Guy playing guitar

Would it be presumptuous to compare the Black Keys guitarist Dan Auerbach's stunningly textured musical pallet to Michelangelo's abilities to lay on his back and paint heaven on a basilica?
  A little hoity-toity, maybe?
  A bit much perhaps?
  Well, how 'bout comparing Auerbach to another great Italian, soundtrack supremo Ennio Morricone? He was the man who put the sonic spaghetti in the westerns genre (Good, Bad, the Ugly) and 600 other sundry films.
  Because, frankly, my darling, what I heard at the LC Pavilion Dec. 3 from his new band The Arcs put me in a zone of stupefied analytical wonder. This guy is amazing. Give him a handful of minutes, a crazily rocket-shaped guitar and a band wired to his brain, this guy's songs will take you places you've never been.
  The mountains of the moon? He calls it Pistols Made of Bones. A journey to the center of your brain-pan? My Mind. A song as evocative as Mountain's Theme From An Imaginary Western? The Arcs debut album lists it as Nature's Child. The musical equivalent of Jacques Cousteau scaring up ultra-colored psychedelic coral fishies? Try the plunging currents of Young, Dan's lyrically gritty ode of self-revelation (I was young/for a very long time/I was dumb/but the pleasure was mine--make of that what you will). The song hit me hard live at the LC.
  I had been looking for a 'sweet spot' to listen at the club. I found it upstairs in the balcony. I thought the music was floating up to the rafters and swirling around, not dying the ephemeral death of Taylor Swiftian pop. Being close to the rafters myself, I flashed on Michelangelo on his back painting the Baby Jesus or whatever it was he did for money for whatever pope it was that had the juice to pay a Renaissance genius worthy of eternity.
  I'll say this about Auerbach, the guy bites off an incredible amount per song, he's so ambitious musically and yet clever I get the impression everything means something in his songs and he accomplishes whatever it is he wants to express. Golden bonus: he's not only creatively almost in his own class, he performs with an inner flame and it's no simple Bunsen burner. He's got the fever. Emotion? Check. Brainy good riffs? Check. Musically ambitious? Double-check. Afraid to create mini-epics, song after song? Fuck no.
  All you got to do is act naturally, Ringo once sang--and go with the flow of The Arcs, your own mind in tow.
  Because employing your imagination is what you can, even must do with his music. Interpret it. There's plenty for your head. Personally, I thought every song meant something different yet I'll be damned if I knew what it was for sure. Dan's stuff is intense, despite the often slow pace--sometimes pastoral, a couple times even funereal. And yet he rocked. Kept the kids attention, uh, rather riveted. The Arcs don't sound like the Black Keys. All songs had energy, some songs were faster than others but it's a totally different bag than the Keys. And very open to interpretation.
  Between the constant structures of essentially often just two chords per songs not including somewhat complex instrumental breaks, Auerbach adorned the valley heights with strings of swelling, unusual ideas. Riffing melody lines phrased in accents and colors and shades I've never heard before graced arrangements architecturally futuristic and classic. Yet you could say there was a pattern to his stuff. So what. Everything has infrastructure, even fantastic music. As much as I loved Hendrix as a kid and thought his music was unlearnable, I soon found out how much he loved D-flat.
  So Auerbach's new band, The Arcs--I assume there is still his main warhorse, The Black Keys, waiting to be ridden again, it's hard-ass garage-blues-stomp rock always a winning night out--is nothing but a gang of texturizers and tenderizers for the Auerbach formula: two drummers with abbreviated kicks (that was very cool sounding), a Farfisa-esque organist on a Roland keyboard, a bassist who picked notes with almost a guitar players attack, plus three backing female singers from the mariachi band who opened up the night.
  How better to describe the sonuvabitch's output? Try producer-rock...with cinematic flourishes and a touch of prog, psychedelic, Bo Diddley beat and a trick-bag of other ingenious thefts small, medium and large, re-forged to come off as entirely new.
  First of all--and maybe most importantly--is that Auerbach, when he isn't performing as a Black Key or an Arc is a furiously busy producer. A producer is often a highly musical dude who can add just the right touches to a band or artist's studio creations and help make the mediocre sound nearly good; or the good sound great; or the really talented sound touched by The Great And Stingy Annointer Of Real Talent.
  Thus as The Arcs plowed and flowed their way through their debut album, Dreamily, plus unreleased Arcs material, I heard and slowly deciphered Auerbach's music where even a sixth-grade dropout such as I could grasp. which could be in clunky fashion be described as minor-key-dominated producer-rock at often near-pastoral or even occasionally funereal levels of energy yet.
  But I'm trying to demystify the mystery of a man's musical creation, which in a way doesn't seem right. Yet I would've done it anyway whether I was writing this or not. Flight is more than fancy, it takes a certain genius to defy gravity repeatedly at will and at length. Dan Auerbach took us out there and I came back. The man has strong wings. 

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