Posts from 17th June 2001

17
Jun 01

THE STROKES! – “MODERN AGE!”

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THE STROKES! – “MODERN AGE!”
warning: if you tolerate this, then your children will be next. it’s been ten years now since kurt and co., with their carefully crafted look, changed the face of youth fashion, having kids nationwide dress like their dads (or, my dad, at the very least). mom and dad, you’ll be pining for the days of grunge because, now, the strokes want bobby and janey to dress like lower east side hipsters — and it’s going to cost you!

the strokes have it all going for them: they’re from new york; the press is ecstatic (they’re rolling stone’s cool new band); the modern age ep was released on rough trade; and they look good and dress well. they have fantastic names: fabrizio moretti! nikolai fraiture! julian casablancas!! albert hammond, jr! his father co-wrote both leo sayer’s “when i need you” and julio/willie’s “to all the girls i’ve loved before”! so they have great breeding too! and there’s a nick! because every great band needs one! according to the bio, albert “moved” to new york (after film study!) and the group was complete — after long, arduous cross-country auditions, no doubt. essentially, the strokes are a boyband for people who like boybands “ironically” — if alan mcgree put together a group to appeal to teens, it’d be the strokes. (louis pearlman: eat your heart out.) the strokes are, in many ways, the first american british group in, well, i don’t know in how long. tom calls them a new york oasis, and while they have the moxie — sez julian: “i don’t want to sound like a cocky bastard but we are young and good looking and the music is good” — i’ll call them a new york suede, if only because suede had a more cultivated image and a better press agent.

the tenet of full disclosure dictates that i should tell you that the above “analysis” precedes my actual hearing a strokes song, and that’s intentional. i’ve downloaded “the modern age” [sic] since, after a search on morpheus that yielded 93 results (!), it was their most popular song. i now press ‘play’ and hope to be a different, better person three minutes and thirteen seconds from now.

i, i had the strangest dream. it was 1977. i was at cbgb’s in new york. television was on stage…and then tom verlaine announced, “ladies and gentlemen, we have some special guests with us tonight. on my way back from the bathroom, i saw these two guys hanging out with patti smith and jonathan richman and john cale in the back. i’d like to call them up on stage right now, if they don’t mind. guys? come on up, don’t be shy…here they are…folks, lou reed and iggy pop!” and lou picked up a six string, and iggy, who looked coked up, yelled that we could all “suck [his] CAAAACCCCKKKKK,” and then they started to play. it was like they’d been together for years…you were there, and you! and you! and it was alllllriiiiiiight. but only just.

the strokes: the biggest band your little sister has never heard of. but not for long. gentlemen, start your marketing machines.