This is a guest post by Fan Lounge forum member GrownSoFugly
The first Black Keys album I ever bought was Thickfreakness. Â I popped it in and was immediately clocked in the face by the power of that gritty chainsaw guitar. Â Then I looked at the track listing and laughed out loud. Â â€œHurt Like Mineâ€? Â â€œHold Me In Your Armsâ€? â€œI Cry Aloneâ€? Â Seemed a little… sensitive for such a badass sound. Â Iâ€™ve since learned that as a lyricist, Dan Auerbach is obsessed with love. Â He writes about everlasting devotion, rump-doinâ€™, love as an anti-drug. Â More often, though, heâ€™ll write about unrequited love, love lost, and all that other distasteful stuff in between: manipulation, deception, infidelity, loneliness, uncertainty, and the pain of letting go.
Although The Black Keys like to claim that the music they make is not blues, the thematical influence is undeniable. Â Working off of the blues template of melancholy and sadness, Dan specifically likes to write about the crazy shit that desperate women do.
One of my favorite tracks off of that album is â€œNo Trustâ€: [wpaudio url=”http://theblackkeysfanlounge.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/No-Trust-The-Black-Keys.mp3 ” text=”Listen to No Trust here” dl=”0″]
She wanna get outta the car
And she ain’t got trust in you
In the middle of the road
And her screaming and hollerin’
Is getting mighty old
She check every paper
When you step out the room
Ain’t go no trust in your mama
Ain’t got no trust in your daddy
Ain’t got no trust in your sister
The song is essentially a biography of a troubled woman whose distrust of her lover is so acrimonious that it pollutes the relationship. Â Itâ€™s catchy, and itâ€™s interesting. Â Why is she so suspicious of him? Â Did he do something to destroy her faith in him?Â But her distrust seems to be of everybody, so was it someone else who shattered her certitude? Â Is she the same girl that the narrator saved from a tumultuous relationship in â€œSet You Freeâ€?
Now you look and there you go back to him, heâ€™s gonna do you in
Tear you down and run you around
Treat you wrong and then he’s gone
Wait… so is this the same girl from â€œMidnight In Her Eyesâ€??
You never thought about going wrong
Now you wonder where your man has gone
Midnight is in her eyes
Lately you’re feeling low
Heartache on the floor
Your manic ways have got the best of you
But your heart is gonna see you through
So thereâ€™s a girl that has an old wound that refuses to heal. Â Her crippled sense of self worth has resulted in an inability to trust and the tendency to, well, be a little crazy. Â Oh, and she has long amber hair! Â We meet her again in Rubber Factory on â€œ10 A.M. Automaticâ€, a tale of a nighttime transformation â€œfrom sweet to derangedâ€ and a next morning getaway. Â To me, it describes a girl who looked for comfort (or validation?) in a strangerâ€™s bed and found instead more uncertainty and disappointment. Â Kind of a crazy-girlâ€™s version of coyote ugly.
I see darkness cover us
And your car kicks up dust
What about my ways makes you doubt
All these words from my mouth
Sounds familiar. Â This apparent theme of an unusual girlâ€™s insecurities bulldozing a path of destruction through men continued to pop up sporadically (did she extinguish â€œThe Flameâ€? Â Was she one of the accusational birds on the wire in â€œStrange Desireâ€? Â Was it for her that he went â€œThe Lengthsâ€?), until the her grand re-entrance in â€œPsychotic Girlâ€ from Attack & Release:
I heard you threw your man around
Picked him up just to put him down
It’s a shame cause I always knew
It’s just the way youâ€™re gonna do
Heâ€™s frustrated with her, but even more so with himself. Â Heâ€™s let her play games with his emotions one too many times and heâ€™s sick of it. Â Â Heâ€™s pissed and heâ€™s kicking himself for his naivete. Â The following track, â€œLiesâ€, laments the false promises of this psychotic girl. Â In â€œThings Ainâ€™t Like They Used To Beâ€, she leaves him with seemingly heartless abandon. Â The whole album reeks of break-up, contempt, and determination to never again fall for the manic ways of this girl with a path of destruction behind her. Â This resolution doesnâ€™t seem to have been set at naught, though, as her appearances in Brothers are only in hindsight. Â She could definitely be the self-doubting â€œex-girlâ€ in â€œNext Girlâ€:
I wanted love but not for myself
But for the girl so she could
So she could love herself
And I’m convinced the violent jealous rage in â€œTen Cent Pistolâ€ was also the work of this psychotic bulldozer girl.Â It seems as though the narrator has learned his lesson, but the girl has not. Â She continues to let her insecurities send tidal waves of drama in all directions, while heâ€™s renewing his vows to stay the hell away from her.Â As an album, the motto of Brothers seems to be, â€œWarning: Â Women are psycho-bitches and will lead to nothing but pain, suffering, and regretâ€. Â Which is no surprise, considering the obvious destruction that this woman has caused Dan or someone very close to him.Â I’m sure her story isn’t quite over yet, although I do hope that the next chapter we hear is just an Epilogue, not an oops-I-did-it-again.
Whoever she is, sheâ€™s great song-writing fodder. Â For the passions she stirs, and for her relatable familiarity. Â We all know this woman, and we all know a man caught in her web. Â Sheâ€™s insecure. Â Sheâ€™s whiny. Â Sheâ€™s close-minded and stubborn. Â She creeps through his text messages while heâ€™s in the bathroom. Â She stalks every female friend of his on Facebook. Â She interrogates him when he goes out with his friends. Â She thinks sheâ€™s fat. Â She gives ultimatums. Â Sheâ€™s convinced heâ€™s cheating on her with his secretary. Â And the cleaning lady. Â Also the Starbucks barista, the woman in 4B, and that girl who smiled at him that one time on the subway. Â She probably has Daddy issues. Â She definitely has trust issues and her favorite game is one of emotional blackmail. Â She makes the rest of us girls look bad.
She goes after guys in rock bands.
So what do we take from all this?Â Is there a lesson to learn from the mistakes of two young, naive musicians?Â There’s always a lesson, and today’s is an important one so listen up:
No matter how tempting her thickfreakness, don’t ever stick your dick in a crazy!