In the Internet’s infancy, there was no Bandcamp, SoundCloud, or even Myspace. Y2K-era musicians relied upon analog methods for ensuring their music would be preserved for posterity. How tedious it must have been to write, record, and press a single, and then have to tie it to a helium-filled balloon, cram it into a pneumatic bank deposit tube, or painstakingly sew it into the furniture of unsuspecting upholstery customers.
According to Pitchfork, Jack White can tell you all about the lost art of hiding music inside a chaise lounge, having clandestinely sewn 100 singles into furniture back in 2004. And now, Jack White’s Third Man Records has announced that of those 100 singles, two have now been discovered.
White began his unusual method of distribution while working as an upholsterer alongside Brian Muldoon, with whom he moonlighted in the Detroit-based punk band The Upholsterers. In an interview with KROQ in 2012, White described how they sewed those 100 7-inches into the furniture they’d been hired to renovate. Their fate was left to the wind. The singles would “one day be found, or maybe never be found,” White said, echoing the existential crisis shared by the toenail clipper, voided scratch ticket, 47 cents, and the ignition key to a 1992 Subaru Loyale abandoned to the deepest recesses of your couch. With 98 singles still to be found, that sound you hear is everyone in the Detroit area ripping open their furniture.