Album Review: Boarding House Reach, Jack White

jack-white-boarding-house-reach-artwork-1Jack White has released the most awesomely prog album of his career. You were probably expecting blues roots rock, but instead you get a wildly experimental mutation of rock and roll tropes with nutso synth sounds and drum loops.

The total experience is like a dream state: you have a dream that you are listening to the new Jack White album, and this is the bizarro world that you then move through. You only hope that when you wake up you will remember this amazing music, so that you can reconstruct it.

Thankfully, the entire wild dream has been recorded here, so you can enter musical crazyland again, whenever you wish. The blistering guitar leads on “Respect Commander” will melt the part of your brain that seeks such melting. Meanwhile, “Corporation” and “Abulia and Akrasia” and “Everything You’ve Ever Learned” and “Ezmerelda Steals the Show” and “Get in the Mind Shaft” all confirm that you are not in Kansas anymore.

There’s no point in talking about any of these songs, because they defy analysis with their mysterious storytelling.  The musical and poetic genius of Jack White invites you to go through the looking glass. Don’t miss the journey. It is rare for rock music to rise to the level of art, but this is the real deal, folks. I call it prog: i.e., music as it was meant to be. Challenging and thrilling and joyful and mysterious. Wow.

Vinyl makes a big comeback in 2014

The WSJ reports that the biggest comeback of 2014 was vinyl records:

Nearly eight million old-fashioned vinyl records have been sold this year, up 49% from the same period last year, industry data show. Younger people, especially indie-rock fans, are buying records in greater numbers, attracted to the perceived superior sound quality of vinyl and the ritual of putting needle to groove.

But while new LPs hit stores each week, the creaky machines that make them haven’t been manufactured for decades, and just one company supplies an estimated 90% of the raw vinyl that the industry needs. As such, the nation’s 15 or so still-running factories that press records face daily challenges with breakdowns and supply shortages.

Their efforts point to a problem now bedeviling a curious corner of the music industry. The record-making business is stirring to life—but it’s still on its last legs.

The top selling vinyl album of 2014 was Jack White‘s brilliant disc, Lazaretto.