Posts Tagged ‘P.J. Harvey’

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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FUCK YOU, FUCK THIS, FUCK THAT AND FUCK THEM. NOW THAT I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION, FATSO JETSON’S “IDLE HANDS” IS WHAT YOU NEED TO HEAR!!!!

August 8, 2017

If you see this disc on sale anywhere, buy it and play it everywhere. Photo courtesy Fatso Jetson

I have long been fascinated by the Desert Rock scene emanating from the Palm Desert area in California. So many quality acts have come out of there, Queens OF The Stone Age (QOTSA) most notably. But there are more acts, Kyuss made a mark, The Dwarves, and some of the names read like a who’s who of music: Nick Oliveri, Blag Dhalia, Alain Johannes (who is currently on tour with P.J. Harvey), and everyone knows this band’s name thanks to global terrorism, Eagles Of Death Metal (if you live under a rock, this was the band that was targeted at the Bataclan massacre in November, 2015).

But there is one band I have not mentioned. Fatso Jetson (FJ). Out of all the bands that rose out of Palm Desert, FJ have to be the heaviest, most groove oriented of the lot. Yes, I know QOTSA are quite heavy on their new album, Villains but I can’t make any judgement on that, it’s not out yet, save for the few songs that have been leaked. I prefer the whole package…

It can be told that I got my hands on the latest disc from Fatso Jetson called Idle Hands. It would seem that all the time spent in the desert ingrained in these guys a rough, take no prisoners approach to song crafting. It comes through during the entire disc.

I know these guys aren’t household names. But they should be. Maybe it’s that familial connection that makes these guys so tight. The lead vocalist and guitarist is Mario Lalli, guitar is also played by Dino Von Lalli, bass is played by Larry Lalli, and drums by Tony Tornay with the addition of Mathias Shneeberger keyboards, guitars, bass and vocals. As it turns out my favorite lyrics on this album were in fact written by Sean Wheeler who also wrote words for “Portuguese Dream” and “The Vincent Letter” (later on in the album).

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