The Black Keys' Turn Blue was officially released yesterday, and ticket pre-sales are underway for their 2014 tour dates. They've been doing on onslaught of promotion, and last night got The Colbert Bump. Watch their interview on The Colbert Report, as well as a couple performances of songs from the new album:
The Black Keys Interview by Stephen Colbert & Play "Fever" 5.13.2014
("Fever" starts at the 3:37 mark of the video above)
The Black Keys "Turn Blue" Colbert Nation Web Exclusive 5.13.2014
This is the band's 4th time on the Colbert Report. As usual for Colbert, the accusatory questioning starts almost immediately as he asks, "How much more Colbert bump do you guys need? You guys are here to suck more magic from me!" The last time they were on the show, they worked Colbert's prostate.
Colbert continues, "This [album] has 7 minute songs with 2 minute guitar leads. Is this the Phish-ification of The Black Keys? Did Trey Anastasio get to you? Why so long?" Patrick Carney responds, "I don't know, apparently we made the record wrong according to Pitchfork... Our primitive neanderthal minds expanded slightly and contextualized 4 to 7 minute songs this time around." This ties in with the psychedelic cover art, which was done by Patrick's brother, and is meant to represent the trance vibe of the album.
They discuss The Grateful Dead, which was Dan Auerbach's first concert when his dad took him to a show in Cleveland as a kid. When Patrick says that Dan thought Jerry Garcia was Santa Claus, Stephen slows things down for a really hilarious moment. It's almost like the rock and roll counter-culture folded in on itself, as thoughts perished in a dark star of anti-matter.
But, the music never stopped. The band played "Fever" on the televised program, and "Turn Blue" as a web exclusive. "Fever" is a tour de force that seems to grow every time I hear it and see a new performance. The amped up keyboard is the ying to the slow groove yang of the drums and bass. Dan Auerbach soars with pained vocals that simultaneously capture ecstasy and agony. The section toward the end of the song is a great outlet for the band to get out their energy, as the keyboard plays a melodic line while Dan and Patrick rock out.
"Turn Blue" shows that Dan Auerbach has evolved into a guitar player much like Jerry Garcia. First of all, he has an ability to craft riffs that combine rhythmic chord playing with intricate melodic lines. There's repetition, but there are also elements of improvisation and variation as he interacts with the other musicians on stage. Also, Auerbach's tone is gorgeous, and he keeps things interesting by switching around his sound around. Sometimes the guitar sounds clean, sometimes the guitar sounds dirty, sometimes it sounds spaced out. You can see in these videos that he has an interesting way of setting up his amplifier / speaker combos in front of each other.
For The Black Keys' latest music, news, and tour dates, check out their Zumic artist page.