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Published:October 4th, 2013 08:29 EST
Queens of the Stone Age Is My Pick for the ACL Music Festival!

Queens of the Stone Age Is My Pick for the ACL Music Festival!

By John G. Kays

Got Queens of the Stone Age`s new one `Like Clockwork` (sixth studio album) on itunes this morning; if I were getting to go to the Austin City Limits Music Festival (which I`m not), QOTSA would be my top priority band to see. I settled for a record instead; Like Clockwork set me back a mere 10 spot, so that`s as good as I can do to experience the Queenly Stone Age thingy. For your information, the metal crunching band will play the Bud Light stage tonight (October 4) and next Friday (October 11) from 7:30-8:30 PM, at Zilker Park here in Austin people! 

Perhaps it will be filmed or videoed so I can watch their performance at a future date. In the meantime, I`m enjoying Like Clockwork, although I`m only on my second spin through, up to Kalopsia, which starts out softer, then begins to blister a bit with a David Bowie-inspired Bridge or Middle Eight (in any case, a separate section - the vocals sounding very much like Bowie himself). Now I`m on Fairweather Friends, which features Elton John on vocals and piano, with Dave Grohl on percussion.

The first time around, I listened to the record with my Audio-Technica headphones, so I could hear the details pretty good (have experienced some loss of hearing, unfortunately - state-of-the-art digital hearing aids run about 4K with my insurance, I`m hearing, or am I), so that`s not happening. Well, I`m stuck with my Best Buy house brand, Insignia, to drudge my way through the rest of the record. Boy, I wish I had a set of Bose or even better, those teeny weenie Bang and Olufson I see all the time over at their Second Street retail store - I`m stuck in a perpetual Window Shop Mode with B & O!

Kudos to Mark Rankin for the recording and mixing (and if I can hear it on a good system some time, I`ll try to take careful note of how you twisted the knobs, Dude. I like the album cover a lot too (at least I can still see), by British artist Boneface. When reading the Wikipedia information blurb for Like Clockwork, I notice the image is a publicity still for the 1931 classic Dracula; how convenient, as we morph our way into the Halloween witching season! Further reading tells me a vinyl edition has the art in blue. Next time I`m in Waterloo Records, will definitely check it out!

To put it bluntly, if the cover`s no good, the record`s no good! Any genuine Rock Critic gets this maxim; sight and sound are brother and sister in this conspiracy of the mainstream Rock Industry and Major Label Malaise (see Lester Bangs` writings from diminishing point of the 1970s). Alright, so I`m starting to make a little headway now - The Vampyre of Time and Memory is beginning to look like my favorite cut, coupling softer sounds and building up to crescendo, with an interesting melody and luke-warm ghoulish poetry, that doesn`t bother me too much. Rock songs are not meant to be sensitive limerick anyhow, Lester would probably say, Folks. 

I figure most people will like If I Had A Tail best (likely, a reference to the Devil), and I can go along for the ride on this feeling, but am a bit more charged by My God Is the Sun, a riveting psychedelic garage anthem. I`ll play it again, just to confirm; yea, it`s there, reminding me somewhat of Them Crooked Vultures, which is the only record I have with Josh Homme on it. I`ll give this record a B-, not `cuz I`m in a bitchy mood, but just because I probably won`t get up and play it again too many more times. Well, maybe I`ll change my mind, if I ever get some decent speakers.