It’s the end of the month, the middle of the week and the start of a very short and sharp bankingcommish post. I’m getting this out of the way as quickly as possible tonight while drinking leftover gin from the party we had at our house the other night. Hopefully I don’t burst into tears later and have a deep and meaningful conversation with one of my pals about how disappointed I am with my life while aggressively smoking my way through a pack of Longbeach Mild 20’s.
The reason for my hastiness? The Black Keys (who I’m a huge fan of) are playing at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in a couple of hours and the last thing that I want to be thinking about while I’m watching them play is rushing home to slap out 400 drunken words of utter rubbish. I still can’t believe how insane it is that these guys are now so big that they’ve sold out one of the largest venues in Melbourne and had to put on a second show; I remember 6 or so years back, they were playing to crowds of 200 people at The Republic Bar, one of the few decent live music venues in Hobart and a very small venue at that. Their rise to the top has been stratospheric, and throughout this time they’ve managed to hold onto their own creative control instead of whoring themselves out to the record companies and moving with current trends to climb into the Top 40 charts like a lot of other artists do.
I must admit, it was nice for me when The Black Keys were a little more under the radar. I didn’t have to listen to Johnny-come-latelys claiming them as their favourite band despite an absolute inability to name any of their tracks pre the ‘Brothers’ album (which had their first mega-commercially successful track, ‘Tighten Up’ on it), but I’ve learnt that being that kind of douche is unhelpful. Their live line-up has also been expanded to include a bassist & a keyboardist/rhythm guitarist, making their sound more rounded and just a tiny bit less raw than their original two-man guitar and drums aural assault (which I far preferred), but they still haul ass.
To be honest, I’m just happy that they’re still making music and that they’re getting paid in fat stacks of cash and are reaping the rewards of years of building a loyal fanbase through their gruelling touring schedule.
It just goes to show, ready-made X-Factor ‘stars’ (aka talentless fuckwits) come and go, but real success comes to those who bust their arses for years and years and years and then finally write a track that sounds radio-friendly enough to be easily digested by people that like pop music, who then (hopefully) discover their back catalogue and have their minds blown.
I think we’ve all learnt something today…