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The Black Keys: Two Dudes Making Music

My mind is funny though, and when I find an artist (or really anything) that I like, I want to know their backstory. I think that’s a big reason I liked Lost so much (posts about that are coming one day). So I started reading about the Black Keys history and listened to some interviews with them. It’s pretty shocking in this day and age to find a band with their story.

The Black Keys are 2 guys, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney. They met when they we’re 9 and lived in the same neighborhood in Akron, Ohio. They started the band in high school, even though Dan was captain of the soccer team and Patrick was an indie kid. I personally relate a little more to Patrick.

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They dropped out of college to tour, put out 5 albums before they “broke out”, gradually building a fan base. They got produced by Danger Mouse (the other guy with Cee-Lo in Gnarls Barkley) and started getting bigger. As it seems to happen, the band started to unravel with success. Patrick got divorced, Dan made a secret side project without telling Patrick. On the brink of breaking up, they reconciled and put out their best album (in my opinion): Brothers. (A very intentional title they say).

After the success and the Grammys in 2010 (which, after they won for the first time, they left 15 minutes later while the show was still going on. That’s so Rock and Roll.) they went back and worked harder and changed up their process for their next album, El Camino.

The van on the cover is the one they actually toured in in the beginning of their career, their parents bought it for them; the air conditioner was broke, and when they sold it it had 190,000 miles. I had a purple minivan that was passed on from my parents and the air conditioner didn’t work. It had about 150,000 miles on it, and I can’t imagine going more than 20 minutes in it.

All of that to say, when you listen to the Black Keys, watch interviews with them ( I think they’re hilarious, I relate to their sense of humor. Like a video where they get shot and blown up and then talk about being deadin a diner), and see how they dress/act even with their success, I think there is an authenticity that people relate to.

In the One Direction/Justin Bieber world (The Black Keys have a well publicized feud with the Biebs) where artists can become a success over night (looking at you Willow Smith), I think the Black Keys are a refreshing change, two guys who loved music who worked at what they loved. They became “successful” without changing who they were.

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Posted in Photograph Post Date 01/31/2018