Sunday, March 25, 2012

Song Of The Week: 3/25/12

Song: "Better Living Through Chemistry"

Artist: Queens Of The Stone Age

Album: "Rated R"

Year: 2000

According to Queens Of The Stone Age frontman, Josh Homme, "Better Living Through Chemistry" is an anti-drug song. However, it's not an illegal drugs anti-drug song!! It's more a shot at the government issued drugs, i.e. prozac, etc., that are deemed "okay" to take daily because they are legal and supposedly good for you. Homme stated basically it's like the government telling you it's ok to become an addict on "their" drugs, but God forbid they catch you with marijuana. Queens Of The Stone Age has been a band going back to 1996. Without going so much into the history of the band, which I did on my very last blog post (i've been on a bit of a Queens kick lately!), i'll kind of just go back to the time when the band released their second album "Rated R". In 2000, Queens Of The Stone Age released their second album, "Rated R", which would prove to be a breakthrough album for the band. While not being the mainstream crossover success that the band's 2002 release, "Songs For The Deaf" would be, "Rated R" was the first album for Queens Of The Stone Age to start generating a buzz around the band. People were starting to notice this band from California and their unique style of rock music. It was hard to categorize Queens to any form of music out at the time. They weren't quite grunge, definitely not mainstream rock, perhaps alternative in a sense that they were definitely on to a different sound. Their songs were big time riff orientated, maybe a little Zeppelin-esque without having as much crossover radio appeal. This mesh of styles gave Queens a sound that set them apart which is probably why people started to gravitate to them. It was fresh and new and appealing. "Rated R" would be the first album to feature bassist Nick Oliveri, who played with Homme in their former band Kyuss, as well as the first time Mark Lanegan of The Screaming Trees would appear on a Queens record, a relationship that would last throughout future Queens recordings. In 2010, Homme reworked "Rated R" and re-released it in a "Deluxe Edition" package which included the whole "Rated R" album as well as b-sides and live tracks. Currently, as of November 2011, frequent collaborator Alain Johannes stated that Queens was hard at work in the studio and that he was really excited about some of the things that they were working on, calling it some amazing stuff. So, with that being said, look out for some new material from Queens to be coming out in the near future.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Song Of The Week: 3/18/12

Song: "I Wanna Make It Wit Chu"

Artist: Queens Of The Stone Age

Album: "Over The Years And Through The Woods"

Year: 2005

"I Wanna Make It Wit Chu" is a song that appears to be about a relationship that's all about the sex. The vocalist doesn't appear to be about to candy coat it either. He's not about love songs or giving her the stars or the moon, he's about giving her sex... again and again!!! "I Wanna Make It Wit Chu" or just "Make It Wit Chu" was originally recorded and released on Queens Of The Stone Age's 2007 album, "Era Vulgaris". It was the third single off of that album. The version of the song I chose was taken from Q.O.T.S.A.'s live album/dvd "Over The Years And Through The Woods". All the recordings for that album were taken from Queens' performances at London's Brixton Academy on August 22, 2005 and at KOKO on August 23, 2005. Queens Of The Stone Age formed as a band in 1996 after the break up of lead vocalist Josh Homme's former band Kyuss. Queens is known to be a big riff band. They play a style of rock music that can sometimes be called "robotic" in that sometimes they'll just ride a groove throughout a song without many changes. During the band's career, they have released five studio recordings, their most successful being 2002's "Songs For The Deaf", thanks to the hit singles "No One Knows" and "Go With The Flow". That album was also helped out with the drumming of ex-Nirvana and current Foo Fighter, Dave Grohl. In fact, Queens Of The Stone Age would be somewhat of a revolving door when it came to band members. Josh Homme would always be the constant as lead singer, guitarist and chief songwriter but several key musicians worked with Queens at various times throughout the years including the aforementioned Dave Grohl, Mark Lanegan of The Screaming Trees, Nick Oliveri of Kyuss, Troy Van Leeuwen of A Perfect Circle and Alain Johannes of Eleven. The band's last studio release was 2007's "Era Vulgaris". Since then the band members mostly worked on other side projects most notably was Them Crooked Vultures which featured Josh Homme on guitar and vocals, Dave Grohl on drums and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin on bass. That band released an album and toured for much of 2009 and 2010. In 2010 and 2011, Homme reworked and remastered Queens' first two albums, 1998's self titled and 2000's "Rated R" for release featuring several b-sides as bonus material. Currently, as of the beginning of 2011, it has been confirmed that Queens Of The Stone Age have been in the studio working on new material for what will be their sixth studio album. No date has been confirmed as of yet for a release of this record nor has any title been given.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Song Of The Week: 3/11/12

Song: "Running Behind"

Artist: Sense Field

Album: "Living Outside"

Year: 2003

"Running Behind" appears to be a song about depression. It seems the vocalist feels that his life has been stuck in place or in a rut while the rest of the world just keeps on moving past him. You sense his loneliness and his fear. He seems to be in a constant fight to save his life as well as his soul in a world that's leaving him behind. Sense Field formed as a band back in 1991. They are from California. Sense Field is very much an indie band much like bands such as Sunny Day Real Estate and Jimmy Eat World. When they first came on the music scene, they had a very grungy/alternative feel to their music. Over the years, Sense Field has seen their music shift from alternative to almost emo to a little bit of pop/punk. They never quite seemed to find themselves musically. Even through some of the challenges of finding out who they are as a band, as well as some problems with their record labels, Sense Field still released five studio albums, six EP's, and also appeared on a few compilations during their thirteen year career. In 2004, after touring to support their last album together, 2003's "Living Outside", Sense Field decided to call it quits. They were a band that just couldn't get over the hump. Their only moderate success came with the song "Save Yourself" and even that didn't crossover huge for them. In 2004, Sense Field lead singer Jonathan Bunch joined the band Further Seems Forever and provided vocals for their 2004 album "Hide Nothing". Bunch parted ways with Further Seems Forever in 2007, however he and fellow bandmate, Derick Cordoba would perform acoustic tours under the moniker Fields Forever. At these shows they would play acoustic versions of Sense Field and Further Seems Forever songs. Currently, it's all but official that Sense Field has been put to rest as a band. There has been no activity since 2004. The most fans can hope for is that Bunch continues touring as Fields Forever to at least still hear some of their favorite Sense Field songs, at least in a live setting.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Song Of The Week: 3/4/12

Song: "Even Better Than The Real Thing"

Artist: U2

Album: "Achtung Baby"

Year: 1991

"Even Better Than The Real Thing" is a song by megagroup U2 that appears to be their most sexually driven work. The lyrics definitely conjure up what seems to be a steamy relationship between the vocalist and a woman. It may also be about all the excesses that were afforded to the band over the years. Their fame allowed them the opportunity to live the "rock star" life if they so chose. This song is almost like them giving in to it and accepting it. Bono himself said of the song, "It was reflective of the times the band were living in, when people were no longer looking for the truth, they were all about instant gratification." For just over thirty-five years, Dublin, Ireland's U2 have composed some of the biggest hits in music that has allowed the band to be held in the same conversation as fellow Rock And Roll Hall Of Famers such as The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Bruce Springsteen. "Achtung Baby" was probably the most pivotal point in the band's history however. This album was ironic in that it almost broke the band up. There was a definite shift in the band at the time of making this album. The Edge and Bono were working more closely with each other leaving Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. kind of looking in from the outside. They were not happy with the musical experimentation that Bono and The Edge were working on. It was at a breaking point when the band decided to work on the song "One". That song, possibly the band's finest song in their arsenal, saved U2 and even made the band a stronger unit. Hence the irony of "Achtung Baby". The one album that nearly destroyed the band, actually allowed them to grow tighter and continue on. And continue on they did, releasing more successful albums through the 90's and 2000's and performing on some of the most successful tours in the history of rock and roll. Currently, in fact the band has just wrapped up their 360 Degrees Tour which basically started in 2009 and ended in 2011. The tour grossed $736,137,344 and had a total attendance of 7,268,430 people. Both of these number are record setters for one single concert tour. As for new material? I'm sure the band is taking a little break after embarking on such a massive tour but I wouldn't be surprised to hear about the band working on new material in the near future.