Rebirth of the Cool: Ohio Covers Ohio, Part One

The Black Keys have a way with a cover song and having long been champions of our shared home state of Ohio, it’s no surprise that they’ve covered a few of their fellow Akron-area musicians.

The James Gang, fronted for a time by Joe Walsh, formed in Cleveland in 1967. Their best-known song was a typically ’70s rock ‘n’ roll nugget called “Funk #49”.


While keeping the rock essence of the song, the Keys admirably trim the original’s excess making it, for me at least, far more palatable.


While the Cramps formed in Sacramento, California, the dearly departed Lux Interior hailed from Stow, Ohio, just outside of Akron, and Lux and wife Poison Ivy lived in Akron for a couple of years in the early 1970s.


While a somewhat less natural choice for the Keys than the “Funk #49”, their cover of the Cramps’ “Can’t Find My Mind” reveals an appealing glimpse of punk spirit and Auerbach’s penchant for fuzz guitar serves the song well.


Devo formed in Akron in 1973 before eventually moving to California and never really looking back, but not before leaving the Akron music scene shaken, bewildered and inspired.


Even though Patrick Carney has professed Devo to be one of this favorite bands, “Uncontrollable Urge” is an even less natural choice for the Black Keys to cover than the Cramps. There are hardly two bands more opposite in sound and spirit. I’ll let you be the judge of how well they bridged the gap.


Bits: The Twilight Singers, Infantree, Devo, The Mississippi Sheiks, Matador at 21

  • The first taste of the new Twilight Singers album is available. Get a free download of “Blackbird and the Fox” here.
  • My Old Kentucky Blog premiered the video for Infantree’s “Slaughter House” today. Check it out. MOKB may be on the fence about the song, but we love it.
  • Devo will be heading out on a tiny, little tour at the end of the month, so hope you Devotees are ready to travel.
  • (Additionally, you can get ready for Halloween by purchasing a Devo costume from their webstore. Yeah, that’s… I don’t know what to make of that.)
  • If you are a casual blues fan, you may not have heard of the Mississippi Sheiks – you may not even realize there were blues bands back in the 1930s since all the focus is usually on the man-with-a-guitar bluesmen of the time – but you’ll likely know their songs as covered by other artists. No Depression is running a contest to win a Things About Comin’ My Way: A Tribute to the Music of the Mississippi Sheiks DVD, CD, poster and T-shirt. Contributors include Van Dyke Parks, Dave Alvin and Alvin Youngblood Hart, among others.
  • If you didn’t make it to the Matador at 21 celebration in Las Vegas this past weekend, check out the recap at Stereogum to decide just how bitter you should be about missing it.

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” -Douglas Adams

I goofed.

I am in the midst of writing a feature post that I’ve been planning since I started this blog. It’s, uh, taking a little longer than I thought it would, so I am left content-less today.

In lieu of a post, I encourage everyone to watch It’s Everything, and Then It’s Gone (link to the video at the bottom of the page), a documentary on the almost-the-next-big-thing music scene in Akron, Ohio, in the 1970s – a scene which spawned Tin Huey, the Rubber City Rebels and, of course, Devo, among others.

Bits: The Famous, Daytrotter show, Maximum Balloon, Alan Moore, Suckers, Flaming Lips, the Black Keys, Devo, Big Boi

Big Boi puts the boom-boom in your CPU with a video for “General Patton”.