I was so honed in on editing Here Goes Dozo that I didn't even realize the significance of today's date until I went onto my personal IG and saw a post that I'll link after these next three sentences. (1) You can still receive partial credit for knowing that today is the 5 year and 1 day mark of my college graduation, but May 18th is not about me.
(2) It's about the Black Keys and their groundbreaking 6th album: Brothers (which debuted on this date in 2010). (3) As much as your/my brain may not want to believe it; basic math (2020-2010) will show you that's 10 years ago TODAY.
After forming in Akron, Ohio in 2001 the Black Keys released five albums before Brothers broke them into the "mainstream" in 2010. While 2008's Attack and Release got the ball rolling for their break-through; the video for "Tighten Up" changed everything.
The album was actually recorded after turmoil between Guitarist/Lead Singer Dan Auerbach and Drummer Pat Carney lead to the possibility of a break-up. Between Pat's marriage and Dan's solo ventures the duo was crumbling. After they reconciled (and Pat got divorced) the two went into multiple studios and made an album that transformed them from a little-known garage-rock duo to Grammy winners who sold out stadiums; they may have not "sold out", but to their own admission sure AF looked like it at the 53rd Grammys with suits, no facial hair and Supercuts flow.
While Brothers was simply The Black Keys big break; it's contents are anything but. The album won three Grammys in 2011; Best Record Packaging, Alternative Album of the Year and the final Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals ever. From the falsetto in "Everlasting Light" to the tearful "These Days" this album is perfect. There isn't a bad song on it. It helped shape me as a man. It could've been released in 1970 and fit like a glove. It's not emo, but every song is packed with emotion; no mindless filler here. There's elements of soul, blues and rock; plus a hell of a lot of pain in Dan's voice. You get all that and more with an arena anthem peppered in thanks to NHL 11! After everything the Black Keys went through they came out alive as Brothers.
My love of the keys is well documented on DOL. "Hell of a Season" (my favorite song on El Camino) was the first ever DOL Song of the Day back in 2016. El Camino was the first and to this point only album on Album Appreciation. I've seen them live twice (2013 in Hartford and 2014 in Boston). Had this whole Covid-19 situation not occurred you best believe I would've been watching them and Gary shred in Mansfield in August. I even wore my Brothers t-shirt at the HAIM show I went to by myself in 2018.
After the Keys went on a five year break upon the conclusion of the Turn Blue Tour in 2015 my listening tendencies altered a bit. Over the years I started listening to them less and less, but make no mistakes about it the Black Keys are still one of my all-time favorite bands. I have data to support both points (via @dozonlife on IG)
Much like the Office, I simply consumed them too much. I started suffering from Black Keys fatigue. It's important to switch it up from time to time in order to keep your tastes fresh and evolving. A little time away can make the heart (and ears) grow founder. When you start to listen to/watch other things it can help you remember why you love(d) them so much in the first place.
A great band is a lot like an close friend that you go way back with . There may be times when you talked everyday, then sometimes life just happens and you don't find the time for each other; you might even make a few new friends. It doesn't mean you don't still care about each other. There's just more to life than just one thing. But, when you do finally catch up; you usually pick off like you never left.
The Black Keys and Brothers are like that for me. There was a time five or six years ago when I legitimately listened to it everyday. That is not hyperbole; I worked in a restaurant. It's one of the few albums I own a physical (CD) copy of. I am going to chain-smoke bowls and listen to it in its entirety while trying to not go back to five to six years ago thinking about all the nights I cried like a little baby to Never Gonna Give You Up. Thank God I finally did (although I am 100% still down to smash). The world can know how I feel about the Rooney Rule change tomorrow.
I know I just tweeted the other day about how much I hate the phrase "hits different"
but as someone who may or may not have absorbed their twin in the womb............damnit if Unknown Brother doesn't hit different for ya boiii!!!