Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Mystery of the Black Keys

There's so much I've been dying to say, but I just can't muster up the courage to say it. Perfectionism is kicking in, triggering a familiar procrastination.

Like, for one, I am totally a goner for the new Avi Buffalo album. I have an interview that I recorded with Avi some months ago that I need to put together. And I need to collect my thoughts further. Because, for the life of me, I can't put my finger on what exactly draws me to his songs. Bubbles automatically want to touch one another, by some physical, scientific connection. My ears are similarly, and weirdly, might I add, attracted to everything about the way Avi's fingers sound on his guitar. The way that his song structures don't really make any sense to me, but then they end up making total sense. The way his voice annoys me and thrills me, and how much it upsets me when people automatically lump him with James Mercer, just because it's "different."

As I sit here, trying to figure out a scanner, wondering why I had to be born into a century when these things matter, The Black Keys' new album plays on my record player.

My player looks like an old radio combined with an old record player. It looks cool. It doesn't sound so great. But it plays CDs. And tapes. And radio. And records. So that's gotta count for something.

Anyway, The Black Keys made an album named Brothers that I'm supposed to be reviewing this minute.

All I have so far is that it sounds like these songs sound like they've been coated in dust, and then dipped in whiskey. It's like something Dairy Queen might dream up if it was owned by some really gritty alcoholics.

The album is great, and that's really no surprise to me, considering The Black Keys are making some of the best simple music of our time. Consistently. These songs help me understand what my dad might have been thinking when he wore out the grooves of his Zeppelin records. Not because it sounds anything like Zep, but rather because this is just rock in it's purest form. I never felt like I could truly UNDERSTAND classic rock, and maybe that's because it came before me.

And one more thought - The Black Keys are making some of the sexiest music alive. Yeah, it's alive. The riffs are breathing, and Auerbach's vocals are steaming, and everything about the drums feel paced for strutting.

"Howlin' For You" is destined to be the hottest song of 2010. Don't even deny that. You can't. It'd be like telling me that hands would function properly without thumbs. They just wouldn't. I broke my thumb once. I know.

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