the black keys

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Gossip Girl, part 4

In honor of Gossip Girl playing the Black Keys on the show last night, here’s some more music. This feature is rather popular, so I have kept up the music from previous posts. If you want to browse, just click the tag above. That Black Keys song is just the thing if you’re walking into an old speakeasy that you’re planning to renovate. Just in case you need a theme song like Chuck Bass.

01. The Black Keys — Psychotic Girl
02. Seabear — Cat Piano
03. The Republic Tigers — Buildings and Mountains
04. Nappy Roots — Good Day
05. Santogold — Lights Out
06. The Fashion — Like Knives

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After reading Oliver Sacks’s “The Island of the Colorblind,” I feel the need to celebrate my ability to see colors by ruining my eyesight with music videos. W00t!

01. At Spinner, some nice Sons & Daughters.

02. Via Boingboing, the new Jamaican flavored Gnarls Barkley. Despite allegations of the video’s “African/urban” look being appropriated without asking (and it’s pretty obvious that it was), if I saw a magic door on the beach, I’d totally walk through it. Unless the gunslinger was there.

03. Via Fabulist!, “A Parisian Analogy.” I have no idea what they’re singing about (I mean, I have a general idea), but I lurve this video.

04. My boys the Black Keys rock up the stage on Conan. Uh … is Conan just freakishly tall, or is Auerbach really short? I’m mystified.

05. Via Idolator, some new Cure that isn’t … too … bad … uh … can’t take my eyes off that skull tattoo. Also, let me say this with all fandom behind me: Robert Smith, NO ONE WOULD CARE IF YOU GOT A HAIRCUT. We’d probably all thank you.

06. Everybody Cares collects some red-hot Redding tunes and includes some video. Mmmhmm, that’s what Youtube was made for. That man could rock.

07. Via the Music Slut, the new Coldplay video. Yes, I have a soft spot for Coldplay. Even though dude, Chris Martin’s teeth are just not pretty at all. AT ALL.

08. Also via Music Slut, the Cinematic Orchestra on Kimmel. So freaking gorgeous.

09. I love Mattafix. I adore their release from last year, “Rhythms & Hymns.” Electroqueer has video for “Things Have Changed.”

10. And one for Juliette, via Stereogum — The Mountain Goats, “Lovecraft In Brooklyn” (Aesop Rock Remix)

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Video Hookup

Reader suggestions to add to my last post:

“1980” by Estelle, suggested by Jeff — my favorite part was where she talked about the cat eating the dead neighbor downstairs. Very Gerald’s Game.

The Who, “1921,” suggested by my brother-in-law. Rock opera is NOT my thing, but I can’t tear my gaze away from his leather pants.

Sisters of Mercy, “1959,” suggested by Juliette — totally classic, I’m sorry, but that guy looks like he just came back from snorting a line off the stomach of one of Robert Palmer’s backup singers.

AAAAHHH NEW PORTISHEAD — people, I am really jazzed for the new album. Seriously, Ladytron and Portishead both putting albums out this year? Could life get any better?

Yes. Yes it could. Two years after Barney Stinson made paintball cool again, we have video for the Black Keys’ new song “Strange Times.”

LAist interviewed two local primo bloggers — what’s his name from Aquarium Drunkard and the ever adorable Jax from Rock Insider. They both talked very coolly and intelligently about their blogging and music in general. As ambassadors to blogdom, they did a great job showing everyone that bloggers aren’t just idiots who happen to be able to type. Hurrah!

Electroqueer has video for Darin’s song “Insanity” — Darin is kind of like a Europeanized Justin Timberlake, but even more dramatic (don’t you love his suit?). Where JT’s appeal is in his sexy-boy-next-door-who-happens-to-be-famous ambience, Darin throws it in your face in a Chuck (from Gossip Girl) kind of way, rocking the glowsticks and those ironic lyrics your girl was coming on to me / she eats your heart out, can’t you see — and that was a little too much analysis for what is basically JT-lite (with fireworks).

And Fabulist highlights two nifty videos — Miracle Fortress’s “Have You Seen In Your Dreams,” where someone is very very patient with four magnadoodles, and the clever and absolutely adorable “Butterfingers” by Bomb the Bass. I love those cutey-cute little singing piano keys.

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Time for another edition of I Love It, I Love It Not. You can make up your own mind! If you want to. If not, that’s cool — here, have some Trader Joe’s carmel popcorn. Delish.

I love it:

01. NEW BLACK KEYS ALBUM APRIL 1ST — This better not be an April fools joke, or I’ll cry my eyes out. Collaborating with Rod Stewart, though, can go ahead and be a joke.

02. Supernatural Superserious — although I haven’t been a hardcore REM fan since “Automatic For the People,” I’m looking forward to some new Stipe.

03. Nigerian Blues, 1970-76. Afrobeats for all! Coming to Itunes, I hope, soon.

I love it not:

01. The Moldy Peaches. Heard their stupid song again at the theater the other day. It’s indie at its worst — so precious it makes me want to barf.

02. Vampire Weekend. Last year sometime, everyone hated Vampire Weekend and officially declared them dead before they even got started. Then they got started & now they are everyones’ darlings. Good for them, I say, but I didn’t like it a year ago and I don’t like it now.

03. Eh, the carmel popcorn put me in too good of a mood to think of a third band to mock. Post any suggestions below.

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Video hookup

1. The Music Slut leads the pack, of course, with:

A) New Ry Ry video, entitled “Follow the Lights.” Ain’t half bad either. It really sounds like Ry is getting his groove back on. “There was never anywhere to go / but home.” (Home is apparently where Donna lives.)

B) The Who on Jools Holland. Completely unironically singing “hope I die / before I get old.” Psh, I knew they were lyin’. Generation X salutes you, baby boomers! Sic transit gloria mundi, except when you can capitalize on your nostalgia. Oh well, the music is still hawt.

C) Cold War Kids in the Black Cab. I can never decide if I’m totally in love with CWK, or whether they’re just totally pretentious. I call this the Decemberists Dilemma. Haha. The violin on this song is just stunning.

D) PJ Harvey on Leno, circa 93. This is the PJ I was talking about a couple days ago. That quick slip between begging her lover not to leave, to talking about tying him up till he wishes he’d never heard of her.

E) Bjork Unplugged, 1993, “One Day” acoustic. TOTALLY AWESOME.

F) The Cure in Amsterdam, “the Forest,” 1980. Robert Smith, pre-persona. Twelve years later, this song rocked my world, I’m not even kidding. Oh Robert, I miss the days when you weren’t a caricature of yourself.

G) Tori on The Current, doing Leather. Oh Tori, I miss the days … well, whatever.

2) Via LAist, an amusing misheard lyrics video, featuring one of my favorite workout songs: Sean Paul’s “Temperature.”

3) Via Stereogum, a fun video for Bishop Allen’s “Click Click Click Click.”

4) At Fabulist, Olga takes us back to the early days of Rilo Kiley with “The Frug.”

5) Via Skatterbrain, some good old fashioned pop from Lykke Li: “Little Bit.” Feel free to chair dance.

6) Muzzle of Bees revisits last years’s #3 awesome album. “So how do you feel about being dead?” “I don’t know … my neck hurts.” I LOVE YOU BLACK KEYS.

7) Since Bodies of Water and Stereogum are BFFS, you can see clips there from BoW’s “Takeaway Shows.”

8) Awesome vid from *my* new BFF, LoveLikeFire: “I
(via Rock Insider).

9) ECEU finds one of my fave James Taylor songs, You Can Close Your Eyes, It’s Alright.

10) LAist notes that KT Tunstall turned up to support the WGA a couple weeks ago and someone took a video of her doing “I Want You Back”.

11) Idolator puts the spotlight on Melissa Auf der Maur’s “Followed the Wave.” *sigh* She’s so beautiful. If Foo Fighters had a girl twin, Auf der Maur would be it.

12) Via Electroqueer, Roisin Murphy at the Swarovski fashion awards doing “Overpowered.” I love that hair!

13) IGIF brings us back to the 10 year old video for UNKLE & Thom Yorke’s “Rabbit In Your Headlights,” which I had never seen, though I love the song. What a creepy video, but perfect for the song.

14) And last but not least, new Postmarks video via Stereogum. “Let Go,” all hazy and sunny and green, showcasing one of the best songs on a great album.

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I don’t get a lot of comments, but some opinionated fella posted three on my Amy Winehouse post, talking about how she makes him sick (poor guy). Popular opinion has definitely turned against her, all of it her own fault, and across the pond they are probably sick of even seeing her name. Still, I can’t be too mad at her. I love faux-Motown-revival too much. Not that I have much to say here. I just think it’s interesting how she was pretty well-liked a few months ago and now people can’t stand the sight of her. Kind of like a fella who stripped and jumped off a cliff on MTV a while ago. He was British too.

But let’s move onto things that rock my world!

01. Gorilla vs. Bear was lucky enough to be able to host a video of Annie Clark performing “Your Lips Are Red”. Annie Clark, of course, is St. Vincent, and St. Vincent rocks my socks. Ms. Clark is beautiful, and badass, and the way she handles that guitar makes her a certified grrrrl in my book.

02. An anonymous, “legally savvy” member of the Jefitoblog readership posted a fantastic summary of the music piracy/copyright discussion. If this person is a guy, I want to marry him. If he’s a chick … I’ll consider a move to the other team. It’s the best, most comprehensive, easily understood summary of law that I have ever had the pleasure of reading.

03. Music! In case you read through #2 and still don’t feel bad.
[Note: music removed. please contact me for a copy.]

a. The Black Keys – Stack Shot Billy
(from “Rubber Factory”)

b. Kunek – Coma
(from “Flight of the Flynns”)

c. Maria Taylor – The Ballad of Sean Foley
(from “Lynn Teeter Flower”)

d. Murray Perahia – Chopin Étude no. 2 in F Minor, Op. 25
(from “Chopin Études, Op. 10, Op. 25”)

e. The Ditty Bops – Bye Bye Love (The Everly Bros.)
(from “Moon Over the Freeway”)

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Top 10 2006; 3

The Black Keys
Magic Potion
Black Door (removed. contact me for a copy.)

I have categorized, analyzed, and agonized over the selections for this list. I killed brain cells trying to figure out who should be #11 and who #12, etc. But luckily my top three were easy; and this album would have been #1 if there hadn’t been, you know, those other two pesky records in the way. It’s the only album that I bought, full price, from Borders, just because I saw it on display and had to have it.

This album has no contemporaries, but it has peers: it reminds me intensely of many hours I spent in my room at seventeen, memorizing every word to every album Led Zeppelin ever put out (and subsequently Pink Floyd, etc.). Auerbach and Carney simply lead a war on idiot pop, from the charge of the very first chord to the guitar-smashing that (I presume) occurs at the end of each song. I know they don’t like to be called bluesmen, but I hope they don’t mind me calling it blues rock, because this is blues rock at its finest — witness the fuzzy 70s-esque “Black Door,” which could have easily appeared on a Zeppelin record. I imagine a Black Keys concert (if they ever come out here!) will be the substitute for the Zeppelin concert I could never attend, with the added bonus that I’ll never have to hear “Living Loving Maid” or “The Lemon Song.”

I’ve said “I” too much in this overview, but this is the only album on the list that is just … visceral. This is music for my blood, which is blues, and my muscles, which are rock (if you’re wondering about my brain, it’s indie. Heh). It’s music in a grand tradition, one that shouldn’t have died out but basically has. Luckily, the Black Keys can bring it back to life like a lightning bolt.

[see Best of 2006 for more]


I’m tired of talking. Aren’t you tired of hearing me talk?

[These tracks have been removed. You can contact me if you’d like a copy.]

1. Josh Ritter – Girl In the War
2. The Black Keys – She Said, She Said (Beatles)
3. Union of Knives – Evil Has Never
4. The Reverend Payton’s Big Damn Band – My Soul To Keep
5. Arvo Pärt – Fratres For 4, 8, or 12 Cellos

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Weekly Roundup

Celebrity Quote of the Week: “While I have as much fun as anyone else reading and quoting them, let’s face it, most ‘Chuck Norris Facts’ describe someone with supernatural, superhuman powers. They’re describing a superman character. And in the history of this planet, there has only been one real Superman. It’s not me.”
— Chuck Norris in his new column. He’s just trying to get you to come closer so he can kick you in the face.

We are sorry to say goodbye to Rbally and Clever Titles Are So Last Summer. Best of luck in your future endeavors!

New contrast podcast highlights the one song you love by the band you hate. Matt from Earfarm, I’m ashamed of you, but thanks for sending in “Cherub Rock”! It sent me back in time to 1993, when I used to listen to “Siamese Dream” over and over on the bus ride to school.

In Slate Magazine, Sam Anderson ponders the cultural relevance of Weird Al Yankovic.

Rococo records is releasing a 7″ vinyl of Casiotone For the Painfully Alone’s cover of “Graceland.” I would give my right arm to hear it, but alas, I am vinyl-retarded.

At Moistworks, a couple posts on Turkish music.

In Harp magazine, you can read about the origins of some of the songs on the Crane Wife. Those crazy Leningradians! What will they do next?

It requires a plugin I don’t have, and there’s no way in hell I’ll download a plugin from AOL, but here is a place you can stream Damien Rice’s new album for freeski.

At the Aquarium Drunkard, Blonde on Blonde Dylan outtakes. Useful for something, one would imagine.

Via Stereogum, video for the new Cansei De Ser Sexy song. It’s their best yet — i.e., it’s actually listenable — but the video begs the question: “what are YOU looking at, freaky cat?”

And via Who Killed the Mixtape, the video for the Black Keys’s “Your Touch.” Whatever I was expecting, it was not some lady puking up an egg. Seriously, what is these guys’ fascination with eggs?

Video from Shawshank In One Minute and also in rap form (not safe for work).

And lastly, from Slate again, The Devil Is In the Retailers — unexpectedly funny. If you, uh, have a sense of humor like mine.

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The Black Keys

Side note: I won a Rock Kills Kid CD in the fun contest that Chris is having over at Culture Bully. It’s still going on — it goes till the end of September — so if you like that wacky indie music, you can go join in.

We now return to our regular broadcast.

The Black Keys’ve somehow created a stadium sound in my headphones, and if you add in the bluesy vocals and the bangin’ drums, you have music that hearkens back to the days when music was more than just how many people could be in the band and whether bandmembers are wearing wings or singing about the Napoleonic era. This music is strong and black, like coffee you could stand a spoon in.

They’re part Lenny Kravitz, part Stevie Ray Vaughn, part Black Crowes, and all rock spectacle — when I hear the sweet fuzzy guitar on “Your Touch,” I start thinking that Dan Auerbach is gonna belt out, “are you gonna go my way???” (Though he could likely not match the visual hotness of La Kravitz.) It’s music you could describe as “righteous,” or “awesome,” or maybe by doing that air guitar á la “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.”

“Magic Potion” is the new album, and they’re touring the East coast, so check it out. Highly recommended.

The Black Keys – Site | Myspace

[These tracks have been removed. You can contact me if you’d like a copy.]

The Black Keys – Your Touch
The Black Keys – 10 AM Automatic
The Black Keys – Strange Desire