More Bits and Pieces: Hungover St. Paddy’s Edition.

St. Paddy’s Day: America’s favorite European holiday that isn’t Guy Fawkes Day. I hope you all celebrated accordingly.

Jack White Works with Jay-Z; Preps Album for his Wife.
In addition to touring with the Dead Weather, promoting the White Stripes tour documentary “Under Great White Northern Lights, producing Wanda Jackson’s comeback album, and running everything at Third Man Records, Jack White has found some time to record a song with Jay-Z. According to a recent interview with GQ magazine, he’s confirmed that he recorded a song with the rapper, who has also collaborated with Alicia Keyes — who worked with Jack on the theme song for “Quantum of Solace.”

Jack says the meeting started with a trade of skills, saying,  “I played him something that I’ve been kicking around for a while and he immediately came out with words for it. It’s unbelievable-sounding.”

Additionally, Jack White has also started working on producing an album for wife Karen Elson. Her album, a 12-song collection called “The Ghost that Walks,” was recorded at Third Man Studios, and is due for release sometime this coming summer. The title track is available for download on her website — for a quick taste, see this video:

Universal Records to Cut CD Prices Down to $10.

By the summertime of this year, Universal Music Group will have their new pricing plan, called Velocity, in full effect, in which individual CDs will be priced at ten dollars or below. The new prices will be offset by deluxe editions that will carry more familiar prices ($13-$18), but come with bonus material. Jim Urie, President and CEO of Universal Music Group, said of the program, “We think [the new pricing program] will really bring new life into the physical format.”

The assumption here (and, on the condition that other major recording corporations were to follow suit), the lower prices will encourage buyers to return to the physical album, and hopes to dent the digital downloading portion of record sales. Since 2000, when digital was still an emerging format, CD sales have plummeted, resulting in the general reduction of prices — on average, a basic, no-frills, original edition of a CD would be priced at $12-$14, down from the $18-$20 range. It is clear that this is a move to entice customers back to buying physical albums in general, as UMG plans to keep digital album prices the same, which is currently at $10, rather than making a push to promote any specific artist or genre.

I’ll be honest, it doesn’t matter how much the albums cost. I still buy CDs, and in the past four years, I’ve slowly expanded into LPs as well. Pricing has never been a problem, so much as I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth, which is usually a matter of A) trusting critics to make sound judgments, and B) packages are worth including in the price. While criticism may be subjective, a good package cannot be beat. I do not feel more cheated than when I open a CD, and see the accompanying book that makes up the cover of the album and it’s just a piece of paper. It may as well be a damn bootleg album.

Extremely Rare Live Zeppelin Recording Found.

Rummaging in through a trunk at a car lot sale, Led Zeppelin fan Vic Kemp, of Ipswich, England, found a bootleg of a live show of the band from 1971. The show was recorded at St. Matthews Baths Hall, an indoor swimming pool in the town of Ipswich. The fan said of the recording that the quality is outstanding, and that “It must have been recorded by someone standing at the front with a microphone. You can hear Robert Plant talking to the audience quite clearly.”

That’s everything for now. Just a reminder: please visit us at Blip.fm! Look for blip.fm/OfftheDeepEnd, or simply look through the links on the right of this page.

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