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The Strokes: Someday and Last Nite

Wikipedia offers a succinct profile of The Strokes:

The Strokes are an American rock band from New York City, consisting of Julian Casablancas (lead vocals), Nick Valensi (guitar, backing vocals), Albert Hammond, Jr. (guitar, backing vocals), Nikolai Fraiture (bass guitar) and Fabrizio Moretti (drums, percussion).

Upon the release of their debut album Is This It in 2001, the group met wide critical acclaim.[4] Since then, the band has maintained a fan base in New York City and elsewhere in the United States, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Ireland, Canada, France, Brazil and Australia. A number of members have embarked on a variety of side projects, though they regrouped for a fifth album, entitled Comedown Machine, released on March 26, 2013.[5] They are one of the many indie-rock bands to hail from the US at the dawn of the 21st century and helped augment the garage rock revival movement. Their debut album, Is This It, was ranked number 199 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. (Continue Reading…)

The band apparently didn’t get along well with RCA and, with its latest album, is no longer under contract. Here is the start of a review at Time, via Consequence of Sound, of the record, which is called Comedown Machine:

“Don’t try and stop us, get out of our way,” Julian Casablancas last sang on 2011′s Angles. A questionable declaration then and especially now, some two years later where The Strokes have retreated from the bright festival lights and entombed themselves in the closed quarters of New York’s famed Electric Lady Studios. They haven’t toured, committed to press, or made any special public appearances — and there’s little indication that’ll change anytime soon. Even the band’s axiomatic spokesman Nikolai Fraiture has no clear answer as to what the hell’s going on with them. Last month, he told BBC Radio 1′s Zane Lowe with stunted optimism: “I feel good about the atmosphere in the band… Hopefully it can continue.” In other words, who knows? (Continue Reading…)

An interesting note that the guitarist’s father — Albert Hammond Sr. — is in the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Above is Someday and below is Last Nite.

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Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.


What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.


The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.