Jack White's Third Man Records has launched a publishing arm, fittingly (if somewhat unimaginatively) titled Third Man Books. Its first release, "Language Lessons: Volume 1," will be commercially available Aug. 5.
The installment comes in several forms: a 321-page hardbound book featuring contemporary prose by the likes of fiction writer Dale Ray Phillips, National Book Award finalist C.D. Wright and Pulitzer Prize finalist Adrian Matejka, as well as poetry by Frank Stanford, Brian Barker and more. There's also two vinyl LPs of jazz, psychedelia and blues from artists including finger-picking guitarist William Tyler and scrawling noiseniks Destruction Unit. "Language Lessons" comes with frameable art by Big Boys guitarist Tim Kerr and folk artist Butch Anthony.
"Third Man Books, like 'Language Lessons,' will be fearless, imaginative, and eclectic," reads the site's press release. "We hope to be a welcome addition to what is already a very compelling and thrilling independent American literary landscape." The tome is available for pre-sale through the Third Man store.
In the beginning of this year, one of Third Man's other comparably ambitious releases, "The Rise & Fall of Paramount Artists, Volume One (1917-1932)," was the target of a copyright dispute, which alleged that the label never obtained the necessary license to sell 800 of the package's tracks. At press time, the case had not yet been settled.
Not one to be deterred by such a setback, in April, White broke the record (so to speak) for making the world's fastest studio-to-store record, a limited-edition 7-inch of the title track to his most recent solo effort, "Lazaretto." In June, the LP debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and set a vinyl sales record by moving 138,000 copies the first week of release.