LIFE SOUNDTRACK: The Strokes – Is This It



LIFE SOUNDTRACK: The Strokes – Is This It

Lately, I’ve been referencing The Strokes too often to not finally come back to them for glamglare’s LifeSoundtrack series.

By the time, The Strokes have put out their first album, Is This It in July 2001 (click on the link to read about the album cover controversy), I lived already in New York, Downtown Manhattan. By 2004, I even lived on the Lower East Side, a mere five blocks away from the legendary Mercury Lounge and other -many now defunct- music venues. But much to my dismay, I must have been living under a rock for not having noticed the rise of The Strokes! (Mercury Lounge’s booker Ryan Gentles famously quit his job to become The Strokes’ manager.) 

Back then, I still listened to radio or went to bars that played current music and so I couldn’t help but being exposed to songs of The Strokes, and was smitten and didn’t want to listen to anything else anymore than the Strokes (ask my Oliver!). Even though the bartender at our 2nd-home-bar enjoyed to dismiss The Strokes as “over-hyped” and “un-deserved” rich kids. A musician himself, he unfortunately clearly begrudged them their success.

Well… there’s always a big chunk of luck involved, aside from talent and the necessary artistry. And maybe The Strokes WERE truly lucky especially when reading today about all the feud that was going on 14 years ago! Some of the music journos loved them an equally many absolutely loathed them. Digging through the Pitchfork archives, Ryan Schreiber seems to have liked them, by awarding Is This It 9.1 points. And Robert Mitchum writes about the 2003 follow-up Album Room On Fire that he doesn’t remember anymore why This Is It polarized so much, and grants it still an impressive 8.0 points. And from there, the Pitchfork ratings went down… and very slightly up again, for the latest effort Come Down Machine, when finally ALL band members, and not just mainly Julian Casablancas contributed on song writing.

In essence, Is This It and all the other Strokes albums plus Julian Casablancas’ solo efforts have gotten a very special spot in my heart. Can’t help it. I just HEART them. And here I said it. Officially. Black on white. 

On that note, I’m still happy of having seen Julian Casablancas live, and super close during last year’s SXSW. It was no fun being squeezed in for hours and hours but it was all so worth it. It’s not yet it but it will do for now. 

Interesting mix of hanging around, being goofy, and somehow even a little dated – not the sound but the visuals. Decide for yourself: Music video by The Strokes performing Someday

“One of the most talked about bands here on Letterman.” Enjoy! LIVE on Letterman: Take It Or Leave It