So, before we get to the post itself, a little background for those of you who haven't been here since the dawn of time...
A few years ago, this all started when my husband was a den leader for Webelos, covering a lesson on music with the boys. I was shocked/appalled/sad that the vast majority of them had no exposure to anything outside of whatever is played on the top 40 stations. One had never been exposed to anything other than country music. When they didn't all know who the Beatles were, an angel cried.
And thus, this began. I decided standing in the kitchen that night, watching it all unfold, as my husband exposed these kids to Jimi Hendrix and Carlos Santana and Metallica and Nirvana, that we had to make more of a point to share our love of all types of music with our kids at least. (My son had obviously heard it all before that night).
I started to teach him about the history of rock music. We started with rock because he'd just received his first guitar and wanted some simple, easily recognizable riffs to play that gave him a bit of street cred.
I spent the better part of a summer exploring new bands with him (and by extension, his siblings). After mentioning it a few times around these parts, people started to ask if I was going to share it all here...so the following year I began the Summer School of Rock.
My initial goal was to spend one month showcasing the most influential 31 bands/artists in rock. I got sidetracked because of things that happened and didn't get a chance to finish it, but then I realized that it was never meant to be done. There are so many more than 31 worthy mentions that this could go on indefinitely.
So here we are.
SHARE THE MUSIC YOU LOVE WITH YOUR KIDS. It totally pays off when you catch your 11 year old daughter singing along to The Wall.
If you'd like to read about some of the other bands and artists I've already covered, I will link them by name at the end.
Up today, The Black Keys
The Black Keys
Most of the bands mentioned previously in the series are older, classic rock pioneers. Music evolves though, keeping the best pieces and adding new technologies over time. Every so often, that comes together in a strange and magnificent way, such as it does with The Black Keys.
They are on my mind a lot these days because we were looking into getting tickets for their tour this year, but then realized we didn't want to see this band in an arena. No. I know enough people that saw them play Red Rocks a few years ago, and I'm going to trust their judgment when they tell me that I really need to see them there.
Plus, how Tickethorse gets away with charging the completely outrageous fees they do, I'm not sure. There, I said it.
As I write this, the son that inspired the series is pounding out Fever on the piano. By ear. Which is crazy. He clearly doesn't get it from me....
Anyhow, The Black Keys are what I'd generally refer to as the anti-rockstars. They aren't showy, no one is taking their shirt off routinely on stage and sauntering up and down with the microphone all sexy like. There's no pandering to the audience. They're goofy, they're funny, they look more like the guys from IT than a pair of world famous musicians.
Oh, yeah, that part of it still blows me away after all these years.
It's just the two guys. They obviously have help when performing live, but it's just them. Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney. Childhood friends who dropped out of college to pursue this dream together, the band is named after a schizophrenic artist they knew who referred to their fathers as "black keys" in his lengthy answering machine messages.
Their videos are just fantastic. I could literally watch Lonely Boy on an endless loop and Gold on the Ceiling is one of my favorite songs ever.
Little Black Submarines is Little Boy's favorite song of theirs, and it always gets turned up in the car. Always.
Their sixth studio album is the one that launched them into the spotlight - which should encourage any band out there, making and recording music, playing small gigs, then slightly bigger ones, to keep at it. Persistence pays off when you're as talented as these two are. Tighten Up was their first huge hit.
They just released their eight album, Turn Blue.
It immediately went to number one on the charts...and is in heavy rotation here in my house.
The earlier bands and artists in the series, in no particular order