Friday Full-Length: Queens of the Stone Age, …Like Clockwork

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 30th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The songs. It’s the songs. There’s next to no mystery to it. In 2013, when  An essay is defined as "a short piece of writing that expresses information as well as the writer's opinion." 7 Steps to For some, writing an essay is as simple as sitting down at their computer and beginning to type. But, a lot more planning goes into writing an essay successfully. Queens of the Stone Age released  If you avail recommended you read services from, you will also get an extra service of unlimited amendments. Most of the organization in this field will charge you extra money if you want to make any changes after receiving your order or after getting comments from your supervisor. However, in the case of our services, you will be allowed to ask for amendments …Like Clockwork (review here), it was following a six-year absence, which was the longest of their career by a factor of two. Bolstered by the narrative surrounding guitarist/vocalist Hire an expert essay writer cheap. ? Best see url service online: premium writers, 1-hour essay deadline, 100% secure payment. Order now - SAVE 15%!?? Joshua Homme that he’d died during leg surgery and been revived by doctors and was coping with having been bedridden for a period of months thereafter, the 10-song/45-minute offering indeed spends some time coping with mortality in “Kalopsia” and “I Appear Missing,” and perhaps indirectly in the ironic desperate blindness portrayed in the lyrics of “Smooth Sailing.”

But it transposed that experience and perhaps also the experience of suing his former We offer professional my review here and article writing services for websites. Our cfreelance copywriting services include articl writing, website Kyuss bandmates over their use of the moniker as - put out a little time and money to get the report you could not even imagine Use this platform to receive your valid paper handled Kyuss Lives!, and of forming, releasing an LP (review here), and touring with - Qualified writers engaged in the company will fulfil your paper within the deadline Why be concerned about the dissertation Them Crooked Vultures alongside High quality custom English Masters Thesis Proposals for Australian and international students. Only qualified writers, reasonable prices and complete privacy guarantee. Dave Grohl ( Our company delivers brilliant quality essay writing help, so you are welcome to place your order. Trust the professionals! How to my sites online Foo Fighters), Our You can solve your thesis problems timely and efficiently while receiving advice on references, presentation, and flow of your arguments. Hire a professional Academic English Editor. Always ensure that you meet your requirements. We edit everything from thesis proposals, program applications, chapters, to a dissertation of several hundred pages. With professional John Paul Jones ( correction dissertation bac 2006 Zemyx professional papers written cite sources research paper Led Zeppelin) and sometimes- Writing Service for Quality Essays Writing custom essays and papers that are challenging and controversial is one of our core things. It is difficult and we know it can be quite challenging to think and work in an unknown zone. Queens-contributor Dissertations completed will not be reused or paraphrased. We value your requirements and ensure maximum deliverance of quality. The four key features depicted by our assignment help experts in include Transparency, Communication, Professionalism and Integrity. Experts value the importance of One-to-one communication and Alain Johannes, into a collection of brazenly disjointed and unflinchingly memorable tracks. Though  Writing An Resume, - cpt icd 9 homework help. At best essay writing service review platform, students will get best suggestions of best Queens of the Stone Age oversaw a reissue of their oft-bootlegged 1998 self-titled debut in 2011, and toured playing that record to support,  student tutors Writing Essay For College uva master thesis online dissertation scientific …Like Clockwork represented what was then the farthest into the sphere of unabashed pop rock that the band — We provide Collateral Assignment Of Life Insurance Policys and we have qualified experts who have experience of responding various queries and research of others. We offer you our best dissertation editing services on cheap prices as well as currently we are providing dissertation writing help for many different fields and subjects. Homme, guitarist/backing vocalist Troy Van Leeuwen, bassist/backing vocalist Mikey Shuman, keyboardist Dean Fertita and then-new drummer Jon Theodore, as well as a vast range of other performers and guests — had yet ventured.

It wasn’t just about the songs being catchy — though from creeping opener “Keep Your Eyes Peeled” through the jangly fluff of “I Sat by the Ocean” through the brooding “The Vampyre of Time and Memory” and we-can-do-anything-and-make-it-work “If I Had a Tail” and into the charge of “My God is the Sun” across side A, they were maddeningly catchy, and did not stop being so as side B pushed outward in style and arrangements — but about variability of mood and production. Since their second album, 2000’s Rated R, the band and Homme as auteur thereof had established a modus of frontloading, putting the radio-ready rockers at the beginning and weirding out to one degree or other later on.

The innovation …Like Clockwork brought to this — maybe born of the fact that there was no more rock radio to play toward — was an expansion into alternate dimensions of pop united ultimately by the quality of their craft and Homme‘s vocals, but that otherwise seem purposefully geared toward throwing the listener off-base from one to the next. It’s not a record that flows in the sense of one song leading smoothly into the next, but its various changes in style and personnel, the arrival and departure of various recording engineers — Mark RankinAlain JohannesJustin SmithJoe Barresi all involved at one point or another in the recording or mixing process, with Gavin Lurssen mastering and the band listed as a queens of the stone age like clockworkproducer — and headline guest performers like Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor (vocals on “Kalopsia”) and Sir Elton John (vocals and piano on “Fairweather Friends”), plus regulars in the band’s sphere like Mark LaneganDave Grohl and even erstwhile bassist Nick Oliveri, brought a sense of scope to …Like Clockwork that was simply at another level from anything the band had done before, up to and including 2003’s genre-defining landmark, Songs for the Deaf.

That foundation set across the more forward pieces of side A — “I Sat by the Ocean,” “If I Had a Tail,” and the you-want-your-desert-rock-fine-here’s-your-desert-rock “My God is the Sun” — flourishes in the shifts that follow, while Homme‘s clever and expressive lyrics underscore the hooks with due complexity to suit the arrangements of piano, strings, various percussion instruments, etc. Whether it was Reznor and Homme together nursing their shared David Bowie fetish while urging “Forget the rat and the race/We’ll choke-chain them all” with an inflection that seemed to convey the actual pulling of that chain, or the “Gonna pray for rain again and again” in “Fairweather Friends,” or the added line “It’s only falling in love because you hit the ground” in the second chorus of “I Appear Missing” after the dance-ready, set-for-a-fall “Smooth Sailing,” …Like Clockwork‘s second half was intelligent and mature without losing the edge of its presentation, and broad while holding onto the sense of craft that drew it together with the material on side A. The subdued, piano and strings-inclusive finale title-track offered more of the manipulated idioms that make for some of Homme‘s best lines — see, “Not everything that goes around comes back around, you know” — and ended the album with a contemplative feel that, while overwrought in its production value, was well enough earned by what came before it.

In 2017, the band released the comparatively forgettable Villains (review here), which existed very much in the shadow of its predecessor while casting off the contextual narrative — which Homme later said wasn’t true anyway; he’d fallen into a coma related to drug use — and took a hit reputation-wise when on tour Homme was caught on video kicking photographer Chelsea Lauren in the face from the stage. He promptly apologized for the attack, which occurred during the advent of the #MeToo era, but it was by no means the first documented incident of Homme abusing fans or others from the stage. The predominantly white and male sphere of rock and roll has forgiven far more from far less talented — and oddly, talent does seem to be a factor in that forgiveness — but it was to say the least poor form at the wrong time and thankfully Lauren was not seriously injured.

Villains was the second Queens of the Stone Age release through Matador Records, and though there was word of a follow-up in the works, of course everything has been derailed by the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, so who the hell knows what will happen there. Homme made waves a couple months ago saying he’d be willing to get on stage and play with Kyuss again, which doesn’t necessarily mean it would ever happen, but is a prospect about which I’m kind of surprised at my own ambivalence despite that band’s legitimate-desert-rock-legend status. Would nostalgia from those who didn’t see them the first time around — like me — be enough to carry them? Does it matter at this point? Will there ever be tours again anyway?

One way or the other, whatever Queens of the Stone Age and Homme did before or after, or does from here on, …Like Clockwork‘s songs stand firm on their own merits and are among the highest-profile examples of heavy rock in the pop sphere of the 2010s. As always, I hope you enjoy.

Thanks for reading.

Okay. First, the plug. New Gimme Metal show today, 5PM Eastern. Please listen. On their app or

What a week. The Pecan, who turned three years old last Sunday — which apparently is old enough to be cognizant that a birthday is a fun thing and involves cake — started preschool on Monday and has gone every day for the first time. It’s 9-11:30AM, but still, every day, that’s a lot. Yesterday we took him to his old daycare for the afternoon so he could play there as well, but he said he didn’t want to do that anymore, and given how long that makes his day, I get it. I told him he didn’t have to and that we were proud of him for saying what he wanted. For a kid who’s had trouble and much frustration expressing himself with words — he’s impatient with himself in that regard, I tell him to slow down a lot — that was pretty huge. They’re doing a Halloween parade at his daycare today, but I’ve no intention of making him go if he doesn’t want to. He was shockingly adult in saying he didn’t when we talked about it.

So that’s a change. It gives me a little time to write every day though apart from the early mornings — it’s 10 after six now, I got up at four — which is something. In addition, the dog has spent the week with my mother and sister up the road during the days and that also has freed up a good amount of time for working for The Patient Mrs. and I. She’s needed it more than me. I don’t think I’ve seen her since Monday for more than an hour or two at a stretch (not counting sleeping), and we didn’t even get to watch the new episode of Star Trek: Discovery last night because she had a Zoom thing, so yeah, it’s been pretty hectic. No end in sight except the end of her semester, which will be welcome.

Adjustments being made seems to be the course of existence through parenting, working, global pandemic, and so on. This coming week is Election Day in the US, about which I’m anxious as I think many on all sides are. The NY Times count also put COVID at over 90,000 cases here yesterday — yesterday alone — and past the 9 million mark in total, so hard not to feel boned either way. For what it’s worth, I’d rather be boned and not fascist.

For what it’s worth.

It’s also rained all week, and having twisted my ankle last weekend, I haven’t been running at all, which sucks and has made me somewhat crazy in one of my least favorite ways. I was looking at pictures of myself the other day from circa 2017 on my Instagram, seeing the veins in my arms and my sunken eyes, sick with an eating disorder. There’s a part of me that misses looking like that. Fuck, a big part. I’m 39 years old, can’t really feed myself. I’ve been unhappy in my body for as long as I’ve been conscious of having one. It’s exhausting.


Next week, two video premieres on Monday because I’m dumb and I’m like, “Yeah sure I can do that!” when asked, and then a couple full album streams and stuff to follow. I might try and chase down Kind for a video interview, but there’s nothing to say it’ll actually happen. People have lives and so on. Me too, apparently.

I’m gonna punch out and hopefully take a couple minutes to breathe before The Pecan wakes up. Great and safe weekend. It’s Halloween. Don’t be stupid. Have fun, be safe, wear a mask and hydrate. All that stuff. Back on Monday.


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Friday Full-Length: Masters of Reality, Flak ‘n’ Flight

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 12th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

Masters of Reality, Flak ‘n’ Flight (2003)

First, I love this album. I don’t know that I have a favorite live record, but if I did, this would have to be high on the list if not at the top. From the dripping sentimental opening guitar lines of “The Ballad of Jody Fosty” used as the intro on down to Mark Lanegan himself showing up for “High Noon Amsterdam” and Chris Goss (2010 interview here) leading the way brilliantly through a set spanning what was already by then a substantial career backed by drummer John Leamy and Queens of the Stone Age‘s Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri, ending with “She Got Me (When She Got Her Dress On)” and the Ramones cover “Cretin Hop,” it’s just perfect. Right band, right time, right songs. The versions here of “Rabbit One” and “Why the Fly?” outdo their studio counterparts (the latter is my favorite single Masters of Reality moment, period), and “Deep in the Hole” and “Third Man on the Moon” remind of how criminally underrated 2001’s Deep in the Hole — the full-length which Masters of Reality was touring to support at the time — is in the sphere of desert rock. Unreal, how good this record is.

Of course, Goss is probably best known as the producer of Kyuss at their peak, having helmed the holy trinity of 1992’s Blues for the Red Sun, 1994’s Welcome to Sky Valley and 1995’s …And the Circus Leaves Town, but Masters of Reality goes all the way back to 1981 when Goss started the band on the East Coast. Their first album, Masters of Reality (aka The Blue Garden) arrived in 1989 and it and 1993’s Sunrise on the Sufferbus set the band apart from both commercial rock and the nascent grunge movement, “alternative” still very much an underground ideal at that point. It would be six years before Welcome to the Western Lodge showed up in 1999, but when it did, it found Masters of Reality with a more psychedelic focus — influences and experiments that would solidify into the prime songwriting of Deep in the Hole two years later. Goss‘ second album working with Leamy, it also featured Dave CatchingLanegan, and a host of others, including Homme and Oliveri, who at that point were one year removed from Queens of the Stone Age‘s second album, Rated R.

I don’t know how they wound up doing the tour with GossRated R came out in June 2000, so a full year’s touring cycle (which included their disastrous stint on Ozzfest 2000) would’ve likely been done, but I’m not sure on the timeline of this European run, which was Sept.-Dec. 2001, and when Queens started working on their third record, 2003’s now-classic Songs for the Deaf, on which Goss also appears, singing lead on the bonus track “Mosquito Song.” Still, Flak ‘n’ Flight captures all of these players at an arguable pinnacle of their powers, and is a thrilling, special document of a moment not likely to come again. Masters of Reality‘s latest outing was 2009’s Pine/Cross Dover (review here), which showed Goss‘ will to manipulate a pop influence was unabated.

Hope you enjoy.

Next week is Vinyl Week. I’ve got a backlog of LPs that need to get written about, so I’m just gonna plow through them as best I’m able. To be honest, I doubt I’ll get through all of it — the pile’s like that — but I’m going to try damn hard to do precisely that and we’ll just see how it goes. Stay tuned as well for a couple giveaways (yes, vinyl giveaways) and anything else I can think of. I also have a couple streams planned, for Brain Pyramid and U Sco and who knows what else will come down the line in that regard, but my priority all next week is LP reviews, so if it’s news or whatever that has to get pushed back to fit that in, that’s what I’m going to do. The rest can wait. I gotta clear some space on my desk.

So, reviews of Storm Ross35007, The Kings of Frog IslandMos Generator and more coming up next week. It’ll be awesome.

I’m also leaving in a little over an hour’s time to go see Blackwolfgoat‘s CD release show in Allston, so I’ll review that as well. Big Friday night out. I was all set to go see Magic Circle in Cambridge last night, but the thought of being in such proximity to Harvard this close to the start of the semester scared me off. Wide-eyed scholarship winners perpetuating the global elite. I stayed home and hung out with The Patient Mrs. I’m sure the show was good, but can’t say I feel like I lost out.

There’s more, but I need to put some water on for pre-show pasta. Do us both a favor and have a great and safe weekend, and please check out the forum and radio stream.

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Queens of the Stone Age, …Like Clockwork: Forget the Rat and the Race

Posted in Reviews on June 4th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

There is an impressive slew of narratives surrounding the release of …Like Clockwork, the first studio album from Queens of the Stone Age in the six years since 2007’s Era Vulgaris and first for new label home, Matador Records. First, the jump from Interscope led some to speculate in advance if, freed from the perceived creative restraints of working with a major label, Queens of the Stone Age and the band’s auteur, guitarist, vocalist, principal songwriter and figurehead Joshua Homme — once upon a time the six-stringer for Kyuss — might return to the tonally thicker, more stripped down desert feel of the outfit’s earliest works, principally their first two albums, 1998’s Queens of the Stone Age and 2000’s Rated R, which in combination with 2002’s landmark Songs for the Deaf pairing with drummer Dave Grohl have become a gospel influence for a league of heavy rockers in the decade since. It’s a nice thought, but unrealistic. Homme, even if he was remotely interested in such a stylistic turn away from the vibe of Era Vulgaris or the supergroup Them Crooked Vultures with Grohl and Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, likely couldn’t capture the same tones and atmospheres. Different time, different equipment, different personnel, different interests. Like Clockwork (you’ll forgive me if I remove the ellipses for sentence flow) was never going to be that album. Second, it’s Homme‘s first Queens of the Stone Age outing since Them Crooked Vultures, and the time since Era Vulgaris marks it out as a return to the band, put on hiatus in the wake of touring for fifth full-length in 2009. They also toured in 2011 around a reissue of the self-titled. Not a reunion, then, but a return. Third, a near-death experience following complications from leg surgery that plays into a questioning of mortality in several of the lyrics, arguably most of all the penultimate “I Appear Missing.” Fourth, with recording sessions begun in 2011 and completed in 2012, it was executed smack in the middle of a well-publicized lawsuit that pitted Homme and former bassist Scott Reeder against former Kyuss bandmates John Garcia, Nick Oliveri — who seems to have extracted himself from the situation entirely, though he guests on Like Clockwork on the song “If I Had a Tail” — and Brant Bjork over the use of the band’s name; an action that resulted in Kyuss Lives! becoming Vista Chino for the release of their forthcoming debut. Many of the lyrics here to cuts like “The Vampyre of Time and Memory,” “Fairweather Friends,” and “Kalopsia” — some of Like Clockwork‘s moodiest and most effective moments — could easily be read to reflect the conflicting emotions of that lawsuit. Whether or not they’re actually concerned with it at all is another matter entirely, but it’s an interpretation that could fit as well as any number of others.

Another matter entirely is the profile of the release. Where Era Vulgaris seemed a step backward in the band’s and in Homme‘s rock stardom, Like Clockwork arrives with increased prestige thanks to a number of factors, among them the return/continuation of a collaboration with Grohl, who played on most of the songs here after the departure of drummer Joey Castillo, as well as appearances from Trent Reznor (who was also on the last album), Sir Elton John, Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters, the always-welcome Mark Lanegan, new live drummer Jon Theodore (ex-Mars Volta) on the closing title-track and Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys. Coupled with a pervasive and intimidating viral and social media marketing campaign that capitalized both in the aesthetic strength of graphic artist Boneface‘s artwork for the album in a series of short films and on the perceived laissez-faire attitude of Homme‘s persona that instead of the guy who sweated out a year-plus writing and recording this material, he’d be the guy who, when Elton John called and said he “needed an actual queen” in the band, would answer, “Honey, you have no idea,” as well as “event”-type live performances in advance support of the release partnered with outlets like NPR and The Late Show with David Letterman, this has made the fanfare extensive, multi-tiered and as modern as the sound of the album itself, which is no less complex or dynamic. Of the sundry stories, the one that has yet to be established so far as I’ve seen is that which has the most to do with the actual music contained on Like Clockwork‘s 10 tracks — namely that this is the record that confirms Queens of the Stone Age as the band that will age with Homme. There’s nothing about the material here that Homme couldn’t sustain, build on and revisit as his whims dictate for the remainder of his career. In short, in coming back to the band that made his career (as influential as Kyuss has been in the years since, during their time together, they were more or less a commercial nonentity) , Josh Homme has set a formula he could feasibly work with for the rest of it. The model, as they say in business, is sustainable. More over, Like Clockwork proves Homme is a strong enough presence on the album to be roughly the only factor tying it together, since although band members Troy Van Leeuwen (guitar), Michael Shuman (bass) and Dean Fertita (keys/guitar) make consistent appearances, the surrounding swirl of people on and off the record and the bipolar nature of the record’s atmosphere is such that it’s basically Homme at the center keeping it from falling apart.

That in itself is a critical narrative and a very specific reading of the album that not everyone will agree with or be interested in when it comes to listening. So be it. The fact remains that as the sunny side A opener “Keep Your Eyes Peeled” — which is an immediate lurking threat built on rumbling low end tension — transitions into the upbeat bop of the subsequent “I Sat by the Ocean” — sad lyrically but musically uptempo and lighter feeling — Homme is the constant, and he’s able to successfully steer these songs in a number of directions without sacrificing a sense of mastery. Songwriting is credited to Queens of the Stone Age as a whole but for the closer, which Homme shares with that song’s co-producer James Lavelle and Charlie May and “Fairweather Friends,” which is credited to the band and Mark Lanegan, and definitely other contributions stand out, most notably Grohl‘s drums, Reznor‘s vocals and Elton John‘s piano and vocals, but Homme nonetheless emerges at the fore and is the driving force within the tracks. He gives, specifically on “Fairweather Friends,” the performance of his career vocally. Throughout, his voice is fluid in moving into and out of falsetto, and in stepping up his game — presumably one does not have Sir Elton appear on one’s album and then half-ass it — he draws a continuity between tracks that Era Vulgaris was lacking and that still sounds less uniform than most of 2005’s Lullabies to Paralyze. There are missteps along the way in the lyrics to “If I Had a Tail,” which remains a catchy, well-written song that shows obvious awareness of its dopey premise but has one all the same, and “…Like Clockwork” itself, which feels overdone with Homme nonetheless effectively crooning out a comedown epilogue following the album’s apex in “I Appear Missing,” but in terms of the song craft, there are few acts who can so ably bring any sense of looming danger at all to material still considered commercially viable, and Like Clockwork wouldn’t have received the substantial push it has if somebody along the line didn’t think it was going to sell. Those who continue to lament the split post-Songs for the Deaf with Nick Oliveri, who to that point was the most substantial (or at least the most visible) contributor to the songwriting apart from Homme won’t find much solace. There’s next to no screaming, and the edge that still seems so sharp on those early albums has been irrevocably smoothed in the production and the arrangements, but the broader audience that Queens of the Stone Age was able to reach over the years who’ve followed them through Lullabies to Paralyze and Era Vulgaris will have no such qualms in handling the up-and-down/back-and-forth/manic-depressive tradeoffs the band makes across Like Clockwork‘s 46 minutes.

Its two sides themselves stand somewhat in opposition overall, but the real rollercoaster on a track-by-track basis, as the aforementioned “Keep Your Eyes Peeled” launches the album with a sense of moody fearfulness, start-stop guitar peppering steady bass and low end rhythm while flourishes of piano add a classic feel and Homme‘s vocals play into the theme, returning to the lines, “If life is but a dream/Wake me,” more insistent than melancholy, though that vibe is present as well in the music, whereas “I Sat by the Ocean” answers back with an immediately more engaging, pop sensibility, a more blatant hook, and friendlier feel. Castillo — who plays on the first two tracks, the subsequent “The Vampyre of Time and Memory” and side B opener “Kalopsia” — is well suited to the track’s straightforward push, and the interplay of Homme and Van Leeuwen on guitar amid the handclaps of the bridge only enhances the spirited feel, opening to more keys in a pretty chorus that’s too smooth to be live-sounding, but not wholly unnatural either. It’s with “The Vampyre of Time and Memory” that Like Clockwork unveils the chiaroscuro at the center of its methodology, pulling the listener into a depressive sinkhole with a simple piano line, lyrical tales of insecurity, vulnerability and falling apart, a bluesy solo deep in the mix that’s a short but effective cue, and a linear build that plays out gracefully as the verses and choruses trade between them. Homme asks, “Does anyone ever get this right?” even as he touts some level of naive triumph in the lines, “You think the wost of all is far behind/The vampire of time and memories has died/I survived/Hooray,” but there’s no real sense of hope conveyed and it’s the questioning that serves as the takeaway impression. That makes “If I Had a Tail” — Oliveri‘s return on bass, Grohl on drums, Lanegan and Tuner joining Homme on vocals — a transitional middle-ground between “The Vampyre of Time and Memory” and side A finale “My God is the Sun,” and it’s a role the song plays well. Homme plays off bubblegum pop in the verse section “Gitchee gitchee/Oooh la la/Doo run run/You won’t get far,” still more hopeless than teasing, but not as outright miserable as on the previous cut, the song given an underlying sense of swagger from Grohl‘s drums and Oliveri‘s bass, which is relatively understated but works in a few choice fills before the would-be drama of the chorus “If I had a tail I’d own the night/If I had a tail I’d swat the flies” opens to a disco interlude and makes way for an attitude-laden guitar solo leading back to the verse. They repeat the cycle and build off the last chorus to a section of insistent “Uh huh”s and “oohs” — Lanegan most prominent here — as Grohl revels in closing and opening his hi-hat and the riff gets bigger and thicker to finish, cut right before a short lead line that appeared earlier returns to end, leading to some backwards sampling transitioning into the propulsive rocker, “My God is the Sun.”

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Late Night Frydee Post-Script: Here’s a (New?) Queens of the Stone Age Cover of a Tom Waits Song

Posted in audiObelisk on November 20th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

I have absolutely no information about this track, when it was recorded, or for what reason, where, how, etc. All I know is that Obelisk attendee David sent me an email with a link in it to Soundcloud (to answer your next question, yes, I follow every link that gets sent to me in emails because I understand nothing about how the internet works), and it’s a Queens of the Stone Age cover of Tom Waits‘ “Going out West” that kicks ass. It’s nigh on 1AM, and the player says it was uploaded four hours ago, so there you have it. Thought I’d share, so here it is:

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Buried Treasure: When Fantasy Meets Reality

Posted in Buried Treasure on October 7th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

If this was GQ magazine and not The Obelisk (and if the idea had any appeal to me whatsoever), this piece would be about how I finally had a threesome and was pissed when the two chicks spent the whole time making out and I was left in the cold. Since it’s The Obelisk, it’s about record shopping. Hey, you get what you pay for.

This past weekend, I paid for a copy of The Desert Sessions Vol. I/Vol. II on Amazon. It was the cheapest I’d ever seen the CD for sale — and believe me, I checked regularly — and I knew from habitual eBay browsing that I wasn’t going to do any better in terms of price, so I grabbed it for $28. Even with the couple bucks shipping, it was a bargain, and as I’ve been pining away for this lost Man’s Ruin gem for longer than I at this point care to admit, I figured it was high time to bite the proverbial bullet and shell out the cash. So it was done.

Showed up in the mail yesterday and I popped it on this morning for the first time, and well, there are some cool tracks. “Girl Boy Tom’ has a good feel, and “Cowards Way Out” is among the more developed of the ideas present, and the few cuts at the end with vocals — “Johnny the Boy” might be my favorite of the bunch — pretty much rule, but there’s no way these songs could have lived up to my expectation. My life remains as it was yesterday: mostly in need of caffeine.

Still, I don’t have buyer’s remorse in the traditional sense because (1:) I know I got a good deal and (2:) I legitimately wanted to own The Desert Sessions Vol. I/Vol. II enough to justify the price. So what if the music didn’t reshape my perception of the world? Even if I listen to it two or three more times out of obligation and stick it on my shelf forever, at least I’ll be glad to see it every time I look over there. It’s not everything it could be, but it’s everything it is, and that’s enough.

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Queens of the Stone Age’s Rated R to be Reissued This Summer

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 10th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

Here’s why I like the internet: Like probably countless others who’ve posted it, I got this story from Blabbermouth. They, in turn, attribute it to The Pulse of Radio, who say it came from NME. The spread of information is fantastic. No wonder they call it “viral.”

But yes, Queens of the Stone Age are reportedly going to reissue Rated R this summer. One can only assume it will be the feel good hit thereof, and show up before the Rekords Rekords version of the self-titled, which I think was supposed to be out sometime last year. So it goes. Was Rated R even out of print? I don’t know. If nothing else, this story proves I’ll go to any length to get all girly over another Josh Homme video. Such a sucker:

The Pulse of Radio reports that Queens of the Stone Age will reissue their second album, 2000’s Rated R, this summer, according to The re-release, which will probably arrive in July, will include B-sides and live recordings. Frontman Josh Homme said, “Am I surprised Queens have survived to the point where we have reissues? Yes! And that all the people (other players) on Rated R are alive too.”

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Bootleg Theater and the Velvet Eyes in Mexico

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 3rd, 2010 by JJ Koczan

As I said yesterday, Diane Kamikaze‘s DJ set at the Iron Man show has me on a big kick for the first, self-titled Queens of the Stone Age album. I was initially just going to post the studio version of “Mexicola,” maybe with some homemade picture slideshow or whatever I could find, but then I came across this excellent live version filmed for the From the Basement tv show in the UK last year. Killer stuff. In case you’re wondering who’s in the band, other than Josh Homme, it’s Joey Castillo, Troy Van Leeuwen, Michael Shuman and Dean Fertita. Enjoy.

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This Crooked Review

Posted in Reviews on November 17th, 2009 by JJ Koczan

That's one of them, I guess.I?ve tried my damnedest to not give in to the viral hype machine that has been at work for months promoting Them Crooked Vultures, leaking snippets of songs via YouTube and quietly putting the word out about secret shows and the like. The band just showing up places and playing; a luxury afforded to the trio by their celebrity status and respective built-in fanbases. That said, if there?s anything Queens of the Stone Age?s Songs for the Deaf taught us it?s that good things happen when Joshua Homme and Dave Grohl get together. Throw John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin in the mix on bass and, well, it?s at very least an interesting proposition.

The resulting album, the product, released on maybe the most major of labels (Interscope/Geffen, both subsidiaries of Universal), is a 13-track romp through the rigors of modern commerciability, toying with our single-based culture even as it conforms to it. There is no coincidence that ?No One Loves Me and Neither Do I? is among the catchiest songs on Them Crooked Vultures; what?s really interesting about it is the fact that it?s also among the most ?stoner rock,? which, if you?re paying attention, quietly affirms the untapped commercial potential of the genre at large. Likewise, that follow-up ?Mind Eraser, No Chaser? features prominent vocals from Grohl along with Homme?s lead is clearly purposeful. Someone, be it label or band, thinks these are the strongest tracks, and so they?re up front, catching our limited, fickle attention. Cynicism is everywhere.

Stoner rockers will no doubt link Them Crooked Vultures to the 1998 self-titled Queens of the Stone Age. I will, anyway. Like that album, there is a full, natural sense of room in this recording. You can almost feel the mic being pulled just a little back from the amps to open up the sound. It?s high-tech garage with Alan Moulder and Alain Johannes recording, but nonetheless at work is a precision in songwriting the likes of which could only come from pairing the likes of Homme and Grohl — and that?s not to downplay Jones? considerable contributions either vocally or on bass. As to the individual members? contributions to each part of each song, I don?t know and refuse to speculate, but in listening, pieces of highlight tracks like ?Dead End Friends,? the appropriately stomping ?Elephants? (one of the album?s longer cuts at a bold 6:50) and the danceably handclapped, mellotronned ?Caligulove,? shades of personality leak through the songs that could be attributed more or less as the listener chooses.

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