After 9/11, New Yorkers rushed out to hug their city amid blizzards of escapist hedonism in wild bars and endless loft parties
Strokes fall into the law of diminishing returns and addiction. Embracing Rashomon-like subjectivity, Goodman stands back and lets everyone have their say. The variety of voices and standpoints not only creates a very full-bodied perspective on that era but also rip-roaring entertainment due to the order and thematic lines Goodman assembles them in. Thus, a constant flow of wickedly juicy gossip (who did how much of what with whom), bitchy put-downs (former DFA co-owner Tim Goldsworthy doesn’t hold back on his feelings towards Murphy) and awkward contradictions (Ryan Adams denying claims he provided Hammond Jr with heroin). By the time Murphy and the Strokes did backto-back Madison Square Garden shows in 2011, the scene and the world around it were very different. File-sharing and playlist culture shrank budgets and expectations, making the Strokes the last “rock stars” in the traditional, TV-out-the-window sense. But it also meant bands like Grizzly Bear and the brilliant Vampire Weekend were less burdened by NYC rock heritage in both influence and druggy posturing. A more careerist, musically eclectic model emerged in the increasingly priced-out neighbourhoods of Brooklyn. Fitter, happier, more productive, but tamer and less rakish, too. And if, alas, rock ’n’ roll has lost its edge and those days are gone forever, this is a fitting send-off.