J. Rod’s Music World

Justin Rodstrom

“Magic Potion” by The Black Keys

When a band like The Black Keys comes around, it warms my music-loving heart. When they were able to take that blues/hard rock format and reinvent it, reinvigorate it and reinterpret it, I was thrilled.

The Black Keys utilize a simplistic duo format, much like the White Stripes. The only real difference between the two is that you can take The Black Keys a little bit more seriously. Sure, the White Stripes are a great art-rock duo, and sure, Jack White is one of the more inventive guitarists to come around in the last 10 years (that’s not saying much for rock nowadays), but they’ve got a comic streak to them.

The Black Keys, on the other hand, give you straight-up, unleaded hard rock and blues the way it was meant to be served. The duo indulges in an album’s worth of blues jams and riff offs that don’t let up, complemented by the soulful, almost Steve Winwood-esque singing of Daniel Auerbach. Fans of classic rock, as well as some of the more adventurous indie-lovers will adore this release.

Key Jams: “Just Got To Be,” “Strange Desire,” “The Flame”

A night of Metal Mayhem

Setting: a rainy Friday night in the heart of Philly. A line of strange looking people looming outside the converted warehouse called the Electric Factory. What took place inside was a thrashing of metallic riffs, headbanging and mosh-pitting mayhem.

With a lineup that included some of today’s biggest metal names, including Lamb of God, Machine Head and Trivium, the Electric Factory was literally packed to the rafters with metal-hungry Philadelphians.

Although Trivium and Machine Head both received their fair share of devil horns and applause, Lamb of God owned the night. It was in the air that the whole night was just one big lead up to the Lamb of God set. Sure, Trivium showed off its newfound thrash prowess, and Machine Head bulleted through a set of dark melodies, but nothing compared to the Philly reception for Lamb of God.

When those five guys from Virginia stepped onto the Electric Factory stage, all hell broke loose. With fans that would make even Slayer blush, Lamb of God wreaked havoc on Philadelphia. It would seem that Philly is one of Lamb of God’s favorite spots, as it already released a live album, titled “Killadelphia.” One could quickly see why the band has such an attraction to these parts.