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The Black Keys (or rather their website administrator) have removed the band’s fan forum message boards. This single line statement, on the page where the fan message board was hosted on the BlackKeys.com website, gives notification of the removal – http://www.theblackkeys.com/forum/index.php:

We have removed the message board, but encourage fans to create their own elsewhere. Thank you, The Black Keys

For the last few months many fans had noticed the lack of admin involvement on the boards and the lack of removal of spam and random porn posts. Perhaps this prompted the removal of the boards? Maybe it all just got too hard and unwieldy, yet long term forum members could have been asked to moderate.

Comment is being sort from The Black Keys management.

It’s a real shame since the forum boards were a good resource and place for fans to interact. Some fans had posted more than 1000+ times.

Clearly the band are hoping the message boards will be re-created by a fan(s) external to their site. They clearly have no future desire to administrate or host the boards and it is a final decision. Kind of a strange thing to do since it brings so many fans regularly to their site and by default makes it easy for the band to communicate with fans at short notice.

Listen to it here, a wicked mashup of The Black Keys’ Strange Times track aka Strange Rhymes by rapper Faimkills.

What do you think: Wack or Rocks?

The Black Keys Fan Lounge is lovin’ it. It probably wont make Blakroc Vol. 2 but, hey, it’s worth a shot. Maybe someone out there wants to put together an album of Black Keys inspired mash ups?

Since all the hoopla blew up about The Black Keys Blakroc project the spotlight has turned back to the mash up sound of blues and hip hop. It’s nothing really new, just hopefully something worth listening to and doesn’t evolve into something Limp Bizkit might produce.

For those who haven’t heard it check out this previous mash up of Jay Z vs The Black Keys previously reported on by The Black Keys Fan Lounge. The possibilities are endless.

Faimkills is a fan of The Black Keys and he notes is looking forward to the new Blakroc release:

With all of the terrible genre-bending many artists try to do nowadays this is something that is very sonically cohesive and I will be excited to pick up on Black Friday.

I embrace lo-fi quality recordings, that is one of the things that drew me to the Black Keys to begin with, their gritty raw, garagey sound.  And as a rapper, it’s hard for people to grasp tho idea of lo-fi music in a hip hop setting because everything in rap tends to be overproduced.

If you want to connect up with Faimkills, here’s how:

collective/makeshift label: Steal Mantra
from: Inland Empire, Southern California
sites: myspace.com/faimkills , twitter.com/faimkills
upcoming projects: A Hot Ghetto Messtape free download Oct 1, 2009 (“Strange Rhymes” will be on it.)

Almost as exciting as hearing about the The Black Keys’ new Blakroc project, is realising that Patrick Carney from The Black Keys is on Twitter. Here’s his address – @patrickcarney

How pleasing to see Pat on there since this site reported on hope for a Black Keys Twitter page.

There have been people hijacking other people’s names including a false Black Keys address. The Black Keys Fan Lounge therefore contacted Pat to verify the authenticity of the account and he confirmed the address it is indeed his. The comments certainly are uniquely his you’d have to say.

Pat’s Twitter stream are now rss fed down the right hand side of this site’s home page.

pat twitter

The Black Keys and Blakroc

blakroc album coverWell, the rumours have been confirmed. The Black Keys’ collaborations with notable hip hop artists including the RZA, Jim Jones, Mos Def, Pharoah Monch, Q-Tip, Ludacris, ODB, Billy Danze of M.O.P., Noe and Nicole Wray are being released in an album on November 27, 2009.

How the album, recorded over 11 days with 11 artists, pans out is going to be very interesting. There’s only a brief snippet of the recordings over at blakroc.com (and below).

You can also listen to the track Hoochie Coo mp3 here featuring Mos Def, Jim Jones and The Black Keys.

The album is not such a surprising development considering The Black Keys long held love all things hip hop previously documented here on The Black Keys Fan Lounge. How interesting to see the respect is mutual considering the ‘Keys were on a primarily hip hop line up at The Roots Picnic.

How very cool it is to see The RZA on there, who this website has long hoped would work with the band. He’s a veritable music svengali, alike Dan ready to branch out and take educated risks. For Dan and Pat, who are such big Wu-Tang fans from their high school days, it must have been like their musical lives had turned full circle.

Consider also how Damon Dash, the Blakroc producer, was turned onto The Black Keys:

My assistants, who are now actually A&Rs, were going to a Black Keys concert for their birthday and I wasn’t invited,” he explained. “Usually on their birthdays we all do it together and the reason why I wasn’t invited was because the concert was sold out . And I had never heard of The Black Keys and I was like y’all still gonna go without me. And they was like ‘Yo it’s The Black Keys.” So I was like, lemme hear this group. So I start listening to them and they actually became my favorite group. They were on heavy rotation so we just reached out and we kicked it with them and I was like, ‘I wonder what would happen if we got Jim Jones and the Keys in the studio’ and Jim came in and all of a sudden Mos came in and then [it] just built from there.

Make sure you sign up to Blakroc.com and check out the full length trailer. With such slick production values on the video, and emotive black and white photography of all the artists, clearly this whole project will surely end up as either a stand alone documentary or deluxe cd edition filler.

Every week (friday) there is going to be a new webisode released onto the site. Dam tasty behind the scenes action. Here’s webisode 1:

Blakroc short trailer:


blakroc

I was listening to The Black Keys’ 2002 album The Big Come Up album today and I heard the lyric “…Gotta keep it hid” in the song ‘Leavin Trunk’. This caught my attention. It’s not the most common lyric or phrasing. I obviously picked up on it in light of Dan Auerbach’s recent 2009 ‘Keep It Hid’ song and album of the same name which also uses the line “…Gotta keep it hid”.

I needed to do some further investigation. The appearance of the ‘keep it hid’ lyric seemed to be more than coincidence.

When I looked at the lyrics of the respective songs I was again surprised. The songs are relatively similar in their subject matter – a man on the run wanting to impress his sweetheart. ‘Keep It Hid’ almost reads like ‘Leavin Trunk – Part 2′.

Many of Dan’s lyrics revolve around this lurking dark side which we’ve previously covered on The Black Keys Fan Lounge.

The original lyrics to Leavin Trunk were written as ‘Milk Cow Blues’ by blues singer Sleepy John Estes (1899 – 1977). The song became a bit of a blues standard when it was adapted and recorded as Leavin Trunk by Taj Mahal amongst many others. The Leavin Trunk lyrics were then shortened and recorded by The Black Keys.

I find this all very interesting.

Dan has always been very up front about his influences and style. Clearly he continues to mine a rich vein of inspiration through these influences, musical styles and themes from his first album lyrics through to his most recent. In so doing he places himself into the blues musical lineage of those he admires.

When you listen to the respective songs performed the musical similarities are also quite notable. Not only do the lyrics in ‘Keep It Hid’ seem derived from the theme in ‘Leavin Trunk’, so does the musical composition.

What do you think?

Leavin Trunk Lyrics by The Black Keys

Goin’ upstairs to pack my leavin’ trunk
I ain’t seen no whiskey
woman make me sloppy
Ain’t seen no whisky
woman made me drunk
Goin’ back home where I had much better luck
Look here darling
want me to be your king
Said you’re kiddin’ darling
gotta keep it hid
Don’t let your main man
your husband catch me here
Don’t let your main man
your husband catch me here

Keep It Hid Lyrics by Dan Auerbach

Lock the door and close the blinds
They’re coming for me girl and I ain’t got time
If they ask you, darlin’, oh about what I did
Baby you gotta keep it hid
I’m heading south, and I can’t say where
But I’ll phone you baby soon as I get there
They’re not gonna seal my coffin lid’
Cause you’re gonna keep it hid
(Bridge)
Well Big Sue knew but she don’t no more
If you know what I mean
They’ll never find what they’re looking for’
Cause you’re my tight-lipped queen
I’ll buy you a dress, a nice handmade piece
And send your Mom on a vacation to Greece
If you’re an auction, oh I’m the highest bid
Oh baby, ’cause you’re gonna keep it hid

Leavin Trunk by The Black Keys

Keep It Hid by Dan Auerbach

Have you ever seen a random interview with The Black Keys and noticed the photo used to accompany the story is the same one that was used on another article you’ve read?

It’s obviously easier and cheaper for magazines and newspapers to use a stock PR photo than commission a new one. In any case, bands like using the same images to build up an identifiable attitude or profile.

I’ve assembled the commonly seen publicity images that have come to define the look and story of The Black Keys (in no particular order).

From the look of this lot, I guess there’s only so many band photo faces you can pull.

They are interesting in that they each capture a moment in the band’s life, a piece of it’s history, from the early days to recent days. None of them portray a self-satisfied or smug attitude, rather the modesty and irony of Dan and Pat’s personality comes across.

In a recent comment on this post, Black Keys fan Dan mentioned the first image below of Dan and Pat in the basement would make a great poster. I’d have to agree.

I look forward to seeing some new images for the new Black Keys album being released. With a bit of luck they’ll be done by James Quine who took all of Dan Auerbach’s recent solo press images.

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Recently this site posted about songs covered by The Black Keys. For good measure I thought it would be good to document other Black Keys songs that are otherwise known as rarities, un-released tracks or b sides.

Some of these are also cover songs.

I’ve used uploaded versions of the songs to YouTube since they are accessible and fans can listen to them at least. Obviously the original tracks are in some cases rare or difficult to purchase legally, so I’m not interested in promoting illegal download versions. There’s only a couple of tracks listed here you can’t listen to.

For anyone interested in the full Black Keys discography check out Eil.com.

Evil – appeared on the ‘Set You Free’ Australian 3 track single (1993)

Here I Am I Always Am – Captain Beefheart cover from the 7 inch vinyl US release of  the ‘I Got Mine’ single

The Way I Feel When I’m With You – B side for the ‘You’re The One’  single

Summertime Blues – B side for the ’10am Automatic’ single

Funk 49 – James Gang cover, live track

Something On Your Mind - appeared on the 7 inch vinyl US release of  ‘Attack and Release’

Goin’ Down South – RL Burnside cover, live track

Flash Of Silver – B side for the ‘Till I get My Way’ single

Stay All Night – track from the Chulahoma sessions on the ‘Causes1′ compilation for Darfur

Can’t Find My Mind – The Cramps cover from the He Put The Bomp compilation

If You Ever Slip – The Hottest State soundtrack

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