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Inland Empire, Pop & Hiss pays tribute to your danger to pedestrians -- in song

QUEENS_HITCHIKE_6_
The anti-walking news reported today over on L.A. Now about our neighbors in the Inland Empire isn't a shock to those versed in the region's music. Anyone who's spent some time with the work of stoner metal pioneers Kyuss most definitely knows that the Inland Empire isn't all that friendly to pedestrians.

After all, when one titles songs such as "100°" and "Black Widow," it's probably best to keep the car windows rolled up as one traverses through the band's ol' stamping grounds.

So while Kyuss has long since splintered off into Queens of the Stone Age, pictured above, and a host of other desert rockers -- a reformed Kyuss Lives!, minus the Queens' Josh Homme, has been making the rounds overseas -- the lessons about the Inland Empire in some of the band's music can still hold true today. Sample, for instance, "(Beginning of What's About to Happen) Hwy 74." First, note the reference to a paved highway over a walkway, and the imagery conjured by the lyrics doesn't exactly feel pro-hitchhiker:

In the middle of the highway / As you ride down the road / Just get that feeling / It's all so black and bald / And then there's my face

So is it any wonder that this is what our pals at L.A. Now reported?

The Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metropolitan area is one of the most dangerous places for pedestrians in the nation, according to a new report released Tuesday.

That area had 938 pedestrian fatalities between 2000 and 2009, according to the report, titled “Dangerous by Design” from the organization Transportation for America.

Researchers used a “pedestrian danger index” for each large metro area that measures the “rate of pedestrian deaths relative to the amount of walking in that area,”  the report said.

No wonder, then, that this is the sound that came out of the region:

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-- Todd Martens

Image: Queens of the Stone Age attempt to hitchhike to the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. From left, Nick Oliveri, Josh Homme, Troy Van Leeuwen and Joey Castillo. This picture was taken in 2002 in North Hollywood, and Oliveri and Homme each played in Kyuss. Credit: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times

 
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