JUST FOR THE RECORD

“I’M GO­ING TO SHOW YOU SOME­THING NO ONE’S SEEN BE­FORE,” EX­PLAINS JAMIE MOSSHART, WHO IS GUID­ING 12 MU­SIC EN­THU­SI­ASTS ON THE FIRST PUB­LIC TOUR OF MU­SI­CIAN JACK WHITE’S NEW RECORD-PRESS­ING PLANT AT THIRD MAN RECORDS IN DETROIT.

Dreamscapes Travel & Lifestyle Magazine - - Starbound - BY DIANE SLAWYCH

We’ve al­ready seen how vinyl records be­gin life as PVC pel­lets; viewed the stam­pers, which can pro­duce up to a thou­sand records each; and learned why the com­pany se­lected mostly man­ual presses (qual­ity con­trol was a big rea­son).

Now we’re in the mas­ter­ing stu­dio. “We’re sur­rounded by a lot of money and tech­nol­ogy,” ex­plains Mosshart, re­fer­ring to what is likely a quar­ter-mil­lion dol­lars in equip­ment, in­clud­ing a state-of-the-art Neve con­sole and “the real gem,” a VMS 70 lathe. From here you can record live shows di­rect to vinyl mas­ter, one of only two places in the U.S. this can be done.

If you don’t take the tour, you can still get a glimpse of the plant through the win­dows at the back of the Third Man Records re­tail shop. (Note the huge Lp-themed mu­ral on the far wall.)

The store, which opened in 2015, is lo­cated in a low-rise 1920s-era build­ing that used to man­u­fac­ture jeeps in the Cass Cor­ri­dor, a neigh­bour­hood once rife with crime that’s re­cently been re­branded as Mid­town.

It seemed fit­ting to lo­cate the sec­ond out­post of Third Man Records in Detroit (the Nashville flag­ship opened in 2009). White at­tended high school in the area, and the White Stripes—the duo of Jack and Meg White—per­formed their early shows in the Cass Cor­ri­dor.

Vis­i­tors quickly dis­cover Third Man is more than a record store. “It’s an open space that pro­motes hang­ing out and en­joy­ing the mu­sic,” says em­ployee Ali Shea.

Shop for sou­venirs, see a con­cert on the in-store per­for­mance stage (White has played here) or check out the dis­plays and nov­el­ties. There are spe­cial edi­tion records on the walls, pil­lows hand­crafted by fans on the couch, and a bench from the lo­cal Ma­sonic tem­ple, a his­toric build­ing White helped save, that has been fin­ished with melted down old 78s!

There’s no short­age of vinyl to peruse. Third Man does three types of press­ings: reis­sues (re­cent ex­am­ples in­clude The Stooges, some early Bob Seger and the first Mo­town record ever pressed in Detroit); indie (in­de­pen­dent) or­ders; and, of course, press­ings for the Third Man Records la­bel.

Sam­ple tunes in the lis­ten­ing booth or record your own song! For US$20, the 1947 Voice-o-graph ma­chine will record up to two min­utes of au­dio and dis­pense a one-of-a-kind six-inch phono­graph disc. Use the house gui­tar in the booth or bring your own in­stru­ments.

There’s also the pos­si­bil­ity you’ll run into Jack White. “It’s not un­com­mon to see him walk­ing around the store,” says Shea. “When­ever he’s in town he’s here.”

LEFT: In­te­rior of Jack White’s Third Man Records re­tail shop, which opened in 2015 in Detroit. Pe­ter War­dowski RIGHT: Vinyl for pur­chase at Third Man Records in Detroit. Diane Slawych

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