The Black Keys
|The Black Keys|
The Black Keys performing at South by Southwest in 2010
|Origin||Akron, Ohio, U.S.|
The Black Keys are an American rock band formed in Akron, Ohio, in 2001. The group consists of Dan Auerbach (guitar, vocals) and Patrick Carney (drums). The duo began as an independent act, recording music in basements and self-producing their records, before they eventually emerged as one of the most popular garage rock artists during a second wave of the genre's revival in the 2010s. The band's raw blues rock sound draws heavily from Auerbach's blues influences, including Junior Kimbrough, Howlin' Wolf, and Robert Johnson.
Friends since childhood, Auerbach and Carney founded the group after dropping out of college. After signing with indie label Alive, they released their debut album, The Big Come Up (2002), which earned them a new deal with Fat Possum Records. Over the next decade, the Black Keys built an underground fanbase through extensive touring of small clubs, frequent album releases and music festival appearances, and substantial licensing of their songs. Their third album, Rubber Factory (2004), received critical acclaim and boosted the band's profile, eventually leading to a record deal with major label Nonesuch Records in 2006. After self-producing and recording their first four records in makeshift studios, the duo completed Attack & Release (2008) in a professional studio and hired producer Danger Mouse, a frequent collaborator with the band.
The group's commercial breakthrough came in 2010 with Brothers, which along with its popular single "Tighten Up", won three Grammy Awards. Their 2011 follow-up El Camino received strong reviews and peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 chart, leading to the first arena concert tour of the band's career, the El Camino Tour. The album and its hit single "Lonely Boy" won three Grammy Awards. In 2014, they released their eighth album, Turn Blue, their first number-one record in the US, Canada, and Australia.
Guitarist/vocalist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney first met when they were eight or nine years old while living in the same neighborhood of Akron, Ohio. Auerbach and Carney both come from musical backgrounds. Auerbach is the cousin of guitarist Robert Quine, a "veteran of New York's avant-rock scene." Carney is the nephew of saxophonist Ralph Carney, who performed on several Tom Waits albums. While attending Firestone High School, they became friends, though they were part of different crowds—Auerbach was captain of the high school soccer team, while Carney was a social outcast. Encouraged by their brothers, the duo began jamming together in 1996, as Auerbach was learning guitar at the time and Carney owned a four-track recorder and a drum set. After graduating, both briefly attended the University of Akron before dropping out.
Formation, The Big Come Up, and Thickfreakness (2001–2003)
Auerbach attempted to make a living from performing at small bars in town, but realized he would not be able to book shows in other cities without a demo. To record one, he asked for help from Carney, who agreed to provide recording equipment and allow his basement to be used if Auerbach recruited the other musicians. However, none of Auerbach's backing band showed up on the recording date. Instead, Carney and Auerbach jammed, eventually leading to the duo forming a band in mid-2001. Together, they recorded a six-song demo consisting of "old blues rip-offs and words made up on the spot". After sending the demo to a dozen record labels, they received and accepted an offer in 2002 from a small indie label in Los Angeles called Alive, as it was "the only label that would sign [them] without having to see [them] first".
According to an interview on NPR's Fresh Air, the group's name "the Black Keys" came from an artist diagnosed with schizophrenia, Alfred McMoore, that the pair knew; he would leave incoherent messages on their answering machines referring to their fathers as "black keys" such as "D flat" when he was upset with them. On March 20, 2002, the duo played their first live show at Cleveland's Beachland Ballroom and Tavern to an audience of approximately eight people. The band's debut album, The Big Come Up, was recorded entirely in Carney's basement on an 8-track tape recorder in lo-fi and was released in May 2002, three months after they signed to Alive. The album, a mix of eight original tracks and five cover songs, forged a raw blues rock sound for the group; the covers included tracks originally by blues musicians Muddy Waters, Junior Kimbrough, and R. L. Burnside. Two tracks, covers of the traditional blues standard "Leavin' Trunk" and The Beatles' song "She Said, She Said", were released as a single on Isota Records. The track "I'll Be Your Man" would later be used as the theme song for the HBO series Hung. In order to help fund a tour, Auerbach and Carney took jobs mowing lawns for a landlord. Although The Big Come Up sold poorly, it gained a cult following and attracted attention from critics, eventually landing the group a record deal with Fat Possum Records.
Within days of signing to Fat Possum, the Black Keys completed their second album, Thickfreakness. It was recorded in Carney's basement in a single 14-hour session in December 2002, an approach necessitated because the group spent its small advance payment from Fat Possum on rent. The group had recorded sessions with producer Jeff Saltzman in San Francisco but ultimately aborted them, as they were unhappy that the results sounded too much like "modern-rock radio". In March 2003, the group played at one of its first music festivals, South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, after driving for nearly 24 hours from Akron. Much as they did for the festival, Carney and Auerbach spent their early tour days driving themselves from show to show in a 1994 Chrysler van they nicknamed the "Gray Ghost".
Thickfreakness was released on April 8, 2003 and received positive reviews from critics. The record spawned three singles: "Set You Free", "Hard Row", and a cover of Richard Berry's "Have Love, Will Travel". The other cover from the album was Junior Kimbrough's "Everywhere I Go". Time later named Thickfreakness the third-best album of 2003. That year, the duo received a lucrative offer of ₤200,000 to license one of their songs for use in an English mayonnaise advertisement. At the suggestion of their manager, they rejected the offer for fear of being perceived as "sell-outs" and alienating their fan base. The band toured extensively throughout 2003, playing its first dates outside of the United States and opening concerts for Sleater-Kinney, Beck, and Dashboard Confessional. However, exhaustion had set in by the end of the year, forcing the band to cancel European tour dates. In August, the group made its national television debut on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and performed at the Reading and Leeds Festivals. As fellow garage band the White Stripes grew in popularity, the Black Keys drew comparisons to them—sometimes as a derivative act—since both groups had two-piece lineups, Midwest origins, bluesy sounds, and names with colors. In September, the Black Keys released a split-EP with The Six Parts Seven titled The Six Parts Seven/The Black Keys EP, featuring one song by The Six Parts Seven and three songs by the Black Keys.
Rubber Factory, Magic Potion, and other releases (2004–2007)
The Black Keys released an EP titled The Moan on January 19, 2004, featuring "Have Love Will Travel", an alternate version of "Heavy Soul", and two covers. The group found itself struggling to sell records or gain airplay of their songs on the radio, and they were not making much money either; they had to absorb a $3,000 loss from a European tour. Frustrated with their lack of success, the band relented and decided to begin licensing their music, beginning with the song "Set You Free" in a Nissan automobile commercial. It was the first of an eventual 300-plus song placements in television shows, films, TV commercials, and video games. The group played several high-profile musical festivals in the first half of the 2004, including Coachella and Bonnaroo.
For their third album, Rubber Factory, the band was forced to find a new recording location, as the building that housed their basement studio was sold by its landlord. They created a makeshift studio in a former tire-manufacturing factory in Akron, and recorded from January to May 2004. The album was released on September 7, 2004 and became the group's first record to chart on the US Billboard 200, reaching number 143. Rubber Factory received critical acclaim and was named one of the year's best albums by Entertainment Weekly and The New Yorker. Two singles were released, "10 A.M. Automatic" and the double A-side "'Till I Get My Way/Girl Is on My Mind". Comedian David Cross directed the music video for "10 A.M. Automatic". The duo promoted the album with tours in North America, Europe, and Australia. In 2005, the band released their first live video album, Live, recorded at The Metro Theatre in Sydney, Australia on March 18, 2005. In July, they played at the Lollapalooza music festival.
On May 2, 2006, the Black Keys released Chulahoma: The Songs of Junior Kimbrough, a 6-track album of cover versions of songs by Junior Kimbrough. It was the band's final release with the independent label Fat Possum. Having fulfilled their two-album contract, the band signed with the major label Nonesuch Records. Later in May, the group released its second live album, Live in Austin, TX—also known as Thickfreakness in Austin—which was recorded in 2003. The group's music appeared in several television commercials over the course of the year; among the companies to license its music were Sony, Nissan, and Victoria's Secret, which used "The Desperate Man" in a lingerie commercial featuring Heidi Klum. Despite having the resources of a major record label available to them, the group elected to return to recording in Carney's basement for its fourth studio album, Magic Potion. Released on September 12, 2006, the album was the group's first release on Nonesuch, as well as its first album to comprise all original songs. Three singles were issued: "You're the One", "Your Touch", and "Just Got To Be". In support of Magic Potion, the band embarked on its largest tour to that point, performing in large theaters and 1,000-seat venues. The Black Keys recorded covers of "The Wicked Messenger" for the soundtrack of the film I'm Not There and "If You Ever Slip" for The Hottest State soundtrack.
Attack & Release and side projects (2007–2009)
In 2007, producer Danger Mouse began working on a record for Ike Turner and asked the Black Keys to write a few songs for the project. The collaboration ultimately fell through, and Turner later died in December 2007. The duo decided to turn the material they had written into their fifth studio album, Attack & Release, and they asked Danger Mouse to produce the record. The sessions saw the band transitioning away from their "homemade" ethos to record-making; not only was it the first time that the band completed an album in a professional studio, but it was also the first time they hired an outside producer to work on a record. Danger Mouse supplemented the band's sound with instrumental flourishes and more polished production values. Released on April 1, 2008, Attack & Release debuted at number 14 on the Billboard 200. Four singles were released: "Strange Times", "I Got Mine", "Oceans and Streams", and "Same Old Thing". "Strange Times" was featured in the video games Grand Theft Auto IV and NASCAR 09. "I Got Mine" is used as the theme song for Canadian police drama TV series The Bridge. The song was ranked number 23 on Rolling Stone's list of The 100 Best Singles of 2008.
On October 17, 2008, the Black Keys was an opening act for fellow Akron-area band Devo at a special benefit concert at the Akron Civic Theatre for presidential candidate Barack Obama. Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, also an Akron native and Firestone High School graduate, followed their set. In November, they toured through Europe together with Liam Finn. That month, the group released the concert video Live at the Crystal Ballroom, which was filmed on April 4, 2008 at the group's show at Crystal Ballroom in Portland, Oregon. The video was produced by Lance Bangs.
Tensions grew within the band in 2009. Prior to Carney's divorce from his wife Denise Grollmus, Auerbach found it increasingly difficult to communicate with the drummer due to his antipathy for Grollmus. Auerbach said, "I really hated her from the start and didn't want anything to do with her." In February, Auerbach released his debut solo album, Keep It Hid. Carney, who claimed Auerbach did not tell him about the side project, felt betrayed. Carney subsequently formed the indie band Drummer, with whom he played bass guitar. The group released its debut album Feel Good Together on September 29, 2009.
The Black Keys reconciled later in the year. On June 6, 2009, they performed along with The Roots, TV on the Radio, Public Enemy, Antibalas, and other acts at the 2nd Annual Roots Picnic on the Festival Pier in Philadelphia. They also joined the 9th annual Independent Music Awards judging panel to assist independent musicians' careers.
Blakroc, a collaborative album featuring the Black Keys and several hip hop artists, was released in 2009 on Black Friday. The project was supported and brought together by Damon Dash, who is a big fan of the band. The album features rappers Mos Def, Ludacris, RZA, Raekwon, Pharoahe Monch, Q-Tip, NOE, Jim Jones, Nicole Wray, M.O.P., and the late Ol' Dirty Bastard. The album was recorded in Brooklyn, New York by co-producer, engineer and mixer Joel Hamilton at Studio G. Auerbach said on the official Blakroc site, "Pat and I have been preparing for this record since we were 16."
Brothers and commercial breakthrough (2010–2011)
Auerbach and Carney moved to Nashville in 2010, where they established a studio downtown.
The group's sixth studio album, Brothers, was released on May 18, 2010. Recorded primarily at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, the album was produced by the Black Keys and Mark Neill, and was mixed by Tchad Blake. The song "Tighten Up", the only track from the album produced by Danger Mouse, preceded the album as the lead single. The song became their most successful single to that point, spending 10 weeks at number one on the Alternative Songs chart and becoming the group's first single on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 87. The song also reached gold certification status. The music video for "Tighten Up", directed by Chris Marrs Piliero, won the 2010 MTV Video Music Award for Breakthrough Video. Brothers sold over 73,000 copies in the US in its first week and peaked at number three on the Billboard 200, their best performance on the chart to that point. In total, the record sold 1.5 million copies worldwide, including 870,000 copies in the US, and it was certified double-platinum in Canada, platinum in the US, and gold in the UK. The Black Keys were among several artist judges at the 9th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.
The band continued to gain exposure through continued song licensing, so much so that they were Warner Bros. Records' most-licensed band of the year. Rolling Stone placed Brothers at number two on its list of the best albums of 2010 and "Everlasting Light" at number 11 on the list of the year's best songs. Spin named the Black Keys the "Artist of the Year" for 2010. On January 8, 2011, the band appeared as the musical guest on American television sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live. At the 53rd Grammy Awards, Brothers and its songs won awards in three of the five categories they were nominated in; the band received honors for Best Alternative Music Album (for Brothers) and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal (for "Tighten Up"), while Michael Carney, the band's creative director and Patrick's brother, won Best Recording Package for designing the album's artwork.
The band's sudden success proved overwhelming, as they found themselves booking additional promotional commitments and facing demand for additional touring dates. In January 2011, the group canceled concerts in Australia, New Zealand, and Europe, citing exhaustion, thus clearing out most of their touring schedule into April. Patrick Carney said, "We've been touring long enough to know when we're about to hit our breaking point." The desire to record another album soon after Brothers also led to the decision. Carney said, "We could have waited another year or so, and milked the Brothers album and kept touring, but we like bands, and our favourite bands growing up and even today, are bands that put out a lot of music and every album is different from the last."
Brothers' second single, "Howlin' for You", was a successful follow-up, achieving a gold certification in the US. The music video, directed by Chris Marrs Piliero, parodied action movie trailers and starred Tricia Helfer, Diora Baird, Sean Patrick Flanery, Christian Serratos, Corbin Bernsen, Todd Bridges, and Shaun White. It was nominated for the 2011 MTV Video Music Award for Best Rock Video. In 2014, the band donated the song rights to PETA for an animal adoption ad campaign.
The Black Keys were nominated for three Billboard Music Awards: Top Alternative Artist, and Top Rock Album and Top Alternative Album for Brothers. The group continued to make appearances at American music festivals throughout the year, playing at Bonnaroo, Kanrocksas, and Outside Lands.
El Camino (2011–2013)
The group recorded their seventh studio album, El Camino, from March to May 2011. Splitting time between touring and recording, the band spent 41 days at Easy Eye Sound Studio, which was opened in 2010 by Auerbach in the duo's new hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. For the album, Danger Mouse reprised his role as producer and also contributed as a co-writer on all 11 songs. After struggling to translate the slower songs from Brothers to a live setting, the band decided to write more uptempo tracks for El Camino. The record draws from popular genres from the 1950s–1970s, including rock and roll, glam rock, rockabilly, surf rock, and soul. The band cited several retro acts as musical influences on the album, including The Clash, The Cramps, T. Rex, Ramones, The Beatles, Sweet, The Cars, and Johnny Burnette.
"Lonely Boy" was released in October as the album's lead single, accompanied by a popular one-shot music video of a man dancing and lip-syncing. The song became the group's best-charting single in several countries, reaching number 64 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 2 on the Australian Singles Chart, and number 33 on the Canadian Hot 100. The song was certified nine-times platinum in Canada, triple platinum in Australia, platinum in New Zealand, and gold in Denmark. The band returned to Saturday Night Live as a musical guest on December 3, 2011. El Camino was released three days later and received wide critical acclaim. In the US, it debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and sold 206,000 copies in its first week, the highest single-week sales and (to that point) charting position the group had achieved in the country. Many publications, such as Rolling Stone and Time ranked El Camino among the best albums of the year, despite its late release. The album was certified double-platinum in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand; platinum in the US, UK, and Ireland; and gold in Belgium, the Netherlands, and France.
In 2012, the group commenced the first headlining arena tour of its career, the El Camino Tour, playing dates in Europe and North America. After tickets went on sale, their show at Madison Square Garden sold out in 15 minutes. Just as it did on its previous tour, the group added bassist Gus Seyffert and keyboardist/guitarist John Wood as touring musicians in order to perform songs as close to their studio arrangements as possible. The album's second single, "Gold on the Ceiling", like its predecessor, went to number one on the Alternative Songs chart and was certified platinum in Australia and Canada. The group headlined several music festivals throughout the year, including Catalpa Music Festival, Coachella, Memphis in May (in 2013), Lollapalooza, and Osheaga. At the 2013 Grammy Awards, El Camino and "Lonely Boy" were nominated in five categories and were winners in three; the album won Best Rock Album, while "Lonely Boy" won Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song.
Turn Blue (2013–present)
For their eighth studio album, Turn Blue, the band once again collaborated with Danger Mouse, who co-produced and co-wrote the album. It was recorded primarily at Sunset Sound in Hollywood, California, from July–August 2013, with additional recording at Key Club in Benton Harbor, Michigan, and Nashville's Easy Eye Sound in early 2014. The album was announced in March 2014 via Mike Tyson's Twitter account, with a link to a cryptic teaser video on YouTube featuring a hypnotist, and was released on May 13, 2014. The record exhibits psychedelic rock and soul influences and features a more melancholy tone, largely in part due to Auerbach dealing with the divorce from his wife during the album sessions. The first single, "Fever" was released on March 24, while a second single, "Turn Blue", followed on April 14. The album debuted at number one in the US and Australia, the band's first record to top the album charts in either country; 164,000 copies were sold in the US in its first week. The group embarked on a world tour in May 2014 to support the album, with Cage the Elephant, Jake Bugg, and St. Vincent all separately opening for them. In 2015, Turn Blue was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album, with "Fever" being nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song as well as the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance.
- Studio albums
- The Big Come Up (2002)
- Thickfreakness (2003)
- Rubber Factory (2004)
- Magic Potion (2006)
- Attack & Release (2008)
- Brothers (2010)
- El Camino (2011)
- Turn Blue (2014)
Awards and nominations
- American Music Awards
|2011||The Black Keys||Favorite Alternative Artist||Nominated|
|2012||The Black Keys||Favorite Alternative Artist||Nominated|
- ARIA Music Awards
The Australian Recording Industry Association Music Awards is an annual series of awards nights celebrating the Australia Music industry.
|2012||The Black Keys||Most Popular International Artist||Nominated|
- Billboard Music Awards
|2011||The Black Keys||Top Alternative Artist||Nominated|
|Brothers||Top Alternative Album||Nominated|
|Top Rock Album||Nominated|
- Brit Awards
|2013||The Black Keys||International Group||Won|
|2015||The Black Keys||International Group||Nominated|
- Grammy Awards
|2011||"Tighten Up"||Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal||Won|
|Best Rock Song||Nominated|
|Brothers||Best Alternative Music Album||Won|
|Best Recording Package (awarded to creative director Michael Carney)||Won|
|"Black Mud"||Best Rock Instrumental Performance||Nominated|
|2012||"Dearest"||Best Pop Duo/Group Performance||Nominated|
|2013||"Lonely Boy"||Record of the Year||Nominated|
|Best Rock Performance||Won|
|Best Rock Song||Won|
|El Camino||Album of the Year||Nominated|
|Best Rock Album||Won|
|Dan Auerbach||Producer of the Year, Non-Classical||Won|
|2015||"Fever"||Best Rock Performance||Nominated|
|Best Rock Song||Nominated|
|Turn Blue||Best Rock Album||Nominated|
- iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards
|2011||"Tighten Up"||Best International Group Video||Nominated|
- MTV Video Music Awards
|2010||"Tighten Up"||Breakthrough Video||Won|
|2011||"Howlin' for You"||Best Rock Video||Nominated|
|2012||"Lonely Boy"||Best Rock Video||Nominated|
|2014||"Fever"||Best Rock Video||Nominated|
- Q Awards
|2012||El Camino||Best Album||Nominated|
|2014||Turn Blue||Best Album||Nominated|
- UK Music Video Awards
|2011||"Howlin' for You"||Best Indie/Alternative Video||Nominated|
- Hunter, James (September 8, 2004). "The Black Keys: Hardly Retreads; On 'Rubber Factory,' the Indie Rockers Get High Mileage Out of Steel-Belted Blues". The Washington Post.
- Gopalan, Nishan (June 3, 2010). "Hilarious Black Keys Drummer Patrick Carney on Not Growing a Beard, Damon Dash, and Danger Mouse". Vulture. New York Media LLC. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- Leahey, Andrew (November 1, 2011). "The Black Keys: Brothers In Arms". American Songwriter. Retrieved December 8, 2011.
- Hiatt, Brian (January 19, 2012). "Black Keys Rising". Rolling Stone (1148): 38–41, 66. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
- "The Fresh Air Interview: The Black Keys". NPR Music. NPR. January 31, 2011. Retrieved February 2, 2012.
- Leslie, Jimmy (November 1, 2003). "Fuzz freak: the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach on the majesty of muck". Guitar Player.
- Joy, Kevin (March 6, 2012). "Retro-rock duo from Akron now playing to arena crowds". The Columbus Dispatch. The Dispatch Printing Company. Retrieved March 13, 2012.
- Leahey, Andrew (November 1, 2011). "The Black Keys: Brothers In Arms". American Songwriter. Retrieved December 8, 2011.
- Lynskey, Dorian (September 2010). "Blues Explosion!". Spin. 26 (8): 60–63. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
- Uhelszki, Jaan (August 29, 2014). "The Black Keys: Chart-Topping Blues". Relix. Relix Media Group. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
- Katz, Larry (October 7, 2003). "Into the Black; Keys unlock a raw, bluesy sound". Boston Herald. Herald Media Inc. sec. The Edge, p. 47.
- Terry Gross (presenter) (2011-01-31). "The Fresh Air Interview: The Black Keys". Fresh Air. Philadelphia. NPR. WHYY-FM.
- "Akron artist Alfred McMoore dies; cried for people he never met". Ohio.com. Akron Beacon Journal. September 28, 2009. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
- Mapes, Jillian (December 6, 2011). "The Black Keys' 'El Camino': Track-by-Track Review". Billboard.com. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
- Inskeep, Steve (presenter) (2006-11-24). "Keeping it Primitive with The Black Keys". Morning Edition. NPR.
- Graff, Gary (March 11, 2012). "The Black Keys hitting all the right notes". Reading Eagle. Reading Eagle Company. Retrieved March 13, 2012.
- Thickfreakness (CD booklet). The Black Keys. Fat Possum Records. 2003.
- Greenblatt, Leah (March 19, 2003). "SXSW 2003". SeattleWeekly.com. Village Voice Media. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
- Abram, Malcolm X (March 14, 2012). "March 13, 2003: Black Keys head for South By Southwest, success in their sights". Ohio.com. Akron Beacon Journal. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
- Tyrangiel, Josh (December 18, 2003). "Top 10 Everything 2003: Music – 3. Thickfreakness by The Black Keys". Time.com. Time Inc. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
- Simpson, Dave (December 1, 2011). "'We've put in more hours than anyone': The Black Keys interviewed". guardian.co.uk. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- Mason, Anthony (reporter) (April 22, 2012). "The Black Keys: No longer the underdogs". CBS News Sunday Morning. Season 33. CBS. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
- Dansby, Andrew (June 24, 2004). "Black Keys Open 'Factory'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
- "Black Keys Unlock World Tour, New Single". Billboard.com. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
- "Episode dated 8 August 2003 (8 Aug. 2003)". IMDb. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
- Ratliff, Ben (July 8, 2004). "ROCK REVIEW; A Blues Duo Seeking Virtue In Plainness". The New York Times. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
- Vozick-Levinson, Simon (April 20, 2012). "Black Keys on Their First Coachella as Headliners". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
- Kielty, Tom (June 12, 2004). "Bonnaroo fest off to a scorching start". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- Rubber Factory (booklet). The Black Keys. Fat Possum Records. 2004. 80379-2.
- "The Black Keys – Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- Proskocil, Niz (November 30, 2006). "Black Keys retain bare-bones blues and rock combo". Omaha World-Herald.
- "Black Keys Rock The Elderly In New Video". Billboard.com. Prometheus Global Media. October 5, 2004. Retrieved March 17, 2013.
- "Black Keys Rock The Elderly In New Video". Billboard.com. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
- DeRogatis, Jim (July 25, 2005). "basic PROGRAMMING // It's not an alt-rock fest anymore, but it's fan-friendly and sounds good". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 42.
- Anderman, Joan (October 31, 2006). "Black Keys retexture the blues". The Boston Globe.
- Ethridge, Mary (August 2, 2006). "Lingerie ad uses smooth touch of Akron: Black Keys song featured in Heidi Klum TV spot". Akron Beacon Journal.
- Anderman, Joan (September 10, 2006). "Impressions: Pop Recordings". The Boston Globe. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
- Abram, Malcom X (September 17, 2006). "The Keys to success". Akron Beacon Journal.
- "In the Studio: The Black Keys". Rolling Stone. February 25, 2008. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
- Thornton, Stuart (April 17, 2008). "Attack & Release". Monterey County Weekly.
- Williams, Rob (April 19, 2008). "The Black Keys / Attack & Release (Nonesuch/Warner)". Winnipeg Free Press.
- Gottlieb, Jed (May 15, 2008). "Entering the Danger Mouse zone". The Boston Herald. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
- "The 100 Best Singles of 2008". Rolling Stone. December 25, 2008. Archived from the original on December 29, 2008. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- Abram, Malcolm X (October 17, 2008). "Devo's benefit concert whips up vote". Ohio.com. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- "The Black Keys: Live at the Crystal Ballroom (DVD)". Nonesuch Records. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- Miller, Eric T. (October 26, 2009). "Q&A With The Black Keys' Patrick Carney". Magnet. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
- Valania, Jonathan (June 8, 2009). "The Roots Steal the Show From Black Keys, Public Enemy at Picnic". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 22, 2012.
- "Independent Music Awards – 9th Annual Judges". IndependentMusicAwards.com. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
- "She & Him, The Black Keys, Mark Hoppus, Aimee Mann, And Bettye LaVette Join Judging Panel For The 9th Annual Independent Music Awards". Top40-Charts.com. May 27, 2009. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- Prince, David J. (September 14, 2009). "Black Keys Reveal Blakroc Hip-Hop Project Details". Billboard.com. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
- "Black Keys Find New Home in Nashville". Billboard. Associated Press. December 13, 2010. Retrieved 2014-06-16.
- Monday (February 22, 2010). "Shorts: Punch Brothers, Black Keys, Runaways Movie, Trash Can Sinatras, Doves 'Best', Stone's 'Exile', Grace Potter – Music News / New Music – Direct Current". Directcurrentmusic.com. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
- "''The Black Keys Fan Lounge'' online". Theblackkeysfanlounge.com. May 18, 2010. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
- "''The Black Keys Fan Lounge'' online". Theblackkeysfanlounge.com. April 1, 2010. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
- "The Black Keys – Chart history: Hot 100". Billboard.com. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
- "Record Certifications Around the World". TheBlackKeys.com. October 26, 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
- "The Black Keys - Tighten Up (Official Music Video)". May 20, 2010. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
- "VMA Playlist: All-Time Best Breakthrough Videos". 2010. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
- "The Black Keys' "Brothers" Debuts at No. 3 on Billboard Album Chart with Band's Best One-Week Sales Ever". Nonesuch Records. May 26, 2010. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
- Kara, Scott (December 1, 2011). "The Black Keys get back into the groove". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved December 8, 2011.
- Light, Alan (December 4, 2011). "First, Hit It Big. Then Change.". The New York Times. p. AR1. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
- "9th Annual IMA Artist Judges". Independent Music Awards. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- Mapes, Jillian (January 6, 2012). "Tightened Up: Inside the Black Keys' Rise to Arena-Sized Fame". Billboard.com. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
- Dolan, Jon, David Fricke, Will Hermes, Melissa Maerz, Jody Rosen, Rob Sheffield and Jonah Weiner. "30 Best Albums of 2010: The Black Keys, 'Brothers'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- Dolan, Jon, David Fricke, Will Hermes, Melissa Maerz, Jody Rosen, Rob Sheffield, and Jonah Weiner. "50 Best Songs of 2010: The Black Keys, 'Everlasting Light'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- Petrusich, Amanda (December 14, 2010). "Artist of the Year: The Black Keys". Spin. Retrieved February 2, 2012.
- Hogan, Marc (December 5, 2011). "Watch the Black Keys' Triumphant Return to 'SNL'". Spin.com. Spin Media LLC. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
- Kennedy, Gerrick D. (February 13, 2011). "Grammy Awards: Black Keys, on being one of the evening's wild card winners". LATimes.com. Tribune Company. Retrieved February 2, 2012.
- "Past Winners Search – Artist: Carney". GRAMMY.com. The Recording Academy. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- "Black Keys cancel tour dates because they are 'drained'". NME. January 18, 2011. Retrieved February 2, 2012.
- "Howlin' for You Behind-the-Scenes". Retrieved January 10, 2012.
- "Howlin' for You". Warner Bros. Records. February 10, 2011. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
- "Howlin' for You: IMDB page". February 10, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
- "MTV VMA Best Rock Video Nominees 2011". Retrieved January 10, 2012.
- John Blistein, "Black Keys Donate 'Howlin' For You' To PETA Campaign", Rolling Stone, 4 February 2015.
- "Full 2011 Billboard Music Awards Finalists List". Billboard.com. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- Kocsis, Julie (December 13, 2011). "The Black Keys' Potential to Be America's New Favorite Rock Band". The Huffington Post. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
- Johnson, Kevin C. (April 26, 2012). "The Black Keys don't change much in move to arena shows". STLtoday.com. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved April 27, 2012.
- Light, Alan (December 4, 2011). "First, Hit It Big. Then Change.". The New York Times. p. AR1. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "El Camino – The Black Keys". Allmusic. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
- "Discography The Black Keys". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved February 14, 2012.
- "The Black Keys – Chart history: Billboard Canadian Hot 100". Billboard.com. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
- Abram, Malcolm X (December 5, 2011). "'El Camino' should keep Black Keys on road to success". Akron Beacon Journal. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- "Critic Reviews for El Camino". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
- Caulfield, Keith (December 14, 2011). "Michael Buble's 'Christmas' Stays Atop Billboard 200, Black Keys Hit No. 2". Billboard.com. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
- Anderson, Stacey, Jon Dolan, David Fricke, Will Hermes, Monica Herrera, Jody Rosen, Rob Sheffield, and Simon Vozick-Levinson. "50 Best Albums of 2011: The Black Keys, 'El Camino'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- Suddath, Claire (December 7, 2011). "The Top 10 Everything of 2011 - Black Keys, El Camino". Time. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
- Kaye, Deirdre (March 5, 2012). "Review: The Black Keys/Arctic Monkeys at US Bank Arena". Cincinnati CityBeat. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
- Stevenson, Jane (December 3, 2011). "The Black Keys announces new tour". lfpress.com. Sun Media. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
- "The Black Keys Announce Second Leg of North American Tour". Nonesuch Records. January 9, 2012. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
- Kane, Tyler (December 9, 2011). "The Black Keys Sell Out Madison Square Garden in 15 Minutes". Paste. Paste Media Group. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
- Soeder, John (March 18, 2012). "The Black Keys are bigger than ever as they return to Northeast Ohio to play The Q". Cleveland.com. Cleveland Live LLC. Retrieved March 19, 2012.
- "The Black Keys – Chart history: Alternative Songs". Billboard.com. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- Kosinski, TJ; Salisbury, Vanita (June 20, 2012). "Festival Face-Off". NYMag.com. New York Media, LLC. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
- Almendrala, Anna (Jan 11, 2012). "Coachella 2012 Lineup Announced: The Black Keys, Radiohead, Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg Headlining". The Huffington Post.
- "Festival Lineup" (PDF). Memphis in May.
- Lipshutz, Jason (April 11, 2012). "Lollapalooza 2012 Lineup: Black Sabbath, Chili Peppers, Black Keys Headlining". Billboard (magazine).
- Collins, Leah (March 21, 2012). "Osheaga 2012 lineup: Black Keys, Snoop Dogg, Florence and the Machine added to bill". National Post.
- Abram, Malcolm X (February 11, 2013). "Black Keys artists score four Grammys". Ohio.com. Akron Beacon Journal. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- Payne, Chris (March 21, 2014). "The Black Keys Announce New Album 'Turn Blue' Via Mike Tyson's Twitter". Billboard.com. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
- Randall, Mac (May 12, 2014). "The Black Keys Defy Radio Trends on 'Turn Blue': Album Review". Billboard.com. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
- Montgomery, James (March 21, 2014). "The Black Keys Announce New Album 'Turn Blue' Due Out May 13th". Radio.com. CBS Local Media. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
- Minsker, Evan (April 14, 2014). "The Black Keys Share Their New Song "Turn Blue"". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
- Caulfield, Keith (March 21, 2014). "The Black Keys Earn First No. 1 Album, Michael Jackson Debuts At No. 2". Billboard.com. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
- Staff writer (May 17, 2014). "The Black Keys Score First Australian #1; Michael Jackson Settles for #3". themusic.com.au. Street Press Australia. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
- "58th Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominees". The GRAMMYs. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
- Lowe, Zane (presenter) (April 30, 2014). The Black Keys in session (Radio broadcast). BBC Radio 1. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
- Coyle, Jake (June 22, 2010). "The Black Keys pride selves as 'unperfectionists'". Boston.com. The New York Times Company. Associated Press. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
Eminem and Lil Wayne
|Saturday Night Live musical guest
January 8, 2011
| Succeeded by|
Florence + the Machine
|Saturday Night Live musical guest
December 3, 2011
| Succeeded by|
|Saturday Night Live musical guest
May 10, 2014
| Succeeded by|