Olivier Libaux Uncovers Queens of the Stone Age

Corbis/Geraldine Petrovic

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Olivier Libaux
Uncovered Queens of the Stone Age
Music for Music Lovers

France’s Olivier Libaux is one of the leaders of the group Nouvelle Vague, which specializes in lounge-tinged covers of such New Wave oldies as “I Melt with You” and “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” Here he trains his revisionist eye on a current artist, turning down the heat in similar fashion on a dozen Queens of the Stone Age originals with the approval of Queens mastermind Josh Homme (who is not otherwise involved).

Nouvelle Vague albums sometimes seem like high-concept (albeit amusing) gimmickry, but Uncovered works nicely. In contrast to the Queens’ hard-rock stomp, the understated arrangements underscore the dramatic melodies, while the 11 women enlisted to sing mostly evoke a sense of alluring retro cool, even if Libaux’s mellow settings tend to blur the chanteuses’ differences.

In any case, standouts include Guatemala’s Gaby Moreno, Ambrosia Parsley of Shivaree, Iceland’s Emiliana Torrini (sounding less Bjork-like than she often does on her own albums), and especially Inara George (The Bird and the Bee). George is the only vocalist who performs on two tracks, and her studied detachment on “No One Knows” and “Hangin’ Tree” might induce chills.

Libaux could probably have a field day with other unlikely source material. What’s next? A Hank Williams tribute maybe?

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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