Random Rules: Patrick Carney of The Black Keys
The shuffler: Patrick Carney, half of the blues-soaked duo The Black Keys, whose new album, Magic Potion (Nonesuch), hits stores Sept. 12.
Patrick Carney: This is J Mascis' new band, Witch. I like it a lot. I like his drumming. The vocals are a little bit strange; it's very mystical. The first concert I ever saw was Dinosaur Jr. in '94, and it was the absolute loudest thing I've ever seen. But I've never seen Witch; I just got a couple songs from my friend to check 'em out. I approve.
Parliament, "Livin' The Life"
PC: I mainly like Parliament just because their record covers look like they were drawn by a baby with a crayon.
Charles Mingus, "Peggy's Blue Skylight"
PC: My girlfriend's obsessed with Charles Mingus, so I'm slowly becoming obsessed too. Jazz is kind of a weird thing for me, because there's so much bad jazz. I guess I've always known that there was good jazz, but I've been embarrassed to listen to it, because it's always felt NPR-ish. Like, I don't know, that feeling of going to church on Sunday as a kid, or maybe even hearing Prairie Home Companion; those are my least favorite things, drinking coffee in a suit on Sunday morning or listening to Prairie Home Companion. And sometimes I equate jazz with that, and it also kind of fits into the doctor's-office scenario. Jazz used to give me a headache. But I'm starting to like it.
Captain Beefheart, "Beetle Bones And Smokin' Stones"
AVC: Okay, which album is that from?
PC: It's from I May Be Hungry But I Sure Ain't Weird. I'm a huge Captain Beefheart fan, but I intentionally don't own any records by him past 1975, and this is one of those records that a sound guy on tour gave me. I really approve of the title, but I'd imagine it's probably mediocre. I don't like Trout Mask Replica either, but I like all his actual albums.
Camera Obscura, "Before You Cry"
PC: I'm a big Scottish pop fanatic, so.
PC: Yeah, it's not really a guilty pleasure at all. I just straight-up like it. I like Belle And Sebastian's first three records—I guess I like all their records, but I really like Tigermilk and If You're Feeling Sinister and The Boy With The Arab Strap. Fold Your Hands Child is pretty good, but the first three are the best, I think.
AVC: The new Belle And Sebastian is surprisingly good. They seemed to be tapering off a bit, but The Life Pursuit is great, and live, they're like a whole new band.
PC: Yeah, I saw them live once in Detroit in 2000 and it was okay, so I kind of stopped paying attention. Then I did buy the new record a couple weeks after it came out, and I don't have it on my iPod yet. It's kind of "Legal Man"-era meets Three Dog Night and T-Rex and early Belle And Sebastian. I can see it, I'm into it. They started doing some songs with that one guy, what's his name, Stevie Jackson or something. His voice is better on the new record, but honestly, I'm just not a fan of his vocal cords.
Kanye West, "Slow Jamz"
PC: I'm not really into him, I don't really like Kanye West, honestly. My girlfriend likes Kanye West, so it's on my iPod. This is off the album The College Dropout. He's really got his marketing team working overtime. I just see his face too much.
Talking Heads, "Don't Worry About The Government"
PC: That's one of my favorite songs ever. But I like David Byrne's version best, when he sings it, when it's his voice. A lot of people have been trying to emulate his singing lately.
The Man I Fell In Love With, "The Fleet Of The Armada"
PC: This is a band from Kent, Ohio. They were around like '97 or '96. It's probably one of the best bands ever to come out of Ohio, and no one's ever heard it.
AVC: What do you know about the group?
PC: It's a three-dude band, they were only together for a year and a half. They were signed by Deep Elm and then dropped, and the record got lost, but my friend just pressed it up a couple years ago. It's Joe Dennis, the singer from The Party Of Helicopters, and Joel McAdams from Harriet The Spy, and Jon Finley from an early version of The Party Of Helicopters. Actually, I'm putting out a record by a version of this band; it's Joel McAdams and Jon Finley. They're called Beaten Awake. But this record, they just got together one day in the summer of late '96 and wrote all these songs, and they went to this crappy studio in Kent and recorded it the next day, and it just sounds fucking amazing. It sounds super-poppy, like a less-weird My Bloody Valentine.