DJ Julian Casablancas – How The Strokes Man’s First SiriusXM Radio Show Went Down

Amid all the excitement surrounding the new Strokes track ‘OBLIVIUS’ (read our track review here), you might have overlooked the fact that frontman Julian Casblancas is now a radio host and broadcast his first episode of his own show, Culture Void, on SiriusXM earlier today. Was he as excitable as Zane Lowe or did he just let the music do the talking? What did he choose to play on his radio debut? And what can we expect from future shows? All the answers are below…

Much like Josh Homme, Julian’s got his own radio voice
On The Alligator Hour, Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh speaks in a deliberately languid drawl. Here, Julian did something similar, but with a bit more life to it. And while he didn’t speak too much, when he did it had some fans questioning whether he was in need of some cough syrup.

His presenting style is far from professional
Did you really expect anything else though? Where other radio hosts might give you information about the tracks they’ve just played for you, Julian doesn’t always bother to tell you the artist or the song title. Sometimes he seems like he doesn’t even seem sure what he’s playing, like when No Age came to an end and he announced “I think that was ‘Fever Dreaming'”. Luckily, he was right.


He was late to his own show
At 3:10pm, with a cough and a splutter, Culture Void’s first episode got under way ten minutes late. A little trickery to get the anticipation for the premiere of the new Strokes’ track at an even bigger high, or did Julian just get stuck on the subway? Whatever the reason, the next 50 minutes made up for his tardiness.

The playlist was like nothing we’ve heard on radio before
“I’m going to be playing songs you don’t usually hear on the radio, that’s the point I guess,” Julian said at the top of the show. “It’s simply what I wish mainstream radio would sound like.” If he got his wish, the world would be a much more interesting place, that’s for sure. Who else would go from Bob Marley into Belgian singer Jo Lemaire and then into Shabazz Palaces? That was just the first three songs. As the man himself said towards the end of the show, “People get hung up on one style. I like to go all over the spectrum.”

He sandwiched the new Strokes song between Chopin and Fela Kuti
You’ve got the world premiere of one of the most anticipated songs of the year, which you also just happened to write and record. What would you play in the run up to its grand unveiling? Some people would go for something to get their listeners revved up. Not Julian, who dropped a “sweet little nocturne” by Chopin beforehand, all calm and gentle and elegant and then followed ‘OBLIVIUS’ with a bit of Fela Kuti, presumably lest we all get too excited and pass out before the end of his show.

Here’s the full tracklist from Culture Void:

Bob Marley – ‘Bad Card’
Jo Lemaire – ‘Je Suis Venue Te Dire Que Je M’en Vais’
Shabazz Palaces – ‘Blastit.’
The Misfits – ‘Cough/Cool’
Chopin – ‘Nocturne op. 9 No 2’
The Strokes – ‘Oblivious’
Fela Kuti – unknown
No Age – ‘Fever Dreaming’
Himitsu – ‘Unhappybirthday’
C.R.E.A.M – ‘Dusty Beats’
The Hollywood Prime Time Orchestra – ‘Knight Rider’
Metronomy – ‘The Look’
Crystal Castles – ‘Magic Spells’
The Outcasts – ‘Loving You Sometimes’
Supertramp – ‘Goodbye Stranger’