Although any real hipster will mock me, I’m not ashamed to admit that I love The Strokes. I’m in their fan club (very fin); have passed up burning and actually purchased both of their records (super ishtar); and have gone to exorbitant lengths to see them live, twice (tres midtown). My first Strokes experience was at Roseland Ballroom last year. Thanks to eBay and American Express, I was able to get ridiculously priced tickets for the sold-out concert. In sweaty, musty, packed Roseland I had to suffer through Jimmy Fallon’s Snow Day and come to terms with my age and undeniable midwest roots while several devastatingly cool New York City 14-year-olds discussed their record company prospects. When the pre-show music stopped, all of us (including the huge Chris Farley type on my right and the too-cool hip boys) erupted in schoolgirl craziness as The Strokes graced the stage. Through dirty hair, unwashed jeans, and constant Marlboro/Heineken fixes, Fabrizzio, Albert, Nick, Nikolai, and Julian, as Wayne Campbell would say, whaled. As an added bonus, they looked fucking cool doing it. My brother and I left the show with huge smiles on our faces — sweet sweet Julian had won us over.
Despite this deep love for the band my hopes for their sophomore album were not spectacularly high. After reading one positive review after another, I went to Tower records on my way to work and picked up Room of Fire