Admittedly it is way too early for anything related to Christmas, but that photo was so priceless that I couldn’t resist. I’ve always been strangely drawn to the alarmingly lame allure of Christmas sweaters. I often want to walk up to people wearing them and just say, “Why? WHY?” [*see footnote]. When I find myself in JCPenney in November, I enjoy threatening my husband that I will start wearing them every year when I get old, along with elastic-waisted polyester pants in a complimentary tone. Sometime we even pick put the best sequined seasonal confection for my coloring (I’m a Winter).
So Queens of the Stone Age have proven themselves to be men after my own holly-jolly heart during a show they recently taped in Berlin with Travel Channel chef/music-loving mofo Anthony Bourdain. On his show No Reservations (which I’ve never seen because I prefer watching Rachael Ray eat pie), the QOTSA played their own special version of Silver Bells (“Turkey Bells”), as well as a few of their own songs to set a festive mood for cooking.
So that you can decide whether or not to set your TiVos come December, here’s the plot: “While Bourdain cooks a traditional holiday feast at his Connecticut home, the Queens are rocking tracks including ‘Sick, Sick, Sick,’ ’3s & 7s’ and ‘Make It Wit Chu’ at an ungodly volume in the basement rec room. When the band emerges, they’re sporting appalling Christmas sweaters.”
“QVC graciously sent us the worst sweaters of all time,” Homme explains. “I think someone Googled the word â€˜horrible’ and that’s how we found them.” Bourdain, ever the arbiter of good taste, hasn’t recovered: “Those Christmas sweaters were just the most terrifying things I’ve ever seen in my life. Beyond Sandra Lee on some really awful hallucinogen.”
The idea was apparently hatched as a semi-dare over crazy amounts of alcoholic beverages in Germany’s cosmopolitan capital city. Homme says of Bourdain; “Most of the time, if you tried to suggest that we get into sweaters like that we would probably just drink you under the table and leave you for dead, but this is a special case. That bastard.”
I am assuming this gem will air in December, and it gives me a reason to post this early version of one of the songs they played for the fÃªte. A few months ago, Homme was interviewed by Rolling Stone and they asked him:
RS: You included “I Wanna Make It Wit Chu,” from one of your Desert Sessions compilations, on “Vulgaris.” Why?
Homme: Because it’s the best song I’ve ever been associated with that’s about screwing.
Maybe not so much if you wear that sweater, Josh, but I do like this early version a little bit more than the what ended up on this year’s Era Vulgaris. They’re obviously similar, but this one is looser, sultry.
*Footnote: The Christmas sweater interrogation I dream of reminds me of a passage from Dave Eggers’ 2003 book that I am currently reading, You Shall Know Our Velocity. I laughed out loud in public on this one:
[I argued with strangers constantly, if only in my cloudy skull]
Passing a middle-aged couple in matching jackets:
–You two need to change
–What? Why? the middle-aged couple said, to my head, in my head.
–Because you are wearing the same jacket.
–We bought them while on vacation in Newport.
–You must be hidden from view.
–The jackets are nice.
–They are not nice. Think of the children.