The Black Keys, Jay Reatard
The Vogue, 6259 N. College Ave.
Sunday, April 13, 8 p.m., $20 advance, $22 day of, 21+
Change and controversy go hand in hand in creative fields. Just ask The Black Keys or Bob Dylan. Before said Great One's famous genre side step from purist folk to folk-rock was etched in stone as a career — and genre-defining move — it was considered the gesture of a sell-out. And, really, just about any roots-minded artist who’s altered or expanded his or her sound has been greeted with a similar, jumpy response.
The Black Keys, an Akron, Ohio-based duo initially known for their minimalist garage-blues sound, recently sold out — historically speaking — by taking their raw sound into a legit studio. They worked with hotshot producer Danger Mouse on what would become “Attack & Release,” a sonically stuffed rock ’n’ roll album that sounds far different than the lo-fi blues-rock the band made their name with.
Six years ago, the Keys' name began popping up seemingly everywhere, usually mentioned in the same breath with other emerging duos of the time, including The White Stripes, The Kills and The Raveonettes. The duo — Dan Auerbach (vocals, guitar) and Patrick Carney (drums) — were thought the most brutally lo-fi and authentic of the pack, cooking up raw rock ’n’ roll with a defining Mississippi Delta blues backbone.
The Keys’ sound was (and still usually is) rough, thick, loud and soulful. Though the modest duo, then known for recording on tape in their own studio, have developed their sound a little more with each successive release, only since the recent release of the classic rock-friendly “Attack & Release,” the band's second for major label subsidiary Nonesuch, have the media sirens started ringing.
Not dissimilar from Wilco's genre-bending “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot,” U2's pseudo-electronic “Pop” or even Dylan's “Bringing It All Back Home,” “Attack & Release” is the kind of name-making record that can cement a band's artistic value. Now with a solid, diverse catalogue to match their solid, hard-working touring reputation (not to mention a whole lot of curious-minded buzz), the Keys have hit the road, planning at stop at the Vogue Sunday, April 13.