Wednesday, April 4, 2012
It’s A Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s the New Jack White Record
Proof positive that there is no off switch in the genius Jack White/ Third Man Records marketing division. Yes indeed, Jack White chose April 1st to release a limited-edition old school flexi disc single by helium balloon from his Third Man Records label headquarters in Nashville.
The track is “Freedom at 21” from White's forthcoming debut solo album, “Blunderbuss,” due April 21st. White and colleagues at Third Man filled 1,000 blue ballons attached the discs and postcards and released them into the sky.
The stunt was described as “an experiment exploring nontraditional forms of record distribution and a way to get records in the hands of people who don't visit record shops.”
White’s reps noted that the balloons were made of biodegradable latex and were attached to the singles with natural twine, to ease potential environmental concerns.
People who find the discs after the balloons burst or return to Earth are encouraged to report where and when they were found and to submit photos, so that White and the Third Man staff can document their travels by way of the postcards attached to the discs.
And you thought some of the ThirdMan releases were pricey on Ebay… The typical recovery rate on similar balloon launches, according to Third Man, is around 10%, indicating that perhaps as few as 100 copies of the record will reach human hands.
An evolving map on Third Man’s website showed two reported discoveries so far in Flintville, Tenn., about 100 miles southeast of Nashville, and another in Huntsville, Ala., about 110 miles to the south. Here's some video from the launch: