The Black Keys: Keeping It Real

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5 Responses

  1. Eric says:

    Good to see the use of that completely meaningless and all-around problematic word “hipster” in the second sentence of this article! Why do contributors to the The Society Pages continue to insist on using that word?!

  2. Brent says:

    Great article. I always love debating this topic.

    I think that if the music is good, it inevitably going to get popular. Unless you’ re trying to start a secret music club that only members can hear what you’ve created, you want to make money doing something your passionate about as a musician: music.

    I think these 17 year olds felt that The Black Keys was an exclusive club that a majority of people weren’t a part of, and now that the exclusivity has disappeared, they want other people to know that they were fans first, way before The Black Keys were ever popular. I think its the feeling of exclusivity in the indie music scene that makes the term “sell out” so widely used.

    I think it’s interesting that “indie” has become a genre in itself which doesn’t necessarily describe the origin of the music but the sound of the music itself. It seems that if another genre of music is indie, it’s “underground”.

  3. jeffdowd says:

    Brent, I’m not sure good music inevitably gets popular. In fact, part of the defense for these indie bands selling their songs, is that radio and music television are no longer viable outlets to get music heard so ads are the only outlet left.

    Secondly, I heard the NPR interview where the Black Keys referenced the “17 year olds”. I really cringed when I heard that – it such an easy defense to say those criticizing you are wealthy naive children (with zero evidence of course). I’m 37, by no means wealthy and have a decent understanding of the music business and I do like the Black Keys but I am a bit uneasy about the commercialization. On one hand, I do agree that getting music out there is more difficult today and musicians need to get paid, but at a certain point, which i think is fast approaching – the band has enough money and attention and selling songs to ads is about little more than compromising your art for greed.

    Interestingly, on NPR they hinted at a “line” they wouldn’t cross but never really defined it – I fear they won’t know where it is until they have stepped way over it and I can no longer listen to their music, not because I need to feel exclusive or cool (I’m too old to claim either) but because I find it difficult to respect art that the artists themselves don’t respect.

  4. Patrick Mack says:

    What does it really mean “to sell out”. Your motivated to live a good life not having to worry where your next meal is coming from, so work to make a living. Maybe when the 17 year old turn 18 and have to live on their own they may realize they really want to be “The Man”. After all we are all human.

  5. Tomer Tamir says:

    Wonderful atmosphere, great. Music. Enjoyed the well being wood. Lovely food.

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