Come On, Comedown


2013TheStrokesPA-3734757210113Y’all muffins know how much I love The Strokes. I’m pretty sure that at one point I credited them for “saving me,” so they’re a pretty deep part of my life. Also I would like to marry all of them. Specifically Julian, but I’ll take Fabrizio any day of the week (except Sunday, that’s for Jesus).

Their sound has always been intense. Julian’s voice is deep and sometimes very dark, and I love that. Its full of feeling, and these days that can be hard to find. That anger and depth got me through high school, and I’ve swooned more than once to it… I don’t know if anyone else has felt this way or if I’m just nuts, but The Strokes make me feel so good I start to feel bad. So much amazing is happening in their music that I feel nauseated and want to throw up…so yeah I’m probably just nuts.

That all being said, what the hell, guys. Their 5th album, Comedown Machine, came out today (last night on iTunes) and I peed my pants in excitement and listened to it in bed and…I was initially severely disappointed. I still can’t completely decide how I feel.

Here’s an awesome question that really needs to be asked, as loudly and angrily as possible: “What’s with the falsetto, Jules?!” I liked your growl before. It was real, it was different, it was rock and roll. It was sex in music form, for more reasons than one. This falsetto sounds like every emerging band’s sound, and I don’t need to listen to another grown man sing like a lady.

I liked Julian’s solo album, Phrazes for the Young, and it had a lot of ’80s going on in it, but it was the loud ’80s, not this marimba-y, potentially sleep inducing ’80s shit that’s going on in songs like Slow Animals and Chances. It’s good if you want an album that’s “perfect for spring!” (as every magazine has said about Katy Perry’s “summertime” hits), but I remember a time when The Strokes were suitable for every moment of every day, all year long.

Why, then, is Jules singing about finding a dog and settling down, when at one point he was singing about getting 40s and getting screwed up? I understand “evolution and change” is necessary, but please don’t buy a house in suburbia. Either way, One Way Trigger is so disjointed that the lyrics are the least of its problems…whaaat is happening?

I’m okay with Tap Out, and All the Time is my favorite of the album (give me more of that!), but…I can’t handle Call It Fate, Call It Karma. If this is their last album, I will be severely disappointed and might personally demand another. I will find you, guys, and I will make you be a rock band again. Angles was pushing it, though I learned to love that sound, but…give me something to freak out to. Give me something to fall in love with, the way I fell in love with Is This It.

Give me something with a little life in it.

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Jules Makes Me Stupid


You know those people who turn you into a school girl with a crush? And make you giggle and sigh and stuff? And then, apparently, make you blog about them like an idiot?

Julian Casablancas gives me that. And it’s kind of a problem.

I know, I know, I’ve written like 7 (more like 2…) posts about him and his faaaaaace…but I’m hardcore stupid right now. And usually when I write stuff it isn’t quite this obnoxious or silly…I like to think I’m at least a little sophisticated. But Julian turns me into a Beatles fangirl and I want to tell y’all about it.

Let me make the internet my diary.

Dear Diary,
I love Jules. Laike, soooo much. He is so dreamy and delicious, like a Spanish waffle, because those exist. He is a hunky fudge sundae and I JUST WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT!
I know he was basically a raging alcoholic and fell over on stage a couple times because of that, but maybe I like my boys to be baaad. Maybe I think alcoholism is sexy (or, you know, maybe I don’t, because it isn’t…) Maybe I like when boys are rockstars (because who doesn’t). Maybe I enjoy a good red skinny jean on a fella. Maybe I’d just like to be his wife and stuff…

Just let it happen. Just embrace it, world. Just do it. Nike told me I’m allowed to date Julian Casablancas in my head.

Anyway, I got the squiggly wigglies in my tummy and wanted to talk about it.

Meow,

Cappy

PS Oh. And his music moves my soul. Or something…

Mondegreen


There’s this phenomenon called mondegreen (which I learned about in Linguistics, big surprise) which occurs when the brain misinterprets song lyrics. It was a sad, sad day in Linguistics when I realized realized that mondegreen is practically an integral part of my life.

Welcome to the land of the ice and snow, where the middleducks run and the hot springs flow.
Or, at least, that’s what I thought were the lyrics to The Immigrant Song. And since I thought that when I was little, I can’t stop singing it that way.
Me: Hey guys! I love me some Led Zep! Ahhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaa….ahhhaaaaaaaaaaaaa…welcome to the land of the ice and snow where the middleducks run…errr…I mean…
Them: What the hell’s a middleduck?

Psycho sister, insane!
Funnily enough, my sister sang that to me when we were little. Ohhhh, she knew that those weren’t the words to the hit song “Psycho Killer,” but neither of us knew French and it was funny to hear her call me psycho. Funny how it doesn’t amuse me so much to hear her say it now…

And then, of course, The Strokes decided to befuddle me. I love them, but I will never simply be able to listen to one of their songs and know the lyrics. Julian slurs too much… The real lyrics are in bold, and the ones I thought up in my insanity are in italics:
Happiness is two different things: What you take and then what you bring. One is pleasure, one’s discipline. One’s devotion, one’s just a ring. Desire and reward. Long term and short term joy. Don’t waste your heart…
Happiness is two different things: one you take and when what you ring. One’s the pleasure one’s insuringgggggg…one’s the ocean, one is a ring. Inaaaaaruuuuuwwweaaaahhh, luhhaaaaadaadeedaaa…don’t work so hard…

The song goes on, as do the misinterpretations, but I don’t want to embarrass myself further. Basically, I shouldn’t be allowed to call The Strokes my favorite band anymore. I have disgraced them.

PS: I totally call dibs on forming a band and calling it The Mondegreens. Just know it happened here, and don’t you dare take that away from me.

Phrazes for the Young Album Review


   The Strokes’ front man Julian Casablancas released his debut solo album, “Phrazes for the Young” on November 2, 2009. The album’s lyrics focus on post-apocalyptic motifs, while its uncommon blend of electronic synth-pop, rock and blues gives it a unique and futuristic quality. “Phrazes” is definitely worth listening to on repeat.

   Though The Strokes are still together, each member has gone on to either release a solo album or work with other bands. They have not released an album since their third, “First Impressions of Earth,” which was met with lukewarm reviews in 2006. The band is currently working together on an album which is scheduled to release in March.

   Casablancas is known for his unique vocals, which are reminiscent of both Lou Reed and Jim Morrison. His angry croon, though a seeming contradiction, helped set him apart from other singers when The Strokes first became popular in the early 2000s. Throughout “Phrazes,” Casablancas ranges from snarling disillusionment in “Out of the Blue” to controlled chaos in “River of Brakelights” to beautiful nostalgia in “Tourist.”

   While Casablancas is mellower (he no longer throws microphone stands during performances) than he ever was in the heavy days of The Strokes, his music continues their tortured tradition. He still sings about drinking in “Ludlow St.” (he recently recovered from an alcohol addiction) and a feeling of angry loneliness permeates “Out of the Blue.” One of the iTunes-extra songs, “30 Minute Boyfriend,” with its semi-terrifying declaration of love, is reminiscent of The Strokes’ “Heart in a Cage.”

   The singer throws in smatterings of angry wisdom throughout the album. In the epic sounding “River of Brakelights,” he sing-screams, “Like batteries we die, like rivers we dry. Refuel and recharge, that’s humans and cars.” In “Out of the Blue,” he sings that “when roles are reversed, opinions are too.” Casablancas proves throughout “Phrazes” that he is fully capable of delivering songs that are both catchy and thought-provoking.

   Casablancas’ debut album may be more pleasing to non-Strokes fans, as it is more varied and moves away from the garage-rock that The Strokes were so popular for years ago. The last track, “Tourist,” which simultaneously makes you want to dance and cry, features an inexplicably melancholy and slow Spanish-style guitar loop. “11th Dimension,” the album’s single, is an 80s-esque pop song, while “4 Chords of the Apocalypse” is a bluesy tune that is just waiting to be played over a breakup scene in a chick-flick.

   Casablancas proves his songwriting and vocal ability in this debut solo album. Though it moves away from The Strokes’ work, “Phrazes for the Young” will please both Strokes fans and the casual listener.

Trash the TV


Let’s talk about trashy TV and possible theories of why we like it:

1. We secretly want to be trashy and need an outlet to appreciate trashy people.

2. We (not so secretly) hate trashy people and therefore watch shows about them in order to feel better about ourselves.

3. In some sick way they turn us on. This seems a little too Freudian for my taste.

4. We are self destructive and want to punish ourselves by forcing ourselves to bleed out of our eyes.

5. There’s nothing else on TV.

6. They are ridiculously quotable. I refer you to:
“I felt like eating ham and drinking water. Ham.” – J-Woww, Jersey Shore
Every other word uttered on Jersey Shore
“Get me OUTTA HERE!” – Danielle, Real Housewives of New Jersey
The entire “Money Can’t Buy You Class” by Countess Luann (RH of NY). Have I mentioned that she looks about 500 years younger in the music video for that song?

Segue!

Dear Countess Luann,
Are you crazy? Yes, you’re pretty classy, but you’re also a countess. You’re rich.
Money doesn’t buy you class: this is true. But everything you stand for involves having a lot of money. While you sing “money can’t buy you class” in a million dollar gown, do you really think you’d have class without it? 
Sincerely,
Upset in the US

Segue!

We should dislike reality TV. We should dislike all trashy TV (I refer to Californication – I love you, David Duchovny, and I will happily have your children, but that show is a badly disguised porno). We should go all Strokes on their booties, saying, “Good try, we don’t like it. Good try, we won’t take that shit.” But as they said, “I can’t win.” And we can’t. It’s like watching commercials without thinking. They’re just there.

Why I Will Always Love Julian Casablancas


For those of you who don’t know (why don’t you know? Why?), Julian Casablancas is the lead singer of The Strokes. They are great.

1. His voice is like…well, for lack of a better word, his voice is like sex. On the phone. Phone sex. Except way less creepy and dirty and wrong.
OKAY, his voice is just really great and makes me drool and stuff. GOSH.
Speaking of his voice, I always wondered why such a small man could have such a deep singing voice. Until I found out he isn’t small, he’s like 6’2″. Oops, sorry, Jules. Can I call you that? Jules?  

2. He wears red pants all the time. Well, not all the time and certainly (hopefully) they’re not always the same pair of red pants, but they’re red pants all the same and I admire that. I have a pair of red pants. SOULMATES! Am I right?

3. He writes amazing songs. His new (released in late 2009, but new to me since I just heard about it a week ago…) album, Phrazes for the Young, is really good. So good, in fact, that I can’t pick a favorite song from that album because I like them so much. But if I had to, it’d be River of Brakelights. Or maybe Out of the Blue. …I dunno.

4. The Strokes kept me sane my freshman year of high school. I probably would’ve gone completely crazy and went into self-destruct mode if they hadn’t been blasting through my stereo with their controlled chaos and lyrics that made me sing at the top of my lungs. I owe a lot of myself to them.

5. He guested with The Lonely Island, who by the way are hilarious, in the song Boombox. It makes me sing. It makes me dance. It makes me drool because Julian Casablancas (Jules. Umm, can I call you that?) is so COOL in the video. Be aware that the end of that video gets kinda creepy…it’s not for the faint of heart.

6. As stated above, he looks cool. He acts cool. He is cool. Have you seen the feather in his hair? Cool. The colored strips in his hair? Cool. (I do that sometimes too, Jules. Can I call you that?) Leather jacket! Cool! The afformentioned red pants, also cool. Sunglasses, cool. The way he moves when he sings. Cool. Overall facial appearance, cool.

…Cool, Jules. Can I call you that?

Outside My Window, Something Seranades Me


 

Is this you? Are you this?

Dear weird owlet/cat/small child outside my window,

First of all, what are you? You are making a strange squealing/squeaking/(dare I say) burping noise that I can’t properly identify you by. This species ambiguity is freaking me out.

Also, why must you make this noise outside my window? Like…RIGHT outside my window? Every single night this week, it’s been “squeal/squeak/burp” over and over and over until I have to practically blast The Strokes to drown you out. But once they’re blasting, sleep is out of the question since The Strokes are louder than you anyway.

See how difficult you are making my life?

Maybe you could move to a different tree/shrub/hole in the ground. And hopefully you aren’t a small child, because that’s creepy and dangerous – you could be eaten by a coyote or owl or something even scarier, like Katy Perry. I’ve heard she shoots babies with her whipped cream gun bra.

With all due respect, I ask you to shut up.

GoodNIGHT,

Cappy