"Asking the Black Keys 'Why do you play the blues so good?' would be like asking a cloud 'Why are you fluffy so good?' How the hell is someone supposed to answer that? It's like a Zen koan."The Black Keys
are a Grammy-winning Blues Rock
band hailing from Akron, Ohio. While some of their albums have featured session musicians, the core band consists of only two members - Dan Auerbach (guitar, vocals) and Patrick Carney (drums). The band was formed in 2001, and have released the following albums:
- The Big Come Up (2002)
- Thickfreakness (2003)
- Rubber Factory (2004)
- Magic Potion (2006)
- Attack and Release (2008)
- Brothers (2010)
- El Camino (2011)
Early in the band's career, much media attention was placed on their raw, minimalistic style (the result of a recording technique euphemistically referred to as "medium-fidelity", described by the band as "equal parts broke-ass shit to equal parts hot-ass shit.") Since Attack and Release
, however, their sound has been a bit more expansive, adding more sonic detail while keeping the band's Blues Rock
sound front and center.The music video for "Howlin' For You" is so troperrific that it now has its own page
- Bad To The Bone: Their songs see a lot of use in movie trailers.
- Badass Beard: Dan.
- Big Rock Ending
- Chiaroscuro: The front cover of The Big Come Up.
- Cover Album: Chulahoma: The Songs of Junior Kimbrough
- Covers Always Lie: The vehicle pictured on the cover of El Camino is not an El Camino.
- Cover Version: Almost every Black Keys album, save for Magic Potion, Attack and Release, and El Camino, has included at least one cover.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The cover for Brothers reads, "This is an album by The Black Keys. The name of this album is Brothers." The album's singles follow suit.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Once requested to make a "placeholder video" for "Tighten Up" as a teaser for Brothers, the video director made one where the duo interacted with a puppet T. rex Frank the Funkasaurus, who returned for..
- Fanservice \ Pool Scene: ...their video for "Next Girl".
- Gratuitous Spanish:
- In the "Howlin' For You" video, the band is referred to as Las Teclas de Negro.
- El Camino.
- Instrumentals: "Black Mud," which was nominated for a Grammy.
- Insult Backfire: They infamously decried Nickelback, but in the process called them "The biggest band in the world." This is not really an insult.
- Long Runner Line Up: Category 1 (not counting session/tour musicians).
- Minimalistic Cover Art: Brothers has nothing but text on a black background reading "This is an album by The Black Keys. The name of this album is Brothers."The cover design won a Grammy.
- Nerd Glasses: Pat wears them.
- New Sound Album: Attack and Release, due largely to the involvement of Danger Mouse.
- Real Trailer, Fake Movie: The video for "Howlin' For You"
- Record Producer: Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse) produced Attack and Release and El Camino as well as "Tighten Up" from Brothers.
- The Rival: The White Stripes, appropriately enough. Another blues-based duo with a name inspired by piano keys.
- Sleeper Hit: Brothers. The band's Blues Rock sound was not particularly en vogue, but they enjoyed a minor cult following through five albums, with their songs occasionally popping up in soundtracks. Brothers was their first album to chart, had several successful singles and won two Grammy awards.
- Something Completely Different:
- The video for "10 A.M. Automatic" begins with a Rabbi hosting a scripture show on Ohio Public Access, finishing his point and then casually transitioning to "and now, here's the Black Keys". Pan left to the band already set up on the stage.
- Blakroc a collaboration between well known hip hop artists and the Black Keys. Released to generally positive reviews.
- Three Chords and the Truth