Jack White, former frontman of The White Stripes, has a new album coming out on his Third Man Records label called Lazaretto. If you haven’t kept up with Mr. White over the last few years, you may be surprised to learn that he still makes outstanding, old-fashioned, fuzzy-guitar driven rock. Oh, and also he has become some sort of Practitioner of the Dark Arts.
I can’t prove that Jack White is a warlock, but how else to explain what’s going on with his new album? The nearly 10-minute video above features White and one of his Third Man Records coworkers (minions?) showing off the features of Lazaretto’s “Ultra LP” vinyl version. And there is simply no other way to explain how he did this stuff than by assuming he threw a bunch of eye-of-newt in a boiling cauldron under a blood-red moon, casting some sort of wicked spell that turned his record into the Devil’s playground.
Here are some of the crazy highlights:
- Side one of the LP plays from the inside out, instead of from the outside in like most traditional records. I’m no scientist, but that means you’re essentially listening to the record backwards. You know who else wanted you to listen to records backwards? Satan-worshipping artists like Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and The Beatles, who were notorious for hiding subliminal messages in their songs.
- At the end of side one, there is a locked groove that plays forever. That means if you fall asleep or get drunk and pass out while listening to Lazaretto, your subconscious will be treated to an endless whining guitar chord until your brain melts and you wake up in an insane asylum.
- There are tracks hidden “underneath” the record’s label. You can play the songs by dropping the needle on the paper label in the center of the record. Or at least that’s what Jack White would have you believe. In actuality, you are only hearing the tracks because when you remove the record from its sleeve, you secretly unleash a demon into your house. Said demon then perches upon your shoulder and whisper-sings the songs in your ear. Only the poor, unfortunate soul who summons the demon will hear the “tracks.” Oh, and the “tracks” are played at 78 rpm and 45 rpm, respectively, which means Lazaretto is likely the first LP with three different speeds on it. You know what they say about terrible things coming in threes, don’t you?!
- The first song on side two has two different intros, an acoustic version and an electric version. Which intro plays depends on where on the nearly imperceptible side-by-side grooves you place the needle. Then, the two grooves morph into one leading into the body of the song. Does that not sound fishy to you? One song with two intros on a RECORD? We are venturing into dark territory here, my friends.
- Side one is shiny vinyl. Side two is matte black vinyl. Dual finishes? More like DUAL ways to FINISH your soul!
- There is a groove on side two that plays nothing but an infinite loop of Jack White laughing, as if to say, “LOL! Thanks for buying my musically awesome but spiritually corrupt record. I mean, who even has a record player any more? Let the 70s go and listen to music on your computer like everyone else, dummy!”
- And, finally, the most wicked of feature of them all: The record contains a hologram! In the “dead wax” (or course!) of side one, there is an inch-wide band that, when the record spins, creates a hologram of two floating angels, one right-side up and the other upside-down (was a pentagram too obvious, Mr. White?!). Supposedly, an artist named Tristan Duke hand-etched the feature into the vinyl. But Jack White isn’t fooling anyone. If you rearrange the letters in “Tristan Duke,” you get INTAKES TURD. Which means White the Warlock has secretly teamed with some evil, ancient deity with a fecal fetish to release his vision of darkness unto the world.