Jack White Named 2013's Record Store Day Ambassador

Jack White Named 2013's Record Store Day Ambassador
Jack White has a bit of a reputation for being a vinyl-obsessed anachronist, so it's only natural that the former White Stripes frontman has been named this year's official ambassador for Record Store Day.

White is clearly a perfect pick for the job. Not only does he run a vinyl-centric record label that specializes in wacky wax curios, his Third Man Records facility in Nashville includes its own store. Recently, his solo album Blunderbuss was named SoundScan's best-selling vinyl record of 2012. And last year, Jack White's liquid-filled 12-inch for "Sixteen Saltines" was Record Store Day's most sought-after release.

White takes over from last year's ambassador, Iggy Pop.

As his first ambassadorial duty, White has issued a lengthy statement about the romance of record stores and his love of physical media. He bashes the internet and videogames, and laments the fact that a young generation is growing up having never visited a stand-alone record store. Read it below.

Go here to watch a comedic three-minute video that White made to announce his RSD ambassadorship. The songwriter takes viewers on a tour of United Record Pressing in Nashville and has his conspiracy theories drowned out by the noisy machines.

Record Store Day 2013 takes place on April 20. We haven't learned much about this year's exclusive releases yet, but we know that they will include a Best Coast 7-inch, Codeine live album, and vinyl reissue of the Flaming Lips' Zaireeka.

A statement from Jack White:

Years ago someone told me that 1,200 high school kids were given a survey. A question was posed to them: Have you ever been to a stand-alone record shop? The number of kids that answered "yes" was... zero. 
 


Zero? How could that be possible? Then I got realistic and thought to myself, "Can you blame them?" How can record shops (or any shop for that matter) compete with Netflix, TiVo, video games that take months to complete, cable, texting, the Internet, etc. etc? Getting out of your chair at home to experience something in the real world has started to become a rare occurrence, and to a lot of people, an unnecessary one. Why go to a bookstore and get a real book? You can just download it. Why talk to other human beings, discuss different authors, writing styles and influences? Just click your mouse. Well here's what they'll someday learn if they have a soul; there's no romance in a mouse click. There's no beauty in sitting for hours playing video games (anyone proud of that stop reading now and post your opinion in the nearest forum). The screen of an iPhone is convenient, but it's no comparison to a 70mm showing of a film in a gorgeous theater. The Internet is two-dimensional…helpful and entertaining, but no replacement for face-to-face interaction with a human being. But we all know all of that, right? Well, do we? Maybe we know all that, but so what?
 


Let's wake each other up.
 


The world hasn't stopped moving. Out there, people are still talking to each other face-to-face, exchanging ideas and turning each other on. Art houses are showing films, people are drinking coffee and telling tall tales, women and men are confusing each other and record stores are selling discs full of soul that you haven't felt yet. So why do we choose to hide in our caves and settle for replication? We know better. We should at least. We need to re-educate ourselves about human interaction and the difference between downloading a track on a computer and talking to other people in person and getting turned onto music that you can hold in your hands and share with others. The size, shape, smell, texture and sound of a vinyl record; how do you explain to that teenager who doesn't know that it's a more beautiful musical experience than a mouse click? You get up off your ass, you grab them by the arm and you take them there. You put the record in their hands. You make them drop the needle on the platter. Then they'll know. 
 


Let's wake each other up.
 


As Record Store Day Ambassador of 2013 I'm proud to help in any way I can to invigorate whoever will listen with the idea that there is beauty and romance in the act of visiting a record shop and getting turned on to something new that could change the way they look at the world, other people, art, and ultimately, themselves. 
 


Let's wake each other up.