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Queens of the Stone Age – Era Vulgaris
by Johnny St. Clair
only a man with an all-access press pass could secure an advance copy of this record and survive the impending destruction that would surely follow. we were somewhere on the outskirts of the city when we’d lost our way. i remember the Doktor saying something like, “there’s a roadblock up ahead,” and wildly swinging the car from the highway into a patch of weeds.
after i’d wiped the blood from my nose, i screamed at him. “are you trying to get us killed?” i said, “we haven’t even done anything wrong!”
“i can’t afford to take any chances,” he said. “you might have tomorrow, but i’ve got today.”
we ended up taking a much longer and much more circuitous route to the porno store. through careful calculations, we deduced that a gross of whippets would be necessary to properly “get through” this new Queens record. and while the Doktor lobbied for whiskey to wash it all down, i convinced him with a few sharp blows to his brow that two cases of Milwaukee’s Best would be more feasible. tying on a beery drunk in a hazy Spring afternoon felt like just about the best thing to do. that, and settle down with this new record.
the son-of-a-bitch was hot, rumored to have been smuggled directly from Josh Homme’s den of iniquity by an Arabian princess and her Thai hermaphrodite lover. how it came into my hands is unclear at best and possibly criminal. but in War Season, these types of crimes – piracy, slavery, murdering the homeless, dogfighting – go largely unnoticed. still, i wasn’t about to let this get into just anyone’s hands. that’s why i kept it in my ass pocket.
“put it on,” he said.
“fuck you. not until we get the whippets and the beer. HA HA. soon, we will be on your porch cracking whippets and whistling at the girls that pass by. step on it. and hand me another beer from the cooler.”
our plan had been to do whippets for each song. the train of thought was something like the number of whippets for each track number: one for #1, two for #2, three for #3, etc. half the beer was gone when the needle first dropped on the groove, and that seemed about right. he had a rather nice set-up, what with the speakers aimed out the windows and a few on his roof, not to mention the two strung up on the light poles on the other side of the street. i remember complimenting him on the sound and the volume. he flashed a rather large, stylish blade at me.
“that better not be some kind of bullshit, St. Clair,” he hissed.
the glint of the sunlight off the blade seemed to blind my eyes and whipped me into some kind of weird, atavistic fury. when i came ‘round, the Doktor and i were in the middle of stomping the mailman. shaking those cobwebs from my head, i helped him up and offered him a beer. he declined, and the mace barely fazed us. we queued up that first song again. and again. and then again. after an hour or so, some wild dogs from the neighborhood had gathered near the stoop, yelping and fucking wildly in broad daylight.
it may or may not have been around the third song when the Doktor tripped on the porch and whacked his head against the railing with a hollow, sickening thud. after that, i don’t remember much, except that when i awoke and brushed the glass out of my hair, i found the Doktor still breathing shallowly. i found that encouraging.
the record was skipping idly somewhere off in the distance.
1. turning on the screw 2. sick, sick, sick 3. i'm designer 4. into the hollow 5. misfit love 6. battery acid 7. make it wit chu 8. 3's & 7's 9. suture up your future 10. river in the road 11. run pig run