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Archive for March, 2009

I reckon it’s only a matter of time until Brad Pitt and Justin Timberlake team up to lip synch Black Keys tunes for a cover album or a performance at an awards night. Maybe they’ll play Dan and Pat in an authorised film bio-pic?

I’m thinking Brad Pitt will be on drums and JT will will be on guitar and vocals.

I mention this because JT is a fan of The Black Keys. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly JT explained:

“I mean, I listen to everything,” he says. “I’ve been going back and forth between Kings of Leon’s latest album and the Black Keys. I really love their Attack and Release. I thought that was a really great record.”

JT’s declaration comes after Brad Pitt recently outed himself as a fan also. Aint nothing wrong with that.

I love “their Attack and Release” too just like you, JT.

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Here at The Black Keys Fan Lounge we’re interested in giving equal time to Dan and Pat. Lately everyone’s been focusing on Dan Auerbach’s ‘Keep It Hid’ solo record. Largely unrecognised, Pat Carney has his own wealth of past and present music projects including the group ‘10% Animal‘, his un-released MySpace solo recordings and the recent Art Spiegelman short film soundtrack.

In this guest post Merlyn looks at the music of The Black Keys’ Pat Carney that fans should talk about more.

10% Animal

When I approached this post I obviously found it quite hard to listen to 10% Animal without comparing it to the later Black Keys and judging it on its own merit. I nevertheless did draw some interesting comparisons between the two. First and foremost I think Patrick had a lot more to do with the overall sound of Attack and Release than maybe first thought. Pat may be playing guitar in 10% Animal, and taking on singing duties, but the subtleties of electronic use here is akin to Attack and Release. Pat’s definitely refining his craft here.

“Ten Percent Awesome” – the first track listed on the 10% Animal MySpace site, is such a combination of things. What’s visible here is that Pat is great at melting certain genres and blending them. This track almost hides his affection for hip hop whilst keeping in tow his love for 60’s garage. Think about it like a Sonics LP being spun by Beck and you might understand what’s coming across here.

Pat has this awkward ability to sound innocent. Nothing more, nothing less. If you listen to “I Wanna Be A Baby” you’ll see he’s been able to convey the idea that that statement is true, and he just wants his girlfriend back. Cheated out of a pinky promise. There is a lot of childlike qualities in the overall sound of 10% Animal – especially with some of moods conveyed within the music. The nasally delivery of his voice does get lost amongst some of the music. The draw back here is that it could be seen as having quite a limited appeal.

The last track “Asian Haze” does approach a some what mature stance toward things, but that gets lost when the song is cut short.

This collection of demos is quite interesting to listen to – a must for all diehard Black Keys fans. It’s not the kind of thing I would be listening to a lot of normally but that doesn’t stop me being a new fan of 10% Animal.

Patrick Carney MySpace recordings

Pat’s solo MySpace is all things of an unreleased nature. This stuff can definately cock its head back and stand firmly on its hind legs.

“Age of the Degenerate” is one such track. Full of the idiosyncrasies you would expect. Throughout this track is an eternal reference to Wu-Tang Clan – sustained but variably hidden from the song, a continuously held tape loop. Minimalism kept nice and clean. The name of the track also confers meaning to the song as well, in keeping with the theme he certainly explores.

Other tracks such as “Escape from Newark” and “Deprogram Me” are  definitely in keeping with the broadly degenerate theme. Pat is subtle with his time changes – keeping things at a certain pace, altering the aesthetic of the atsmospheric soundscape slowly. It’s all very clever and considered.

The song “Titled” is very delicate. Well textured and very moody. The use of what appears to be cello (he seems to be proud owning one, declaring in a blog post on his MySpace – “So I bought a Cello”), gives this song heart and a voice to speak it with.

Patrick Carney Soundtracks Art Spiegelman Commercial

This is more like it. Esoteric at all stops. Pat is definitely embellishing himself here. Distorting any sort of take on what’s expected of him. This is one of those things you hear and either connect with straight away – or it can just isolate you completely. Dark sultry moods kept in line with the narrative of the video. Think black velvet cloth only thicker.

It’s a complete departure from his 10% Animal commentary – maybe a gap in years of recording his own stuff has only bettered his intuition for music. Pat seems to have embraced his influences and connected. This, in my view, is what Pat needs to be making. I really hope this equates to some sort of release for him. Audacity has prevailed.

Drummer

Not so much a solo project as it is a collaborative effort with other Ohio bands’ drummers. Pat plays bass in this new band project, surprisingly enough, called Drummer. Check out the  Drummer band MySpace. Gigs and an album on Pat’s Audio Eagle label beckon.

Conclusion:

Pat seems to describe his music with a few little genre tags – Concrete / Acousmatic / Tape music / Minimalist. Pats definitely hits the nail on the head here. The outcome of his somewhat ‘sparse’ recorded works, has done enough to clarify a fews things for me:

1. In any sense of the word Pat can definitely compose good music on his own.
2. He is pivotal to the sound of The Black Keys. The moods conveyed in his tunes are reflected in those of the ‘Keys.
3. He’s not just a drummer!

Time now for you to explore the hidden gems of Patrick Carney.

The Art Spiegelman movie with Pat Carney soundtrack

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A new Black Keys album is being recorded this August for release around March 2010.

With any new album there’s always an expectation from fans. Will it be better than the last? Better than their first? What will it sound like? Who will help produce it?

In order to help answer at least one of those questions, I thought it might be worthwhile polling fans.

I’ve noted some obvious candidates below who might be producing the album.

I’ve always hoped The RZA might be asked to produce.

Considering The Black Keys are playing The Roots Picnic in June 09, I thought The Roots’ drummer ?uestlove might be an outside chance.

Danger Mouse of course produced the last album.

Rick Rubin is interested in the band through the proposed ZZ Top collaboration.

Most albums have of course been self-produced by Dan and Pat. Considering their growing popularity The Black keys will surely be under pressure to use a noted producer or music identity again.

I also think there might be another choice from left field if you read between the lines in some Black Keys interviews.

Don’t be shy, have your say.

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I must say The Black Keys and Dan Auerbach always have cool tour posters.

Hopefully Dan will have posters for sale at his upcoming gig I’ll be going to.

Below are a couple of variations on Dan’s recent graphic theme.

dan_auerbach-tour-poster-2009

dan-auerbach-tour-poster

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I must say I have been pretty jealous reading reviews about Dan Auerbach’s recent live shows. It’s not long now, however, until I get to see Dan in concert. I recently received my ticket in the mail.

I’m yet to see a poor review of the live show. If you haven’t got a ticket yet then make a move, it doesn’t look like he’ll be doing too many more shows than what are already announced.

Unanimously people have commented on:

– how at ease Dan is with his playing and other band members

– how genuinely happy he looks

– how so much more powerful and full the sound is with the live band compared to the record.

– the songs have taken on a life of their own.

Live performce at KCRW

This is awesome. Live in studio performance for Jason Bentleys’ Morning Becomes Eclectic radio show

Here’s some links to some recent live show reviews. I’ll, of course, be adding to the mix when I get to see him in April:

–  Gustavus review of the First Avenue show

Sound Citizen review of the Chicago show

Grimy Goods review of the Bowery Ballroom show

Broken Headphones review of the Beachland Ballroom show

Watching fans reactions pretty much real time on twitter, its clear the new songs are bringing something special for the females in the crowd. These two from one fan really caught my eye.

Enough said:

Dan Auerbach just made me a woman! diggity diggity diggity > 9:46 PM Mar 11th from TwitterBerry
OH MY GOD! If an orgasm had a musical sound= Dan Auerbach > 3 days ago from TwitPic

Dan’s reported set list:

Trouble Weighs a Ton
I Want Some More
The Prowl
When I Left the Room
My Last Mistake
Mean Monsoon
Oh Carol [Rockin’ Horse cover]
Real Desire
Street Walkin’
When the Night Comes
Whispered Words
Heartbroken, In Disrepair
Keep it Hid
Inside Looking Out [The Animals cover]
Encore: Goin’ Home

My Ticket:

dan-auerbach-concert-tickets

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We’ve all heard about The Black Keys collaborations with Ike Turner (RIP) and ZZ Top. It’s topical again since Dan Auerbach has been working with his Dad, Uncle James and Jessica Lea Mayfield on his new solo album.

It seems the ‘Keys are expanding their recorded outlook as much as they are in supporting other bands. Traditionally the band have concentrated on the sounds they create. As a fan I don’t think they need anyone’s help to continue their vision – if it aint broken why fix it?

Nevertheless, I can’t believe the visibly excited demeanour of Dan playing with Hacienda live won’t flow into the ‘Keys in some way.

I thought I’d make up a very personal and incomplete list of musicians/bands I’d like to see The Black Keys work with on their new album.

> The RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan – You’d reckon it could happen sooner or later since Dan and Pat are such big fans. I’d love to see samples at least back on an album like we saw on The Big Come Up.

> Cedric, Garry and Duwayne Burnside – It makes sense since Dan is such a big fan of RL Burnside (RIP) and Junior Kimbrough (RIP) and the North Mississippi sound. Duwayne is RL’s son and also played in Kimbrough’s band. Garry is Duwayne’s younger brother. Cedric is RL’s grandson. Cedric and Garry play together in the Burnside Exploration. All of them great players.

> John Frusciante from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Frusciante’s guitar style is quite different to Dan’s. I suggest their different licks would be quite complementary. Both are very humble guitarists, they share a love of idisyncratic music, effects and recording techniques.

> Nick Cave. The ‘Keys and Nick Cave both share a love of swamp rock and theatrical atmospherics. Dan and Nick both have wry sense of humor and look on the bright side of the moody gloom of life for inspiration. At the very least they would write an awesome movie soundtrack together with the help of Warren Ellis’s violin sound.

> Battles. Imagine Pat and John Stanier going at it. Mix this with the grind of Dan’s guitar and the electro infusion of the rest of the Battles posse. This surely would be some mad 21st century mash up of styles.

Honourable Mention:

I’d love to see a fully-formed duet between Jessica Lea Mayfield and Dan on vocals. Some type of anguished love song gone wrong, a call and haunted reply approach, maybe?

Your Turn:

Who do you think should/might guest on the next Black Keys album being recorded in August 09 in Memphis (probably)?

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A few weeks ago I went and saw The Melvins live with my mates Junior and Luke. Junior had flown into town just to see the band again after also seeing them in Sydney. He had good reason to make an extra effort, it had been 18 years since they had last been in Australia. The gig also had extra significance because The Melvins played their classic album Houdini (1993) in its entirety.

You might be wondering what relevance this has with The Black Keys?

Imagine this scenario for a minute, as I did after the gig, to shed some light.

After a few more years of touring, Dan and Pat call it quits. Family, lack of inspiration, other interests and the effects of eating too much fast food are all cited as reasons for the break. They don’t play another gig for another 20 years.

Then one day they feel the urge. Dan/Pat picks up the phone and they agree to put the band back together. They go back on the road.

Imagine then, what The Black Keys would sound and look like at their 20 years later-reunion gig?

Would they play ‘Thickfreakness’ – the album that really launched them – from start to finish to reconnect with the music and the fans?

Crikey, would they only play acoustic from rocking chairs?

I doubt the latter thought, but importantly, would you go along and see them play live again? Considering my track record with The Melvins, no doubt I would.

The other disturbing thought I had is maybe over time Dan’s bearded appearance could well morph with the hair of Buzz from The Melvins. Gawd, if that occurs I too would fly and see every reunion concert I could for this highlight alone.

Buzz from the Melvins – photo courtesy of fuzuoko

buzz the melvins

For old times sake – ‘Thickfreakness’ live

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