Tag Archives: Queens of the Stone Age

Wistful yellow masterpieces




The unusual, wistful, slightly sad vocals in the song Suture Up Your Future by the Queens of the Stone Age are the same colour as the smell of the classic Guerlain fragrance Shalimar. The general, background colour of the music of QOTSA is black. They have a distinctive, grating guitar sound that is black, and often the vocals evoke in my mind something like a graphic design in black with curly bits, or something like a writing script from the Islamic world in black ink, but in some songs QOTSA vocals can be quite yellow, like a wash of yellow watercolour or a glowing yellow sky, when the vocal sound is gentle or sad or falsetto. The colour of the song Suture Up Your Future is a pale, gentle, unassertive colour which I would describe as a pale version of Naples yellow. This piece of music, the Guerlain perfume and the gentle yellow colour go together as though they were created as expressions of the same thought, the same emotions, in different senses. It’s an experience that seems at first to be quite a weak and gentle thing, but the effect is surprisingly persistent, with a beauty that is, in the end, quite unforgettable. Well, that’s how I see, smell and hear it.

Another instance comes to mind, of my concept -> visual scene synaesthesia

The concept of the sense of freedom, confidence and peace that can be acquired by travelling alone in a remote place -> a not very interesting scene at a track leading onto a main road somewhere near Finke Station, Chamber’s Pillar and a barren landscape of meteorite craters in the NT.

I’ve heard on the radio that the Finke Desert Race has recently been run. I’ve travelled part of this track myself, and it was a most odd experience. Dirt tracks that have been driven on too fast develop corrugations, which can be hard to travel on and can cause quite dangerous driving conditions. The dirt track that was I assume used for this Finke race was, at the time that I visited many years ago, not so much corrugated as waved. Driving along it in my 4WD was more like voyaging on a choppy sea in my Dad’s boat than driving in the desert – scary and funny at the same time. Who would have thought that seasick tablets would be required for a desert trek? I imagine this track would be a very noisy place during the race, but when I was there the lack of sound was incredible. The tiniest bird tweets were striking. Much of the scenery from this track was also striking. I recall seeing the type of landscape that is known as “jump ups”. Unfortunately I can find no photographs of beautifully eroded hills of this distinctive shape. The famous Chamber’s Pillar gives some idea of what this looks like.

Here are some images of scenery from this area:



a piece of music that seems to resonate with the idea of travelling alone through stunning desert scenery – Better Living Through Chemistry by the Queens of the Stone Age: