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We live in an age of mass consumption. The makers! The man, the commercial system, they make. Oh! And how we consume. We the masses consume! We lap it up till it makes us sick, till we turn green, till the vile substance boils up inside us, projectiles over the sleazy whoremonger we call the music industry. Whooo ye! Lets do it again ! More… More!
I remember a time when what you got is what you got. A time when guitar feedback was a art form. A twenty minute solo down in a dark basement was a tortured experience bringing us lost souls together. Where a pack of twenty and some strings was all the synchronisation a man needed. Acoustics came from the heart and a sound mixer was a bottle of vodka.
Rawness, beauty and truth where what brought us together. Well that, drugs, booze and and the slight chance of some slap and tickle, and the music, the music was the glue that held it together.
I remember The black keys back then. They where the raw, uncut, unprocessed, uncorrupted, soul stirring emblem for what was standing up to the man. Channeling “Junior” Kimbrough in chulahoma was at the point of the spear that stuck in the right side of society. I remember seeing a long haired sweaty man standing on stage. A soulful dirty blues screeching from strings only to be equalled by an all encompassing drum beat. A voice that was rough and gritty. A distorted voice that sounded like years of abuse. A voice of freedom.
Then came fame and with that, words like audio technician, audio technologist, recording engineer, sound engineer, sound operator, sound technician, processing, record deals, hair stylist, planners and The man.
4 concerts later and Dan stands there looking younger, healthier, poppier and processed. They got their big shot record producer. They got their Grammy awards. They got their light show, they got the bass player, the keyboard… But at what cost?
We only have to look at the reaction of the crowd to the old stuff, do a search for black keys covers on youtube or look at which songs are used in movies or adverts to realise where the magic is. Somewhere along the line the there was a tipping point. A point where what they were was distorted. I can’t help but feel the music industry has taken kurt Cobain given him a hair cut, changed his clothes, told him he can’t scream, given him some back up singers and then thrown in some teenie boppers to round it off.
The Black Keys is in some desperate need of some “Black Door” action. The man needs to “Set You Free”. We need to ignite “The Flame” bring back the “Heavy Soul”, because Dan the real Black Keys fans are “Yearnin'” for “Your Touch”. Try to “Keep Me” away!
6/10 for the 6 old songs that weren’t from the new albums
The Black Keys play at the Sydney Entertainment Centre tonight.
Last night’s song list: Howlin’ For You, Next Girl, Run Right Back, Same Old Thing, Dead And Gone, Gold on the Ceiling, Thickfreakness, Girl is on My Mind, Your Touch, Little Black Submarines, Money Maker, Strange Times, Sinister Kid, Nova Baby, Ten Cent Pistol, She’s Long Gone, Tighten Up, Lonely Boy. Encore: Everlasting Light and I Got Mine