The Strokes’ Angles Debuted At #4 On Billboard Charts

The Strokes’ fourth album Angles took a while to come but the bright side for them now is that people rushed to buy it out of excitement! The album has debuted at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart with 88,000 copies sold in its first week. Success also came in other countries; it debuted #3 in the UK, #4 in Canada, and #1 in Australia.

Along with that came praise from – among others – Rolling Stone magazine, who called Angles “the best album that [The Strokes] have made since 2001’s Is This It“, and a sold-out show at Madison Square Garden on Friday April 1st… The Strokes are back!


Editorial: The Modern Age of The Strokes

I paid a ridiculous amount for Strokes tickets recently. I could have paid rent. Remember when you could see The Strokes for twenty bucks at the Hammerstein Ballroom? Better yet, for ten at Arlene’s Grocery? Yea I miss that. My wallet does at least. Well they are still our little secret. Kind of. It seems the unexpected five year hiatus of the coolest band on earth turned them into mega superstars. So many bands have broken out since the last time the boys made a record, that wouldn’t have had a chance in hell. Without them there would be no Vampire Weekend, an MGMT, or even a White Stripes. I would be writing about Limp Bizkit right now and that terrifies me. Everything seemed to be alright after First Impressions of Earth (BMG), but things were about to fall apart and crumble fast. Solo albums and side projects mostly became obligations instead of wants. Singer Julian Casablancas seems to distance himself from the band, a little too much for anyones liking and he didn’t even record much of the new record, Angles (BMG), with the rest of the band.

I can only imagine the tension is so thick that you could cut it with a knife (Chop!).

Casablancas has always been known for being a bit of a musical loaner in terms of songwriting, but this time rest of the band had a helping hand in it. Though there is something special about the new record that somehow makes the band more cohesive than ever. It feels like a product of The Strokes as a whole. Not to say the other records didn’t, but there is a big part of every member in it

I remember the first time I saw The Strokes. I say “saw” because I liked them before I even heard them. Flipping through my free subscription of Rolling Stone in 2001, I came across a new artist blurb about five bright-eyed fellows about to release their debut album Is This It. Well, wait, no rapping? No bubble coats? These guys looked cool and I had to find out more. I did. Coming home from class, a day before their debut dropped, I turned on MTV which I rarely do. They had a token late morning show that played an hour’s worth of videos. “Last Nite,” came blaring from the next room. My ears exploded and I was instantly captured as I rushed in. The next day I went to Record Town (r.i.p.) and that was it. Is this it? Yes, yes it was.

To say a lot of people had an unhealthy obsession with The Strokes from the beginning is true. We brought the $10 NMEs, the vinyl singles, the akward fan club membership which entitled us to silk screened Strokes shoelaces. They were and still are the band that saved modern rock and roll. But sadly, right now, we’re not sure if they can save themselves from each other. The Strokes seem to get bigger with every album. This could be a part of the problem. The pressure. Well, maybe a small part of it. I’m not sure if The Strokes have realized that they can make a whole record of them rapping over a flute and we’d still love it. So Julian, Albert, Fab, Nick and Niko…what’s the problem? I think at this point we’re more nervous that anything. The pressure comes from within the band and there is nothing we can do about it. Could April 1st be the last time the boys ever play New York City? It is a scary thought, but we don’t think it is over just yet. Each interview becomes slightly more optimistic. Will the shows bring them closer together? We think so. Should we be freaked out that only a few shows are even listed? Maybe. We just don’t want to wake up and hear that it’s over. The end has no end, right?

The Strokes have already dropped hints at record number five which is a glimpse of hope for the future. If Angles (BMG) is a taste of what is to come, we are already along for the ride. The kicker is, we never got out of the car in the first place.

The Strokes will always be those five guys we all fell in love with. A band that inspired a whole new generation of rock and roll. The converse sneakers and white belts. The 2 minute songs and scratchy vocals.

We just want to say “Thank You.” Don’t let us down. You never do.

New Strokes Album Pushed Back. Again.

Whenever we get closer to a new album by The Strokes, they seem to get delayed. Can we have a colllective “UGH”? The date has been pushed back again for the upcoming fourth record that was originally supposed to be out this fall. Now it has a tentative release date of March 2011. Singer Julian Casablancas has been talking about it in interviews and he doesn’t seem to quite have the passion he once did for the band. Though, this has all been judged out of the tone of his voice. As for what he says, Casablancas stated on BBC 6 that this album will be the most collaborative piece that the band has ever done, and it also halfway finished. He is quoted saying the album is “something that I hope works and I hope everyone loves and makes everyone happy.” When talking about The Strokes future, he stated “Let’s make sure no one tries to stab me or something.” Is this serious or Casablancas sarcasm and wit? I guess we’ll have to wait to find out.

Julian Casablancas – The Strokes – “I’ll Try Anything Once” (“You Only Live Once” Demo) by ModernMysteryBlog

The Strokes ARE BACK!

I was possibly in denial about the fact that The Strokes were making a new record. I don’t even want to think about how long ago it was that the band took the stage together. After Mr. Casablancas finishes up some tour dates for his recent solo record Phrazes for the Young everything goes back into full force for sure. The band is already in the studio recording LP four that will be out later this year. Can I just say it’s about damn time? I swear if Nick Valensi decides to start a solo project in the next month my head might explode. He is the only member without one, isn’t he?

The Strokes are also headlining Lollapalooza in August and will be playing the Isle of Wright festival in June. Talk about a grand comeback. Hopefully the rest of North America will start to see Strokes shows surfacing in the next few months. A new record is certainly a good way to start things off.

Take a listen to a demo of “Someday” down below. Let the good times roll….
The Strokes- Someday (Demo) by modernmysteryblog

Julian Casablancas @ Terminal 5, NYC- January 14, 2009

DSCF1823 by ModernMystery.I had mixed feelings going into the Julian Casablancas show on Thursday night. His solo album, Phrazes for the Young, which is pretty incredible, would probably come off well, but would it be the same Casablancas I fell in love with when Is This It came out? Would it be awkward not seeing the rest of The Strokes with him? Could these songs possibly come off like sort of a lounge act on stage? I was probably more nervous than him, who was performing in New York City for the first time in years.

Getting to Terminal 5 super early, the line was already down the street for the sold out show. The crowd is still the hippiest group you’ll ever see. Folks, Strokes fans invented hipsters. The line rushed in as soon as the doors opened. A majority of people hit the merch table immediatly, something you rarely see these days. Sneaking up to the front of the crowd, I knew something special was about to happen tonight.

First taking the stage was Tanlines, a eletronic duo that managed to keep my attention. Telepathe took the stage next, which honestly I could do without. Every song sounded the same, and I possibly dozed off during one part. If the opener was just Tanlines than I would have been happy. Maybe it was because I was dying to see Casablancas, someone I haven’t seen on stage since the last time The Strokes played in New York 3 or 4 years ago.

Hitting the stage immediatly after, Casablancas came out like he was never gone. Launching into “Ludlow Street,” an homage to being back in NYC, the fans embraced him right off the bat. Singing along to every word from the start. It felt good to have him back, and he loved the attention. An audience favorite of the night was certainly “11th Dimension,” as the crowd sang along and danced. Casablancas seemed ecstatic to be playing in his hometown again and his energy was just incredible. Though he still manages to hold on to his microphone stand for dear life, he was not exempt from getting right in the crowd’s face, literally, as he hopped off the stage several times that night. “What a good lookin’ crowd. You’re still the best,” commented Casablancas to the screaming fans.

DSCF1846 by ModernMystery.

The 6 piece band behind him were extremely tight, but somehow you just couldn’t take your eyes off of the man himself. The night was filled with tracks off his solo record, and ones like “Out of the Blue,” riled up the crowd like no other. Though you would assume that with only one album under his belt, that he would have lack of material to play on stage. This was not the case. Blazing through nearly every track, he also whipped out a few surprises when he wasn’t talking about how upset he was with Alicia Key’s songs. He shocked us by playing a slow cover of the old Kings of Leon tune, “Velvet Snow,” which was beautiful to say the least. Leaving the stage after “Left & Right In the Dark,” he ran off, literally. The band wasn’t gone for more than 10 seconds before the crowd started to chant for them to come back.

Casablancas came back on stage with the guitarist and said “This is a cover of an old Strokes b-side.” Of course, fans went crazy for this as he performed “I’ll Try Anything Once.” Everyone was singing along, and Julian had the biggest smile on his face. Performing “4 Chords of the Apocalypse” with such spunk, Casablancas got right into the crowd and the security guards had to keep a hold onto him. And with that, he was gone again. But the fans were still hungry. An impromptu second encore then took place as he closed with “Tourist,” Casablancas left the stage by slapping 5 with people in the crowd only to come back instructing his drummer to play a beat for him to sing over “Let’s hear it for New York, these streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you,” and he was out like a flash of light. Julian we missed you, and from the looks of it, you missed us too.


Secondhand Sunday: The Strokes ‘Last Nite’

I’ve been talking to a lot of people about The Strokes this week. We all wish they’d record their new album already and set out on tour together. While that is on hold apparently with Julian Casablancas is releasing his first solo record in a few weeks, and playing to a sold out Tokyo crowd, we can’t help to remember where it all started.

I recall seeing The Strokes in a copy of Rolling Stone magazine (hey it was free and came to my house) the summer I graduated from high school. They were like nothing I had ever seen at the time. They looked normal. They dressed how my friends and I dressed. They looked like they made good music. They didn’t look like Fred Durst (ick).  A week after, I caught the band on MTV2 one morning and was completely blown away. From then on it was love. They completely restored my faith in rock and roll.

Enjoy The Strokes ‘Last Nite’