In concert: Julian Casablancas
By Chris Klimek
The New York City that birthed The Strokes' 2001 debut "Is This It?," was as bright and prosperous as the NYC of 23 years earlier -- when Strokes singer/songwriter Julian Casablancas was born there -- was broke, decadent and dangerous. The album managed, improbably, to conjure both Blondie-era risk and pre-9/11 ennui. It's lately resurfaced on just about everyone's list of the aughties' top ten.
But at the 9:30 club Tuesday night, the onetime prodigy who wrote its pitch-perfect caffeinated urban hymns came off as as just another guy who wants to be ... Thom Yorke? Deborah Harry? Casablancas's two-month old solo album, "Phrazes for the Young," suffers from an identity crisis, one that live performance did nothing to solve.
(What ever happened to his songwriting ability? Plus more pictures, after the jump.)
The fourth Stroke to release an extracurricular set during the band's long hibernation, Casablancas aimed for reinvention, leaving the old hits at home. Other than an encore of the Strokes curio "I'll Try Anything Once" and an unnamed dirge he claimed he'd written backstage, there was distended pseudo-Radiohead ("River of Brakelights") and, seriously, pseudo-Miami Sound Machine ("11th Dimension"). But only "Out of the Blue" offered any echo of the grit, or wit, of his old band.
Casablancas brought along a six-piece band, occasionally using two percussionists and two keyboard players to produce a sound as brittle and ersatz as a ringtone. He closed after less than an hour with "4 Chords of the Apocalypse," the kind of awkward white gospel The Killers can occasionally, barely, pull off.
You, Sir, are no Brandon Flowers, and we can't tell you how much it hurts that that's what you're into now.
January 13, 2010; 1:05 PM ET
Categories: In concert | Tags: Julian Casablancas
Save & Share: Previous: Morning click: M.I.A. has a new video (we think), Guyliner abounds on the "Alice" soundtrack
Next: News: R.I.P. Jay Reatard
Posted by: tfranke7373 | January 13, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: universaltravaler | January 14, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ddrummo1 | January 14, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.