In an excerpt from Lizzy Goodman’s new oral history of New York’s rock scene during the aughts, James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem calls Is This It, by the Strokes, his “record of the decade.” That’s high praise coming from “Mr. Soundsystem.” If you want to call him on it, he’ll be at Strand tomorrow, May 23, talking about the book with Goodman and with another star of the scene, Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
The excerpt from Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City, 2001–2011, posted by Vulture last week, deals with the Strokes and their drama with Ryan Adams, Albert Hammond Jr’s heroin habit, and that $600,000 Heineken ad they turned down. As you can guess from the title, the Strokes factor heavily into the book, but the oral history also delves into The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, LCD Soundsystem, TV on the Radio, Interpol, The White Stripes, Kings of Leon, The National, The Moldy Peaches, Mooney Suzuki, Vampire Weekend, Fischerspooner, Franz Ferdinand, MGMT, The Hives, The Kills, The Vines, and all those other The bands that were, at various times, said to be “the next Strokes.” According to the selling copy, the book touches not just on the New York scene, but also “the cultural forces that shaped it, from the Internet to a booming real estate market that forced artists out of the Lower East Side to Williamsburg.”
So, expect to hear a lot about Lit–just in case B+B’s oral history didn’t cover it all. And maybe some more about Carlos D of Interpol, since his bandmates Paul Banks and Daniel Kessler are quoted. Others interviewed for the book, aside from members of the above bands, include Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, comedians David Cross and Marc Maron, musician turned memoirist Moby, uber promoter Todd P, the one and only Kid Congo Powers, late journalist Marc Spitz, and Strokes guitarist Nick Valensi, whom Goodman knew Before He Was Famous.
You can read excerpts from the book here. Karen O says she moved to NYC “just to be around cute, cool guys.” (You can read an oral history of the YYYs frontwoman, adapted from the book, over at Elle.) Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio reveals, “I got electrocuted at Mars Bar.” Of course, many late, great venues get name-checked: Don Hill’s, (the old) Sway, Tramps, CBGB, Luna Lounge, Maxwell’s, and Coney Island High, among others. We’re talking about a time before after-hours club Save the Robots became a boutique IPA.
To hear Goodman, Murphy, Zinner, and journalist Rob Sheffield chat at Strand, head to the event page to buy a signed copy of the book or a gift card, which will grant you admission.