Slackday: And Ohio boys ain’t too bad, either

As it’s Slackday, I’ll just drop the (very thin) veneer of objective professionalism and admit it: I am currently obsessed with all things Dan Auerbach. I’ve always dug the Black Keys, but the release of the new songs from their forthcoming album have compelled me to spend quality time with their catalogue and to get into Dan Auerbach’s solo work.

I learned that my favorite song on Dan Auerbach’s album, Keep It Hid, is a cover of a song that was written by Wayne Carson Thompson – who was also the writer of the fantastic song “The Letter” that was popularized by the Box Tops, sung by a very young Alex Chilton – and popularized by a duo called Jon & Robin. I had never heard the song, so I went looking for it. I was a little apprehensive that I might be faced with the fact that Dan didn’t conjure magic and awesome from thin air. But I needn’t have worried. As with A.A. Bondy, I’m finding I can always trust Dan.

You see, here’s the Jon & Robin version:
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Bits: Lolla’10, Yuri’s Night, Lou Barlow tour, TBK in NYC2, new Big Boi jam

  • While we don’t post too many festival line-ups unless A.A. Bondy or the Felice Brothers are involved (we play favorites, we admit it), the Lollapalooza 2010 line-up is pretty great. Standouts for us: Jimmy Cliff, the Black Keys, Cypress Hill (we saw them on a previous Lolla go-’round, and they had one of the best sets of the day), Mavis Staples, Mumford & Sons, Dawes and Royal Bangs. It’ll be a something-for-everyone weekend.
  • If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, you should be getting tickets for Yuri’s Night at the NASA Ames Research Center this Saturday because the entertainment lineup is straight-up awesome. Les Claypool, The Black Keys, Common, N.E.R.D. and more. We ain’t got nothing like that going for the CLE celebration.
  • Lou Barlow will be touring with Mike Watt’s missingmen, though sans Watt, in June.
  • After the quick sell-out of the Black Keys’ upcoming Summerstage show, a second date has been added. Go get you some, NYC.
  • Pitchfork has a new Big Boi track, “Shutterbugg”, for you to listen to. BB has signed with Def Jam, so his solo album should finally … Continue reading

Rock ‘n’ Roll as Educational Tool

I’ve always liked the Black Keys, but I have been getting more into them lately thanks to an early taste, via the uber groovy track “Tighten Up” (not a cover of the Archie Bell and the Drells’ song as I originally suspected), of their new album that’s coming out in May. Dan and Pat are Ohio boys who grew up in Akron, relatively speaking, just down the road from where I grew up. This is sometimes weird and slightly unsettling.

For instance: In doing some TBK fansite reading, I came across a familiar face.

See that big, craggy-faced dude with the feathers who’s lurking behind the amps? I know that dude. I’ve passed him many times throughout my life. Never knew his name or where he came from, but I always gave him a nod and a smile in passing.

Well, not that dude exactly. You see, that dude is a representation (possibly to size) of this dude:

I don’t know how many times I’ve passed him, and I’ve always admired him (especially during my high school years … Continue reading

Late to the Party: BlakRoc

NTSIB could be all late-to-the-party all the time. Some music I am slow to warm up to (I’m just now starting to get on board with Local Natives). Some music I know I like, but I don’t really get into until years after I first hear it. Some music I don’t even know about until it’s old news.

BlakRoc falls into the third category for me, and I’m still mystified that I didn’t even know about this project this time last week. For others who may be as out of the loop as I have been on this: BlakRoc is a collaborative project between the Black Keys and Damon Dash of Roc-A-Fella Records. Dash helped bring a number of hip-hop luminaries in for the project, like Mos Def, Ludacris, Raekwon, Q-Tip and the RZA. The fucking RZA! Names even white people recognize! There’s even a from-the-grave appearance from Ol’ Dirty Bastard.

It’s no secret that the Black Keys have soul, and their groove-heavy music is a perfect, strong background for the rhymes laid down on this project. BlakRoc is fucking sweet, and NTSIB … Continue reading

Bits: Black Keys pre-sale tix, new Low Anthem in the works, Radio Free Song Club, MGV first performance, Lissie’s AD interview

  • Pre-sale tickets for the Black Keys summer tour went on sale this morning. Early birds will get the new album, Brothers, when it is released and instant downloads of “Tighten Up” and “Next Girl”.
  • The Low Anthem are working on a new album, which will include the lovely “Apothecary”.
  • Gather a bunch of seasoned songwriters, give them a monthly song deadline, make a podcast about it. That’s the premise of Radio Free Song Club, whose members include Victoria Williams, Peter Holsapple and Freedy Johnston, among others.
  • Duke Street Blog have begun posting their videos from SXSW, including the first performance by mini supergroup MG&V; – John McCauley of Deer Tick, Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes and Matt Vasquez of Delta Spirit.
  • Lisse gets the Aquarium Drunkard treatment.
  • Here are the Low Anthem performing “Apothecary” in Grand Central Station for La Blogotheque’s Take Away Concert series:

    The Low Anthem – Apothecary – A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

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    Notable shows in the greater Cleveland area & the Black Keys crack my shit up

    Shows worth checking out this week in and around Cleveland:

    The Beachland Ballroom & Tavern

    • Sun, Mar 28| 8 PM (7 PM door)
      Bob Schneider
      Steve Palmer Band
      $15.00 adv / $17.00 dos
      Ballroom | All Ages
    • Wed, Mar 31| 7:30 PM (7 PM door)
      Judgement Day (feat. Anton Patzner of Bright Eyes)
      Arlo & The Otter (CD Release)
      $5.00 adv / $7.00 dos
      Tavern | All Ages
    • Fri, Apr 2| 9 PM (8 PM door)
      Trombone Shorty
      & Orleans Avenue
      Bill Burke & Tertium Quid Percussion Ensemble
      Ballroom | All Ages
    • Fri, Apr 2| 9 PM (8 PM door)
      Tim Barry (of Avail)
      Red Clay River / The Not So Good ol’ Boys / Audra Mae
      Presented in conjunction w/ The Grog Shop
      Tavern | All Ages

    Grog Shop

    • Sat, Mar 27| 10PM
      Lowly,The Tree Ghost
      Christopher Black


    • Mon, Mar 29| 7 PM
      Bear Hands
      Call Me Constant
      Nick Wilkinson
      Apogee 13

    House of Blues

    • Sun, Mar 28| 9 PM (8 PM door)
      Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
      $27.50 ADV Continue reading

    Rebirth of the Cool: Wolf Like Me

    Moving forward in time for this edition of Rebirth of the Cool, our origin song of the day is “Wolf Like Me” by the incredible TV on the Radio. This was one of the first TVOTR songs I heard (along with “Providence” and “Dry Drunk Emperor”) when a savvy friend recommended them to me back in 2007. It was love at first listen.


    (Sidenote: Kudos to Jimmy Kimmel for bringing the feel of an intimate concert hall into the studio, thus encouraging better performances.)

    Local H – whose cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” helps me feel less guilty about liking that song – took a crack at “Wolf”. They imbue the song with their characteristic immediacy and bring the emotional center of the song from the hips up to the chest.


    Then along came Dulli. Greg Dulli has long been a purveyor of fascinating, gorgeous, twisted covers, from Paul K. and the Weathermen’s “Amphetamines and Coffee” to “The Temple” from Jesus Christ Superstar to Al Green’s “Beware” to Prince’s “When Doves Cry” to all sorts of others in between. His take, with the Twilight Singers, of “Wolf” strips it down to its raw core.

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    The Black Keys: An Early Taste of Brothers

    Not much to say today, but not a lot needs to be said when there’s new Black Keys to listen to. Messrs. Auerbach and Carney have made “Tighten Up” from the forthcoming Brothers album available for listening on their MySpace page. It’s good shit.

    The Black Keys MySpace

    The Keys have already sold out their July 27th Summer Stage show in New York, but there are other swiftly-approaching dates that you may find yourself able to take advantage of, including a few European dates.

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    Bits: mr. Gnome EP, Wayne Coyne is a model citizen, new Bonnie Prince Billy Daytrotter session, new Bob Pollard, Hell and Half of Georgia’s first show

    Bits: Travel with Over the Rhine, new Sunny Day Real Estate on the way, new Band of Horses, Ian McCulloch at Daytrotter, new album from the Liars


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