Queens of the Stone Age on the marquee of Oakland's Fantastic Fox Theater

We did something different for Monday night's QotSA show at the Fox Theater in Oakland. We sat down! I can't remember the last time we sat down for a show, but we had 8th row center mezzanine (row H) and it was rather civilized. Perhaps too civilized for a Queens of the Stone Age show, but being a Monday night after a long week of travel, it was a good call. Unlike the Warfield in San Francisco, you can bring drinks to your seat (nice cup holders) and, given that they were moshing downstairs, it was civilized indeed.

And do you know what else is civilized? QotSA is punctual! The opening band went on exactly at 8:00 pm and the Queens went on EXACTLY at 9. They play a fierce, condensed show so we were back home to pay off the babysitter at 11:15.

1. New Power Trio from Fantasyland

News just slipped out that Josh Homme (front man for Boeger favorite Queens of the Stone Age), John Paul Jones (yes, THAT John Paul Jones), and Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) are recording in Los Angeles. IS THIS GOING TO ROCK OR WHAT? I couldn't dream this stuff up better if I tried.

2. New Danny Barnes Record (it's been under my hat for a while).

I'm not the biggest Dave Matthews fan but he and I share something in common: we both KNOW that Danny Barnes is the real thing (along with the above-mentioned John Paul Jones, Bill Frisell, Charlie Louvin, and many others.) So Dave booked him into his studio and got some other heavies involved, including drummer extraordinaire Matt Chamberlain (Pearl Jam, David Bowie, everybody else) on drums and Rashawn Ross from Dave Matthews Band arranging the horns.

Don't mean to rub it in but I've had the distinct pleasure of listening to these tracks for several weeks... and it is REALLY, REALLY good. Incredible batch of songs. I think this is the most accessible work Barnes has ever done, and if there's any justice in the world it will be all over the radio this fall.

3. The House That Dirt Built

One of our favorite bands in this house is a new band out of Noid, England called The Heavy. Their first album is a MUST-HAVE. New tracks from their upcoming album "The House That Dirt Built" have been trickling out at the Ninjatune store. Sounds kind of like Al Green backed by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. You can get a good feel for them at their official site --- they feature a new video on the front page.

We didn't catch a whole lot of shows this summer, and only one on this list, but thanks to some generous artists and savvy tapers you can enjoy these from the comfort of your MP3 player. I recommend downloading the variable bit rate MP3's as a zip file, unzipping, and then importing into iTunes.

Sonic Pleasures 2007

I'm not trying to be a hep music journalist here but since I do have friends that like to keep up vicariously with my music adventures, here are some the things I listened to this year... in no particular order:

Queens of the Stone Age - Era Vulgaris

Era Vulgaris is far and away my favorite record this year and I consider it to be at a level of genius on par with the Flaming Lips' Pink Robots album. Some might snark, especially old school Queens fans. My old friends who have gone a little soft are horrified. And even Joshe Homme, the Queens mastermind, would squirm at any hint of pretention.

I'm guessing this will be the album of the summer.... "Era Vulgaris" from Queens of the Stone Age. You can enjoy a little cartoon preview on their home page. I'd like to provide for you here the bonus track that was left off of the album (the band has encouraged folks to do so), but we're experiencing technical difficulties w/ Boegerweb's audio system. Hope to have it posted soon. But enjoy their little video clip, it's pretty darned funny whether you are into desert hard rock or not.