In Palm Desert, Calif., 1997.
Sounds like: Innovative corporate rock with pop hooks that shoots from the hip. Yup, that used to happen.
For fans of: Kyuss, Devo, ZZ Top, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, White Stripes, Black Keys, Masters of Reality, Quicksand, et al.
Why you care: When desert-rock icon Kyuss folded in 1995, guitarist Josh Homme took all he had learned from his near miss with stardom and poured it into Queens of the Stone Age. The band's self-titled debut album was released on Stone Gossard's Loosegroove label, and to date remains one of the greatest road-trip records of all time. By 2000, the majors took note, and Interscope released Rated R, which gave Queens its first stab at radio airplay. Flash forward two years and none other than Dave Grohl was sitting on the drum throne for breakthrough album Songs for the Deaf and its subsequent tour. From here on out, it was in the bag: Homme was dating Brody Dalle, jamming with Billy Gibbons, and in mainstream rotation—but the remarkable thing is that he could do all this while still writing great music. No mainstream band of the modern era (save perhaps Tool or Radiohead) has quite managed to have its cake and eat it too, but Homme—despite shedding all of his original bandmates and quite a few friends along the way—has set an example of what most people thought was a lost art. The dude is legit. The voice, the tone and the songs will all be in full effect this evening.
SEE IT: Queens of the Stone Age play the Roseland on Thursday, July 28. 7 pm. Sold out. All ages.