Jack White is a Hypocrite and an Idiot

Man, and I almost thought I had nothing to talk about today.

Jack White (of The White Stripes, Raconteurs, Dead Weather…I’m sure I’m forgetting something) has his own label called Third Man Records. Jack White likes to release limited edition records through Third Man. Really limited, like 500 copies only limited.  In addition to that, there is also The Vault, a PAID member service that gets access to exclusive member-only vinyl.

All combined, that’s a lot of limited edition records for not a lot of people. So there’s a huge secondary market for Third Man limiteds. I’ve seen some get close to a grand on eBay. It’s annoying of course, but when dealing with ultra-rare limited edition records, it’s the name of the game.

Oh, but Jack White won’t have none of that. He considers that “flipping” and its a rip off of the fans! Jerk flippers (aka really good Capitalists) are taking records out of fans hands and selling them at jacked up prices on eBay right after they come out! Jack doesn’t like that at all! But not because it’s a rip off to the fans, but because he’s not making that money himself.

Now Jack is apparently selling limited editions records on eBay auctions. Skipping the whole middle man and flipping them himself.

Fuck you man.

The coverage of this on Antiquiet and Pitchfork hasn’t really touched the main issue, which is Jack White’ hypocrisy. A hypocrisy that became pretty damn apparent when Jack White went to the message boards and chat rooms of The Vault after the fans there nearly revolted. At one point he said “why should ebay flippers, who are not real fans, dictate the price, make all the profit”?

Well Jack, maybe because you encouraged them to do so?

From The Vault FAQ

“Why Should I Spend My Hard-Earned Money With you?”

Good question. In 2001 The White Stripes were featured in the Sub Pop Singles Club. It was a subscription-only service where the lucky subscriber received a 7” every month for a very reasonable price. A six-month subscription in 2001 would have cost you $35. The White Stripes’ Sub Pop single on Sub Pop now consistently sells for $250 on reputable online auction sites.

We hope you want to subscribe to our service because you’re a die-hard fan of the music comic out of Third Man. Even if you are not. It would at least be an investment plan far more reliable than Wall Street.

So Jack White wants you to buy the records as an investment…but never sell them. At least, not sell them right away, when he could be making that money.

Jack further ranted (in all lowercase), “don’t want a split colored limited edition record? then guess what? don’t buy one. don’t want them to be expensive? then guess what? don’t WANT them. it’s you and others wanting them that dictates the price and the entire nature of the idea.”

Once again, from The Vault FAQ

“I Want to Have a Copy of Everything Third Man Ever Releases…”

I’ll stop you rigth there Holmes. If you are one of those nuts (and believe me, we at Third Man are all those nuts too) who pays attention to every little detail of every record that you ever buy and keep a mental checklist of catalog numbers, then you have to subscribe to this club. Our numbering system will be inclusive of each of these Vault releases. You no subscribe to The Vault. You no have the complete run of Third Man Product.

This shows Jack White’s hypocrisy in two separate ways. First he tells why we should want his product, and then tells us that if we dont want to pay that much not to WANT it (as if that’s something you can turn off and on). Then He says that if you want every Third Man release then you HAVE to join The Vault to get them, but these auctions on eBay are public auctions, meaning that ANYONE can get the records, provided they have the cash.

So Jack, speaking as a longtime fan of The White Stripes, fuck you. Fuck your hypocrisy. Fuck your manufactured rarity. Fuck your bullshit indignation at people who are only doing what you want them to. Fuck your stupid overpriced records that you have to crack open in order to buy, and fuck your bullshit faux-down-home country lifestyle. You’re from Detroit  you prick.

Now here are some songs from records I paid less than $20 each for.

Die Another Day (Dirty Vegas Main Mix)
Die Another Day (Thunderpuss Club Mix)
Die Another Day (Thee RetroLectro Mix)
Die Another Day (Deepsky Remix)
Die Another Day (Dirty Vegas Dub)

This is one of Madonna’s lesser tracks, but I still enjoy it. I’ll be honest though, I never saw the movie it was named after. The last Bond movie I saw was “The World Is Not Enough.” And yes, I am one of five people in the world who liked that silly mess of a movie. It also had a great song of course, but that’s not the focus here. These remixes vary. The best is the “Thee RetroLectro Mix,” which was by Felix Da Housecat. Although, I’m a huge fan of Felix Da Housecat, so maybe I’m a bit biased. The “Ditry Vegas” mixes are good, but like all things Dirty Vegas, they are also kind of boring.

Tori Amos
Professional Widow (Armand’s Star Trunk Funkin Mix)
Professional Widow (Just Da Funk Dub)
Professional Widow (MK Mix)
Professional Widow (MK Vampire Dub)

I was really digging these remixes for a while. So much that I decided to revisit the original version of Professional Widow for the first time in probably a decade or so (man I’m old). After being reminded just how amazing the original version is, I ended up liking these remixes a lot less to honest. All the anger and intensity of the original is taken out of these mixes. Instead random snippets of Tori going “it’s gotta be big” and “suck it” turn it into a tarted up song about size queens. Oh well. They’re still good remixes. These are all from a 12” single. The “Star Trunk Funkin Mix” is on the Piano collection that Tori put out a few years ago, but this is the longer, unedited version.

9 Responses to “Jack White is a Hypocrite and an Idiot”

  1. Keith says:

    I think you nailed it on the head with the words “manufactured rarity” The very fact that the records are released in limited edition in order to be collectible should make them NOT collectible. A recalled offensive Beatles album sleeve – collectible! A recalled Body Count CD – ding! Guns & Roses alien rape album cover – ding! Prince’s offensive, unlistenable and recalled Goldni**a CD first edition pressing with unauthorized Paul McCartney sample – ding ding ding! But Jack White’s self-pressed label crap – fuggetabout it.

    That said – anyone who signs up for the VAULT is entitled to do whatever they want with the discs. Anyone complaining should sign up for the freakin’ vault. At least Vault members get product for their membership fee unlike all the poor suckers (and my heart breaks for them) who joined Prince’s latest online venture and got shafted.

    I love Jack White – he should keep doing what he’s doing and not worry about the aftermarket – or switch his entire model to auction and close the vault. OR press vinyl to match orders so everyone who wants one, gets one… just like Prince did with Crystal Ball (granted, that tactic took a YEAR to fulfill the orders, but it was worth the wait).

    In a world where the music business is struggling to get people to buy records, why make editions “too” limited. Instead of pressing 500, press 1000 – appease the die-hards and have some available for late arrivals.

  2. Not a surprise says:

    Not a surprise : Jack White was ALWAYS like that.
    By the way, musically speaking, he’s always been overated. I never understood young people creating old music ( pretending composing but copying instead ). At least the Rolling Stones got Jagger, White’s voice doesn’t match.

  3. icastico says:

    Don’t expect coherent arguments from rock stars. The economics of this is straightforward…the manufactured rarity limits risk for the person making the product. If it is rare, you can be assured of making back your investment. But once you have sold those artifacts, you really have nothing to say about what happens to them. If JW is upset about the after market, all he need to is issue second & third runs of the releases (still limited, to limit his risk). This will lower the value for the flippers, and assure that fans obsessed with having a hard copy can access his music. Or he can raise his prices to what he thinks he “should” be getting for these releases and milk his fans directly (which seems to be his dickish strategy using direct auctions).

    Of course, digital distribution gets the music to the fans easier and cheaper.

    And if you respect your fans, you give them inexpensive options.

    Get my shit for whatever you want to pay for it here:

    If you want it for free… fine. If you want to drop some cash to support the endeavor, it is much appreciated.

  4. jay says:

    isn’t what he’s doing contradictory,by selling these himself he’s taking away from the artists royalties? meaning he still gives them their percentage,but he pockets MORE than what was originally aggreed in the contract? i’m not a fan nor do i buy media (i sell out of print stuff actually when i have it)
    but i’m sure someone will sue him over this.

    i used to work in the music biz and have a few w.s. drum items i got from meg.i wonder if he’ll come after me for selling that stuff.

  5. Lost Turntable says:

    Nothing he’s doing is illegal. Besides, so far he’s doing it with White Stripes records, so the issue is moot regardless.

  6. Lost Turntable says:

    Yeah, but he can shred like a motherfucker, so at least he has that going for him.

  7. Tim says:

    Quit bitching, i bought all the white stripes lp’s on vinyl for $20 each. What you said only applies to quick singles and live albums. Besides their his bands and its his record label, he’s allowed to do whatever he wants with it. By the way you’ll never be able to play any instrument as well as he can

  8. Lost Turntable says:

    Let’s see…

    We got typos, a completely pointless ‘argument’ that refutes nothing I said, and you’re a year late to the party. Congrats, you are everything shit about Internet discussion.

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