Archive | October, 2011

Did Shakespeare Write Shakespeare?

Wise scholars have been debating the authorship of William Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets for over two hundred years. The question repeatedly asked is, who wrote Shakespeare’s plays? Ten or more different people have been suggested as the legitimate author of Shakespeare’s works. The three most widely accepted candidates seem to be William Shakespeare, the actor, Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, and Sir Henry Neville, Ambassador to France and distant relative of William Shakespeare.

The Stratfordian Case

The abundant historical evidence shows that William Shakespeare (recorded as Shakespeare at his baptism) was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564. He moved to London, becoming a writer, an actor, and a part owner of the acting company, the King’s Men, which owned the Globe Theatre and the Blackfriars Theatre. He spent time in both London and Stratford, where he died in 1616.

Shakespeare was probably educated in Stratford at The King’s New School, though there are no surviving records of his early education. At the school he would have received an excellent education, and he would have learned Latin and studied some Roman playwrights. There is no evidence or suggestion that Shakespeare received further formal education at a university. It is likely that he was self-educated during his years in London, much as fellow dramatist and friend Ben Jonson, and fellow writers John Webster, Thomas Dekker, and Edmund Spenser.

In addition to the historical evidence referenced above, there is abundant written evidence that William Shakespeare was a poet and a playwright. For one, a couple of narrative poems, “Venus and Adonis” and also “The Rape of Lucrece” were published with a dedication to the Earl of Southampton, his patron, and were signed by William Shakespeare. Also, Thomas Thorpe published the volume, “Shake-speares Sonnets”. Though it is not known whether the publication of the volume was authorized, it is clearly attributed to be the work of Shakespeare. Also, many of his plays, including “Hamlet” and “King Lear,” were published during his lifetime and attributed to William Shakespeare.

Further, the First Folio of 1623, the posthumous collection of Shakespeare’s plays published by his friends and fellow King’s Men actors, Heminges and Condell, is dedicated to Shakespeare. The Folio is titled, “Mr. William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies,” and Heminges and Condell dedicated the volume to Shakespeare.

Finally, Shakespeare’s death was noted and mourned. William Basse wrote a famous elegy, copies of which still exist, where he says that Shakespeare deserves to be buried in Westminster Abbey next to Chaucer, Beaumont, and Spenser. A few years after his death a monument was erected in Stratford depicting Shakespeare as a writer sitting at his desk, pen in hand.

The Anti-Stratfordians
The Oxfordian Case

The anti-Stratfordians, those who believe that someone other than Shakespeare of Stratford wrote the plays and sonnets attributed to him, make some strong arguments. They point to Shakespeare’s modest education and his lack of travel outside of Stratford and London. Scholars question how he could have written plays that required considerable geographical and political knowledge, and which required knowledge of French, Spanish, and Italian sources, languages that Shakespeare could not read. The vocabulary in his plays seems to be far greater than the modestly educated Shakespeare could have possessed.

Also, the anti-Stratfordians point out that Shakespeare’s will did not mention any books, manuscripts, or a library. The will dealt in depth with household items but did not mention anything of literary importance. Numerous plays were unpublished and unperformed at the time of his death, and scholars believe it reasonable that the author would have made mention of them if they were truly his.

The Oxfordians believe that Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, is more likely to have been the true author of Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets. For one, Edward de Vere was a talented and well-recognized poet and playwright whose word choices and phrases resembled those of Shakespeare. He was well enough educated, a Cambridge graduate at age 14, and widely enough traveled to have the knowledge to write the historical plays of Shakespeare. In many of the sonnets and plays are references to events that parallel de Vere’s own life. In fact, some consider the play “Hamlet” to be a near autobiography of de Vere’s life.

It is true that Edward de Vere died in 1604, before eleven of Shakespeare’s works have traditionally been dated. The Oxfordians point out errors in the traditional dating of Shakespeare’s later plays and make convincing arguments that the plays were written before de Vere’s death and then published posthumously, not an unusual occurrence.

The Nevillian Case

Recently a strong case has been made for the idea that Sir Thomas Neville is the most likely author of Shakespeare’s works. Neville was educated at Merton College, Oxford, and was fluent in many languages. He traveled for four years on the continent of Europe directly after graduation and in the company of an Oxford scholar. He was the Ambassador to France for two years, and then he became involved with the Essex conspiracy to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I. Neville and his friend, Lord Southampton, were convicted, fined, and confined to the Tower of London.

The Tower, for the rich like Neville, was more like a hotel than a prison. There is evidence to suggest that Neville wrote many of the Sonnets, including the ones that were addressed to Lord Southampton, while confined to the Tower. It is also here that Neville wrote the play, “Hamlet.” Later, he published “Shake-speares Sonnets” and wrote the dedication himself. He dedicated the sonnets to Lord Southampton. A notebook kept by Neville while in the Tower contained detailed notes that ended up as part of the play, “Henry VIII.”

The Tower experience also explains the shift in the focus of Shakespeare’s plays from histories and comedies to the great tragedies, all of which were written after Neville was released from the Tower when James I became the king.

Other evidence that Neville may have been the author of Shakespeare’s works includes a statistical correlation of word frequency between Neville’s private and diplomatic letters and the works of Shakespeare. Also, a document was discovered in 1867 that shows that Neville practiced writing William Shakespeare’s name. The document shows 17 attempts at duplicating the famous signature.

Some scholars suggest that Sir Neville used the actor Shakespeare as a front man for the plays and sonnets. Neville and Shakespeare were distant relatives and knew each other, probably through Lord Southampton, Shakespeare’s patron and Neville’s good friend. The suggestion is that Neville needed a pseudonym for his plays and sonnets because some of the plays were politically too sensitive. Neville was descended from rivals of the Tudors and Henry VIII had executed his grandfather, so he was concerned that his plays would be seen as seditious.

Scholars also suggest that Ben Jonson, who was employed at Gresham College, which was owned by the Neville family, knew of the front man arrangement. Since Jonson was involved with putting Shakespeare’s name on the First Folio, it is suggested that he did so at the request of the Neville family. The argument is that Shakespeare had agreed to the front man arrangement many years earlier, also at the request of Sir Neville and his family.

The debate about the authorship of Shakespeare’s works continues without a resolution in sight. There are numerous other candidates, including the idea that the plays were written by a group of people. Perhaps someday the discovery of an original manuscript will be found and the question will be answered once and for all.

Posted in Theater0 Comments

Becoming a Standup Comedian

So you think you’re funny? Funny enough to take your act to the stage and on the road?

Too many aspiring comedians assume that, just because they can keep their buddies in stitches every time they open their mouths, getting up on stage and sending a poker-faced audience into fits of laughter would be a piece of cake. Regrettably, the ability to make your friends and family laugh does not necessarily translate to a hilarious stand-up act.

There is a world of difference between telling jokes to your buddies over beer at a downtown joint and delivering punch lines on stage to a roomful of strangers. With the former, all you need is a couple of jokes and an ounce of bluster. With stand-up comedy, you need plenty of good material, excellent showmanship, impeccable comic timing, nerves of steel, quick wit, and a healthy dose of ego. You also need to realize that it might take years of bad gigs, unappreciative audiences, and flat jokes before you could earn a guest spot on the David Letterman show or have your own sitcom. Clearly, the life of a stand-up comic is not for the faint of heart.

Still think you’ve got what it takes to be the next Jerry Seinfeld or Ellen DeGeneres? If the rigors of being a stand-up comedian do not dampen your desire to be one, you may already have the heart for it.

A burning passion to follow your heart and instincts is essential towards achieving success as a stand-up comedian. Once you start to believe that making people laugh is your true calling, it becomes difficult to resist the pull of the stage. But how do you go about turning your stand-up dreams into reality? You can start by studying as much as you can about the craft, from different styles of stand-up comedy to microphone techniques. There are comedy schools and coaches that can teach you the ropes of stand-up comedy, as well as ebooks that provides straightforward information and no-nonsense advice on making it as a stand-up comedian.

Before you can learn to do something, you must see first how it’s done by an expert or professional. Watching stand-up comedians perform their routines will give you an overview of all the elements involved in an act. There are several ways by which you can study stand-up comedians at work. You could catch live performances at comedy clubs or watch recordings of live stand-up performances on DVD. You could also listen to sound recordings of live stand-up acts. Late-night talk show hosts open their shows by reciting comedy monologues that play out like mini stand-up routines. Many talk show hosts used to be professional stand-up comedians, so tuning in to various late-night programs every night would be like being treated to a stand-up comedy sampler in your living room.

What do you hope to accomplish by watching the pros do their schtick? For one thing, it’s a good way to learn about how to work the stage. You could pick up a few pointers on effective joke delivery, comic timing, and microphone techniques. Also, you might be able to see how the pros deal with bombing (that’s when the jokes are getting few or no laughs) and hecklers in the audience. In addition, studying the pros will introduce you to different styles of stand-up comedy. Acquainting yourself with different comedic styles could help you identify which style best suits your brand of comedy.

Covering topics ranging from writing your own material to finding coveted gigs, an amazing ebook will explain in detail what you should do and what to expect while seeking your rightful place in this tough business. Just go to for details.

Posted in Comedy0 Comments

Learning About Sports And Betting On Them

Major sporting events have forever been the matter of modest to severe wagering. Anybody who is an avid follower of a team or an athlete would probably support them in every way possible, including betting. Betting on the outcome of a sporting event started to be merely for fun, until it grew into a real big time situation.

Bookmakers, casinos, and other similar establishments have earned international sporting events even more charging up with the increase of betting lines and chances. Assorted sporting events have today become a universal betting function.

There are different styles of bets that can be made in a relatively simple sports match. These styles are devised so as to gain a relatively fair advantage on the playing field. To give you a good background on the kinds betting and how each works, read on:

1. Simple Bets. This is the simplest type of betting there is. Out two teams or two athletes competing, you just have to select the winner. You win if you have chosen the right team or person winning the game.

2. Special Bets. Special bets vary so much as to what the sporting event is. If it is, say football, an example of a special bet is which team would get the first goal? Or if it is boxing, it could be on what round will be the first knockdown of the game?

3. Handicap Bets. This is the betting system as employed by casinos and bookmakers, and is taken advantage of by sports arbitrage systems. On this betting system, a team or an athlete who is supposed to be the underdog in the game is given a certain point advantage. It could also be implemented the other way around, wherein the advantaged team is subtracted a certain number of points. You bet on who wins the game, minus the advantage points agreed upon.

4. Position Bets. This is mostly employed in a race, mostly of horses. Usually, players would place a bet on the first two horses that would win the race. It is also possible to just bet on the first one which will finish the race.

5. Combined Bets. Combined bets means that you are betting on different situations and combining them as one bet. You are going to win if and only if you get all your bets right. Otherwise, you lose the bet.

6. System bet. System bet is like combined bet, but all case is going to be an separate bet, and not a combined one. You need not get every situation to win. Every event that you get right is a win.

7. Exact Results Bet. Using this method means you are betting on the exact score outcome of a particular game. This is usually used in football or soccer, as the scores tend to be less than ten most of the time. This is mostly seen on international sporting events only.

8. Long Term Bets. This type of bet, as its name suggests, means that the bet holds for an broadened time period. This type is mostly used in international car racing events like the Tour of France.

Betting on a sports event could be really fun. And it had better exactly be just that. It ought be just for the sake of having fun. Following a sporting event is already exciting, and even more so if you have a wager on the line.

Posted in Concerts0 Comments

The Music Legends

“Without music, life would be a mistake” is a famed old saying. All the same, without the great musicians there is no distinguished music. Those who are actually involved in live concerts would have come upon the names Tom Petty, Kanye West, Kenny Chesney, and Jimmy Buffett. They’re the real music fables. Spare a little time to reading on, to know more all but these legends.

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

Tom Petty will be familiar as a singer, song writer, and a guitarist to those who love heartland rock music. The songs like “Don’t Do Me Like That”, “Refugee”, “Runnin’ Down a Dream”, “The Waiting”, “Don’t Come Around Here No More”, “I Won’t Back Down”, “Free Fallin'”, “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”, “American Girl”, “Learning to Fly” and “You Don’t Know How It Feels”, are heavily played hit singles by Tom Petty which act as medicines for broken hearts. Born and raised in Gainesville, Florida, USA, Tom was very much interested in rock and roll music early at the age of 11 when he met Elvis Presley. He began his recording career with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, the band’s 1976 debut album, which was initially unpopular in the United States. Their second album, You’re Gonna Get It! marked the band’s first Top 40 album.

Kanye West

Kanye West, who is one of the great American rap artists and a hip hop producer, released his debut album “The College Dropout” in 2004. His recent, third album being “Graduation” was released in 2007. All his albums received lots of awards (including nine Grammys). Kanye West who was born in Atlanta, Georgia was involved in a near car crash fatal in 2002 while driving home from the recording studio. The crash provided inspiration for West’s first single, “Through the Wire”. Kanye also won the ‘best new artist’ award in 2004.

Kenny Chesney

Everyone who loves to hear music of country genre would have come across the name ‘Kenny Chesney’. Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, Chesney has recorded thirteen albums, eleven of which have been certified gold or higher by the Recording Industry Association of America. ‘I will Stand’ Chesney’s third album for BNA, was released in 1997. “She’s Got It All”, which helped as the album’s lead-off single, became Chesney’s 1st Billboard Number One single, passing three weeks at the top of the country charts.. Yet another ardent artist on the planet!

Jimmy Buffett

Jimmy Buffet, the 62 year old businessman is also a successful singer and a song writer. His band is known as “the Coral Reefer Band”. He has also produced movies recently including hits such as “Margaritaville”. Buffett began his musical career in Nashville, Tennessee during the late 1960s as a country artist and recorded his first album, the folk rock Down to Earth, in 1970. Jimmy Buffett has released over 30 albums, as of October, 2007. In 2007 Buffett received the CMA Event of the Year Award for his song “Hey Good Looking” which featured Alan Jackson and George Strait.


Simple words cannot explain the capabilities of these great legends. You need to catch them live in action to have the electrifying experience of their live concerts. Getting the tickets to the live concerts of these musical legends has never been easy before. However, websites like seatexchange helps you fans of these great artists find their events and get the tickets for them all in one place with ease. So what are you waiting for? Grab your tickets and let’s feel the extravaganza.

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Dallas Stars

Buy Dallas Stars Tickets

To buy Dallas Stars NHL Hockey Tickets at American Airlines Center for low prices, choose your event below. The full Dallas Stars Schedule, venue information and American Airlines Center seating chart are shown below. We specialize in premium seats for sold-out events, including events at American Airlines Center. For questions on the American Airlines Center seating map or general inquiries regarding Dallas Stars NHL Hockey Tickets, feel free to contact us.

Posted in Featured Performers, Sports0 Comments

Mobile Ticketing Mobile Ticketing AppE-Commerce is becoming the standard for purchasing since 1995 when eBay and  Amazon came on the scene. Since then most consumers have become very comfortable  with purchasing products online. Internet sales are projected to be close to  $180 billion in 2010.

With this shift from conventional sales to  e-Commerce the ticketing industry is also in a transition. In the past if you  wanted to attend a concert or see your team in the playoffs in order to get the  best seats you had to camp out in front of the venue or stadium a day or two  before they went on sale.

Now, with the internet that is no longer the  case. Today you go online and purchase your tickets. However, with the  introduction of mobile devices such as Google’s Android and Apple’s iPad and  iPhone, Mobile Ticketing is becoming the standard whereby fans can purchase, pay  for and download tickets for sporting events, theatre and concerts.

Mobile Ticketing is a new technology that allows consumers to purchase  their tickets to events using their cell phone application and have them  delivered and stored until used at the concert or sporting event. This can even  work for train, bus and plane tickets along with purchasing items from a vending  machine.

The way this works is that your phone receives a special  barcode that is scanned at the event. This will only work on phones that are  Multimedia Messaging Service [MMS] or Wireless Application Protocol [WAP]  equipped. To be sure your phone is enabled if it is a camera phone or has web  browsing capabilities then it meets this criteria.

But do not despair if  your phone is not one of those. If you have SMS [Short Messaging Service] you  can still receive a text message with an alphanumeric receipt for your purchase.   However, this technology is going out of favor because of the security issues.

Here’s How To Purchase And Use the Tickets:

1. Open the iPhone  or Android App on your phone.

2. Browse for the event you want to  attend. Usually on the home page of the app there are icons for Concerts,  Sporting Events and Theatre.

3. Buy your tickets and choose the Mobile  Ticketing as your delivery option. You can also have them delivered by other  conventional means but this negates the convenience of storing the tickets on  your phone.

4. Enter your Mobile Carrier, Cell Phone Number and if asked  the Cell Phone Model.

5. After completing the order you will receive a  receipt message with the special barcode image. If your phone can only accept  text messaging then you will receive an alphanumeric code that is manually  entered at the event. For some venues this may require entry through a special  entrance.

6. Keep the message and do not delete it as this is your  ticket. The good news is that if you do not have it at the time of entry the  original ticket barcode can be cancelled and reissued in a matter of minutes,  but this is a delay and negates the convenience of this technology.

7.  When you get to the entrance at the event have the barcode ready to be scanned.  Most venues now have the scanning capabilities in place already as they scan the  barcodes on paper tickets and “Print-At-Home” tickets currently.

This  new technology will make the purchase and use of event tickets a much more  enjoyable process. It will make it easier and less costly for all involved and  well as well as help the environment with the elimination of Paper Tickets.

Juniper Research, the specialist in identifying and appraising high  growth opportunities in mobile telecommunications, content and applications  sectors, conducted a study of the mobile commerce market. They have forecast  mobile ticketing transactions to exceed $100 billion as soon as 2012, which  could be a little more than double the market in 2010.

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The Black Keys

The Black Keys is an American rock band formed in Akron, Ohio in 2001. The group consists of Dan Auerbach (guitar, vocals) and Patrick Carney (drums). The group began as an independent act founded after the duo dropped out of college, and they eventually emerged among a second wave of popular garage rock revival artists from the 2000s. Through October 2011, The Black Keys had sold over 2 million albums in the United States.   Their debut album, The Big Come Up (2002), was recorded in Carney’s basement and forged their raw blues rock sound. Over the next decade, The Black Keys built an underground fanbase through near-constant touring of small venues, frequent album releases, and extensive licensing of their songs. In 2006, the band signed with Nonesuch Records and began to receive bookings for large music festivals. The duo released Attack & Release in 2008, their first album produced by Danger Mouse, a frequent collaborator of the band. Their 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 has received the strongest reviews of the band’s career and peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 chart.   Band members 2.1 Touring musicians   Career   Early history and The Big Come Up (2001–2002)   Guitarist/vocalist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney first met when they were 8 or 9 years old while living in the same neighborhood of Akron, Ohio. 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 younger brothers, the duo jammed together, as Auerbach was learning guitar at the time and Carney owned a four-track recorder and a drum set. After graduating, both briefly attended college before dropping out and returning to Akron. 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 solicited the help of Carney, who agreed to provide the recording equipment and allow his basement to be used, while Auerbach would recruit the other musicians. However, none of Auerbach’s back-up band showed up on the recording date, as they would “rather get stoned and play video games than come to rehearsal”. Instead, Carney and Auerbach jammed, eventually leading to the duo forming a band and recording six-song demo consisting of “old blues rip-offs and words made up on the spot”. After soliciting the demo to a dozen record labels, they received and accepted an offer from Alive, a small indie label in Los Angeles.   According to an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air the group’s name “The Black Keys” came from a schizophrenic artist named 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. The band’s debut album, the lo-fi The Big Come Up, was recorded entirely in Carney’s basement on an 8-track tape recorder and was released in 2002. The album was very successful for a new independent rock band. It spawned two singles released as an EP, “Leavin’ Trunk” and “She Said, She Said”. Both are cover songs, the originals being a traditional blues standard and a Beatles song, respectively. “I’ll Be Your Man” would later be used as the theme for the HBO series Hung. The duo played their first live show at Cleveland’s Beachland Ballroom and Tavern to an audience of about 25 people.   Thickfreakness era (2003)   The band released Thickfreakness in April 2003, which was recorded on a Tascam 388 in Carney’s basement in 14 hours. The album was favoured by critics and spawned three singles: “Set You Free”, “Hard Row” which was featured in the pilot episode for the FX tv show Sons of Anarchy and a cover of Richard Berry’s “Have Love, Will Travel”. The other cover was Junior Kimbrough’s “Everywhere I Go”. “Set You Free” was featured on the soundtrack for School of Rock, as well as the 2009 comedy I Love You, Man.   The band released a split-EP with The Six Parts Seven on September 16, 2003, titled The Six Parts Seven/The Black Keys EP and featured one song by The Six Parts Seven and three songs by The Black Keys.   Rubber Factory and first live album (2004–2005)   Rubber Factory, the band’s third album, was released in 2004. During Thickfreakness and Rubber Factory, the band gained recognition and popularity, boosting their career. Rubber Factory was recorded in an abandoned factory in early 2004. The factory was located in Akron, but according to Carney, was torn down in early 2010. The album featured singles “10 A.M. Automatic”, “‘Til I Get My Way”, and “Girl Is On My Mind”, released as an EP. “When the Lights Go Out” was used in trailers for the film Black Snake Moan and was featured in the erotic opening sequence with co-stars Christina Ricci and Justin Timberlake. Additionally, “10 A.M. Automatic” was used in Live Free or Die, The Go Getter, the soundtrack to MLB 06: The Show and an American Express commercial. The Go Getter also featured “Keep Me” as did Sons of Anarchy’s Season 1 Episode AK-51 & Old Bones. “Grown So Ugly” was featured on Cloverfield and “Girl Is On My Mind” on Sony Ericsson, Victoria’s Secret, and in November 2010, Zales commercials. Around this time, they also opened for bands such as Pearl Jam, Beck, Radiohead and Sleater-Kinney. The Kinks cover, “Act Nice and Gentle” appears in the eleventh episode of season four of Rescue Me. In the scene where Dennis Leary and Gina Gershon are engaged in coitus, it plays in the background.   In 2005, the band also released their first live video album, Live, recorded at The Metro Theatre in Sydney, Australia on March 18, 2005.   The Moan was an extended play which was released on January 19, 2004, featuring “Have Love Will Travel”, an alternate version of “Heavy Soul,” and two covers.   Magic Potion and other releases (2006–2007)   The Black Keys released Chulahoma: The Songs of Junior Kimbrough, an EP with covers of songs by Junior Kimbrough, a north Mississippi bluesman, whom the band had covered on The Big Come Up and Thickfreakness. The EP was released on May 2, 2006. Four days later, The Black Keys released their second live album, Live in Austin, TX – also known as Thickfreakness in Austin – which was recorded October 24, 2003. Soon after, their fourth album was released; Magic Potion was their first release on Nonesuch Records. The album featured four singles; “You’re the One”, “Your Touch”, “Strange Desire”, and “Just Got To Be”. The latter was featured on the soundtrack to the video game, NHL 08. “Your Touch” was featured on the 2009 film Zombieland as well as the HBO series Eastbound & Down. The Black Keys recorded a cover of “The Wicked Messenger” for the soundtrack of I’m Not There and have recorded “If You Ever Slip”, a song written by Jesse Harris for The Hottest State soundtrack.   Attack & Release and the Blakroc project (2008–2009)

Dan Auerbach performing in East London on March 21, 2008.

Attack & Release, the band’s fifth album, was produced by Danger Mouse and released on April 1, 2008, having leaked onto the internet by March 4. Attack & Release debuted at number 14 on the Billboard 200. The singles from the album were “Strange Times”, “I Got Mine”, and “Same Old Thing”. “Strange Times” was featured in the video games Grand Theft Auto IV and NASCAR 09. “I Got Mine” was named the 23rd best song by Rolling Stone in its list of the 100 Best Songs of 2008. “I Got Mine” is used as the theme song for Canadian Police Drama TV Series The Bridge. “Lies” was used in episodes of Big Love and Lie to Me, and was covered by Kelly Clarkson live on her All I Ever Wanted Tour. “So He Won’t Break” was featured on an episode of One Tree Hill. According to an interview in Pitchfork Media, the band was collaborating on an album with Ike Turner, to be produced by Danger Mouse and released in 2007, but the idea was rendered impossible with Turner’s death in December 2007. “Some of the stuff we ended up recording sounds like Screamin’ Jay Hawkins,” said Carney.   Live at the Crystal Ballroom is a live video album released on November 18, 2008. It was filmed April 4, 2008 in Portland, Oregon at the Crystal Ballroom.   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 Theater 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. On June 6, 2009, The Black Keys 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.   On February 10, 2009, vocalist and guitarist Dan Auerbach released his debut solo album, Keep It Hid. During this time, drummer Patrick Carney formed an indie band called Drummer, who are currently signed to Carney’s Audio Eagle Records label. Drummer released their debut album Feel Good Together on September 29, 2009.   Blakroc is a collaborative album featuring The Black Keys and several hip hop artists released 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 among the likes of 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. Auerbach said on the official Blakroc site, “Pat and I have been preparing for this record since we were 16.”   Brothers (2010–2011)   The Black Keys performing at SXSW in 2010   The group’s sixth studio album, Brothers, was released on May 18, 2010. 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, with “Howlin’ for You” as a follow-up single. Brothers sold over 73,000 copies in the US in its first week and peaked at number 3 on the Billboard 200, their best performance on the chart to that point. Furthermore, “Tighten Up” 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 music video for “Tighten Up”, directed by Chris Marrs Piliero, won the 2010 MTV Video Music Award for Breakthrough Video. The Black Keys also helped judge the 9th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists’ careers. On October 19, The Black Keys released iTunes Sessions which is part of a series of live albums by iTunes and released exclusively on iTunes.   On December 1, 2010, it was announced The Black Keys were nominated for four Grammy Awards, including Best Rock Song for “Tighten Up” and Best Alternative Music Album for Brothers. Rolling Stone placed Brothers at number 2 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 group 2010’s Artist of the Year. On January 8, 2011, the band appeared as the musical guest on American television sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, performing “Howlin’ for You” and “Tighten Up”.   On February 10, 2011, they released a video for “Howlin’ for You” that parodied action movie trailers. It starred Tricia Helfer, Diora Baird, Sean Patrick Flanery, Christian Serratos, Corbin Bernsen, Todd Bridges, and Shaun White, as well as the band itself in the role of “Las Teclas de Negro”. This video was also directed by Chris Marrs Piliero, and was subsequently nominated for the 2011 MTV Video Music Award for Best Rock Video. The Black Keys were nominated for three Billboard Music Awards: Top Alternative Artist, and Top Rock Album and Top Alternative Album for Brothers. On June 11, 2011 The Black Keys played at the 10th annual Bonnaroo music festival in Manchester, Tennessee. They were a pre-headliner for the four day festival and performed on “What Stage”. On August 6, 2011 The Black Keys performed at the 1st annual Kanrocksas music festival at the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. They played on “Stageasaurus Rex” and just before Muse, who was the headlining band for the day.   El Camino (2011–present)

The Black Keys perform at the Virgin Mobile FreeFest in September 2011 The recording sessions for the group’s seventh studio album, El Camino, began on March 3, 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 of its songs. Based on the difficulty the band had performing some of the slower songs from Brothers live, they conceived more uptempo tracks for El Camino. The record draws strong influence from early American music and popular genres from the 1950s–1970s, such as rock and roll, soul, and glam rock. Several retro acts such as The Clash, The Cramps, and T. Rex were cited as musical influences.   El Camino was preceded by lead single “Lonely Boy”, which was released in October accompanied by a popular one-shot music video of a man dancing and lip-syncing. The band returned to Saturday Night Live as a musical guest on December 3, 2011, marking the first occasion that a non-hosting musical act performed on the show twice in the same calendar year. The album 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 charting position and single-week sales the group has 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. After a North American tour was announced, their show at Madison Square Garden sold out in 15 minutes.   Band members  Dan Auerbach – vocals, guitar (2001–present)  Patrick Carney – drums (2001–present)   Touring musicians  Gus Seyffert – bass (2010–present)  John Wood – keyboards (2010–present)

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