See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Keye up!

Posted By on Wed, Sep 27, 2006 at 12:00 AM

Their signing to None-such would seem to raise the Black Keys' two-man blues grit to a higher art. Alongside the perfectionists and square-peg eggheads of jazz, classical, roots, rock and ethnic music, the music Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney make is suddenly supposed to be more than just something loud and howling enough to knock over the biggest beer can pyramid Akron, Ohio, ever saw. But wasn't it always that? For five years now they've been doing it, dredging Delta blues, mixing that with indie rock obscura and old Free records, then flattening it out onto I-80's median strip. Their songs can be high-beam bright — here that's represented by gas pedal crunchers "Modern Times" and "Just Got to Be" — but they can also be dark, harsh and terrifying, like a third-shift murder in the parking lot of a Shoney's. On Potion that sense swirls around the gloomy opening notes of "The Flame," as well as on "Strange Desire," with its gloomy, uneasily lingering guitar solo and lyrics pulled from the wronged-man handbook. "I don't wanna go to hell/But if I do/It'll be because of you." The songwriting is sharpened to a knifepoint; Auerbach's moan is correct; and the playing is steady and wildly creative without ever being showy. This really is the Midwestern experience rendered in high art, but we knew that already, didn't we?

Johnny Loftus writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

Tags:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

More by Johnny Loftus

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit