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Archive for February, 2009

A lot of people buy Black Keys merchandise. Often a higher price is attached to goods if it has Dan and Pat’s autograph on it.

Having said that, I doubt anyone would pay for a used Black Keys concert ticket with their signatures on it.

If you are buying something purporting to have been signed by The Black Keys you can now compare the  squiggles with the examples below.

Hmm, I’m pretty sure the scribble on the left of the ticket is Pat’s and the one on the left is Dan’s.

If you were buying some Black Keys merchandise, would you pay more for their signature on the goods?

signed-black-keys-concert-ticket

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It’s been a while since I’ve added an off the wall interview with The Black Keys. I hadn’t come across these excellent National Public Radio interviews before until I stumbled on a link to them posted by someone on Twitter. Listening to an interview is always so much better than reading them.

The first radio interview is from 2006. It’s really un-guarded and quirky. Pat as usual is coming up with the one-liners. Great anecdotes about the early days of the band and recording techniques. They cover a lot of ground, name checking early influences which explains much about the dynamic of the relationship between Dan and Pat. Fans and those new to the band will love it.

Compare the 2006 interview with this 2007 NPR interview (21 mins of interview and live radio studio tracks) recorded at the time of the Magic Potion album release. The heavier nature of this album reflects what Dan was listening to at the time, including “Japanese psych-rock music”. Good discussion of the Chulahoma album and the legacy of Junior Kimbrough too. Not to mention what type of cars Dan and Pat both drive. The live recording here of “Strange Desire” is particularly intense.

And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Black Keys interview without a fast food reference right at the end of the 2007 interview from Pat! Someone really should do a PhD on his obsession.

For good measure listen to:

Update: Here’s an interview with Dan Auerbach by NPR where he talks about his new solo album. Listen and enjoy this revealing chat. Here Dan sing acapella the start of “When The Night Comes” after being prompted by the interviewer.

Bless Public Radio.

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Dan’s Shoes

The most popular topic on The Black Keys Forum is “Dans Shoes“. At last count, it’s had some 172,951+ views and 1133+ replies. The thread started from someone asking the simple question where they can buy a pair of shoes like Dan’s.

I’ve sometimes read the thread and never quite understood the interest. Maybe my obsession will only lead me so far. The shoes are seemingly used by fans as a starting point for riffs on other aspects of the band.

I thought if I at least contributed to the conversation I’d feel more of a connection to the shoe fetishists out there. They do after all look like pretty comfortable shoes.

So, here’s some shots of Dan’s shoes performing on stage with The Black Keys in Melbourne, January ’09.

dan-auerbach-shoes-1dan-auerbach-shoes

dan-auerbach-shoes-3dan-auerbach-shoes-4

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I was reading some reviews of The Black Keys’ New York shows on 6 and 7 February @ Terminal 5 when I came across this one at Brooklyn Vegan. I wasn’t so much interested in the review as I was in the comments left by people who were at the show.

Overwhelmingly the punters were critical of the venue, police presence outside hassling people and of other members of the crowd in a way I’ve not seen posted to other reviews. Maybe it’s just a New York thing? This particular comment really caught my eye:

The Black Keys are great. They could not have worse fans. And as the band gets bigger, their fans get worse. At least 75 percent were drunk, rowdy frat boys.

Posted by Anonymous | February 8, 2009 5:49 PM

It reminded me of how I described the crowd at recent ‘Keys shows I’ve been to. Not so much the rowdiness factor, rather they were heavily male dominated. The only girls present seem to have been dragged along by their boyfriends. I’m certainly guilty of that, in the past. I’d reckon recent shows have been more like 90% guys.

I’ve been thinking about why this is because, anecdotally, I’m sure the boy/girl ratio was different in years gone past. Come to think of it, I was actually introduced to the band by a female friend.

Some possible reasons for the demographic:

  • Girls don’t like the heavy thump blues
  • Girls don’t like power chords
  • There aren’t enough melodies
  • Dan and Pat are married
  • Girls aint into a full beard
  • Dan and Pat don’t dance
  • Dan and Pat don’t make gossip mags regularly
  • Dan and Pat aren’t dressed for the fashion conscious
  • The band plays a much harder edged sound on stage compared to their records
  • There’s already too many guys at gigs which makes them too blokey and not so appealing

The lack of girls definitely gives the gigs a different edge. I’m sure the band would simply love their music to appeal to as many as possible.

Maybe the Brooklyn Vegan comment is right: as the band does get more popular they simply draw in male fans just looking for heavy riffs who miss the subtlety of the band and their attitude.

It’s going to be very interesting who turns out to Dan’s solo gigs and whether this softer sound attracts more ladies.

Over to you girls, what do you think?

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If you’ve ever wanted to know what Dan Auerbach’s guitar pick looks like, well, here it is.

There’s probably a few guitar pick spotters who will appreciate this close up.

Even though I don’t play the guitar I’m pretty chuffed to have it. I have it due to luck more than anything else.

A guy seated next to me at the recent Melbourne gig had asked a roadie for the spare Gomez guitar picks after their set. He threw one  over. The guy was stoked.

After the Black Keys gig, the same guy yelled out to the Black Keys roadie (whose name I would later learn is Mattrix) for a guitar pick. The kind soul that he is threw 2 picks in our direction. I caught one and the other dropped between the front row of seats and the stage, down into what would normally be an orchestra pit, far out of reach. I was now stoked, and the other guy was unhappy.

I suppose I can never say that Dan actually played with this particular pick, but it certainly was in his available rack.

dan-auerbach-guitar-pick

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The Black Keys on Twitter

Dan and Pat haven’t succumbed to the addiction that is Twitter. But many other’s have.

I reckon Pat and Dan would be well worth following if they were to start chirping away with their wry observations of the world. For now we’ll have to follow them on MySpace.

I mention this because The Black Keys Fan Lounge is now feeding tweets about the band down the lower right hand side of this site.

See what fan’s are saying about the band in real time. It aint all pretty, it’s sometimes funny, but above all it’s real.

Keep up to date with The Black Keys Fan Lounge on Twitter: @blackkeysfans

Hopefully, The Black Keys follow this excellent advice about how bands and musicians can use twitter.

twitter

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Wise man say: Show me an interview that references fast food, and I’ll show you an interview with The Black Keys.

OK, maybe that’s over-stating how often The Black Keys discuss fast food  in interviews.

Nevertheless, when I read this excellent interview with Pat I started to understand the instrinsic link he has with fast food:

I ate McDonalds every single day. I ate off the dollar menu because it was all I could afford. I had two dollars a day for sandwiches, two dollars a day for beer, two dollars a day for cigarettes and two dollars for coffee – I lived off 10 dollars a day for a long time.

The time period is not mentioned in the article although I’m thinking it was months to a year or so. Long enough, irrespective. If I ate McDonalds for that long no doubt I would (unconsciously?) talk about fast food all the time too.

Having said that, Pat or Dan won’t eat anything or anywhere and certainly not at Chrissie Hynde’s VegiTerranean restaurant in Akron, OH:

We’ve been on eBay, looking at hot-dog carts,” Auerbach quipped.
They have the perfect location picked out for their cart, too: Highland Square, near staunch vegan Hynde’s apartment.
“It’s a dream of ours,” Auerbach said, laughing.

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