By Courtney E. Smith
We’ve been down this road with the Black Keys before, way back in 2006. The guys made a big splash with their mock Ohio Public Access themed “10 A.M. Automatic.” Now we come full circle, 8 years later, with “Fever,” a purposefully low-quality clip that apes the religious programs that run all day on those weird, in-between channels.
The clip, directed by Theo Wenner, son of Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner, has a WTBK logo in the upper right — not a real TV channel, but an easter egg shout out to a rock station in Manchester, KY and a little idea of where we should expect this kind of programming. It’s a little closer to their new home, in Tennessee, and a little more of a shot at the heartland.
Faith, a major part of religion and a requirement for religious fervor, takes a conscious suspension of disbelief. What the Black Keys are reminding us of with this video is that music fandom requires the same. They’re not so different from these dial-a-preachers, asking for your money on behalf of an industry. And they’re not afraid to mock the tenuous position they stand on, in a heady way.
Watch the clip below, from their forthcoming album Turn Blue.