Strokes singer Julian Casablancas may be one of the ultimate New York icons of the past decade, but it seems like he’s adapted to West Coast life quite readily during his month-long “Phrazes For The Young” solo residency at the old Palace movie theater in downtown Los Angeles (which has become pretty much the place to see and be scene for the last three Fridays in L.A.).
Along with performing in front of a stunning visual backdrop projected onto the Palace Theater’s old-Hollywood-style movie screen, Julian has made the following City Of Angels-championing cover song a staple of his solo set:
Yes, you heard that right: That is indeed a uniquely Casablancan interpretation of Randy Newman‘s 1980s sunshiny shoutalong, “I Love L.A.”
Granted, with Julian’s signature tin-canned vocals, deadpan drawl, and oddly altered lyrics, the song does take on a certain Lou Reedish, unmistakably New Yorker quality, making it more suitable for L.E.S. dive-bar crawls than Pacific Coast Highway convertible cruises with a big nasty redhead at one’s side. But still, consensus among native Angelenos like myself is…”We love it!“
However, here’s Julian back in a New York state of mind from another one of his Palace residency gigs, doing “Ludlow St.,” in any East Coasters were concerned that he’d gone too Hollywood: