Jack White

Jim and Greg sit down with the hardest working man in rock, Jack White, at Third Man studios in Nashville.

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If you were one of the reportedly billion people who tuned into the Olympic opening ceremony this week, you might be surprised to learn that most of the heavy-hitting British artists who performed - Arctic Monkeys, Emeli Sand’e, Dizzee Rascal, and Sir Paul McCartney among them - were paid only 1 lb for their troubles. Universal Music Group on the other hand, is raking in the dough. Isles of Wonder, the official soundtrack of the opening ceremony, which Universal released, is charting in the top five albums in UK, France, Belgium, Spain, and the U.S.

Jack White

Jack White is one of the most prolific, inventive, and mercurial characters in rock today. This week, Jim and Greg head down to Third Man studios in Nashville for a wide-ranging conversation with the former White Stripe and recent solo artist. White is known for being loose with the truth in interviews (no, Meg White is not his sister), but his talk with Jim and Greg is surprisingly candid and thoughtful. He recalls playing drums with his brothers at age five, being tutored by a neighbor in rock history, and discovering the blues recordings of Son House. There was no expectation, he says, that The White Stripes - a band that took design inspiration from peppermint candies and thwarted notions of authenticity by playing the blues like kids - could ever make it in the mainstream. The element of accident and luck in the Stripes’ success, he says, will never be lost on me. White describes how his first record as a solo artist, Blunderbuss, also came about by accident. When hip-hop artist RZA failed to show for his Third Man recording session, White decided to record with the band that had come in himself. Blunderbuss earned Buy it ratings from both Jim and Greg.

Greg

In honor of Olivia Tremor Control co-founder Bill Doss, Greg drops Hideway from the band’s second album, Black Foliage, into the Desert Island Jukebox. Doss died this week at age 43 of unknown causes. Doss was a founding member of the Elephant 6 recording collective, a group of friends from Ruston, Louisiana whose bands Neutral Milk Hotel, The Apples in Stereo, and The Olivia Tremor Control left a potent legacy in the nineties. Using cheap boom boxes and four track recorders, the friends sought to replicate the lush pop sounds of the Beach Boys and the Beatles on a budget. Greg calls The Olivia Tremor Control the trippiest and most psychedelic of the Elephant 6 bands. They were known for their layering of avant-garde sounds and pop melody. The band reunited in 2009 and played a terrific set at the Pitchfork music festival shortly before Doss’s death.

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