Tag Archives: The Black Keys

THE BLACK KEYS: ‘Blakroc 2’ update and video

More ‘Keys n emcees on the horizon then. The Black Keys are legends and so are the rappers they worked with on their first rap/ rock project Blakroc so it’s a pity that what they came up with was a bit of an ‘also ran.’ Still, Carney and Auerbach and friends are back soon for a second crack of the whip with Blakroc 2 – so who knows – maybe things will get rectified
…MORE

THE BLACK KEYS: Brothers – 2010 – Album review

Rating: ★★★★☆

Continuing the ‘short’ theme of late as the monkey catches up with a backlog, today’s guest review style is that of shit, free, UK newspaper Metro. Obviously, this review is literate though…
Much has been made of the fact that for this LP the band availed themselves of the legendary soul studios at Muscle Shoals to lay down their latest offering of scuzzy blues-fuzz. There’ll no doubt be wordy analyses of The Black Keys’ Brothers all over the interweb but why waste time suffering the pretension when it can be pithily summed up as having (on the one hand) the subtler melodies of the Dangermouse-produced last LP Attack & Release rather than the instant-fix hooks of the first three LPs, while (on the other hand) they’ve gone back to sounding like they recorded the whole thing in Victorian public toilet. Or to put it another way, better overall than (say) the largely dirge-like Magic Potion but lacks a Your Touch.

There you go, shorter than a Guardian single review and frees you up an extra 20 seconds to check your email again, deny some shit application access to your Facebook account or just look at porn. Or something.

Listen to The Black Keys – Brothers

The Black Keys – Myspace

THE BLACK KEYS: Brothers LP release details + tracklist + listen to ‘Tighten Up’

Scuzzy, groovy blues rock on the way alert! Despite the apparent lack of an official internet press release, the last few weeks have seen details trickling out about a new Black Keys LP (Brothers LP review HERE) and then suddenly this week, Zane Lowe gets his hands on album track Tighten Up, produced by Dangermouse (giving it a certain bounce to each ounce) – and to which you can have a listen below. The monkey has read all that other stuff so you don’t have to and basically the important bits are that it’s released 18 May on Nonesuch, contains 15 tracks all produced by Carney and Auerbach (except the aforementioned Tighten Up) and was recorded at Muscle Shoals! According to Billboard “the album is highlighted by ‘Next Girl’, a Zeppelin-y blast of fuzzed-out guitar, and ‘Howlin’ for You’, which features a “da da da” chant and a drum beat akin to Gary Glitter’s glam-rock classic ‘Rock and Roll (Part Two)’”. According to theblackkeysfanlounge, ‘new single ‘Howlin’ For You’ will be released on Record Store Day in the USA on 17 April 2010.

The Back Keys – Brothers – Tracklist:
01. Everlasting Light
02. Next Girl
03. Tighten Up
04. Howlin’ For You
05. She’s Long Gone
06. Black Mud
07. The Only One
08. Too Afraid to Love You
09. Ten Cent Pistol
10. Sinister Kid
11. The Go Getter
12. I’m Not the One
13. Unknown Brother
14. Never Gonna Give You Up
15. These Days

The Black Keys – Myspace

BLAKROC: Dollaz & Sense feat. RZA & Pharoahe Monch

Rap rock – get it right and the world walks your way. Get it wrong and your biscuit will be limper than a soggy krackawheat and less appetising. Enter the Blackroc project a.k.a The Black Keys who (as everybody knows) are the world’s best rock band and all your favourite rappers’ favourite rappers including Mos Def, RZA, Raekwon, Q-Tip, Pharoahe Monch, M.O.P’s Billy Danze and – rising from the grave once more – Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Please God let it be good. Here’s the audio for the RZA/ Monch featuring Dollaz & Sense…album’s out end of November. Watch this space.

blakroc.com

DAN AUERBACH: Keep It Hid – 2009 – Album review

Rating: ★★★★☆

It must be admitted – Keep It Hid – the debut solo venture by Black Keys’ guitarist and singer Dan Auerbach – isn’t a million miles away from the sound of The Black Keys. Mind you, if you grant that there are four key (groan) elements to the ‘Keys sound – Auerbach’s tortured blues howl and blistering guitar playing being two and the others being Patrick Carney’s syncopated beats and lo-fi production – and then we accept that the first two weren’t likely to be absent on an Auerbach solo effort and acknowledge that Keep It Hid features lo-fi production and some not-un-Carney-like beats – the similarity shouldn’t come as a revelation. Apparently you can take the man out of The Black Keys but not The Black Keys out of the man. Not that I’m complaining you understand – for here is yet another album packed full of richly evocative swampy, garagey, bluesy rock.
Arguably mellower than the average ‘Keys release, the LP kicks off with country-ish (I said ‘ish’!) lament Trouble Weighs A Ton before heading towards more familiar ‘Keys territory with the roadhouse stomp of I Want Some More. Much was made of the influence that Dangermouse might have over the ‘Keys sound when knowledge of his production on last year’s Attack & Release was announced and yet, if anything, it is this LP which sounds like someone has taken the envelope of The Black Keys sound and pushed it a bit. There’s the heavy breaks that underpin the bayou-groove and desolate pleading of The Prowl (“I see you walking out the door/ Trading looks with other men/ But I’m the only one you need/ And I know just where you’ve been”) and the super reverbed tremelo guitar effect on Heartbroken. Then again, on the minus side, there’s the rather pointless ambient noise of Because I Should.
It also needs to be said that the middle of the album does have something of the oppressive quality of lying awake at four a.m. trying to make sense of it all and failing – however positive the ”Don’t be afraid…” refrain of songs like When The Night Comes. That said, the mesmeric quality of Auerbach’s axemanship and his voice goes a long way to mitigating any excess of lyrical thematic misery. Penultimate track Street Walkin’ is a slice of riffage which, with it’s heavy use of wah-wah, traces the sound of melodic rock with a groove back through The Screaming Trees all the way to Led Zeppelin and it’s also on a Zeppelin tip that the LP ends with Goin’ Home a folky-sounding thing that tails off to wind chimes.
Keep It Hid possesses a lot of the doleful moodiness that makes much of ‘Keys LP Magic Potion such a trial to listen to but compensates by having better tunes and a more varied sonic palette. It is true that Auerbach’s still letting the ladies get him down a bit too much but hey – at least they’re inspiring him to write classic music and with a sonic-vision like his – you’ll be mostly very happy to hear him moan.
Released 10 February on Nonesuch.

Listen to – Dan Auerbach – Keep It Hid

Dan Auerbach – Myspace

MONKEYBOXING.COM – Top 10 Albums – 2008


Here’s what you should have bought…
See Monkeyboxing.com’s – Top 10 Tracks – 2008 HERE)

1. THE BLACK KEYS – Attack & Release (V2)
Triumphant fuzzed-out blues groove return for the ‘Keys.
Listen
Read more
Myspace

2. K-DELIGHT – Audio Revolution (Playing Around)
K-Dilla on the cut – the year’s most convincing B-boy document.
Listen
Read more
Myspace

3. THE BAMBOOS – Side Stepper (Tru Thoughts)
“Oh my god that’s some funky shit!”
Listen
Read more
Myspace

4. UGLY DUCKLING – Audacity (Fat Beats)
Long Beach hip-hoppers back with a more sophisticated and mature sound.
Listen
Read more
Myspace

5. THE COOL KIDS – The Bake Sale (Chocolate Industries)
“Make some noise, it’s the new black version of The Beastie Boys”!
Listen
Read more
Myspace

6. DJ DESIGN – Jetlag (Look Records)
The former Foreign Legion DJ makes his mark with this fresh LP.
Listen
Read more
Myspace

7. PARKER – Western Soul (Rocstar Recordings)
Bristol bassssssssssss!
Listen
Read more
Myspace

8. JAKE ONE – White Van Music (Rhymesayers)
Collaboration city! Jake One puts Seattle hip-hop on the map.
Listen
Read more
Myspace

9. THE NEW MASTERSOUNDS – Plug & Play (One Note)
Multiple flavours of effortless funk from mod, to New Orleans, afrobeat to Blue Note.
Listen
Read more
Myspace

10. G LOVE & SPECIAL SAUCE – Superhero Brother (Brushfire)
Feel-good funky, rootsy, blues bumps, like always.
Listen
Read more
Myspace

MONKEYBOXING.COM – Top 10 Tracks – 2008


Sounds you hear that linger in your ear…
N.B. Chart includes re-releases but NOT unreleased tracks
See Monkeyboxing.com’s – Top 10 Albums – 2008 HERE)

1. THE SNUGS (feat. Little Hannah Collins) – Trying (Freestyle)
Laid-back vintage ska horns, clattering breakbeat and proper soul vocals from the gorgeous ‘Little’ Hannah Collins.
Listen
Read more
Myspace

2. JIMMY HICKS – Mr Big Stuff (New Orleans Funk Vol 2 LP) (Soul Jazz)
Mad funky strut – takes Jean Knight’s track and throws it straight back.
Listen
Read more
Myspace

3. DJ DESIGN (feat. Guilty Simpson) – Ferocious (Jetlag LP) (Look Records)
Mental sci-fi boom-bap battle rhyme!
Listen
Read more
Myspace

4. BETTY MOORER – It’s My Thing (Andy Smith: Diggin The BGP Crates LP) (BGP)
Funky soul is the sexiest music ever. Betty Moorer tells it like it is.
Listen
Read more
Myspace

5. AIM (feat. Q-Ball & Curt Cazal) – Before (Birchwood EP) (ATIC)
Q Ball and Curt Cazal hook up again to trade effortless rhymes over an Aim beat and orchestral soul horn loop about how “Everything was whips and chains” back in the day. Genius.
Listen
Read more
Myspace

6. THE COOL KIDS – What It Is (The Bake Sale LP) (Chocolate Industries)
Breaaakkkkkks! Old school heat in an Eric B and Rakim style.
Listen
Read more
Myspace

7. ALL NATURAL – Back Slap (Elements: Fire LP) (All Natural)
Capital D returns with super dope rhymes while Tone B Nimble pulls out all his best cuts.
Listen
Read more
Myspace

8. THE NEW MASTERSOUNDS – All We Can Do (Plug & Play LP) (One Note)
Ultra itchy break, squelchy wah-wah and bass like an eel hitting the side of a dustbin.
Listen
Read more
Myspace

9. THE BAMBOOS (feat. Ty) – I Can’t Help Myself (Side Stepper LP) (Tru Thoughts)
Jump-up funk that heads straight for the dancefloor.
Listen
Read more
Myspace

10. THE BLACK KEYS – Same Old Thing (Attack & Release LP) (V2)
Still got game! More planet-sized blues-rock groove.
Listen
Read more
Myspace

THE BLACK KEYS – Live at Bristol Carling Academy – November 17 2008

I’ve never been asked to take my gum out on the way into a venue before, though I guess there’s a first time for everything – anyway – that is precisely what happened when I got to the doors of this one. I put another piece in on the inside of course – (remember that as it’ll be important later on) and hoped that it didn’t bode badly for the evening – though I had my doubts when the first support act came on. A trio, competent but dull, they were leavened only by the size of the drummer’s beard (about the size of a small raccoon) and guitarist who bore a passing resemblance to Thomas Chong and who looked like he’d just wandered in off the Haight-Ashbury circa nineteen sixty eight. The second support (whose band name again eluded me) were a charismatic, skilled and obviously mental Kiwi/ Aussie combo who bonded well with the crowd but were generally strangers to the conventional song structure which the crowd so clearly wanted.

Still, ‘giving them what they want’ is both Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney’s middle name – arriving as they did with little fanfare and pummelling the crowd with a welter of mammoth blues riffs and feedback. After a couple of tracks Auerbach mumbled “I’m Dan and this is Patrick,” – a man of few words then – though in comparison to Carney (who, as I recall said nothing for the entire gig and is apparently a man of no words) he was a conversational titan. Here are two men, I thought, who believe their music speaks for itself and – as Auerbach riffed the intro of a mighty version of Girl Is On My Mind – I had no grounds for disagreement whatsoever. Tracks from Rubber Factory and first album The Big Come Up were thick on the ground tonight though forthcoming single and standout from current LP Attack & ReleaseSame Old Thing got a pretty thorough seeing to. 10 A.M. Automatic got more heads nodding in a (from my vantage point) fairly static audience and an almost Hendrix-like version of Stackshot Billy’s stomp finally shifted feet. Strange Times finally saw hands in the air and when Auerbach muttered, “Let’s keep things moving,” you knew from your goosebumps that Magic Potion highlight Your Touch was coming next, and that it would be massive. Which it was. Psychotic Girl was in the set list somewhere, as was Have Love Will Travel and a cover – which someone said was Captain Beefheart and may have been I’m Glad. No doubt someone who’s even more of a ‘Keys-spod than I am can confirm that. Their live version of I Got Mine even prompted a mate of mine to comment that tonight the Keys were like a sort of ‘blues Rage Against The Machine’ – though the analogy was a reference to the fury and fire of the band’s playing rather than any involvement in radical politics. As Auerbach said the band’s goodbyes (yeah – like they weren’t coming back from an encore) I headed to the gents. On my way back a heavy hand falls on my shoulder and I turn round to see a large alpha-male (well – physically anyway) thrust a half-pint glass at my face and a split second later I realised that I wasn’t actually being assaulted – it was security. Apparently he wanted my gum as it’s not allowed inside the building. And you can see why – after all it is a dangerous and prohibited substance responsible for the corruption of many a youth as well as a mortal danger to a venue’s licence and in these respects quite unlike the skunk I smell every time I go to a hip-hop gig there.

The ‘Keys did return for a two track encore but I already had good reasons to be on my way by the middle of their final track. I left the building thinking that I do like my bands to have a bit of a banter with the crowd but if I have to choose between the banter and the music – the music wins every time – especially when it’s this good.

The Black Keys – Myspace

theblackkeys.com

Top