On March 16, 2016 after a long day of classes, my friends, my boyfriend, and I went down to Cass Corridor in Detroit, Michigan. Cass Corridor is known for Wayne State University, Dally in the Alley, and an artistic and budding community. Though our perusal of Cass Corridor was meant as a relaxing day on the town, I went down there for the sole purpose of going to Third Man Records.
Third Man Records is the brain child of Jack White, formerly of the White Stripes and currently of the Raconteurs. White opened TMR in Detroit in 2001 and in November 2015, TMR returned with a physical retail location. The storefront houses records, novelties, a photo booth, a stage for performances, recording booth, and will soon be adding a vinyl pressing plant, where patrons will be able to watch the process of vinyl being pressed.
Upon arriving to the record shop, the first thing I noticed was the radio tower that was on the roof of the building. Obviously it was a decoration, but it was a clear indication that this record shop didn’t mess around. The interior featured a yellow and black colour scheme, like one gigantic indie/alternative bumble bee, but what really caught my eye was the equipment. Across the room was a massive stage that was attached to the wall and protruded outward, and on the walls adjacent the stage were photo murals of the White Stripes and other bands. Right next to the stage was a booth to record your voice; for $20 you could record yourself in the TMR facility- a pretty swell souvenir! In the back corner by the restrooms, there was a small photo booth that could was fully operational, and printed off one polaroid in either a yellow and black or an electric blue and black. Obviously, we had to take a picture in the booth, and after exiting I took another look around. The entire floor had so many miniature exhibits, including a Sun Records display, where they presented vinyl copies of old recordings from Sun’s studio. The store was in a familiar gritty-and-cool Detroit-style, but what was most notable was the sheer amount of beauty and novelty in everything that existed in the store. During the entire visit, I silently hoped that Jack White would manifest before me. Unfortunately, he did not, but I am holding out hope that I’ll get lucky and see him during a future visit.
The day trip that I took downtown was well worth the traffic and parking problems. The record store is not just a storefront and pressing plant, but a beacon of art and music in the city that brought their own style of music to the rest of the world. How lucky we Detroiters are to have such an amazing record store/venue.