Af­ter 9/11, New York­ers rushed out to hug their city amid bliz­zards of es­capist he­do­nism in wild bars and end­less loft par­ties

Irish Independent - Weekend Review - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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