Gossip Girl’s (Real) Musical Talent: Leighton Meester

So now that Little J is officially not coming back to the next season of Gossip Girl, resident wild child Taylor Momsen will have plenty of time to make horribly cliched music videos with her band, Pretty Reckless.

However, it seems as though another GG teen queen is also maintaining her musical edge — but with much better results. Leighton Meester, who plays queen bee of mean Blair Waldorf, has been slowly working on her musical career over the years — teaming up with Cobra Starship in 2009 for “Good Girls Go Bad” and showing off her singing chops in last year’s Country Strong.

Meester recently performed in LA at the Hotel Cafe with Mike Frieman of Check in the Dark, and I have to say, up until now I was pretty down on the whole Leighton Meester wants to do music thing, but I am totally impressed with her singing skills in these videos. Beautiful vocals. Love that she’s doing less of that dance queen/pop star thing she’d been focusing on thus far and going for a more folky singer/songwriter feel.

Flawless face, hair, and singing voice? Sometimes life is just not fair. Well played, Meester.:

What Is the Oilers Hat Julian Casablancas Wore During Coachella?

I believe it’s a vintage 1990’s era Houston Oilers snap back hat. The team was briefly known in the mid-90s as the Tennessee Oilers, but are now known as the Tennessee Titans.

Julian Casablancas
just wore the hat again on Conan tonight:

Where can you get mad swag like JC? Well the bad news is I’m pretty sure that baby blue is vintage, so you’re gonna have to go digging … or you could be the lucky one to nab what looks to be the identical style hat up for bid on eBay right now. Current price is $29.99.

I have no affiliation with the person selling the hat so I can’t confirm it’s the exact same one, but it sure looks like it.
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Let’s Juicebox Their Faces Off – The Strokes @ Coachella


Video of The Strokes performing “Juicebox” live at Coachella 2011

I kind of want to live by these words.

I wonder what that would look like…

Thnx Julian Casablancas and your wonderful stage banter! What a perfect Casablancasism.

BTW, “Under Control” is pretty much one of my favorite Strokes songs ever:

Win Tickets to Hank & Cupcakes @ The Studio at Webster Hall – 4/9/11

I’m just barely recovering from the Strokes/LCD marathon, but I wanted to surface for air long enough to offer up a chance to win a pair of tickets to this Saturday’s Hank & Cupcakes show at The Studio at Webster Hall.

I caught Hank & Cupcakes in 2009 during CMJ at a show at the Delancey and was totally blown away by this dynamic duo. They’re like the White Stripes meets Elastica.

Want to win this pair of tickets to not only see Hank & Cupcakes but Turkuaz, Navegante, and Dolchnakov Brigade? Email contest @ themodernage.org by 4/7/11, 11pm with your name and email. I’ll notify the winner that same day.

Good luck and keep rockin on!

Greatest Week in NYC: The Strokes Return and LCD Soundsystem Say Goodbye @ MSG – 4/1/11 and 4/2/11

This week has been completely insane — I witnessed over 9 hours of LCD Soundsystem (yup, I was at the LCD MSG show as well), and one glorious night of The Strokes all in one week. I think I sweated off my body weight about three times over, dancing myself clean, moshing in multiple pits, and just freaking out in anticipation.

I’ll admit, it’s hard for me to try to figure out what to say that hasn’t already been said. Probably by now you hard core fans have already read all the reviews, you know the set list, you’ve heard what happened at the show.


I love how happy Julian looks in this photo. He’s stoked he’s singing with Elvis Costello!

Yes, Elvis Costello opened up for The Strokes with a surprise 15-minute set playing “Pump It Up,” “Radio Radio,” and “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace Love And Understanding.” And yes, before playing “Taken for a Fool,” Julian mentioned the song’s chorus had an Elvis Costello-quality to it, and that he should probably just come out and sing it — then immediately defusing any expectation of him making a second April Fools’ appearance by laughing and saying “April Fools’! I’m kidding, he’s not doing it, but he should have. Next time.”

Then of course the joke was on all of us when Elvis DID actually come out and perform the song with the band! So crazy!

Rolling Stone video

Seriously, how FUN was that?
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The Strokes Return to NYC @ Madison Square Garden (MSG) – 4/1/11

So there’s the band called The Strokes. They are originally from right here in New York City, and you may have figured it out by now, but I really like them.

They played their first public hometown gig in over five years and this was definitely a heroes welcome. The guys were in fine form and everyone (the crowd and the band) was pretty freaking pumped up after the show. Smiles all around.

I had an amazing time/night, and it truly felt like old times. Never have I thought I could recreate those feelings and memories of 2001-2003, but tonight certainly came close. I saw so many old friends, sang along to so many classic tunes, fantastic all the way around.

I want to thank YOU GUYS for making it such a fun show — so many of the faces I saw were of young folks — kids who weren’t old enough to even ride a two-wheeler when Is This It came out, but there you all were up in the front, smiling, so happy, and enthusiastic about seeing The Strokes. You kids are so awesome. You totally rock!

The birds are tweeting outside and the sun is coming up, so I’ll try to jot down some stuff before my eyes fall out of my head:

I’ll start with the end — The very last song, in typical Strokes fashion, was “Take It Or Leave It” — but this time singer Julian Casablancas took it upon himself to bring the music to the people — well, specifically to the people in the seated section stage left. Climbing up on the stage left speakers, and then grabbing onto the side railing, Julian positioned himself in the midst of the raised seated floor section, where upon everyone started grabbing on to him from behind.

At one point, Julian jumped down to the floor, and the barricade felt as if it were going to tip over — terrifying me because that’s where the handicapped folks were sitting. Luckily, Julian moved back up and further over into the crowd, bringing the rest of the song to the front section of the room, and a bit to stage right at the end, finally finishing on the stage.

You can check out the entire song below — excuse the sort of crazy Cloverfield-style look of the middle — I could never be a war correspondent with that kind of sloppy camera work, but the beginning is pretty awesome if I do say so myself:

VIDEO: “Take It Or Leave It” – The Strokes @ MSG – 4/1/11

The tone of the night was set when “mystery” guest Elvis Costello performed a 15-minute set as an April Fools’ joke on all of us. Julian had been tweeting about “accidentally” running into Elvis three times that week, so it was a semi-surprise to see the man himself get on stage and actually start singing. What a great way to start the show!
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March Madness: The End Has No End

Well folks, today is the last official day of Strokes March Madness. *Sniff sniff* It’s been a wild and crazy journey through the last 10 years of Strokes memories. I want to thank everyone for being so kind and encouraging me through this insane exploration into fandom. You’ve all been oh so nice and supportive.

Above is a photo of the first ever Strokes t-shirt that I bought, at my first ever Strokes show. It’s still my favorite Strokes shirt, and luckily I can still get into it. It’s a comfy piece of clothing that’s quite timeless — just like The Strokes.

Tomorrow I’ll be at the first public Strokes show in New York since 2006. I’m going to predict that it’s going to be pretty effing awesome.

Here are some of my favorite posts over the last month:

LCD Soundsystem Blow My Mind with a Harry Nilsson Cover – 3/30/11

Wow. My second LCD Soundsystem farewell show @ Terminal 5. Definitely way crazier than the first night’s gig.

I nearly DIED when they broke into my absolute favorite Harry Nilsson song, “Jump Into the Fire,” during their encore. Check out Bromander-in-Chief James Murphy totally killing it in this video I took of the song:

VIDEO: “Jump Into the Fire” by LCD Soundsystem (Nilsson cover)


“I love you New York, but you’re bringing me down.”

Some random observations:

I kinda love LCD shows because it totally brings out the most ridiculously outfitted men:

  • So MANY freaking dudes in white shirts and black ties. I call it the “broniform.”
  • One dude wore a leather jacket the entire time while in the pit. Necessary.
  • Two guys behind me had homemade “DANCE YRSELF CLEAN” t-shirts (Hanes tees with Sharpie writing on them). I’m going to assume they came together…and that they went to braid each other’s hair and talk about James Murphy after the show.

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