Posts Tagged ‘mosquito song’

300 bands, 300 songs (19): QOTSA

This would be the toughest one of all and it gets its own post. My favorite Queens of the Stone Age Song. I am not kidding when I say I spent days agonizing over this. It’s like trying to choose your favorite child. Hell, that’s even easier, depending on which child is aggravating the hell out of you that particular day.

In case you didn’t know, QOTSA is my favorite band. Obviously, that’s going to make the choice more difficult. What I finally did was break it down by album. One song from each*.

Rated R – Auto Pilot
Lullabies to Paralyze – Broken Box
QOTSA – Give The Mule What He Wants
Era Vulgaris – Suture Up Your Future
* subject to change weekly

And what it came down to was a song from Songs For The Deaf. Of all things, the hidden song.

19. Queens of the Stone Age – Mosquito Song
Of all the QOTSA songs I have hit “repeat” on, I’d say I’ve listened to this one the most. I’ve analyzed it, dreamed about it and even wrote a very short story based on it.

I fell in love with this song a long time ago, but had another fling with it a few weeks ago when I went through a hardcore Songs for the Deaf stage. I would get to the end of the CD and just keep hitting repeat on this song. Something about it. Something secret and dark and foreboding. The words. The music. His voice. Oh, his voice. All of us food, that hasn’t died. I had this CD in the car when I drove to upstate, NY for a family vacation a few years ago. Again, hitting repeat on this one song, driving through the dense mountains and winding roads of Roscoe, NY just as it’s about to get dark, the words perform a fitting tribute to the sounds that play over the music – a constant buzz that is not just one bug, but thousands and thousands of all different breeds of insects waiting for a body to pounce on, a dead animal to feast on. They come in from the waters when the lights go down, hiding from the bats that have come out for dinner. You roll up the car windows to drown out the sound, and to keep out anything that might be lurking in the woods because we all know that things lurk out here at night.

Fat and soft, pink and weak
Foot and thigh, tongue and cheek
You know I’m told they swallow you whole
Skin and bone
Cutting boards and hanging hooks
Bloody knives, cooking books
Promising you won’t feel a thing
At all

This song is a horror movie waiting to be written. There are a LOT of theories out there as to what this song is about (the most common theory is drug addiction, which, given the history of the band and Homme, is not surprising), but I like to go with my own vision of what’s going on between the words and the music.

The music on this song is full and deep and melodic in an almost hypnotizing sort of way. It’s got strings and horns and accordion and features a host of musicians including Dean Ween and Paz Lenchantin. When the music swells up (about 3 minutes into the song) after a quiet break, it’s one of those pieces of a song that takes you along for the ride with it; you can feel it in your soul, even if what you feel is somewhat creepy; it makes me think of a sinister orchestra playing somewhere in hell. It’s a fitting end to an album that is heavy and forceful. While the whole album has a somewhat dark feel to it, it’s up to this very mellow, almost sweet sounding track to wrap that darkness up.

There’s no video for the song, so the best I can do is link you to someone’s homemade video of it, just so you can hear the song (if you haven’t already).

See here for explanation of this and previous songs.
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