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The Black Keys

In an Ohio city renowned for its manufacturing of rubber and tires, it's fitting that one of Akron's greatest rock exports is a duo that plays bluesy bites of garage rock oozing with loads of blue-collar rawness. The Black Keys include singer and guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney, two college drop-outs who mowed lawns for a living before turning their love for Mississippi blues and noise rock into a lucrative music career. After Auerbach's band didn't show for a recording session in Carney's basement studio in 2001, the two began recording a demo of their own, which would lead to the release of debut album The Big Come Up. Almost instantly, the Keys were inundated with comparisons to the White Stripes, but their leaning toward traditional blues and Hendrix-ish psychedelia resulted in a less pop-oriented following. They went on to release Thickfreakness in 2003, Rubber Factory the following year and Magic Potion in 2006. Opting to finally ditch the basement for a professional studio in 2008, the two completed Attack & Release, a more polished yet experimentally enhanced album with the help of producer extraordinaire Danger Mouse.

The Black Keys Concert Films

  • Live at the Crystal Ballroom

    The Black Keys

    Year: 2008

    Runtime: 1 hr 4 min

    The Black Keys' new concert film, Live at the Crystal Ballroom, reflects the no-frills genius of the drums-and-guitar duo's studio sound: It's a refreshingly straightforward video document of their April 4, 2008 sold-out gig at Portland, Oregon's Crystal Ballroom, featuring seventeen songs culled from all five of the pair's albums. Director Lance Bangs - who has made videos for the Arcade Fire, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sonic Youth as well as directing R.E.M.'s Road Movie - keeps his small camera crew focused on the stage, getting up close and sweaty with guitarist-singer Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney. Occasionally, he'll pull back to acknowledge the head-bobbing crowd pressed close to the stage, their hands reaching out to Auerbach. There are no visual pyrotechnics, no elaborate editing, no backstage cutaways, yet the show is riveting from start to finish and the feel of the music in that room is nothing less than triumphant.

The Black Keys Top Tracks

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