It’s that time of year again when everyone looks back at what was and what could have been. It’s no different for me and The Black Keys. Here’s a few observations about the band in 2008. And some crystal ball gazing about 2009.
The Black Keys (almost) became part of a mainstream consciousness.From Letterman to Lollapalooza the band must have played more shows in 2008 than any other year. It seems Dan and Pat have been on the road constantly. Across the States, Europe, Australia (twice) and elsewhere.
They are certainly getting themselves out there but I for one fear burn out. Geez, they both have wives who I’m sure would love to see them more.
The new Attack & Release album came out to almost universal praise. It was a landmark in that it was so strong and diverse after the ‘OK but more of the same’ nature of Magic Potion. It’s opened more ears than any other. All the DIY recording over the years seemed to be expressed so well in th is big studio sound album.
Attack and Release seems to be on so many peoples ‘Top Albums of 2008′ lists. Everyone also talks about the hip hop production connection of Danger Mouse on the album yet The Black Keys have always loved hip hop and the Wu-Tang Clan specifically. And, correct me if I’m wrong, but their first album The Big Come Up remains the only album to feature samples.
Busy as they are the band has still found time to variously start their own label, found their own recording studio and help produce numerous up and coming bands we’ll no doubt hear alot more from in 2009.
The year was neatly wrapped and packaged by the new Crystal Ballroom Live DVD. It really showcased the breadth of sound, confidence and musical command of the band.
The band has always had a respect for grass roots poster art and publicity and we’ve covered this quite a bit this year. The new Black Keys official website leveraged off their album artwork and provided a strong identity.
I’m still hopeful The RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan will produce the next album.
Who knows where Dan’s solo project will lead. I can only think it will be positive for the band to take a break. But then again it seems when the creative juices are flowing you’ve got to bottle them as fast as possible before the mojo vanishes as fast as it could previously be pumped.
Prediction: Dan will shave his beard off. Just like Liam Finn did after my post about their hairy visage.
Hopefully someone will answer my question about who is The Black Keys Roadie?
Hopefully all these questions and more will be answered if I can get an interview with the band when they arrive in Australia in early 2009. Come what may I’ll still be jibbering on about them in 2009.
Have a safe and prosperous Festive Season.