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Jack White, Bootleg Ring and Megadeath

By Mike Breen · April 3rd, 2012 · Minimum Gauge
800px-raconteurs,_stockholmPhoto by Frida Borjeson


Demented Distribution 

When it comes to promoting music, Jack White is like a less desperate version of those minor-league baseball teams that host “Villainous Mustache Night” or give away Osama Bin Laden punching bags in order to drum up business. In March, according to Rolling Stone, White celebrated his label Third Man Records’ third anniversary by giving away all of the label’s “Blue Series” singles on an “easy to play but impossible to hear” vinyl record designed to be “played” at 3 rpm (33 rpm is the normal 12-inch speed). Then, on April Fools Day, Third Man launched 1,000 helium balloons each containing a flexi-disc of a new White song. The label figures only about 100 balloons will be found, though that 10-percent discovery rate is probably on par with 99 percent of albums by new artists put out by major labels. 


Very Illegal Downloads

The BBC reports that 11 people in the U.K.

were recently busted for stealing from the recording industry. The criminal ring was allegedly uploading the music of an acquaintance to sites like Amazon and iTunes, then using stolen credit cards to purchase downloads of the music. Then, the purchases netted “royalties,” which were paid automatically to the thieves. Gradually, the jail-bound money-launderers amassed hundreds of thousands of dollars (and reportedly cost Amazon and iTunes more than $1 million). The group was discovered when iTunes got suspicious about an unknown artist being paid “at a rate they expect to pay to someone like Madonna,” according to the prosecution. The IT teacher who provided the music (at first unknowingly) was sentenced to two years in jail — then an additional six months as opening act for Insane Clown Posse. 


Crazy Is His Business … And Business Is Crazy!

Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine might not be the first person you’d run to for voting advice in the upcoming presidential election. But if by some freak chance you do, he’s probably going to tell you simply to vote for the American in the race. The Dixie Chicks almost lost their career for saying on foreign soil that George W. Bush embarrassed them; what will the fallout be for Mustaine now that he, according to The Guardian, said on a Canadian talk show, “I have a lot of questions about (Barack Obama), but certainly not where he was born. I know he was born somewhere else than America.” Mustaine endorses Rick Santorum, whom the guitarist considers “JFK-like.” In that he has zero chance of winning this year’s presidential election? At least he’s right about something.



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