I can turn off street lamps with my mind. It’s true. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven down a dimly lit street only to have the lights flicker off. But it’s totally subconscious – so if you asked me to do it on command I wouldn’t be able to.
I was telling this fact to a friend and she (obviously) didn’t believe me. She said “Well, you remember better the times when the lights turn off as you drive under them as opposed to when they continue shining. You’re not so special. In any case, I can transform into a dolphin, so there.” OK, I added that last bit, but if what she said is true, then I feel like this memory phenomenon is happening to me again.
Specifically, I’m seeing Julian Casablancas’ name everywhere. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Mr. Casablancas, he is the lead singer of The Strokes – a band that’s been around since 1998. Formed in New York, Casablancas along with school pals Nikolai Fraiture, Fabrizio Moretti, Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond Jr. (who Casablancas met in Switzerland), took the NYC garage scene by storm with the release of their first LP Is This It in 2001.
Here’s a clip of them playing what might be their top hit, “Last Nite”, live – a song so ubiquitous that you might know it without realizing who sings it:
Since the release of that album, The Strokes have release two more albums, Room on Fire and First Impressions of Earth and Is This It has gone on to be named the top album of the decade by NME across the pond.
Here’s a beautifully simple video for another one of their top songs, “Reptilia” off of Room on Fire:
There’s something in his eyes and his voice that is so earnest. He’s certainly not playing to be the adonis-type rock god in this video.
And check out this video for “You Only Live Once” off of First Impressions of Earth, notable for its great concept, raw energy, a sweet jacket worn by Casablancas and the destruction of all the band members’ instruments:
In 2007 the band went on an indefinite hiatus, and Julian went on the advance, releasing his first solo album, Phrazes for the Young, which had a more of an electronic edge than any of The Strokes’ previous works.
But things are looking up for Strokes fans, as the band has been writing and arranging the songs for a new album, tempering ideas from the 70’s with “music from the future“. The album is due to be released this September. In the meantime, they are signed up to headline Lollapalooza in Chicago this summer. On top of that great news Mr. Casablancas recently followed in the footsteps of Norah Jones, T Pain and Justin Timberlake to team up with Saturday Night Live’s Andy Samberg and the rest of The Lonely Island gang. Together they put out this hilarious short about the mystic properties of boomboxes (watch out for some PG-13 content):
You’ve got to love those lyrics:
A boombox can change the world
But you gotta know your limits with a boombox.
And this was a cautionary tale;
A boombox is not a toy!
And as he smashes that vase between his fingerless-gloved hands, you can envision a world where “the music washed away all [of our] hate” and Julian Casablancas rises to the top of the charts once again. Don’t tell me that it’s just a trick of the mind, dolphin girl.
Concerts this week:
Catch Ben Folds this Friday at the Wellmont Theater in Montclaire, NJ. Show begins at 8 PM.
Also, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists will be coming to the Fillmore NY at Irving Plaza the same night at 9 PM.
Finally, don’t miss out on a treat: Blue October headlining at Webster Hall this Saturday at 7 PM.
PEAK KEYWORD: FINGERLESS