach. The LP’s were packaged in a die-cut sleeve with interchangeable graphics, inspired by the cover art from Led Zep’s Physical Graffiti and the Stones’ Some Girls. The set also contained three exclusive David Swanson photographs from the two shows, and a Third Man logo flag.

A basic comparison of the two shows contained on Nashville & Cass Corridor can be summed up this way: the Nashville set is the more disciplined and professional one with a fuller length, while the Detroit show was fueled by a more primitive level of energy. Not surprisingly, the latter show is the more potent of the two.

The first two discs – the first pressed in black vinyl, the second pressed in blue – documented the Nashville show, which took place on March 16, 2018 in the Third Man Records Blue Room. White was backed by Dominic Davis (bass), Carla Azar (drums), and dual keyboardists Neal Evans and Quincy McCrary. The selections from Boarding House Reach make use of electronic and background vocal effects, and it’s hard to tell for sure if all of the instrumentation is live or if some is pre-recorded. But it sounds genuine most of the time, and it gives those futuristic songs (i.e. “Corporation”, “Respect Commander”, “Ice Station Zebra”) a somewhat more down-to-earth sound than the studio versions. White and company also perform several selections from his earlier solo work and from the White Stripes, with his more traditional tendency toward old-fashioned blues-rock. A few unusual touches to be found on that front: “Hello Operator” and “Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground” have unusual keyboard passages added; "Seven Nation Army" has murkier instrumentation; and “Fell In Love With A Girl” starts off at a slow tempo before building up to its usual fast fury. One sour note: during “Missing Pieces”, White (who has usually avoided mixing politics with music in the past) goes on a none-too-clever anti-Trump rant, adding to the never-ending climate of hostility that has seemingly permeated every area of the entertainment industry.

The third disc, pressed in white vinyl, documented the shorter and rowdier show at the Detroit location of Third Man, which took place on April 18, 2018 in the Motor City’s revitalized Cass Corridor neighborhood. White was in sloppier form on this date, but not necessarily for the worse. White’s guitar has a more blistering intensity here, often drenched in so much feedback that you’d think he was performing with the Dead Weather. His vocal delivery is almost hyperactive at times, as he sometimes flubs lyrics and attempts high notes that elude him. Only a third of the set list is drawn from Boarding House Reach, and although the sound and vocal effects are used again on those three songs, those effects are mostly drowned out by the fierce avalanche of electric guitar noise. White attempts to slow down a bit for “Love Interruption” and “Blunderbuss”, but even then his excitement could not be contained. The fast-paced set culminates in a fiery pairing of White Stripes blues numbers, “Little Bird” and “Catch Hell Blues”, before White signs off with a finale full of electric reverb. Performing in his original home town apparently brings out Jack’s wilder side.

Live At Third Man Records ||| Nashville & Cass Corridor is a good, though not quite essential, showcase for White, showing two different sides of him as a performer. It is useful as an accessory to the Boarding House Reach album.

A note for fellow vinyl aficionados: the practice of engraving text in the dead wax, or the runout grooves between the sticker and the last track’s grooves, is present on these items. The 3-LP set has “How do they even know?” carved in Side A, “Who knew cut sixty?” carved in Side B, “BS with the scalpel” carved in Side C, “DI cfade like a road” carved in Side D, “A long way from…” carved in Side E, and “…Cool ranch under the bridge” carved in Side F.




Jack White “Live At Third Man Records ||| Nashville & Cass Corridor” (Third Man TMR-572) 2018

Track Listing:

Nashville 3/16/18

SIDE A:

1. Battle Cry
2. Over And Over And Over
3. Wasting My Time
4. Corporation
5. Why Walk A Dog?

SIDE B:

6. Connected By Love
7. Hello Operator
8. Fell In Love With A Girl
9. Blunderbuss
10. Catch Hell Blues

SIDE C:

11. Little Bird
12. Missing Pieces
13. Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground
14. Ice Station Zebra

SIDE D:

15. Hypermisophoniac
16. I’m Slowly Turning Into You
17. Respect Commander
18. Sixteen Saltines
19. Seven Nation Army

Cass Corridor 4/18/18

SIDE E:

1. Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground
2. Over And Over And Over
3. Why Walk A Dog?
4. Corporation
5. Love Interruption

SIDE F:

6. Blunderbuss
7. Lazaretto
8. Little Bird
9. Catch Hell Blues

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