LA Weekly, December 2003

Mark Lanegan Band

After several orbits ’round the globe following the release of their landmark Songs for the Deaf album, the Queens of the Stone Age mothership of expansive-explosive-catchy rock has landed for some desert leave. But just as mid-to-late-’70s Parliament-Funkadelic begot the Brides of Funkenstein, Eddie Hazel, Parlet and Booty’s Rubber Band, so QOTSA giveth us Mondo Generator, Desert Sessions, Masters of Reality, Eagles of Death Metal and now, the eagerly awaited, reactivated Mark Lanegan Band. Tonight, Mark Lanegan — black-night song-poet with the prematurely weathered voice sponsored by Camel, ex-singer of Seattle psyche-grunge band Screaming Trees, one of three current QOTSA vocalists, arguably contemporary rock’s greatest interpreter of others’ songs, the man who’s suffered and self-loathed and self-redeemed so you didn’t have to — appears on the heels of a spectacularly grimy, spooked racket of a new EP (Here Comes That Weird Chill). His band is like some sort of Pacific Coast All-Stars: a bunch of lifers featuring Caustic Resin’s sun-blistering guitarist Brett Netson, ex-Failure/ex–A Perfect Circle/current-QOTSA guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen (whose band Enemy will be opening) and ex–Afghan Whigs singer Greg Dulli (!) on keys. There’s a reason Lanegan has always attracted the support of top talent, even in his lowest, leanest days, and tonight we’ll be able to hear that reason for the length of a whole evening. Don’t miss this — especially if you raised your glass for Johnny Cash. El Rey Theater, 5515 Wilshire Blvd.; Wed., Dec. 17, 8 p.m. (323) 936-6400.
—Jay Babcock