Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Makes Me Happy

Two weeks ago I found myself at Outside Lands Music Festival at Golden Gate Park. Being at the park brings back tons of memories- my first and last 420 celebration, the birth of the Peace Circle, and a midnight walk through the park playing hide-and-go-seek behind bushes and trees.  I also remember being there two years ago at the first ever Outside Lands Music Festival with the coolest cousin ever who I had just met a week prior to.

This year the lineup was alright.  Honestly, I looked up almost every single act the night before and added my picks to my Outside Lands App (which sucked btw!)  I was there to see the Strokes perform and everything else would be extra music goodness. Watching them while screaming their lyrics at the top of my lungs reminded me how fucking awesome they are.  I wasn't the only one singing like my life depended on it and it hit me that even though they have not released an album in four years, thousands of people came to see them play old material.

The Strokes rule, really.

The year was 2000 and they popped into the mainstream sphere via MTV.  Check it out...
I don't remember the exact moment when I first saw this gem, but I am sure I shit my pants because I was so damn happy that something had come at last to replace the bullshit that is 90's rock (I love you Nirvana).  Music critics call the Strokes and the bands that came right after (The White Stripes, The Hives) the "Garage Rock Revival."  The sound is old indeed- the instruments they used are vintage and the way this new genre was recorded was very raw and pure.  The Strokes are pop in every sense where their music is simplistic and catchy, but it's most definitely rock n roll.  It's also not in your face aggressive, thank God because that is totally overdone.  It's also extremely awesome that Julian's voice is reminiscent of Jim Morrison's.

I have so many amazing memories seeing them live.  Prior to Outside Lands they played at BFD, which is this music festival in the Bay Area.  They were one of the last bands to perform and by the time Julian Casablanca's, the singer went onstage, he was fucked up.  He had this huge white cooler full of booze with him where he proceeded to take from throughout their set.   It was a special one alright because they played all of their singles from the most recent one at the time to "Last Night."

There was also the time they played at the Concourse located in San Francisco.  I think that was the time I saw how badass Nick Valensi was. This dude had the tightest solos and I could hear exactly that he was influenced by Slash.  I was also standing on the right side front, squeezed in between tall dudes, but everyone was jumping and singing along so I did not care.  I also remember my homies kicking some punk's ass for talking shit, ha ha!

Three studio albums and an EP makes it impossible to pick my favorite Strokes song.  Frankly, it feels like having to choose your favorite child, but I die every time I hear this one, especially the music at the beginning...