This is what happens when you let people with names like “Hermione Hoby” write newspaper articles
For those of us who’ve spent any time remotely close to the real world, being told to go and produce 1,500 words on The Strokes in 2011 is a bit like being asked to provide a form sheet for Al Gore’s chance of becoming the next president, or writing up a piece on why Ashley Judd is Hollywood’s next golden girl. Thankfully Guardian journalists have never encountered the real world.
Hermione Hoby (I know, right?) apparently writes “on books, music, theatre and feminism” which is Fleet Street slang for “has no practical application in society” and “might occasionally do a piece on how X-Factor is “GOOD FOR SOCIETY” or perhaps “BAD FOR SOCIETY” depending on how dead her commissioning editor is inside that morning.
Anyway, our girl swallowed the king’s dollar to write a piece on The Strokes in 2011 and boy is it a fucking doozy. I think we’ve got a new finest music writer in Britain right here folks.
Conor McNicholas … remembers exactly where he was when he first heard them: in his car, listening to the radio, on London’s Stroud Green Road. “‘Last Nite’ came on,” he says, “and it was one of those moments where you go: ‘Fuck. Popular culture will never be the same again.’”
When you’re looking for a relevant quote to discuss a band would you ask the failed editor of BBC Top Gear magazine? Was Quentin Wilson not available or something? But yeah, OK, this is fair, the most important epoch-changing event of 2001 was that song about satellites that didn’t understand things. That and the episode of Raw where Booker T and Stone Cold brawl through he supermarket.
Quite a claim, but it’s worth remembering how bleak the musical landscape was 10 years ago. Dance music was on a come-down and instead the charts were being battered by nu-metal.
Oh boy. Oh boy oh boy. OK, “Unstable” by Adema did spend 44 uninterrupted weeks in the UK top 20 and won Record of the Year at the 2002 Brits, but other than that this is the dumbest fucking statement you are likely to read until the next time you read some British music journalism. It’s not even a difficult thing to check either.
80 songs made the British top 3 in 2001. Of those, 11 were “dance” records (ranging from straight-up classics like “Resurrection” and “Another Chance” to bullshit like Riva ft Dannii Minogue). The same period saw a stunning three nu-metal top 3 singles, and one of those was Alien Ant Farm’s Michael Jackson cover which is about as “real” a nu-metal track as Mel C’s “Going Down”.
The UK top 75 a month before “Last Night” had three nu-metal singles in it. Just to put this in perspective, there were as many nu-metal singles in the charts in this period when it was “battering” the landscape as there were singles by Fugazi, Kurupt and Luther Vandross combined. And when you think of 2001 pop domination, you think of Fugazi and that fat dead fuck. (Just for comparison sake, the same top 75 had 13 dance singles in).
This whole poisonous concept that dance music fell off in 2000/01 is probably the most hurtful meme in the British musical subconscious. As a kid who was rolling out and enjoying his first Aftershocks and “Six Bottles of Becks for £5” promotions at this point the idea that Jean-Jacques Smoothie and Ann Lee and the Supermen Lovers are being Trotsky-ed out of history is actively upsetting. What this idea traditionally meant from journos of the time “the shitty rave music I enjoyed from the early 90s no longer exists and I am angry that the world has failed to give 1/50th of a shit about Fischerspooner”, but being as while all this was going on Hermione Hoby was having her hymen broken during pony riding lessons… it’s just a case of a dumb fuck repeating dumb fuck memes without the courtesy to her audience to even spend a second checking it up.
It helped, too, of course, that they dressed like James Dean
What does this mean? James Dean was an actor, he wore a lot of clothes. You mean they dressed like Jimmy in Giant, rolling up in the cowboy hat and spurs? That they all had Rock Hudson’s mouth around their cock? Or do you mean “some of them wore a leather jacket”, which most people would translate as “they dressed like the least popular kid in school that had any friends”.
dripped with insouciance and somehow made falling out of Lower East Side bars drunk seem desperately romantic
There was such demand to see them that organisers moved them from a small tent to the festival’s main stage.
Major label band with largest publicity push of the year plays large festival stage during album advertising run! It’s the story of the century!
“They reminded us what it could be all about,” says McNicholas. “It was hip-swaying, tight jeans, boy-sex on stage and we hadn’t had that in a long time.”
Drummer Fab Moretti, who always seemed to have the sunniest attitude, positively sashays in to the studio in exquisite Phillip Lim trousers
This is like the bit in profile pieces where the hack just desperately pads shit out by saying stuff like “Alexa Chung picks birdishly at her pretzel”
The rest of the article is just massive copy-and-paste from an interview that reveals absolutely nothing about The Strokes other than “How can this band call still upon the fawning of every fifteenth tier British music hack a decade after trhey were last relevant”. I suppose that’s one of the plusses of being the one band that changed popular culture forever. Also, wait… Conor McNicholas heard The Strokes for the first time on the radio? Not, like, during his editorship of the NME when presumably he would have been plied with cocaine and Russian whores by PR execs to listen to this stuff? Well you learn summat everyday. Let’s end this article on some positive notes: