The Call Up

The best of the internet as curated by me. Put me in coach.

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January 8, 2012 11:21 am
"Rock is becoming a graveyard of aesthetic innovation and creativity, a lie perpetrated by major labels, radio conglomerates and touring concerns, all of whom need — or feel they need — the continued sustenance of this style of music. The fringes remain interesting, and regenerate constantly, but the center has been left to rot … let’s call it zombified: it moves, it takes up space, it looks powerful from afar — with oodles of bands working hard, and some even making money — and garish up close. It lacks nutrients."

The article goes on the skewer the Black Keys and just about everyone else. 

(Source: The New York Times)

January 5, 2012 3:13 pm
"Rock & roll is dying because people became OK with Nickelback being the biggest band in the world,’ he says, blowing cigarette smoke out the window of his rented East Village loft a few days ­before the band heads to L.A. ‘So they became OK with the idea that the biggest rock band in the world is always going to be shit – therefore you should never try to be the biggest rock band in the world. Fuck that! Rock & roll is the music I feel the most passionately about, and I don’t like to see it fucking ruined and spoon-fed down our throats in this watered-down, post-grunge crap, horrendous shit. When people start lumping us into that kind of shit, it’s like, ‘Fuck you,’ honestly.’"

The Black Keys are on the cover of Rolling Stone.  Some absolute gems in here.  Also, apparently Dan Auerbach was a teen hottie and never gave a shit about lyrics in the early going (not a shocker).  

(Source: Rolling Stone)

December 12, 2011 8:00 am
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  • Meet Me In The City
  • By: The Black Keys
  • Chulahoma
  • 20 plays

I’ve been climbing through the Black Keys catalog this week. 

December 6, 2011 1:53 pm
"I don’t know— what’s the difference between Rush and Led Zeppelin, other than the fact that one band is awesome and one is really annoying? Maybe we’re like Led Zeppelin— but maybe we’re Rush. Everything is relative. The worst thing that can happen is for you to think that you’re Led Zeppelin, but it turns out you’re Loverboy."

Pat Carney, ladies and gentlemen.  Man these guys are getting a lot of press.

(Source: pitchfork.com)

December 2, 2011 9:45 am
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  • You're the One
  • By: The Black Keys
  • Magic Potion
  • 20 plays

In response to the ridiculous and esoteric and increasingly nonsensical Pitchfork review of the Black Keys’ latest, El Camino, I am bringing it back to their most overlooked album.  Literally, Pitchfork, I don’t know what you’re talking about.  “The lyrics! The lyrics are hilarious…amid the keening/crunching stomp of ‘Run Right Back’, dropping some serious knowledge: ‘Well she’s a special thing/ She doesn’t read too much, oh/ But there’s no doubt/ She’s written about.’ Which is really just a prelude to the miraculous five-word sequence that is ‘Finest exterior/ She’s so superior,’ which, Jesus. Show me the CARFAX, Romeo.”  What?  Wait, what?  Carfax? 

Then this: “It behooves us to take 90 seconds here and figure out how this band got so popular and enduring. The Black Keys were born in the teeth of the early-aughts ‘Rock Is Back!’ movement, wherein a cadre of uncouth garage-y bands all named The ______s saved us from the terrorists and/or the Backstreet Boys. Eventual result: deserved ignominy (the Vines), undeserved ignominy (the Hives), bewildered near-implosion (the Strokes), and bewildering total implosion (the White Stripes). The years have not been kind.”  Wait, what?  I know I said that already, but what?  We’re placing the Black Keys in the temporal space of the Vines and the Strokes?  Do you really think Dan Auerbach or Pat Carney gave two shits about the primped and over-financed fancyings of Julian Casablancas and company?  Nevermind that they were nowhere until a few years ago, well after even the best of the aforementioned had vanished.  Do you really think their music came from a zeitgeist?  Is that how we’re supposed to read them?  Come on.  Don’t you think there’s a reason the lasting (and best) of those “real” rock bands came from the rust belt of Akron and Detroit?  Maybe because that’s where the rock is born and where the blues still live?  Why don’t you talk about that, Pitchfork?  Oh cause that would be hard.  Much easier to just talk about the “The” bands.  And I don’t even want to talk about the little detour into how they sold out and now represent commercialism in a flannel shirt or something.  These guys are the fucking American dream.

And for god’s sake stop talking about Danger Mouse, I know it’s easy, but stop it.  “Danger Mouse figured it out, for one thing. He unnecessarily arted up 2008’s Attack & Release (plus the hit off Brothers), and his angelic-choir/space-glockenspiel Super Mario Galaxy fantasias still distract— everything’s a goddamn spaghetti western with this guy.” First of all, he did precisely one track on their last album—spaghetti western, yes, but not here.  Which is a credit to all three of them.  He cleaned them up, added some new elements and made their garage rock album-ready.  I personally think the Blakroc experience played a big part in refining their much funkier and more dynamic sound on Brothers, but that’s me. 

In sum, Pitchfork, put some effort into it.

November 9, 2011 4:13 pm
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  • Origins
  • By: Tennis
  • 10 plays

Tennis’ latest with the help of the Black Keys’ Pat Carney.  They needed some edge.

October 27, 2011 6:56 am

Boys are back.

October 24, 2011 12:34 pm

I only turn into a total fan girl for a few people, but the Black Keys are on that list.  

GQ: Why have you guys managed to stick together for so long?
Dan Auerbach: I don’t want to be a dickhead, but honestly, it’s because we’re good and because we’ve worked harder than any band I’ve ever met, without a question. We’ve toured harder and done more dates and played for less money. Not mixing a record over and over again, trying to change and grow. But I’ve got to say: it’s probably easier to change and grow when there’s just two of us. Everybody is always like, “Beck is such a chameleon.” And I’m always like, “Of course he’s a fucking chameleon. Nobody tells him what to do. He has to answer to no one—he can do whatever he wants, whenever.” And I think that when you’re in a group, it’s harder to change, because you’ve got to pull everybody with you. Pat and I—you’ve just got to convince one person to try something.”

(Source: GQ)

January 4, 2011 4:02 pm