It’s time for a video from a band rather than a solo pop artist—not only for my ears’ sake—but also because they frequently offer a different dynamic. Often your standard pop artist’s video will feature her or him singing at the camera, performing in-sync with their sexy back-up dancers, and “acting” for some limp grasp at a simple narrative which usually involves more singing at the camera and more sexy back ups.
While rock bands are sometimes guilty of the same fare, they will often feature more diverse creative concepts (note: diverse doesn’t necessarily mean better.) My first choice was something new from The Mars Volta, but since there are only recent fan video offerings that I don’t want to subject anyone to, I had to move onto another favourite band of mine. Here’s The Black Keys’s “Gold on the Ceiling.”
The Black Keys‘s blues rock/garage rock/indie rock style harkens back to classic bands of the late 60s and early 70s who invented said styles, or at least that’s what I’ve cobbled together from Wikipedia since I’m not a genre expert. My thoughts on their sound are more to the tune of, ‘they remind me of, like, old-style rock, you know?’ What I can confidently say is that their sound is authentic, infused with a raw talent for both composition and the spirit of true rock music. Simply put, they’re really good at what they do as opposed to being some perverted copy of previous efforts.
Frontman Dan Auerbach claims their sound is influenced by hip-hop and it’s “ridiculous to say we play blues music” (NME.) Their side project, Blakroc, surely demonstrates this, as the duo collaborates with hip hop and rap artists to create what I wish “rap-rock” really is.
Much of “Gold on the Ceiling” unfortunately looks like it was put through the Instagram filter. Some screengrabs seem straight outta SoHo Skanksy’s blog.
And it works. Because The Black Keys are these two:
And they’re really cool.
Standard format or no, the video nails the tone of the song: simply rockin’. While I enjoy stories, characters, and humour (like 2011’s “Howlin’ For You“) this bare-bones, stylized video gives the feel of a live show and the envy of being involved with exciting behind-the-scenes things like a dude tuning a double guitar or a row of wires!
I think it’s clean, simple, and it works. Oh, and an awesome song certainly doesn’t hurt. A weaker soundtrack and a less appealing duo, and perhaps this would have seemed like SoHo Skanksy’s groupie video.