Posts Tagged ‘Mark Lanegan’

KING QUEEN JOSH HOMME RESSURECTS DESERT SESSIONS FOR VOLUMES 11 AND 12

November 2, 2019

The return of Desert Sessions features a cast of characters rival to the Wacky Racers. Photo courtesy Desert Sessions Facebook page

I took this summer off to do some more repairs/renovations around my house. This was messy stuff, and I like to have music playing when I do work like this as I am often by myself so it keeps me from going nuts. So I tend to pick the long stuff, or stuff I have made into long play lists.

Josh Homme’s Desert Sessions fits that bill. Each volume is equivalent to one album. So volumes One and Two came out together as one release, so on all the way up to the last, volumes Nine and Ten. Each volume featured famous guests and residents at the studio the series is named after, Rancho De La Luna in the Palm Desert, CA area. For the first volumes, the guests were people who were either recording in Rancho, or were friends of project pioneer Homme. But what a rich pool to pick from, bands like Kyuss, Fatso Jetson, and many of these players would also go on to form Queens Of The Stone Age.

Over time the guest list expanded exponentially, drawing in people like Mark Lanegan, Alain Johannes, and P.J. Harvey. The Desert Sessions provides scouting for new members of QOTSA, as the lineup often mutated until the most recent lineup formed and has remained consistent to this day. This lineup may experience shakeup after Homme’s announcement that the two-year long tour for the disappointing album Viliains proved to be too much for the health and well-being addled Homme. Near death experiences, health scares, losses of close friends and near misses of very close friends at the hands of international terrorists can take a toll on a man. He was recently quoted in the online edition of NME that he wouldn’t mind if QOTSA were a touch smaller, in terms of audience size, reach, etc.

I see this as fulfillment of my expectation that working with Mark Ronson would damage QOTSA in some way. They’d either get too commercial, or too popular, and I totally get where Homme is coming from. I have had some really bad experiences in a couple of QOTSA Facebook groups. But I shouldn’t saddle QOTSA fans with that distinction exclusively, animosity exists in pretty much all of the Facebook fan groups regardless of the artist. With the possible exception of the Mark Mulcahy/Miracle Legion group.

In order for Homme to clear his head of all the Ronson-generated nonsense, he retreated to the desert to collect some hefty names for the most recent edition of the sessions, that being Desert Sessions Vol. 11 & 12. But before we get into those names, let’s further examine what the Desert Sessions are:

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QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE BEAT THE BLUES WITH THE BLUES …LIKE CLOCKWORK

June 14, 2013
Illness, depression, failure, all rolled up into one bad trip.  Queens Of The Stone Age and Josh Homme will take you along...

Illness, depression, failure, all rolled up into one bad trip. Queens Of The Stone Age and Josh Homme will take you along…

Where does one begin to detail the woe that begot …Like Clockwork?  For Josh Homme, the woe begins with a relapse of his knee ailment that had been plaguing him since the Lullabies To Paralyze era when he was on tour in Europe.  The concert tour for Lullabies To Paralyze yielded a DVD, Over The Years And Through The Woods, which was released on both video and audio.  During the video, at a point around “I Never Came”, he asks the audience who wants his cane and throws it out to the crowd, then instantly winces as it flips precariously into the sea of craniums.

During this tour, Homme was also infirmed with a respiratory ailment.

Not to mention, it can’t do one’s mental state any benefit to run out your label contract.  Interscope had been micromanaging Homme about how they wanted this album to sound, to the point where Homme FIRED (yes, the final word out there is Homme fired) drummer Joey Castillo about ¾’s of the way though the process of making …Like Clockwork.  So it is no surprise that this record is on both Homme’s ‘Rekords Rekords’ label, and new Queens Of The Stone Age distributing label is Matador out of New York City.  An upstart indie label, not exactly the powerhouse that Interscope was.

More reason to worry.

Be mindful of the fact that Homme and wife Brody Dalle (Distillers fame) have two children now.

So it was to his additional terror that Homme spent four plus months bedridden following surgical difficulties and complications.  This sent Homme into a funk of uncertainty.  It then fell on to the four core members of Queens Of The Stone Age to cajole Homme into making more Queens music.  He agreed, but there were conditions…

First, Homme initiated all four into his own personal anguish.  Homme felt that for the band members understand why he would be writing some dire, introspective and (even for Queens) unusual music, they needed to walk the proverbial mile in his shoes.

Once he took the members down to his level, emotionally speaking, he took them with him all the way back to the first album.  Homme secured the rights to the first Queens Of The Stone Age self-titled album, remixed it, added bonus tracks and distributed it from his own Rekords Rekords label.  Yours dubitably managed to see this tour at Terminal 5 in New York City.  The review was posted here recently as part of our Friday Flashback.

Then came what was perceived by uninvolved band members as the unthinkable.  Homme fired long time drummer Castillo.  Songs For The Deaf drummer Dave Grohl was called in to play on some of these quirky introspective tunes.  As the album was recorded in Homme’s Pink Duck Studios in Burbank, a cast of quality performers and old friends were brought in.  Friends like Nick Oliveri, Alain Johannes, Mark Lanegan, Trent Reznor, Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears, Dalle, Elton John, Alex Turner, James Lavelle, and two drummers of note: first, Joey Castillo.  Some of what he did was good enough to make the final cut.  Second, former Mars Volta drummer Jon Theodore.  Theodore is of note because he is the touring drummer for Queens Of The Stone Age now!  Will he be a member?  You need to recall that Queens started as a rotating band.  People came in, people went out.  No telling if Queens will become the new Spinal Tap…

This cast of rock royalty is joined by the four full-fledged members, Homme, Troy Van Leeuwen, Mikey Shuman and Dean Fertita.  Let’s see where this musical mass carries us on its rampage to ruin.

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DWELLING ON THE DARKSIDE, WE REVISIT MONDO GENERATOR IN THE FORM OF NICK OLIVERI’S DEATH ACOUSTIC!

January 21, 2013
The cover of the CD filled with the mellow (?) side of Nick Oliveri and his acoustic interpretations of Queens Of The Stone Age, Mondo Generator and Oliveri standards.  With a title like 'Death Acoustic', I am not sure how mellow these versions will be!  Cover photo courtesy Impedance Records.

The cover of the CD filled with the mellow (?) side of Nick Oliveri and his acoustic interpretations of Queens Of The Stone Age, Mondo Generator and Oliveri standards. With a title like ‘Death Acoustic’, I am not sure how mellow these versions will be! Cover photo courtesy Impedance Records.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This review was slated to come out right before the new year.  However, it was waylaid by a death in the family, specifically my mother.  Please, no condolences for the woman who said I’d never amount to anything and that I was a “no good, good for nothing”.  While your well wishes are greatly appreciated by me, her absentia is not worth the bandwidth.  But thank you for the kind thoughts in advance.  Back to business, and welcome to the new and improved BouleBlog!  We are out of our syndication deal and are now free to publish what we like when we like.  In the next few weeks you will see subtle changes to the content, and hopefully we will be able to execute some changes to the look of the page.  Thanks to all of our subjects of the blog since July of last year.  You were all important in maintaining a spot on the digital landscape for BouleBlog to inhabit.  Now for the review at hand:

It has been said that I am a forgiving soul.  Just recently I extended a journalistic olive branch to Todd Rundgren via my Facebook page Free Progressive (https://www.facebook.com/groups/FreeProgressive/) as I am not one to hold undeserved grudges.  I have been known to give people second chances that most assuredly didn’t deserve a first chance.  So on the heels of Mondo Generator’s last, less-than-stellar release Hell Comes To Your Heart, we take into account Nick Oliveri’s solo effort Death Acoustic.  I have high hopes as, you really can’t bury a vocal if, in fact, this disc is only an acoustic guitar and voice.

I know many fans are wondering, ‘wait a minute, isn’t he the bassist for acts like Queens Of The Stone Age, Kyuss, Kyuss Lives, The Dwarves, Mondo Generator, as well as the Desert Sessions’?  Die harders have seen the YouTube clips of Oliveri and Josh Homme playing acoustic guitars together.  Here is a clip of Oliveri doing one of the tracks from Death Acoustic, “I’m Gonna Leave You”:

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