Bourdain’s Field Notes

Some episode locations are chosen because of historical obsessions (Congo, Vietnam), previous experiences (Lebanon), sheer curiosity (West Virginia), personal connections (Rome, Armenia, French Alps), the sheer challenge of going to the same place again and doing it differently (LA, Sri Lanka), the work of cinematographers or editors I’m inspired by (Shanghai, Rome, Paraguay, Tokyo), or, in some cases, music.

I was driving across the American desert a few years back with my friend Josh Homme, and he played me a few songs by Mark Lanegan. I was immediately inhabited by his voice, his lyrics, the experience of his songs—the darkness, pain, and longing. I went back and listened to nearly everything he’d done to date with his ’90s band, Screaming Trees; with Josh and Queens of the Stone Age; his incredible solo stuff; his many collaborations with an astonishingly diverse spectrum of brilliant musicians. I was mesmerized.

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