Taking advantage of what seems to be copious downtime before the release of their next album, Turn Blue, the Black Keys have released a five-minute video in which they prank call the A&R departments at Nonesuch and Atlantic Records. Stifling their laughs as they call back repeatedly, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney plead with the suits to listen to their new-age band, Quartzazium. They ask one man to take a helicopter to Newport News at one point – “It’ll be our last gig until the spring solstice,” one Key said, blithely unaware that no such astronomical event exists – and at another juncture tell a man they’re bringing their PA and lighting rig to the label’s office.
The ribbing follows the duo’s preacher-themed video for the Turn Blue track “Fever,” which came out earlier this week. Directed by Theo Wenner, the video captures Auerbach getting sweaty as he proselytizes a crowd of the faithful and Carney nods along in the background. In one scene, Rolling Stone’s David Fricke pledges $300 to Auerbach’s faith.
Turn Blue is set to come out on May 13th, a few days after they appear as the musical guests on Saturday Night Live. The pair recorded the album in Los Angeles, Michigan and Nashville with co-producer Danger Mouse. “We were sort of making a headphone record,” Auerbach told Rolling Stone in April. Drummer Patrick Carney added, “It pays off to listen more than once.”