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The Black Keys 

With Patrick Sweany and Miss Alex White & the Red Orchestra. Saturday, February 25, at the Agora Theater.

Akron's Black Keys are a buzz band that actually exceeds its hype. And the blues-rock duo's modestly impressive sales -- 77,000 copies of 2004's Rubber Factory LP, and 4,700 of last year's live DVD -- suggest that they're respected by the right people, but still don't have too much of a bandwagon. So now that they sell out gigs in England and Australia, they've got to be tempted to ditch Northeast Ohio and move to a hipper city, where it can be fawned over by better-dressed people, right?

"Fuck, no," says Keys singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach. "They're bullshit, those places. They're fun to visit, but I would never want to be chained to the trends that happen there. So many rock-and-roll people, when they hit it big, they lose their fuckin' mind. And their records become shit. And they start working toward trends, trying to fit in. I'm really happy with what we've accomplished and how we've done it and the fan base we have."

Between tours, they're investing their money and time in the local scene. Auerbach is recording Patrick Sweany, the Lime Spider's lively resident troubadour and one of the show's opening acts.

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