Language Lessons is a 321 page hardbound book, co-edited by Chet Weise and Third Man’s own Ben Swank, full of contemporary poetry and prose including over 20 award winning and / or nominated contemporary poets and authors such as Dale Ray Phillips, a Pulitzer Prize nominee in fiction, C.D. Wright, a National Book Award finalist and National Book Critics Circle winner in poetry, and Adrian Matejka, a National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist in poetry. Language Lessons is two vinyl LPs of jazz, psychdelic-punk, poetry, blues and pop from artists such as William Tyler, Destruction Unit, Ken Vandermark, Sampson Starkweather and more. Language Lessons is 5 pieces of frameable broadsides of poems by C.D. Wright, Frank Stanford, Brian Barker, Jake Adam York and Chet Weise with original art from former Big Boys guitartist Tim Kerr, one-time Hate illustrator Jim Blanchard, intertwangle-ist folk artist Butch Anthony and more. That’s a lot of bang for your buck… and it all comes housed in a hard-case clothbound sleeve. Has any other record label ever created such a thing? Are we mad?!
We are not mad. As previously mentioned, LL:VI will be Third Man Books’ first commercially available tome and signifies a strong intent for Third Man entering the universe of publishing. Third Man Books, like Language Lessons, will be fearless, imaginative, and eclectic. We hope to be a welcome addition to what is already a very compelling and thrilling independent American literary landscape.
In celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the White Stripes' pivotal album Elephant, the images from the recording of the album, photographed by David Swanson, are seeing the light of day. With the wonderful Toe-Rag Studio in London as the setting, this peek into the White Stripes' recording process is both revelatory and intimate. With only three of the fifty-plus images having ever been published before, such a cache of striking images only furthers to cement the depth and breadth of the Third Man Vault, from which they came. These photos help to contextualize Elephant, the surroundings it sprung from, the resultant whirlwind it created, and all the chaos in-between.
After the last Dead Weather tour in 2010 (last as in most recent, not as in last ever), Alison Mosshart self-published a book entitled Shark Infested Soda Fountain, a compilation of her photos from their adventures on the road, and had it printed as a gift to the other members of the band. Beyond every page being packed with beautiful ethereal photographs, when viewed as a complete work, the book is a touching and one-of-a-kind document to the unique love and camaraderie of the Dead Weather and the cast of characters that surrounded them throughout their international travels. Alison has given Third Man Special permission to reprint Shark Infested Soda Fountain in its entirety and share it with the members of The Third man records vault as the inaugural publication of the Third Man Books imprint.