The dark, cohesive psychedelia of "… Like Clockwork" is unmatched by any of QOTSA’s five previous recordings.
Queens of the Stone Age
... Like Clockwork
Josh Homme and company are back from the dead. During the band’s six-year hiatus, Homme clinically died on an operating table during knee surgery. Rising from the ashes of personal turmoil and creative stagnation, the dark, cohesive psychedelia of … Like Clockwork is unmatched by any of QOTSA’s five previous recordings.
This is a grower, not a shower. It’s more akin to the Songs for the Deaf’s “The Mosquito Song” than Queens of the Stone Age’s desert-rock “Avon” and Rated R’s burner, “The Feel Good Hit of the Summer.” The brooding complexity of “Keep Your Eyes Peeled” and “Kalopsia” demonstrates Homme’s musical maturation. On … Like Clockwork, QOTSA broadened its orchestration with maracas, synthesizers, piano, slide guitar, octave pedals, and even shattered glass. Homme’s restrained, cabaret-inspired guitar propels “If I Had a Tail” and “Smooth Sailing,” while “Fairweather Friends” and “The Vampyre of Time and Memory” have a late-’60s Beatles feel. While the album is largely subdued, “My God is the Sun” lands a familiar punch of scraping fuzz.
Homme initially worried if anyone would want to hear QOTSA’s new direction. His wife told him not to care and just write. Thankfully he did, creating a masterpiece that every rock fan should experience. —Chris Kies
Must-hear track: “Fairweather Friends”
Lemmy: The Movie Damage Case Films & Distribution At 64 years old, Motörhead frontman Ian Fraser Kilmister has had a career that most rockers could only dream of. Known to
Damage Case Films & Distribution
At 64 years old, Motörhead frontman Ian Fraser Kilmister has had a career that most rockers could only dream of. Known to most fans as Lemmy, the iconic bassist and vocalist has a new documentary chronicling his life, and the intensely thorough film—which clocks in at just under two hours—is packed with stories and anecdotes from the man himself, along with tributes and recollections from some of rock and metal’s biggest names. There’s more than enough content to satisfy the biggest of Motörhead fans, but that doesn’t seem to be the demographic the film was made for. The documentary certainly caters to the fans who helped make the band the legend it is today, but its biggest strength is how well it informs the uninitiated of Lemmy’s indelible influence on rock ’n’ roll.
For instance, Lemmy is often credited with creating speed metal, but in most cases that’s as much as people know (if even that). Thankfully, Lemmy goes out of its way to portray a man who, as Henry Rollins fondly recalls being told by the legend, “remembers when there was no rock and roll.” The film’s retelling of stories from Lemmy’s early years—including playing in the Rocking Vicars and Hawkwind, being a roadie for Jimi Hendrix, and seeing the Beatles before they’d even put out an album—are not only great snapshots of his storied life, but also highlight what a living treasure trove of musical history he is. Not many musicians of Lemmy’s ilk are left, but the fact that he’s still writing and touring heavily at this stage of his life proves just how powerful a drug rock can be. The old line “Lemmy is God” seems to be the main message of “Lemmy,” and it’s hard to argue with that statement after seeing the big picture here.
Adam Rafferty Teaches How to Play the Music of the Jackson Five Crescent Ridge Publishing Few music catalogs are as hook and groove laden as the Jackson Five’s. Guitarist Adam
Crescent Ridge Publishing
Few music catalogs are as hook and groove laden as the Jackson Five’s. Guitarist Adam Rafferty has arranged a few of the J5’s most well-known hits for solo acoustic guitar and released a nice DVD showing us mere mortals how to tap into some of that Motown soul. Here, Rafferty explores “I’ll Be There,” “Never Can Say Goodbye,” “ABC,” and “I Want You Back,” first by performing the song completely, and then by taking you step-by-step through the arrangement. You can tell from the moment the instructional section of the DVD begins that Rafferty is very comfortable teaching and demonstrating the various concepts used. During the intro, he emphasizes the need to warm up and describes a few barring techniques that help to make the songs not only more musical, but more approachable, too. Rafferty also includes a booklet that has each arrangement written out in both tab and standard notation with fingerings. As I was watching the DVD, I ended up relying on the tab less than I was expecting—and that’s a real testament to how Rafferty can break down complicated sections and explain them in a clear, easy-to-understand manner. One (very) minor issue I had with the included booklet is that Rafferty chose not to follow the standard form when it comes to notating open strings when using a capo. It was a little off-putting at the beginning, but I got used to it pretty quickly. Each of these arrangements uses a very contrapuntal style and will require some serious practice, but in the end, this is a supreme master class on how to groove, and few musicians could have pulled it off as successfully as Rafferty does.