You can never go wrong with basic black

Erin Podolsky
Detroit Free Press (MCT)
Black Mountain

Is it just us, or have dark times descended on the music industry in more than just the bottom line? We're talking about band names going Black.

The Black Keys didn't exactly start the trend. (Remember Black Flag? No? How about Black Sabbath?) But they're more than happy to take credit anyway, tongues firmly in cheeks.

"We feel lucky because we were the first band to ever use `Black' in our name. But everyone that's come after that, it's flattering to us. We don't mind," jokes singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach.

Just so you can keep your Black Kids straight from your Clint Black, here's a primer on the bevy of acts who like to keep the lights off:

The Black Angels: The psychedelic group from Austin, Texas, releases its second album, "Directions to See a Ghost," on the Internet on Tuesday and in stores on May 13. The group's first album was called "Passover." Sensing a theme?

The Black Crowes: Chris Robinson and company just released their first studio album in seven years, managing to peak at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart. Not bad for a group that seemed to be heading into has-been territory and had essentially broken up in 2002.

The Black Dahlia Murder: Detroit's own death metalcore band tours steadily and has a great fan base.

Black Dice: Experimental, psyched-out noise rock at its finest from Brooklyn, N.Y. The aesthetic is a little hard to explain - two parts "Pong," one part dirty joke. But their latest, "Load Blown," is well worth a listen.

The Black Hollies: More psychedelic rock, this time by way of New Jersey.

Black Horse: The Brooklyn-based duo mixes heavy-metal thunder and garage-rock lightning.

Black Kids: The Jacksonville, Fla., band has been garnering huge buzz over the past six months for the band's Robert Smith-inspired music and lyrics. Beware, the `80s are back, baby!

The Black Lips: Punkers who love to play, they scratched out a cool dozen shows at SXSW in 2007 and are about to go out on tour with Detroit's (or is it ex-Detroit's?) own Jack White/Brendan Benson-led Raconteurs.

Black Milk: Detroiter Curtis Cross is one of the city's rising hip-hop stars and has worked with pretty much anybody who's anybody in the Motown rap scene, able to put out equally nice beats and rhymes.

Black Moth Super Rainbow: Folky psych-rock with band members that go by names like the Seven Fields of Aphelion and Power Pill First, BMSR has opened for other bands with a bit of a nutso pop edge such as the Flaming Lips. They've just been signed to Waxploitation, home of Danger Mouse.

Black Mountain: The Vancouver, British Columbia, indie band released its second album in January and will play Coachella in a few weeks. The group rocks hard and has even opened for Coldplay.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: The band has been a favorite of rock hipsters since the turn of the millennium, veering from psychedelic blues-rock to a more twangy approach and then back.

The Black Tide: The more typical "Black" band - loud, angry, nasty metal and more metal. Black tees, long hair. Debut album "Light From Above" was released in March and was followed by a thrashing performance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live." With two screaming guitars, a bass and a drum kit, the group has had its "Rock Band" close-up and not one member is yet 20 years old.





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