Thursday, March 15, 2007

Black Keys, Black Snake Moan

Music is crucial to most films and can go a long way in helping to establish tone, mood, place, time. Music from the motion picture Black Snake Moan does all of it -- and it's one of the hippest soundtracks I've ever heard. Swampy, I suppose, is an apt descriptor; Memphis sound is another. Samuel L. Jackson is a quick study on the blues and sounds like a backwoods pro. But if you like big drums-and-guitar sound, The Black Keys might be just what you're wanting to hear. "When the Lights Go Out," their song on the soundtrack, is a real treat. The whole thing -- produced by Scott Bomar of Memphis -- is glorious. You can hear it all (or at least four full tracks if you play around with it) at the Black Snake Moan website.

As for the movie (directed and written by Craig Brewer), don't let it scare you. Yes, it's an adult film with troubled characters and crazy situations, but it's to Pulp Fiction (1994) what the New Testament is to the Old. You'll know what I mean if you see it.

Meanwhile, there's The Black Keys 2006 album Magic Potion. If it sounds retro, it is -- somewhere I saw it compared to Led Zeppelin doing ZZ Top songs, which is a reasonably accurate assessment. But these are originals, produced on Old School equipment in Ohio, of all places. For now, let's just say it's a very cool sound, a nice blues rock antidote to the typically mediocre airwave fare of spoon-fed overproduced "new music" these days.

Today's Rune: Partnership.

The Ides of March: Julius Caesar assassinated (44 B.C.).

Birthday: Sly Stone.



JR's Thumbprints said...

Too much of today's music is so refined due to technology that it's lost its edge. I'll check out The Black Keys.

Johnny Yen said...

Sounds like they're right up my alley.

A lot of bands insist on using old Fender amps-- "pre-CBS", as they call them. They still have vaccuum tubes in them. They insist the sound is different from modern transistor amps.

Charles Gramlich said...

Led Zepplin playing ZZ Top sounds like something right down my alley. I've gotta check it out.