As you should already know, Icky Thump, the upcoming album from The White Stripes, due out June 19th, was leaked to the internet by a savvy Chicago radio listener who recorded it off Q101's afternoon radio show hosted by Electra, Queen of Snark. There's the link to her blog, to save you the time, here's a cut and paste of her explanation for what happened on the afternoon of May 30th:
God, what a day. Here's what I can tell you.
At 2pm today, during my show, Q101 became the first station in the world to play the new White Stripes album, Icky Thump. It's awesome. It's really, really, unbelievably brilliant and awesome. I was giddy and excited to share it with fellow fans.
At 4pm today, Jack White called Q101's main offices from Spain, where they're touring, looking specifically for me, to yell at me for leaking the album and, in part, being "messed up for the entire (music) business." (Edit - I listened to the call again today, and I apologize for initially misquoting Jack.) I felt like I was going to throw up. Weirdest, most surreal conversation of my life.
So Sherman and Tingle were on the air when Jack called. They took the call with me in the studio, off the air. Jack asked me to take responsibility for leaking the record, and asked if I was sorry for what I'd done. S&T both jumped into the call - I was clearly flustered - and backed me 100%. We tried to explain where we were coming from - someone gave us a copy of a record that we were really excited to play, and the whole experience was an hour-long lovefest for him and his band - but he wasn't having it. He hung up, very, very angry, and I thought I was going to cry. Instead, I drank some beers that the Fix had left in the studio. Room temperature Bud Light. Delicious.
After speaking to Jack's manager and getting their side of the story, Spike and I went on the air with S&T to open up the situation to the listeners. We respected Jack's desire not to be on the air and didn't re-air the call, but we talked about what was said and what happened. I'm extremely grateful to everyone who called in supporting us. I don't think I did anything wrong, and I don't think I am helping to ruin the music industry. I think I made people excited for the new White Stripes record. I know that was our intention.
I also still think Jack White is an incredibly talented musician, and I still think the new record is amazing. I just don't think I'll be able to listen to it without feeling like crap for a good long while.
And that's all I have to say about that.
So there you have it. I noticed though, that her current blog entry does not mention the room temperature Bud Light. That's too bad, it fits perfectly in the script of this Comedy/Tragedy.Now, if you've got mad Google skillz, you'll probably find a download link somewhere in cyberland. Not here, though. Nay, nay!
That's where the real antagonist in our drama steps in. The Web Sheriff. Here's a cut and paste of the letter sent to The Product Shop NYC after leaking the songs "Conquest" and "You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You're Told) :
Protecting Your Rights on the InternetTel 44-(0)208-323 8013 / Fax 44-(0)208-323 8080 email@example.com www.websheriff.com
Dear Product Shop,
Kindly remove the unreleased WHITE STRIPES files / links from your site immediately, failing which - regrettably - a DMCA notification shall be forwarded to you and take-down action shall follow : naturally, however, we hope that such a course of action shall not prove to be necessary.
On behalf of the artist?s label, we do appreciate that - of course - you are promoting THE WHITE STRIPES but, by the same token, you must also appreciate that, by posting a pirate copy of the album or tracks from the album pre-release (or linking to pirate copies), you are potentially causing considerable inconvenience and we are sure that you would not want to be responsible (or liable) for all of the resulting damage.
Thank you for respecting the Jack & Meg?s creation and copyrights.
And if you do go Googling for a copy of 'Icky Thump', you'll find many sites with a note from from the Web Sheriff. So who is the Web Sheriff? John Giacobbi. I know, the name didn't exactly spawn images of a six-gun-toting, ten-gallon-hat-donning, mustachioed man riding a palomino to me at first either. But word on the street (or frontier) is, he's the wrong brother to fuck with.
Where am I at with all of this? First off, Electra had to know this was going to raise some attention. I'm sure she could not have predicted that she'd be on the phone with Jack White 2 hours later. Broadcasting an entire album more than two weeks before its release date? That's a no-no. She knew better, but her enthusiasm and excitement over the new album, AND HER EGO, got the best of her. She's become a sort of minor celebrity for doing it. She wanted to the the first DJ in the world (her words, not mine) to play 'Icky Thump' and she seized the opportunity. What she did was wrong, but hey, let's move on. Really, no harm done anyway. If you were going to buy the album, you're still going to buy the album. If you were going to wait until someone posted it using Sendspace, Rapidshare, Megaupload, Badongo, et al., you weren't going to buy the album anyway. I certainly don't fault her for Jack's reaction to it.
And Jack's reaction? I don't blame him. It is his prerogative to present the album to the world in what ever fashion or at what time he and Meg choose. I don't blame him for being pissed. Let me say it again. Electra was wrong! She deserved a piece of Jack's mind.
When it's all said and done, I and many, many other fans, will still buy the album, will still buy tickets to the concerts, will still buy the t-shirts and trinkets and will still worship our favorite little band from Detroit.