MusicMusic Review

Video Review: The Black Keys’s “Gold on the Ceiling”

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.

I see you’re in love/angry/heartbroken/in love again and you want to dance about it.

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.”

While the video is two months old now, I hadn’t seen it yet, and if I haven’t seen it, it’s new to me! You could say the ‘band performing/crowd loving it/behind the scenes’ combo is the rock band’s equivalent of a pop star’s dance-off. But, is novelty required in order to make something good? To the breakdown!

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.

Instead of this.

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.

Wood panelled van

Her boyfriend Caleb

Out-of-focus lettering

Feet doing something cool

Out-of-focus lens flare

Double exposure!

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.


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The Author

Marielle Pawson

Marielle Pawson

Marielle wanted to be a lot of things; now she writes about them instead. In addition to video reviews, she's an assistant editor and writes "The Weekend Pregame" for Feel free to give her money and prizes. Visit her website -