Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Black Keys

I have nothing to share hand embroidery wise today so I thought I would address my Black Keys obsession. No I have not had some Black Keys induced mental breakdown. They are just the most soulfully, sexy, bluesy thing missing(well not missing just not found) in music today. Their early music has been used to sell people my age all kinds of things like beer, BMW's and Victoria's Secret underwear but their marketing and yes their age worked against them for so many years. I've become a Black Keys fan because anybody or anything that can make me laugh, dance, or feel sexy during this time of year when I usually listen to Christmas music and cry has to be the best.

It started with Brothers. I took the CD out of the library because they won best alternative artist at the Grammys early this year. I also liked the video for Tighten Up. It's an adorable playground video with adorable little children and it's funny(go find it on You tube). All of their videos are funny as are their interviews. Funny, really funny. I liked Tighten Up and Howlin very much but it was the soulfullness of the rest of the CD that I really liked. Went out and bought it right that day. Listened to it a lot because I thought it was great. A few months later I found the viral Lonely Boy video, which I really just got a great kick out of. The gentleman dancing appears to be close to my age and I remembered me and my friends dancing at the clubs back in the 70's early 80's. I still thought they were just a new band I discovered. A few months later El Camino was being released and I heard on the radio that it was their 7th cd. I simply couldn't believe it. 7 CD's from this excellent band, can't be. Well yes it was.

My wonderful son found them and got them for me as an early Christmas present. All of them. Their early work is what really got me hooked. Rubber Factory is the best album I have heard in years. I hope they clean it up and re-release it now that people know who they are. Dan Auerbach has a voice that could melt plastic and it's his real voice not manipulated as almost all of the singers today are. Guitar riffs galore, great drum beats. I dare you to listen to it and not move, it's impossible. I have so many favorites from those early CD's it's hard to list them all but go google Have Love Will Travel. I shared it on Facebook and nobody watched it. And I don't mind telling you that I had to search for a video that will appeal to my demographic. Most of their early video's bring out the mother in me. Cut the hair, take a shower and ZZTop isn't all that sexy. But the voice and the soulful eyes that look a lot older than their youth speaks to me. And they are even better live on Youtube if you can get past the look. I have to admit I'm kind of wishing for a day when I can see the current, more mature Black Keys sing the sexy soulful stuff from the past.

Now the most amazing part of this band is the inspirational story behind them. They formed in 2001. Just two guys with a guitar and a set of drums. College dropouts who wrote, performed and produced their early albums. They toured all over the country in a minivan sleeping in the back of the van. That is probably the reason for their look on the early videos. All of their early albums were critically reviewed. But they looked like Nirvana and sounded like Cream or Bad Company so perhaps they needed a different marketing strategy. Musicians like Robert Plant and Ike Turner took notice but people who actually buy CDs and Itunes didn't, also advertising companies did and started using their music for all sorts of things. Every year their tours would get bigger and their songs would be used to sell other things. And then came Brothers which made them an overnight sensation. Read their bio and then tell every artist or musician that yes you can be musically pure to your vision and still make it as an artist.

I sometimes wonder why I like their music so much and although I gave you quite a few reasons, I think it is because they are the happy tortured souls with insights far beyond their years and I am a happy tortured soul who has always had those insights.

So do me a favor go over to YouTube, find Have Love Will Travel or When the Lights Go Out or You're the One, close your eyes and just listen. Or perhaps give a listen to Rubber Factory and then go out and buy it(that CD deserves more then a few hundred thousand buyers) Now I'm going to get back to my beloved hand embroidery and the bluesy sexy music which has made my holidays a little easier to bear. Blessings and happiness and remember any CD where a man soulfully growls is sexy.

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