julian-casablancas-11th-conan.jpg

Performing complexly synthesized compositions on record is one thing… I like the way Julian Casablancas lays his voice out over Phrazes For The Young’s electro backdrops, partially because it feels so insulated and obsessive, a man and his bed of keyboards, drum machines, guitars, etc., alone in the studio. Watching him do it live with a bunch of folks who aren’t the Strokes? Less exciting. (And points off for the drummer’s L.A. Dodgers hat. Ludlow Street’s in NYC, sir.) If you can look beyond an awkward beginning, things do click here/there in this thin-sounding take on “11th Dimension.” At the very least you can watch Casablancas do his deadpan robot dance.

Phrazes For The Young is out 11/3 via Cult/RCA. You can stream it at MySpace.

Comments (62)
  1. jfk  |   Posted on Oct 28th, 2009 0

    well, that was awkward.

  2. i was really interested in seeing how he was gonna pull this off live. the start is definitely awkward as hell. is it just an issue with the mixing? voice is too quiet, synth sounds like a toy piano, bass is barely audible (or are my headphones shitty?). it did definitely get better at some parts and actually kinda engaging. there’s a very audible guitar mistake at one point too. i wonder if they practiced this a lot cuz it definitely sounds like they just winged it. even the sweet orchestral synth interlude in the second half sounded rushed, awkward and weird. hmph.

    atleast the album is fucking amazing.

  3. panties  |   Posted on Oct 28th, 2009 0

    some one get him a mic stand

  4. thinskin  |   Posted on Oct 28th, 2009 0

    That was fucking awkward.

  5. ev  |   Posted on Oct 28th, 2009 0

    CANT DISAGREE MORE! The drummer gets EXTRA points for wearing an LA hat paired with a NY Mets jacket! World Series irony at its best. Phuck the Yanks and the Fils!

  6. Bang Ki Moon  |   Posted on Oct 28th, 2009 0

    Is the drummer wearing a dodgers hat AND a Mets jacket!? That is, in no way, acceptable. Fab would never do something so reprehensible.

  7. matt  |   Posted on Oct 28th, 2009 0

    what an annoying drummer!

  8. He looked like a mix between Rocky Bobby doing an interview and Moz doing his asexual croon-dance. “What I do with my hands?” Not that, JC, not that.

    Good song though.

  9. jono  |   Posted on Oct 28th, 2009 0

    an’ on topa this I ain’t ever gonna understand…Julian Cassablancas live.

  10. Last night! She said!… I was pretty awkward on the Late Show.

  11. I saw this last night, and yeah, the beginning was super-awkward. I kind of felt bad watching it. But they found their footing after the first minute or so. By the end, I was pretty much on board. Can’t wait to listen to this album, finally.

  12. Someone get this man some shampoo

  13. Skare Kreau  |   Posted on Oct 28th, 2009 0

    It wasn’t that bad at all. It probably sounded amazing to the live audience. In my opinion, hats off to Julian for making the second best Strokes solo album (Little Joy was a pleasant suprise). I hope that the directon of First Impressions of Earth makes more sense to people now that they have heard Phrazes for the Young. My only problem with that CD (FIoE) was the editing; it was too long. However, in context of the rising democracy within the band and the eventual hiatus, it makes sense that it was an effort to please everyone to a certain degree.

    I am more curious about this record than any other record of 2010. I don’t know whether the solo/side project records were a good idea or bad idea. On one hand, they could be seen as necessary for band members to indulge in their musical urges that were supressed within the group so the groupd could live. On the other hand, now that they have had freedom to create individual music and work with other musicians, each band member’s prespective has changed. I would like for this fourth CD to be their first CD with everyone’s influences/styles on display instead of a return to original form.

  14. adam  |   Posted on Oct 28th, 2009 0

    That mix was shitty. That effected it the most in my opinion. I’ll agree that he really needed something else to do with his hands. Just a bit lost up there.

  15. derp  |   Posted on Oct 28th, 2009 -1

    this album is a joke

  16. i didn’t think it was awkward in the least. not even after being directed to Look for the awkwardness. and i thought the whole thing sounded good. 11th dimension isn’t my favorite song on the album though; i wish they would have played, like, “Out of the blue.”

    • Agreed. Though he did look scared shitless at the start, can’t blame him. First time on the teevees with solo stuff. Plus it helps that he looked amazing, unf. This album is absolutely amazing ( the only other record this year that has surprised me anywhere near as pleasantly is Julian Plenti is…Skyscraper), I’m dying to see this band live.

  17. Julian’s back bitchessss!!!!!!!!!!!

    ehem got that out of my system….now let’s see. I still feel like i ran into a long lost friend, and though he’s not as cool as the glory days he’s still badass, perfect hair and all.
    And of course fab wouldn’t wear that junk, he would wear an FC Barcelona jersey, because futbol is greater than baseball.

  18. d@ve  |   Posted on Oct 28th, 2009 0

    mehs around…not impressed

  19. Ikidikid  |   Posted on Oct 28th, 2009 0

    Did he roll the dice? I think he did 1:37. ANd the mix sucks they made 6 musicians sound like 1

  20. i like to call that dance “the speedskater”

  21. Sam  |   Posted on Oct 28th, 2009 0

    this hurts. it hurts so much

  22. hank  |   Posted on Oct 28th, 2009 0

    WELL THAT FUCKING SUCKED!

  23. I’d venture to say that it was already iission mmpossible to pull this, or most any other song from the album for that matter, off faithfully in the live setting of The Tonight Show studio, which is already the WORST. Which, when I think about it, only makes this performance, and the fact that he decided at all to debut this here, that much more fun for throwing caution to the wind.

  24. FranFran  |   Posted on Oct 28th, 2009 0

    Somebody get that man a mic stand and a cigarette, or a glass of scotch. Something to ensure he won’t ever roll the dice like that again.

  25. I’m going to state the obvious here: I think he was doing voice over!

    Maybe the Strokes fans know how long it’s been since the last time he was continuously on stage but it looks like it was a very long time ago and he’s feeling out of the element.

  26. Anonymousa  |   Posted on Oct 28th, 2009 0

    It wasn’t that bad at all. It probably sounded amazing to the live audience. In my opinion, hats off to Julian for making the second best Strokes solo album (Little Joy was a pleasant suprise). I hope that the directon of First Impressions of Earth makes more sense to people now that they have heard Phrazes for the Young. My only problem with that CD (FIoE) was the editing; it was too long. However, in context of the rising democracy within the band and the eventual hiatus, it makes sense that it was an effort to please everyone to a certain degree.
    I am more curious about this record than any other record of 2010. I don’t know whether the solo/side project records were a good idea or bad idea. On one hand, they could be seen as necessary for band members to indulge in their musical urges that were supressed within the group so the groupd could live. On the other hand, now that they have had freedom to create individual music and work with other musicians, each band member’s prespective has changed. I would like for this fourth CD to be their first CD with everyone’s influences/styles on display instead of a return to original form.

    get a life.

  27. hooooooot  |   Posted on Oct 28th, 2009 0

    he should have just gone full out disco with some awesome platform shoes, an afro, and huge lapels

  28. matthew  |   Posted on Oct 28th, 2009 0

    are you people crazy? Yeah he seems a bit awkward…but the music is fucking badass.

  29. yeah that was kind of weird. couldn’t agree more with the mic stand comment. BUT i really like that song and the album so w/e. plus the female percussionist is hot

  30. jake  |   Posted on Oct 28th, 2009 0

    I always thought the shitty, tinny sound of his voice on Strokes records was some kind of low-fi thing. But I guess it’s just the way he sounds.

  31. jorge  |   Posted on Oct 28th, 2009 0

    Go Dodgers Baby!

  32. The annoying drummer detracts from my enjoyment of the song even more than Julian’s awkward stage moves. The drummer looks like the douchey hipster version of Kid Rock and Kevin Federline. The mix is crappy and thin, and they give Julian way too much space in the middle. If the musicians were closer to him, maybe they’d look more like an actual band, and he wouldn’t resort to silly dice rolling gestures to fill up space.

    All this being said, I still really like the song. Dude needs to work on his live act though.

  33. Emmanuel Torres  |   Posted on Oct 29th, 2009 0

    It’s forgettable…in a good way :”)

  34. even with all that vocal thickening effect and distortion the the mix still sounds as thin as ice. Pick up your act Tonight Show sound guys.

  35. I agree with the mixing problem. They make his voice sound really muffled and distant and small.

    But I didn’t think he was awkward at all. Julian seems like the most comfortable person to me. He rolls the dice because he has a sense of humor.

  36. gturner  |   Posted on Oct 29th, 2009 0

    I really hope someone else saw him doing “the dice thing”. Oh man, haha. That about summed up his performance for me.

  37. Skare Kreau  |   Posted on Oct 29th, 2009 0

    I never thought about the stupidity of the phrase, “Get a life.” Thanks Anonymousa! I’m sure you will come back on here to read my response. Here it is: GO SLIT YOUR WRISTS!!! :) I like discussing things that I care about. That is part of my life. I could try to leave a witty comment and get approval from assholes like you, but that doesn’t do anything for me.

  38. If you knew you were going to be dissected and ripped apart by anonymous fools on the internet, you might be a little “awkward” on TV, too. Cut the guy some slack. He hasn’t been on stage in a long time.

    • jimmy deaner  |   Posted on Oct 30th, 2009 0

      amen brah. dude is crooning on late night and we feel it appropriate to critique his effort…never mind the drummers attire. bullet proof glass.

  39. i feel like i just found out my internet boyfriend is a little person.

  40. killa form manila  |   Posted on Oct 29th, 2009 0

    Guys quit this shitting around about how it sucked or how it was cool but the soundman screwed things up and tell us the name of the nice girl that plays little drums;-)

  41. manchita1985  |   Posted on Oct 30th, 2009 0

    that was awesome.

  42. illnoise661  |   Posted on Oct 30th, 2009 0

    can’t wait to see the show live in l.a. in nov. the album is great for the 4th quarter.the bad thing it’s only eight songs.damn! but i’ts a great EP. THX JULEZ

  43. Sadowski  |   Posted on Oct 30th, 2009 0

    Julian must really have a bug up his ass about baseball. Why have the drummer wear a Mets shirt and Dodger cap??? Is he sending a message to the Phillies and Yankees??? Like they care what he thinks…

  44. chissy  |   Posted on Oct 31st, 2009 0

    julian casablancas is ridiculous! this album is soo good and 11th dimension is one of my favorites at the moment :)

  45. dave w.  |   Posted on Oct 31st, 2009 0

    dude this happens SOOO often it’s insane, Vocal volumes being WAYYYY too low, it’s just insane how often this happens….DO YOU NOT SOUNDfuckingCHECK!?!?! The show’s deserve at least half the blame but fucking A bands/singers, MAKE A STINK, make 1000% sure the shit is right before you’ll play…have YOUR soundguy check it, listen…it’s flabbergasting:) it was ALMOST a great performance, if i coulda heard it right…

    • I see your point but your CAPS are UNNECESSARY and DISTRACTING and also a bit OVERLY DRAMATIC.

      • Dave Warnock  |   Posted on Nov 2nd, 2009 -1

        gee nice reply, n thanks for the lesson of stereogum comment etiquette, but ‘i see your point BUT’ is a gayass waste of time…YOU know what IM SAYinng? Take it to your shrink senor sour grapes.

  46. He is a better dancer than I am =\

  47. Johnny  |   Posted on Nov 1st, 2009 0

    huh with the concentration on what the drummer was wearing you would figure this was some kind of fashion forum. dont care what they wear as long as the songs sound good and they give a good show

  48. MattKlomp  |   Posted on Nov 2nd, 2009 0

    Too bad about the tech issues and weirdness at the start of the performance. Even so, still absolutely loving Phrazes and hope to see these guys later this month.

  49. Goddamn he looks good, and the album is fantastic.

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