Tuesday, June 14, 2011

72. Queens of the Stone Age, "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" (2000)


Including this song is more or less the direct result of witnessing a top-tier show from this pack of desert animals, which closed with it, as I recall, shortly before the lengthy encores began. Or maybe it was one of the encore selections—it's somewhat fuzzy now. The song is rated R, like the album from which it comes, for references to drug use, which are bracingly explicit: "Nicotine, valium, vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy, and alcohol / Cocaine" is the sum total of the lyric sheet. The two lines are repeated several times. Like the best of their stuff it attacks with a fuzzy bass and lock-solid rhythm section, with noisy guitars providing the propulsion as required (furiously pumping chords on a piano would not be unwelcome in this mess either, if that helps you picture it any better). I always liked the formula, but what I didn't realize until I saw them was how transcendent such racket could be, which I credit to the cement-tight grooves. They are stern masters indeed, and there is little for it but to loosen and flail. Good times, good times. For the intellectuals, it poses an interesting selection of mix-and-match highs, particularly when the various cultural baggage is taken into account. On the other hand, down in the trenches, the mixing and matching is not about the cultural baggage but about the highs, amirite? Looking over my list I suddenly notice that there are a fair number of drug songs appearing; this won't be the last by a wide margin. I'm not sure what this says or doesn't say about me. I will say I have sampled the named substances, sometimes in combination, but some not since the '70s, and a couple only since the '90s, so it seems a bit of an odd list in that way. But who is thinking about lists at a time like this?

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