March Madness: My First Strokes Show – Sept 28, 2001 in Providence, RI (with Live MP3)

One day when I was going through my stuff for Strokes March Madness I had a sudden epiphany — In the early 2000s I had a bizarre habit of recording tons of stuff on cassette tape, so I wondered if I might have recorded anything Strokes related.

Lo and behold, I found a 90 minute red Maxell UR tape labeled “THE STROKES – 9/28/01 – LUPO’S HEARTBREAK HOTEL PROVIDENCE, RI”.

Ohhh yeahhh…

This particular show is especially close to my heart because it was my very first Strokes gig.

Originally the show was supposed to be held at the much smaller sister venue, The Met Cafe, but due to demand they bumped the show up to Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel just around the corner. My friend J and her friend M got a ride up to the show from some totally random older dudes that M kinda knew.

The three of us sat in the back seat of the tiny compact car as the five of us drove for what felt like hours and hours in the midst of a torrential downpour. I distinctly remember seeing the red and blue Lupo’s neon sign through the raindrop-covered car window and thinking “wow, I’m going to see The Strokes!”

Of course it was one of the greatest concert nights of my life. I had already been totally obsessed with them for months and this show was the ignition point for my subsequent decade-long fandom. (I was originally supposed to see them for the first time on September 14th at Irving Plaza during that year’s CMJ, but then all the shows were canceled after 9/11.)

The crowd was really intense, with all these huge dudes pushing and shoving all us little kids in the front. It actually got so bad that I had to pull myself out of the crowd and I watched the rest of the show from the upstairs balcony.

It was because I was all the way up there that I witnessed what I consider to be a “classic” early Strokes moment:

In the middle of a song, Julian was looking into the crowd — then all of a sudden he throws down the microphone stand and LAUNCHES himself into the audience, causing a scuffle. The rest of the guys continue to play, but both Nick and Albert start edging their way to the front of the stage, nearly throwing down their own instruments and jumping in. At first no one can tell what was happening — but then within seconds the club bouncers are rushing to pull Julian — who’s fist was raised at this point — away from some dude in the crowd.

The bouncers pull the target of Julian’s ire out of the venue and JC climbs back up on the stage and the rest of the show goes on without incident.

Pretty much amazing, right?

So if you ever wondered what it might have sounded like to be at the September 28, 2001 show at Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel, it’s your day. Here’s a MP3 conversion of my crappy cassette tape recording of The Strokes playing “Last Nite” from that show:

“Last Nite” (live) by The Strokes by missmodernage

UPDATE: View the signed setlist from the show.

Every day in for Strokes March Madness I’ll be posting something from my Strokes archive. Please tweet or FB like if you enjoy where this is going.

Band of the Day: The Middle East Comes to the USA

Right now the Australian band The Middle East are touring the United States for the very first time, hitching a ride with headliners Laura Marling (through May 11th) and Mumford and Sons (through June 10), ending with a spot at Bonnaroo.

The band back their ethereal, dreamy vocals with a myriad of instruments — from the folk guitar picking in their song “The Darkest Side” to cheery Sufjan Stevens-style trumpeting in “Blood”.

WATCH “Blood” by The Middle East:

If that charming little song didn’t spur you to learn more about them, perhaps this will. Their drummer Mike Haydon has been keeping a tour blog about their first time touring America and this little bit made me chuckle:

this was a taco bell attached to a kfc. UNEXPLAINED. i mean, why would you combine the two? this was disturbing. like it really got to me. a CHICKEN store…and a TACO store. why were they not just single stores?

As most Americans probably know, KFC and Taco Bell are owned by the same company (Yum Brands) and they often share a space. I LOVE that these Aussies are totally perplexed by the fact that tacos and fried chicken should co-exist. THIS IS ONE OF THE MANY BEAUTIFUL THINGS AMERICA HAS TO OFFER.

Now for sweet free MP3s:

DOWNLOAD: “Lonely” by The Middle East
DOWNLOAD: “Darkest Side” by The Middle East
DOWNLOAd: Blood” by The Middle East

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Listen to Me on Blog Fresh Radio’s Music Blog Zeitgeist 2008

Hey dudes and dudettes, if you are so inclined to listen to podcasts on the interweb, please check out the slew of shows being released at Blog Fresh Radio in partnership with The Hype Machine. They are counting down the top artists/albums of 2008, and you can catch lil’ old me mindlessly blathering about a few of them on said program.

In one episode I obsessively gush about Ryan Adams (Are you surprised?) and my girl-crush on Zooey Deschanel.

In another I comment on the Santogold phenomenon.

Check out the release tomorrow, where they’ll reveal the Top 10 albums of 2008… and you’ll hear me defend one of the most beloved/hated bands of last year.

The World’s Most Annoying Song

Have you ever heard an awful song and moaned, “Ughh! This song is horrible!”

cdcoversmWell what if I told you that this 20-some-odd minute song by Russian artists Komar & Melamid is THE worst song ever? It’s been out a while, but I was just listening to a recent This American Life episode where they played snippets of the tune.

How did Komar & Melamid create this irritating ditty? By polling 500 people on the DIA website about the elements of their favorite and least favorite music.

Apparently people do not like holiday music, cowboy tunes, children singing, harps, opera, and rap… and this song mixes all of those elements (and much more) into one horrible song.

However, I dare you to listen to the sounds of a chorus of kids singing about Yom Kippur and Ramadan and not give out at least a little giggle.

DOWNLOAD: “The Most Unwanted Song” by Komar & Melamid via the Wired site.

Download: Pendulum Cover Coldplay’s “Violet Hill”

Today Aussie drum and bass band Pendulum were on Jo Whiley’s Live Lounge (er… minus Jo, who was ill today) and as is tradition, they performed a cover version of a current popular song. Which did they choose? “Violet Hill” by Coldplay!

It wasn’t really my style of music, but it was definitely a re-imagining of the song, so I give them props for that.

You can listen to it on the BBC site, or download it below.

DOWNLOAD: “Violet Hill” by Pendulum (Coldplay cover) [mp3] (Link from
Do you like it, Y/N?

Julian Casablancas, Santogold, and Pharrell on “My Drive Thru”

You’ve heard about this Converse project which joins The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas, Santogold, and Pharrell Williams of N.E.R.D., now you can finally hear the results of their collaboration, a song called “My Drive Thru.”

DOWNLOAD: “My Drive Thru” by N.E.R.D. featuring Julian Casablancas and Santogold (via Sit Down Stand Up)

Writes We Heart Stuff:

Converse are seemingly sticking heavily to showing off their rock n’ roll heritage and have devised a campaign entitled ‘Three Artists, One Song’ which apparently will see artists as diverse as Deerhunter, Does It Offend You, Yeah? and Gallows along with of course the 3 effortlessly cool individuals who have put together this track…

Thanks to C for the head’s.

Actress Jena Malone Sings About Blogs

I know, I know, not another young actress who thinks she can make music… but Jena Malone hs been toiling through the indie music world for quite some time, having released a 7″ single last year. Now she is one half of a performance music group called “The Shoe”, which just concluded a six stop tour of Los Angeles.

The Shoe sounds anti-folk, much like bands like the Moldy Peaches. When she’s not making music, you can catch Jena blogging about music she’s made about blogging over at IFC’s “Guest List” blog and on the Myspace.

DOWNLOAD: “Dirty Blog Ugly Word” by Bloodstained Shoe

You Hear It First: The Postelles “123 Stop”

New York City band The Postelles (who I’ve seen open up for Jack Penate) just finished recording a song with The Strokes‘ guitarist and successful solo singer-songwriter, Albert Hammond Jr., who worked behind the board as the producer of the song. (His first time as a producer of another band’s tunes.) The song is called “123 Stop” and the band is releasing it on Monday on their MySpace, but you dear reader get a chance to listen and download the song right now!

Check it out!

DOWNLOAD: “123 Stop” by The Postelles (mp3)

UPDATE: Sorry dudes, gotta make it streaming ONLY for now as this version is not fully mastered:

Here they are in the studio:

albert hammond jr
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Say Hi’s Basement Tapes Session

Check out the latest installment of the Basement Tapes for exclusive performances of the now Seattle-based indie rock fave, Say Hi (aka- the artist formerly known as “Say Hi to Your Mom”). (The 16-year-old kid down the hall who loves robots, rainbows, and being scared of bullies will be eating this shiz UP!)

Say Hi

Features some videos, photos, and live MP3s, one of which is a cover of the Beatles song “I’m So Tired” [DOWNLOAD: Mp3]

Oh and speaking of Beatles covers… did anyone see American Idol on Tuesday night? It was about 2 hours of pure TORTURE, as the contestants took turns brutally gang banging the Lennon-McCartney songbook. There were some rare moments of decency (that willowy blonde chick wasn’t THAT bad and I kinda sorta liked that hilariously over-the-top Creed wannabe dude doing “Eleanor Rigby”), but for the most part a consistent stream of cringe-worthy performances.
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