Lana Del Rey and Josh Homme are 2 of music’s coolest customers

She sings of getting high on the beach in a voice as dreamily transportive as her intoxicating muse.

He sings of worshipping the sun in a voice that’s alternately supple and stentorian, Bowie-esque in its balance of the masculine and feminine.

Lana Del Rey and Queens of the Stone Age main man Josh Homme: Two of music’s coolest customers, different in sound, alike in a number of other ways.

They each put out one of the better records of 2017, Del Rey with the pulse-slowing elegance of her fifth album, “Lust for Life,” and Homme with QOTSA’s rampageous “Villains.”

On Friday, both will be in town supporting said albums for the first time.

And that’s not all they have in common:

They’re both forward-thinking throwbacks

At times, her voice is as smoky as the shadowy bar you’d expect to find a film noir femme fatale inhabiting, which is fitting: Del Rey often comes across as a mix of the vintage and the hypermodern, like a trap-music-loving Rita Hayworth, her breathy baroque pop equally posited on Sinatra-worthy string sections and hip-hop-indebted beats.

The cover of her second album, “Ultraviolence,” captures this unique aesthetic perfectly with a black-and-white shot of Del Rey posing alongside a car that looks as if it came off the assembly line in the early ’60s.

“I was going for something that felt like a lobby card from a bygone midnight movie,” photographer Neil Krug told Complex magazine in a 2014 interview about said shoot. “In my mind, the cover needed to feel like the last frame of a ’60s Polanski film.”

Mission accomplished.

Homme, too, often feels like a man out of time — in a good way. It began back when he was a teenager in one of his first bands, desert rock forebears Kyuss, whose massively influential sound was a reimagination of the fuzzed-out guitar rumble of the most seismic of ’70s riff barons. It’s carried over into Queens, this century’s first true classic rock band, who take plenty of familiar elements — greasy guitar boogie, glam peacockery, more cowbell! — and reconfigure them into something fresh and distinctive.

Like Del Rey, Homme often looks to the past as a means of catalyzing a far more interesting present.

They’ve had their “issues” live

When Del Rey’s career took flight a little over five years ago her early live shows were like a series of crash landings. First there was her stilted showing on “Saturday Night Live” in 2012, one of the most widely panned performances in the show’s history, next to that time Ashlee Simpson forgot how to lip sync.

And then on Del Rey’s first tour, she often seemed lost and disconnected on stage, displaying all the personality of a pet rock overdosing on Ambien. Her show at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in April 2014 was one of the worst of the year, not because her material was lacking — the opposite was true — but because of her inability to bring her songs to any kind of life on stage.

Maybe it was a little too much a little too soon, as Del Rey has since found her legs as a performer.

She can now command rooms that once swallowed her whole.

As for Homme, stage fright has never been an issue — unless you’re standing in front of him with a camera, then maybe it’s you who should be frightened. Homme earned plenty of well-deserved ire when he kicked a photographer in the face during an L.A. gig in December. He later apologized, but he’s been know to play the heel from time to time, like when he assaulted Dwarves frontman Blag Dahlia in an L.A. club, which led to Homme’s arrest. Seeing as how Dahlia had dissed QOTSA as “queens of the trust fund” on a Dwarves disc, though, perhaps he shouldn’t have been surprised that his fighting words led to, you know, a fight.

They’ve got good taste in collaborators

When Iggy Pop gives you the thumbs-up, it’s like the rock-and-roll version of being knighted or having Dale from “Stepbrothers” invite you up into his treehouse: Your awesomeness is pretty much unimpeachable at that point.

But not only did Homme collaborate with the granddaddy of punk on his most recent solo record, “Post Pop Depression,” he also formed supergroup Them Crooked Vultures with Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, produced the Arctic Monkeys, co-founded Eagles of Death Metal and has recruited luminaries such as Billy Gibbons, Elton John, Trent Reznor, PJ Harvey and dozens more to either guest on QOTSA’s records or jam with him as part of his impromptu “Desert Sessions” series.

All told, you could argue that Homme is just about the most sought after collaborator in rock.

Del Rey has got an enviable contacts list in her iPhone as well.

Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach helped produce “Ultraviolence,” she’s pals with all-around badass Courtney Love and, speaking of witchy women, Stevie Nicks guests on “Lust for Life” — as do R&B and hip-hop prime movers The Weeknd and ASAP Rocky.

Now, we just need Queens of the Stone Age to hit the studio with the Queen of the Stoned Age.


Who: Queens of the Stone Age

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Where: The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, 3708 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Tickets: $49 and up (702-698-7000)

Who: Lana Del Rey

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Where: Mandalay Bay Events Center, 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Tickets: $59.50 and up (702-632-7777)

Contact Jason Bracelin at or 702-383-0476. Follow @JasonBracelin on Twitter.

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