Tag Archives: Mark Lanegan


Just one month remaining till QOTSA new album release, … Like a Clockwork, I’m starting to get nervous. It’s taken Josh Homme 6 years to take control back of the band, leave his others projects for a while, and record an album. It’s been too long since the fans don’t received new stuff, and we are eager! Got my copy preordered.

Little by little I’m recovering the different albums of their discography, and every time I do it, I’m full of enthusiasm. Queens Of The Stone Age has become one of my favorite bands, and Josh Homme not only an object, well, figure of desire, but also one of my favorite personal rock icons, thanks to his unique voice, so criticized by many, his style playing guitar, his talent writing music, and his charisma.

This time Rated R, QOTSA’s second work, is the album of the week.

rated r

Released in June 2000, when I was still living in London, I attended a promoting show at The Underworld, actually 3 days before its release worldwide and even though it was a great night and I was introduced to Josh by -cough, cough- Dave Wyndorf, I was a bit disappointed. They didn’t sound as groovie as their previous shows, and songs were too fast.

Somehow it discouraged me from listening to this album for long time and for some time, as I’ve already explained here, I really lost my interest for the band. Just because of one show. Sometimes I don’t understand myself, really.

I remember as if it was yesterday when I decided my hissy fit had to come to an end. I went straight to the record store, didn’t feel like digging and wasting my time, so I went straight to the guy and asked him for the album. I said R, and he didn’t know what I was talking about. I said Rated R and he stared at me as if I was an imbecile. Finally I asked him for QOTSA and he reacted. This was the “blue album”. What a pro, holy shit!

I came back home and started playing it on the stereo nonstop. First impression was that it wasn’t as great as the debut album, but quickly I swallowed my words.

Rated R was the album which took them to massive success. Apology for drugs, Mark Lanegan’s first collaboration providing lead vocals on In The Fade, which is AWESOME, and backing vocals on several songs, charismatic and insane Nick Oliveri  also joining the band for the first time and becoming a very active member, both as a showman, musician and troublemaker,  and  a handful of hit songs which blew people’s minds. The cocktail couldn’t fail.


Not only QOTSA’s trademark were Homme’s killing guitar riffs and voice, which by the way he’s been polishing throughout these years adding more varied dynamics, and widening his register. The master formula,  was based on the repetition. Repetition of riffs, of drums, of backing vocals, of phrasing…of everything. Sometimes drums barely change from verse through chorus, and don’t perform “complex” rolls. With this I do not mean drums are simple, no way.

One of the most boring things a drummer has to do is to play on their own, in order to practice and improve their skills. You might ignore I used to play drums a bit. Not a skillful one, neither a crappy one. But as usual, missing people to jam with, and lack of encouragement from certain people, prevented me for attempting to go further. My story with instruments is a sad one. Never was too constant, I didn’t get my own drum kit and since all men I’ve been related to have been musicians (some of them very talented and multiplayer), I never took myself very seriously and didn’t believe in myself enough as to give it a try.

All this confession has to do with the fact that for some time I went to these rent-a-studio-per-hour places for some months one hour a week, to play drums by myself. I had these hearing protectors for workers, with my headphones inside connected to the iPod, in order to play over the music. Considering the repetition of QOTSA’s songs and the structures, I used to play the debut album and Rated R a lot, at a low level, of course, but it was definitely a good motivation. Auto Pilot and You Can’t Quit Me Baby used to blow my head. But I quit drumming eventually.

When you face R for the first time, first impression is based on the hits I was mentioning: Feel Good Hit of the Summer, The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret, and Monsters in the Parasol. It’s when you start digging beyond that when you start truly enjoying this album. If I had to choose my favorite songs probably the chosen one would be In the Fade and Auto Pilot, followed by Leg of Lamb and Better Living Through Chemistry. Still, in my opinion Rated R is not as complete as Queens of the Stone Age or Songs for the Deaf, but I love it anyway.



The first week of a year is always confusing. While most people are still in Xmas mood (in Spain we also celebrate the Epiphany on the 6 and the visit of the 3 Wise Kings to baby Jesus), I’m just sick and tired of this consumer mayhem. Determined to behave and control myself regarding partying, everybody is approaching these last days to gather and get booze. I try to be low profile on those days, and even though it’s not on purpose, I’m usually moodier and lower spirited than usual. I’m also a bit sensitive too, thus my appetite for music varies in extreme.

Lullabies to Paralyze

Thus, I started the year with Elvis and Backyard Babies (Total 13,  can be too predictable sometimes), I recovered some Steve Earle‘s stuff and listened intensely the two first albums of Mink DeVille, but the first 2013 album of the week goes to Lullabies to Paralyze.

I’m a QOTSA diehard fan, you already know that. One of my first posts related to the album of the week featured Songs for The Deaf, which took me many years to realize it’s probably their most solid work up to date.

Fans are usually divided into those who prefer the first albums, moving closer to Homme’s former band, Kyuss, and those who find the band finally found their personal style with Songs for the Deaf.

Lullabies to Paralyze is a step forward. Nick Oliveri had been fired from the band, Mark Lanegan and Homme working hand in hand delivering this dark album, and Joey Castillo on drums and the guitarist Troy Leeuwen as super active new members in the band. Great changes in short time.


Even though in general ratings Lullabies to Paralyzed is considered not as good as its predecessor, this was the album charting the highest.

As for me, this is another album designed for slow digestion. It didn’t get me crazy when it was released, however as I’ve been listening to it through all these years, I’ve been developing passion for it. it’s a great album, including amazing QOTSA’s classics, such as Little Sister, Burn The Witch, In my Head, Medication…songs to turn you on and in the mood for anything.

I love these albums which keep something unique, a treasure which cannot be compared to the rest of the track list due to its greatness. Lullabies to Paralyze has one, I Never Came. This song usually comes to my mind and evokes me different feelings. It’s sexy, decadent, sad, transmits some abandon…it’s one of my favorite QOTSA songs actually. Just for this song, this album is worth listening.


I really can’t wait to listen to Queens Of The Stone Age new album. It’s been more than 5 years since their last album release. I feel very curious about what they might deliver, even though I don’t get disappointed with anything coming from Homme. Perhaps I’m no longer objective, but after a long process and some struggle to overcome my state of denial, I must admit I love this band. We’ll see…

ON 12/12/12 HERE IS MY TOP 12 OF 2012


This is the first time I’m publishing a top list of my favorite albums of the year and I’m pretty stoked. Even though I’m passionate for music, for many years I adopted a vey comfy position in which there was someone doing the hard work of pre-listening and filtering new stuff on my behalf, thus only what  he enjoyed reached me. Yeah, I became lazy and detached from current musical updates at that time.

But here I am, posting my top 12 of this weird year, which has been excellent in terms of music, and disastrous in general. I must admit I’m proud for behaving as the good girl I really am, doing my musical homework and paying attention to new album releases.

Of course it’s impossible to cover all of them, especially when I take my time in analyzing the albums, going on them with the intensity required. And it’s a classic that, right after choosing my favorite albums, I discover a new one that blows my mind, but cannot be added to the list. Guess this is the greatness of music, you can enjoy it any time, no matter how much late you are. it will always be there.

Let’s get started, otherwise it will be the 13th and this top 12 won’t make sense anymore.

Most of the albums have been the album of the week at some point this year, or due to the expectations I had, commented as soon as they were available, as an exceptional event, and theres’s one in particular which had to be mentioned apart, because it doesn’t fit into what I usually consume.

I’m very pleased with the variety of styles and sounds in the list, once again confirming it doesn’t matter I’m growing old and relaxing, I can enjoy metal sounds same as folkie one, and I find that quite enriching for both mind, soul and ears.


Thus in no particular order I will refer to my top 12 of 2012. There we go!


What can I say at this point I haven’t told already? On week 12 I was telling you about my crush on Brad Smith’s project, and one month ago I was telling you my experience enjoying their half acoustic show, and how adorable Blind Melon’s bass player was.

I foresaw this album was being here, because not many albums make my heart pound in such way as Death & Joy does.



One of the greatest surprise of the year which started when I was assigned the review of this album. On a random Sunday afternoon, in hangover conditions, I receive a wake of punches right in my face in the shape of songs performed by this band. Raw, powerful and overwhelming.




Several friends are devoted fans of this unknown band here in Spain, and I had been told about the charisma of the leader of the band, Ben Nichols. Songs about work, women, broken hearts and booze, and a catchy opening song, On My Way Downtown, which makes you feel the urge of having a beer at a bar.



blues funeral billboard

 Wow! I ADORE this album. Straight to the top 5. Lanegan has gone beyond himself with this album.  I got obsessed about this album for 2 weeks or more, and I still listen to it compulsively. One of these albums that the more you listen the more you love them and discover tiny new elements with each listening. So fuckin’ great!



Finally the genius went solo, after delivering outstanding stuff with his different projects, and released this magnificent album I’ve been enjoying so much. It was the final proof to show the world he’s far from the hype and possesses a great deal of talent. Perfection would be mentioned here if the show he offered with the female band would have been more passionate rather than so “cool” looking.



Allow me not to extend much in explanations and check my previous post. Solid, powerful, rockin’, this is the exact dose of music you need for headbanging to the max. Very glad this album has been praised by both critics and people, and proud my “guys” have reached so far. BRAVO




This is one of the exceptions as it hasn’t been included YET in the albums of the week. One of the reasons is because I was encouraged to listen to this album after purchasing Loteria on the record store day and recovering Metallic I.O.U. The truth is that the most New Yorker band in L.A, real street bad asses led by Bryan Small, have again delivered an intense album full of booze, drugs, filth and broken hearts, and Homesick Blues is damn awesome.


I know, this is close to be a dealbreaker, and coulf be named as the guilty pleasure of the year too. I made public I had surrendered to the hype, and I’m still hooked to Born To Die, something which scares me somehow, because I don’t think what Lana del Rey might offer us, can keep the same level.



 I wrote about this album when the band, days before the worldwide release, allowed the fans to listen to the album online. I literally devoured it and felt in love right away. The guys from New Brunswick are about to jump into the mainstream thanks to this wonderful album, which shows a noticeable evolution and improvement, and personally speaking, I love they are capable of gathering new and older generations at venues for attending the shows. They bring youth to the adults, and transmit old school values to the youngsters. Their story telling is sublime.



Thanks to a friend who invited me to attend the show they offered in Barcelona one month ago I discovered a wonderful band which, wrongly following my name instincts, I had completely ignored. After 30 seconds of the opening song, I knew that, what I was about to discover was different and classy. Amazing album and excellent live performance.



Americana was a bunch of revisited covers after all, it was compulsory uncle Neil and his pals ended jamming eventually, because this is what Psychedelic Pill is about, a reunion of good old friends grabbing their instruments and recovering the spirit of Harvest playing in the barn. Two words must be pronounced which will sum up the concept of the album: RAMADA INN. Greatness!



a different kind of truth

You just wouldn’t believe what just happened here. I’ve just changed my last album at the very last minute, finally choosing hard rock over power pop, and leaving Redd Kross out of the list.

This is a surprise, even to me, but this is how I feel at 22:52h. It took me ages to listen to this album, in fact I got it less than a month ago, no matter that many friends insisting I’d love it, I felt lazy thinking it wouldn’t be worth it. The insistence of Felix and my soul bro, together with Xavi aka the deal hunter, made me push the button and start moving my ass right away. If there’s a song which drives me crazy, reminding me of wild 1984, VH personal favorite, no doubt is Bullethead. The return of Van Halen with David Lee Roth is one of the greatest #dealmakers of the decade.

Once this list has been done, I have to mention those albums which are following very close and deserve my love, respect and credit. Here they are:

– Redd Kross – Researching the Sun

– Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Magic Door

– Pulled Apart By Horses – Tough Love

– The Avett Brothers – Carpenter

What a year friends! Rough and harsh in many aspects, thanks to the amazing releases I’ve been gifted with, I’ve managed to approach the end better than expected. At the end of the day, same thought comes to mind, and I sigh in relief glad to be aware that music, not only has saved my life, but also has given me the one I’m currently living, and I feel grateful and merry.

Keep on rockin’ dears!


The absence of serious obligations and responsibilities coming from a higher hierarchic level has brought  some sort of chaos to my life lately. Calendar is essential for the kind of tasks I usually perform, related to logistics. Forecasts, procedures and operations are arranged based on Estimated times of departures and arrivals, and few hours delay can cause much trouble.

Well, I don’t have such pressure right now, as I haven’t been working for a month already. I’d like to give otherwise news, but it’s not the case, so, we’ll keep on searching.

The relevance of the calendar has lost priority in my life, even since I got inked a couple of weeks ago, not carrying my wrist watch has also added to my time related chaos. Thus, I was reviewing my last posts and have noticed I hadn’t written about the album of the week for long time, and had to pick my organizer to check how many weeks I gotta update. Two, by the way, so be patient because I had to update once again to reach the current week 19, and music posts will be more present.

This been remarked, let’s hit the two albums, because I’m listening to lots of music lately, which caught my attention and interest the most.

At The Drive-In is one of these bands  which deserve my complete respect although I must admit, I’ve never dug into their discography the way they deserve up to date. It’s like I listen to some of their songs and think they’re terrific, but haven’t moved forward. Never too late, it’s said, I’m fixing this mistake lately, and will soon focus on something huge that I think I’m really missing, The Mars Volta.

It’s funny because I actually saw them on the streets in Camden lying on a wall, before I came back to Spain in 2000. How do I know? I had seen their pictures published in Kerrang Magazine several times, and even though Camden is full of eccentric characters, Goths, punks, rockers…those afros were unmistakable. If eye contact counts on my behalf, that was an encounter with At The Drive-In worth including in my memoires, Toi n’ The Stars. Yes, we looked at each other enough as to notice we were observing. I was wearing some remarkable t-shirt I cannot recall enough as to pay attention, and  I stared at their afros, having a laugh remembering my unfortunate perm which turned out to become an afro at age 13. I should have told them something, but since I hadn’t listened to their stuff,  focused on different business, didn’t consider it much appropriate, thus I kept walking.

Later I found out, this happened few months before their last album, Relationship of Command, my personal starter into the afro guys’ universe, was released.

And what has made me get hooked to this album? Many features could me listed, but all of them can be summed up into one adjective: POWERFUL.

Relationship of Command is an explosion, and consequently a release, of restrained aggressiveness. Controlled freaky mayhem, combining, intense melodies with insane vocals, symbolic lyrics, and complex patterns and structures of songs.

The experience of listening to this album is so intense and overwhelming, after 13 songs split into 40 minutes, I end up exhausted for real.

I’m particularly enjoying listening to music at nights through my headphones, and this album features so many arrangements and details, it is very shocking.

Let me show you a clear example, with Enfilade. Thrilling and devastating. No need to say anything else.

A Stich in Time is the second EP of The Twilight Singers, Greg Dulli’s main project for the past decade.

It had been many years since the last time I listened to this treasure, mainly because the copy which used to be at my former home, wasn’t mine, as usual. I had forgotten of its existence till few days before Mark Lanegan’s live show in Barcelona, when Live With Me, the amazing Massive Attack cover opening A Stich In Time, came back to my mind.

The collaboration among these two unique and charismatic characters is perfect. The result of the  combination of such different styles and personalities is simply thrilling.

This EP also features Mark Lanegan in Flashback, very very Afghan Whigs style, despite it belongs to Fat Freddys Drop. I had a crush on this one, especially for the lyrics.

There’s something natural in the way you touch me

There’s a feeling that I can’t explain

There’s something mystic  in the soul connection

There’s something magic in your misty eyes

Perhaps you think there’s nothing special in them, but the final result is very elegant and classy, and I find this song loaded with a great deal of sensuality.

The other three songs are fantastic too, worth remarking They Ride, but I have to be honest and admit the great value of this EP is the presence of Lanegan and, as explained, the combination of the two vocalists.

As I said half joking few days ago, and feeling very excited about the upcoming visit of The Afghan Whigs at the end of this month, I’m Dullied, or Dullized lately 🙂


To be honest I don’t have many pix with celebrities, considering I’ve been quite lucky to manage to approach many. My friend Jaume always makes fun  reckoning  I should write a book, Toi N’ The Stars, when I grow old …truth is that there are some funny stories worth telling.

For long time I was the one responsible for taking pictures with musicians and other public characters, but since I didn’t have to look after anyone but myself, it’s me now the one in front of the camera nowadays.

I can’t find a better way to start this section. Joaquin took this picture last night after the show Mark Lanegan offered in Barcelona.  As you can observe, I was delighted.


Lately I’m noticing memory issues regarding live shows. I’m talking serious. Some bands I reckoned never seen on stage I had actually seen them. I’m a bit worried, and find quite wise my decision to write down in my year organizers gigs I’m attending for the last 2-3 years. In fact I’m thinking of starting albums to gather and keep all gig tickets because I’m a mess.

I was 200% convinced I had never seen Mark Lanegan on stage, till yesterday, when a friend remarked his performance at a festival I attended in 2004. I saw the show for sure, and don’t think I was in super bad condition as in other occasions, but guess Lanegan’s show didn’t impress me that much because I can’t remember anything. I’ve read some comments on that show and seems it wasn’t a great one. It was also the year Ryan Adams dug his own grave (in Spain)offering a shitty performance too.

Let’s stick to the point. Yes, Blues Funeral, Lanegan’s last work irresistibly charmed me at the first listening as you already know, thus, when tour dates were announced including Barcelona, I didn’t put my attendance into question, as soon as tickets were available bought mine.  Barcelona finally failed to sell out, but I didn’t want to take risks this time.

I met a friend by 8pm for the pre-show beers. Apolo surroundings were quite lively, with many people in good mood to see  the Static Man. When we got in the venue, it wasn’t sold out, nor uncomfortably  packed, yet quite full. Beer in hand, we went straight to one of the sides, half level over  the guitar tech. I really love see these people in action, tuning guitars, choosing which one comes next, and exchanging them with musicians in no time.

9.15pm, Lanegan and the band turn up on stage, no hello nor good night, quickly as soon as everyone is set Gravedigger’s Song starts. It was like the starting ritual is cut down to nothing to go straight to the point. Believe me I was shocked.

Perhaps not only due to the lack of opening ritual, but also the low volume both instruments and voice set, made me feel uneasy in the beginning. It was ridiculous, as if they were playing in the room next door, or at same level as an accompaniment band at a restaurant, you could even understand conversations around.

First part of the set was marked by songs belonging to Bubblegum and Field Songs album, creating an intimate atmospheric atmosphere, or at least trying, because the volume issue was painful to endure. One Way Street and Resurrection Song played in the beginning were part of a risky choice, quite enjoyable though.

With Gray Goes Black, there was a turning point in all senses. On one hand, the sound of the band increased, not so much the singer’s unfortunately, the setlist revisited Blues Funeral properly, although unfortunately Bleeding Muddy Water wasn’t included, and the rhythm and vibe changed totally. Thus, an impressive Quiver Syndrome, Riot in My House, St. Louis Elegy were winning the audience.

The band wasn’t super remarkable, they accomplished their task correctly, but enjoyed the electronic and keyboard  arrangements and the combination with drums in songs like Ode to Sad Disco. Their appearance was quite discreet, but the lead guitar, whose resemblance to the man in black, Johnny Cash, highlighted by his outfit, was stunning.

The 3-song encore was fantastic, with Pendulum, Harborview Hospital and Methamphetamine Blues, concluding a set close to 90 minutes, which of course, left the audience willing for more, however, absolutely nobody yelled demanding for more. Sense of respect perhaps? Weird and curious all the same.

I can’t say about Lanegan’s feelings towards the audience. He thanked sometimes, something apparently quite extraordinary, and exchanged some words hardly to understand, but seemed thankful. I didn’t notice any negative issues regarding his voice, but the opposite, and considering he’s one of the most static frontmen ever, someone said, in his gargoyle like pose, his performance and attitude were intense.

A really nice and meaningful gesture of Mark Lanegan right after the show, agreed and advised in advance, was to sign up merchandising and other stuff to fans. I was purchasing a couple of things when he arrived so I was the first one to say hello and congratulate him for the show, with a thanks and a smile in return, before I queued for having several items marked by his personal stamp. Yes, I exchanged words with him twice…hehehe! There’s a pic as a proof I’ll post as soon as I get it, I swear.

Thus, my real second Lanegan experience, leaving all the sound issues aside, was a positive one. It’s great to see a guy, quite in shape, having manage to overcome his addictions and personal Hell on Earth, with his attitude, charm and voice untouched.

Long Live Mark Lanegan! Hats Off!

(*) Deep Black Vanishing Train was left OUT


I was listening to Through a Crooked Soon on a daily basis on week 5, prior to the flash trip to Amsterdam, when I was advised that Mark Lanegan’s album had leaked, some days before its worldwide release, by a close acquaintance  who, not only sent me the link to find this treasure, but also insisted I had to check it immediately.

Who said closing Megaupload would mean the end of an era? Nah! This is the same as it happened before with Napster, Audiogalaxy and other means of file sharing. We take things for granted, and have lost the real perspective. Free downloading might be available, but it’s not fair for the artists.

Anyway, don’t feel like starting a polemic and endless discussion regarding downloads. I download stuff sometimes, mainly films and TV series, and in case of albums, I end up purchasing them, so…

Blues Funeral leaked, my copy is on its way from UK and this has definitely been the album I’ve actually listened to, for the past 2 weeks incessantly. And I’m very glad I did.

Gotta say first, my passion for Screaming Trees has increased and settled in the recent past years, and something similar is happening right now with Lanegan. Cannot say I have all his stuff under my scope, but little by little I’m getting closer.

What I can tell you now is that I adore his broken and dark voice, his melodies, the darkness and desolation in his lyrics, and the proper artist, one of a kind.

I didn’t have any expectations when I attacked Blues Funeral. I’ve heard so many contradictory comments related to his solo career, I really didn’t have any particular idea about he was to offer. Guess this was the key for this album to impress me in such a way from the very first chord. As soon as I started listening to The Gravedigger’s Song, I was shriveled and stunned by its power and intensity.

What is actually happening to me with this album is that, the more I listen to it, the more I dig songs, and it’s like every two days, I have a crush on a different one.

First it was The Gravedigger’s Song, then it was turn for hypnotic Bleeding Muddy Water, some days ago my favorite was St. Louis Eulogy, and today I can’t get Ode to Sad Disco out of my head. I particularly love this swinging opinion, seems that I dig this stuff, and also that there are many features to consider and discover.

Electronic programmed rhythms and arrangements are constantly present in the album, perhaps creating this dark and decadent atmosphere Blues Funeral evokes. It’s not something I am accustomed  to, but I find these devices fitting perfectly, without inhibiting intensity at all.

Right before the album release, European Tour Dates were announced, and fortunately, he will visit us here in Spain, introducing this new album in April.  I already got my tickets. It’ll be my Lanegan baptism, and I’m very excited about it.