Village Voice Review of White Stripes’ “Icky Thump” Biased?

A reader writes in:

Did you happen to see this comment on The Village Voice review of Icky Thump by Nate Cavalieri? It seems like reviewer Mr. Cavalieri has worked with Jim Diamond in the past (Diamond famously sued Jack White). It is difficult to say what Mr. Cavalieri’s relationship with Diamond is like now, However it seems to be bad journalism on the part of the village voice to have a potentially biased person (whether it be positive or negative bias) review an album. I can’t help but feel reading the review that there was sort of ulterior motive since it was so malicious. It is interesting to note that Cavalieri has worked with Diamond in the past and he essentially says in his review that Jack’s best work are essentially in the days when Diamond engineered his albums. It is a bit suspect, they essentially gave the album a score of 30/100 a score that seems remarkably low even if you didn’t enjoy the album.

Of course bias is an inevitability in journalism, but it seems like you might be able to do something it either with your blog or by making a phone call to the Village Voice asking for a comment. Whether or not the village voice is aware of the potential bias, perhaps they should be made aware. I would do it myself but i don’t have an influential blog or anything like that, and this seems to be important. The sad thing is that the metacritic tabulation of nationwide reviews for the album are absolutely fantastic, however the Village Voice review pulls down the weighted average score of the album to 80 (Generally favorable reviews) as opposed to Get Behind Me Satan’s status of “Universal Acclaim”. Let me know what your thoughts on this, if you’d like.

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Jack White Gives Q101 DJ Electra a Tongue Lashing for “Leaking” Icky Thump–Spanish Subtitles Not Included

Woooaahh! Chicago radio station Q101 played the entirety of the new White Stripes album, Icky Thump, on air yesterday at 2pm. At 4pm the station got a ring a ding ding from Mr. Jack White himself–long distance from Spain, where the White Stripes are currently touring. The phone call was all business, with the main objective being to give Electra, the radio DJ to did the deed, a piece of his mind–and then some. This phone call sounds like my worst nightmare.

On the one hand I understand why Electra would want to play the album for the world to hear–as a fan of the band, I too am excited about the new material. On the other hand I would NEVER go ahead and play the entire album on air without the specific consent of the White Stripes. Longtime followers of the group will know that Jack White certainly has strong opinions on 1. America 2. artist’s rights 3. the internet — and lord help the person who crosses him.

I can’t believe that the station allowed something like this to happen… can’t they get in a whole load of legal trouble for doing this? AND they have basically screwed themselves for any coverage of the White Stripes and perhaps of ALL Warner Brothers artists. I can’t think of any major label that would want to work with a DJ/station after a stunt like this! I can’t believe this DJ has not been fired yet.

I don’t want to seem like a corporate fascist or anything, but I think we can all see how much this could have been an act of passion–as any rational thinking person would think long and hard before playing an entire album before its release.

Sometimes I think Jack and the labels can be a little overzealous about hating some things (such as having Product Shop NYC shut down for linking to downloads of “Conquest” and “You Don’t Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You’re Told)” AFTER they had removed the links by request of the label !!!!), but I gotta side with the man on this one–Q101 totally effed up on this.

You can read a first-hand account of the phone call right here on Electra’s blog. Comments on her post are now disabled, so please feel free to leave your two cents about the situation right here. Thanks to J for the link.

Look, we all make mistakes–although it’s hard to believe, I would be willing to buy into the whole idea that the DJ didn’t “know any better” because sometimes people really are that clueless–but when someone is shown the wrong of their mistakes and they continue to insist that they were in the right and then NOT say “sorry” for any damage they might have done (I didn’t hear the on-air discussion but “I’m sorry” didn’t seem like that was said in the aforementioned blog post)–well, I just find that flabbergasting.

PS- I read some of the supportive comments people left for Electra on her Myspace page, and one in particular really got my goat: “Jack needs to take a lesson from Trent on how to use leaked music to his advantage and STFU.” Umm…Trent Reznor is not FOR people releasing his music in an unauthorized fashionhe’s against record labels screwing over consumers by charging retarded expensive prices for CDs and in addition to that, it seems as though he is in FAVOR of artists self-releasing their material and taking control back from the record labels about how their music is distributed and at what cost.

I have to stop thinking about this. The stupid is hurting my head. Read more commentary at my homies Web Vomit and Stereogum.

More Info about Upcoming White Stripes Releases

From the official White Stripes newsletter:

Hello Children

The White Stripes’ first single, ‘Icky Thump’, will be available exclusively online through the iTunes music stores (US and Canada only) starting at 12:01 am this Thursday, April 26th.

Third Man Records/XL Recordings will also be releasing CD and vinyl versions of the ‘Icky Thump’ single on June 11th in the UK. The formats and track listings are as follows:

White vinyl 7″ (companion to the NME distributed record that will be given away with copies of the magazine on stands June 6th)
A. Icky Thump
B. Etching (no audio)

Standard 7″
A. Icky Thump
B. Baby Brother

CD single
1. Icky Thump
2. Catch Hell Blues

icky thump single

White Stripes to Release “Rag and Bone” Free with NME June 6

The Stripey love of the UK continues, with a very special release of “Rag and Bone,” the first release of material off of Icky Thump, being distributed free with an issue of NME on June 6.

According to NME:

The track will be pressed onto red vinyl, while the flipside will feature a etching designed exclusively by Jack White and will come in special gatefold packaging featuring more artwork by the band.

Following the exclusive release with NME, the band will then release their album’s title track, ‘Icky Thump’, as a single on June 11…

To get hold of the unique release all readers have to do is buy the NME which hits UK newsstands on June 6. Details of how those outside Britain will be able to pre-order this unique issue will be available nearer the time on NME.COM.

Want to know what the cover of the first single, “Icky Thump” will look like? Check it out on Spinner.com.

Re-release: The Henchmen Back Catalogue Featuring Jack White

Jasper pointed me out to an excellent post that he did today about the release of a remastered edition of The Henchmen‘s album Hentch-Forth along with the four tracks off their “Some Other Guy” 7″ and an alternate take of “Psycho Daisies”…all on (get this!) some newfangled technology they call “compact disc” on Italy Records!

Below are some snapshots Jasper took of his promo copy of the re-release. Notice the once-upon-a-time ironic billing of “featuring Jack White” on the cover of “Some Other Guy”, and also check out the vintage shot of Jackie boy with his mop o’ blond curls.

henchmen some other guy

henchmen some other guy

White Stripes Sign New One Album Record Deal with Warner Brothers

Meg and Jack White of the White Stripes have confirmed their new home — Warner Brother Records. According to NME:

“The new contract is for a one-album deal and, unlike their V2 contract, does not involve Jack White’s label Third Man”

Poor little Whirlwind Heat.

No word on whether the deal netted the rumored 3-4 million dollar price tag.

What do you think kids? Is this a new beginning, or the beginning of the end?

Thanks to Chris for the head’s up.

Pete Doherty Gets a New Crack Den–I Mean, “Record Label”

Rejoice! You can all go to sleep in peace knowing the fact that Pete Doherty’s band, Babyshambles, has found a new sucker in record label Parlophone, which has agreed to finance and distribute 3 of their future albums for a reported 1 million GBP.

Says Parlophone managing director, Miles Leonard, “Babyshambles, justifiably, have a great reputation for crafting some of the most exciting music around today, and in Peter Doherty they have one of the best songwriters of his generation.”

Uh huh…

Independent Record Labels Pool Their Resources for Online Distribution

According to the Associated Press, “independent record labels behind artists like The White Stripes (on British label The Beggars Group), Deep Purple and Arctic Monkeys announced a global deal Saturday to pool access to their catalogs, seeking to grab a bigger share of online music sales from the major record companies.”

The companies have signed up to Merlin, a nonprofit licensing agency that will now be responsible for making deals with distribution sites like Napster and Apple Music Store. The deal, linking indie and trade groups from over a dozen countries will allow digital distributors to strike ONE deal with Merlin that will open access to selling the digital music of all its members instead of making individual deals with hundreds, if not thousands, of independent labels.

This will potentially flip favor over to the indies in terms of taking their share of total music revenues in the industry. Even though around 80 percent of new releases each year are indie, it only results in 30 percent of industry revenues. Most independents have maintained a tight control over their digital distribution until now–perhaps due to the fact that when they go to deal with online stores like Napster and iTunes, they are asked to comply with receiving smaller royalties than artists represented by one of the four major labels: Universal/Vivendi, Warners, Sony BMG and EMI.

And according to an interview with Beggars Group chairman Martin Mills and AIM rep Alison Wenham with the Register:

Mills told us that the move to a one-stop licensing agency for indies began 18 months ago, but had been accelerated when Universal Music cut deals with YouTube and MySpace as 2006 drew to a close.

Alison Wenham of the UK-based Association for Independent Music (AIM) confirmed that indies would demand the removal of content from sites such as YouTube if they didn’t cut Merlin a similar deal to the one negotiated by Universal Music, the world’s biggest label.

This potentially revolutionizing agreement, making indies the digital “Fifth major”, was announced on Saturday at Midem, a music industry gathering in Cannes, France.

V2 Records Keeps White Stripes Catalogue But Will Not Release New Music

Many of you saw this coming, but now it’s offical–V2 Records as a label distributing new music is NO MORE (link from BV). Artists on its roster like Moby and The Raconteurs will no longer be able to release new music on the label. It is believed that 35 people have been let go from V2 Records in the “repositioning” of the label.

The label will now focus on distributing their catalogue material (which includes The White Stripes first 5 albums), digital distribution, and the only “frontline” material they will issue will be GOSPEL. So unless Jack White plans on making a Jesus record, you will not be seeing another one of his albums with a V2 label on it.

According to Pitchfork:

In the case of the Stripes and the Raconteurs, though, things are slightly different. According to their publicist, the band’s contract with V2 has already expired; Meg and Jack are presently in negotiations with other labels, seeking a distributor for their own imprint, Third Man Records, for future releases.