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Bands that failed to save rock and roll

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Re: Bands that failed to save rock and roll

Postby fisticuffs » Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:16 pm

I saw Black Keys open for Radiohead two nights in Chicago about 6? years ago. Two guys, guitar and drums. It was pretty incredible what they could pull off and how much soul was in their music. Not the same band as they are today. Guitar tone for days though. I can get behind that part of it.
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Re: Bands that failed to save rock and roll

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:25 pm

christopher_robin wrote:I, too, have tried to see what aging boomers and throwback hippies see in The Black Keys and failed. They are a mediocre bar band that defines the title of this thread.

Two questions. Have you listened to El Camino all the way through? And do you know any boomers that aren't aging?
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Re: Bands that failed to save rock and roll

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:35 pm

I like The Black Keys quite a bit.

There aren't many bands who could survive being measured against Led Zeppelin (my go-to choice for greatest band ever) so I'm unclear what value there is in such a comparison.

My theory for why Presence is criminally overlooked and underrated: nobody wants to hear that Led Zeppelin was funky, and that album is their funkiest. Why people take such umbrage at the suggestion is beyond me -- after all, their entire ouevre is basically just co-opting black music styles -- but boy do people ever get annoyed with me for suggesting it.

I mentioned in my CD-listening project thread that a buddy did a poll on Facebook of the best British bands and I got to do the write-up for Zep. Sure enough, several people went on the attack when I asserted Zep was funky. Best (read: goofiest) comment: "...one thing [Zep] can never be accused of is being funky. Hardest hitting drummer ever, yes. But one cannot swing when hitting the pots that hard." Um... what?
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Re: Bands that failed to save rock and roll

Postby christopher_robin » Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:42 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:I like The Black Keys quite a bit.

There aren't many bands who could survive being measured against Led Zeppelin (my go-to choice for greatest band ever)


But can The Black Keys survive being measured against Canned Heat or Three Dog Night? 'Cos that's where we really are with this thing.

At least from my perspective, comparisons to Zep are absurd, and I was certainly not making them, though there are two threads intertwined in this conversation.

Zep: Definitely funky. I actually don't know any fans that think Presence is a weaker effort, though sales certainly point to a less-than-fanatical response from the general population.
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Re: Bands that failed to save rock and roll

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:45 pm

Three Dog Night was a cover band. The three frontmen played no instruments. False comparison.
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Re: Bands that failed to save rock and roll

Postby wack wack » Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:47 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Best (read: goofiest) comment: "...one thing [Zep] can never be accused of is being funky. Hardest hitting drummer ever, yes. But one cannot swing when hitting the pots that hard." Um... what?


Holy. Crap.
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Re: Bands that failed to save rock and roll

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:02 pm

christopher_robin wrote:But can The Black Keys survive being measured against Canned Heat or Three Dog Night? 'Cos that's where we really are with this thing.

I don't feel the need to compare them to anyone. To me, they sound like The Black Keys and it's a sound I enjoy. But yes, I do believe they can withstand the above comparisons as Canned Heat blows huge chunks of awful and 3 Dog Night was an adequate if uninspired singles band (I always thought of them as a very poor man's Grassroots.)

christopher_robin wrote:I actually don't know any fans that think Presence is a weaker effort
Most fans in my experience acknowledge at least the songs previously mentioned ("Achilles" and "Nobody's Fault") because they are inarguably great (if you like Zep, that is.) But I've known lots of pretty big fans (mostly in my metalhead days) who've been somewhat dismissive of the record overall and it never shows up on "Greatest Albums Of All-Time" lists the way all the albums through Physical Grafitti do. It's probably the one I listen to the most these days, perhaps because it's the least overplayed. (It's also noteworthy for having some of the greatest album graphics ever, but I never see it show up on lists of those, either.)
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Re: Bands that failed to save rock and roll

Postby rrnate » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:56 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
christopher_robin wrote:I actually don't know any fans that think Presence is a weaker effort
Most fans in my experience acknowledge at least the songs previously mentioned ("Achilles" and "Nobody's Fault") because they are inarguably great (if you like Zep, that is.) But I've known lots of pretty big fans (mostly in my metalhead days) who've been somewhat dismissive of the record overall and it never shows up on "Greatest Albums Of All-Time" lists the way all the albums through Physical Grafitti do. It's probably the one I listen to the most these days, perhaps because it's the least overplayed. (It's also noteworthy for having some of the greatest album graphics ever, but I never see it show up on lists of those, either.)


Yeah, for me it's "In Through The Out Door" - love the keys, love the different feel, etc. Presence sits on the shelf next to Coda for me as ones I don't care about and though I've had lots of people tell me that Nobody's Fault is amazing, I don't feel it. (Zep does though - they played it at their reunion show and the Page/Plant thing pulled it out all the time to.)
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Re: Bands that failed to save rock and roll

Postby rrnate » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:57 pm

Also, Christopher Robin, until you completely renounce Katy Perry, your thoughts on the Black Keys will be dismissed.

Certainly comparing them to Canned Heat and Three Dog Night is just another demerit on your growing list.
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Re: Bands that failed to save rock and roll

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:01 pm

rrnate wrote:Presence sits on the shelf next to Coda for me as ones I don't care about
See, this is just crazy talk from a crazy person.
Coda isn't even an album, it's just barrel-scrapings.
That said, it has perhaps their funkiest tune ever (a Ben E. King cover, of all things) as well as the criminally overlooked "Poor Tom"
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Re: Bands that failed to save rock and roll

Postby rrnate » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:21 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
rrnate wrote:Presence sits on the shelf next to Coda for me as ones I don't care about
See, this is just crazy talk from a crazy person.
Coda isn't even an album, it's just barrel-scrapings.
That said, it has perhaps their funkiest tune ever (a Ben E. King cover, of all things) as well as the criminally overlooked "Poor Tom"


Yeah, Presence sounds like barrel scrapings to me too. Something I really like about a lot of Zep recordings is that there is a very unique mix of worked-over and off-the-cuff feel and Presence just sounds like they hammered it out, fast. It looses the more elaborate part of the deal.
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Re: Bands that failed to save rock and roll

Postby christopher_robin » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:32 pm

I fear the Katy Perry thing will forever be held against me!

Actually, no, I don't really fear that at all. I foresaw her entire career arc back when she was playing the guitar (remember that? She used to play the guitar?) fresh off the VANS tour.

That's different than a musical or critical endorsement.

Come to think of it, I should get mad props for that. She's every bit as huge as I predicted she would be.

Now tread carefully rnate: Presence is a slab of immense power.

Disparage it, to what end?
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Re: Bands that failed to save rock and roll

Postby minicat » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:36 pm

The Black Keys first couple discs are perfectly fine garage duo records ... like the White Stripes with less songwriting ability. They've mostly lost me during their current "important band" phase. I'm happy to see them succeed on such a big scale, but what they're up to leaves me cold.

I'd much rather listen to Three Dog Night, who put out a lot of really solid records. It may be fair to describe them as just an unusually successful/lucky cover band, but they were still a real working band with some kickin' singers.

I like some Canned Heat but can't really think of a good reason to defend them. heh.

That being said, why are any of these groups being compared to Led Zeppelin/each other????? Because Presence is as boring as most Canned Heat?

YEAH I SAID IT BITCHEZ
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Re: Bands that failed to save rock and roll

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:44 pm

So to recap today's posts:

In crazy universe...
Three Dog Night = solid
Presence = boring

In the real world...
Three Dog Night = inoffensive, but mostly lame
Presence = towering awesomeness

At the nexus of these universes, Canned Heat has little, if any, merit, and The Black Keys inspire strange arguments.
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Re: Bands that failed to save rock and roll

Postby minicat » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:52 pm

The enigma of Presence has come up before. Each time I have dutifully pulled it out and listened again. It remains at memory zero other than the couple songs everyone agrees are awesome.

The whole album is like the white field on the cover in my brain. It's the one Zep album that just refuses to make any impression whatsoever with me, negative or positive. And that includes Coda, which I like.

plus saying presence is boring is fun, like saying the clash sucks
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