Listen: A rare early version of The Strokes playing ‘Someday’ (with alternate lyrics)

by Eric Van Dril · 226 comments

I just stumbled across this version of Someday, which I hadn’t heard before. It’s from Dec. 21, 2000.


{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dracula's Lunch July 30, 2012 at 5:35 am

It is indeed my favorite!

2 Scoflbopter July 30, 2012 at 12:57 pm

@Annie and Dracula’s Lunch
I very much agree with comments 167 and 172/3, respectively.

Angles isn’t the best strokes record because it is the sound of five people trying to make far too many disparate ideas fit onto one record. Because of this, the songs either tend to work or they don’t. The band seems to have done what every group does when they first start collaborating, and I don’t believe they had enough time to work out the kinks. It’s quite hard to tell one of your best friends that you don’t like something they made and believe in.

Angles is far simpler than Phrazes, but Phrazes songs are well constructed and do indeed ‘flow’ better IMO. They seem more complete than the ‘sketches’ some Angles songs seem to be. I think Julian was so obsessed with his solo outing that he didn’t put the required amount of effort into Angles that was needed. This was probably also a result of giving the band more control of the process.

The production does seem to be a bit much, and makes songs seem radically different than one another. This isn’t as apparent on the first two albums or Phrazes, but seemed to be one of the complaints with FIoE. That’s why people like the more raw live versions where the tones are more consistent and the feel is the same throughout.

Still, the biggest problem Angles has is poor songwriting. It can be disguised/described as being more experimental, but the flat out fact of the matter is that some songs just aren’t well written. This is coming from not only a musician and self-proclaimed journalist, but also an unbelievable music lover who is trying to narrow his itunes down to only 30,000 songs. (I know this all sounds pretentious, dude.)

The Strokes before Angles were essentially a rock and roll band writing within pop song structures. Julian’s control gave the songs consistency, focus, and more emotion power. You can find all of that on Phrazes for the Young, except he takes it in a different direction musically. Angles has a few great songs (the singles, Machu Picchu), some good ones (TKoH, LiSitM, Gratisfaction), and some bad ones.

My opinion (very important fact) is that Call Me Back is not really a whole song as much as it is half of one with an awkward, cool sounding yet nonsensical second part. Metabolism is a spiritual rehash of Heart in a Cage, but comes off far less memorable. Games is cool for a little bit, but the jamming part does not keep one’s interest and it sounds unfocused. That’s something they could have thrown into the live show, not the record. Finally, YSR sounds like a sound experiment, though it’s quite a cool one.

None of these four songs sound like the Strokes, though. People expected a certain thing on the comeback album from their favorite band. They just didn’t get it. It’s partly the band’s fault for knowing what their audience would want and not giving it to them, just as much as us being angry for not getting what we expected. It’s the band’s choice, but they’re the ones who deal with the consequence. We can just go back to their other records which are generally preferable.

My personal problem with Angles is that I never want to put certain songs on. I’ll tolerate the songs I don’t enjoy, but that’s probably nostalgia from loving the Strokes in general. As a whole, it doesn’t hold together, even though some songs are fantastic. It’s become more of a playlist album than a record I put on to listen to. This is completely different than any other record by the band or even their side-projects.

3 Scoflbopter July 30, 2012 at 12:59 pm


Also, E#?? haha, for realsies, bro, who calls it that?

Also, how can you ignore the lyrics from a band you like? I consider them integral to the experience, but that mite be just me.

Also, Arctic Monkeys are incredible and are doing a far better job exploring their sound, changing, and evolving as a band. I’ve loved everything except most of Humbug. Musically, they may even be superior to the Strokes, and might be better remembered in the long run. There’s only one problem, and that’s that their music has never hit me in the way the Strokes (with Julian writing) has. And that’s why AM has nothing but praise and compliments for them. They realize it, and so does everyone here.

Something about the Strokes is magical for people, and the fact that you like anything they’ve done enough to write about it and defend it is enough for me to respect you, good sir.

4 Catherine July 30, 2012 at 3:07 pm

thanks so much for that Macchu Picchu link! That was definitely my favorite version of the song. I really liked that you can hear the bass part from the beginning so clearly.

By the way, The Bakery is one of my favorite AM songs. Have you all heard their new songs R U Mine and Electricity?

5 Dracula's Lunch July 30, 2012 at 3:39 pm

@Catherine, glad you love The Bakery as much as I do! I love playing the bass on it.
I love how their B-Sides are just as good and in some cases better than the album tracks. I’ve heard R U Mine and Electricity and I love the direction they’re going in! It’s faster paced like their old stuff, but it sounds almost like a British Queens of The Stone Age. I can’t wait for it next year!
Make sure you give the acoustic version of Crying Lightning a listen. I didn’t that it would work acoustically, but it’s amazing!

6 LillySu July 30, 2012 at 4:21 pm

I was reading your posts about Angles and went on Wikipedia page about Angles to and noticed that Julian was credited on this album not only for vocals, but also for additional guitar. Do you know where exactly, I mean in which songs, he have played it?

7 Annie 1251 July 30, 2012 at 7:05 pm

That’s the first time I’ve ever seriously listened to the Velvet Underground – wow! Very talented! Real good music and I love Lou’s voice! That just had that certain something special. I can see why Julian and all the guys thought so highly of them.
In the first song, when Lou said “Baby”…I smiled (it reminded me of Darlin’ and Honey, lol!)

Also – this comment from a loyal fan was posted for the VU and I’m sure it was well deserved.
But – it also sounds like what you could say about the Strokes:

“Greatest band ever. They are so one hundred percent right. A lot of it had to do with the fact that they had great songwriting abilities and musicianship, but I think most of it was a lot of very hard work.”

**A lot of similarities! I think our guys would be thrilled to hear that.

8 Annie 1251 July 30, 2012 at 7:17 pm

@Catherine & @Dracula’s Lunch
Here’s a live Electricity for you:

I just love these acoustic versions – here’s the Bakery acoustic. I’m sure you’ve both heard it already – but it is beautiful!

9 Annie 1251 July 30, 2012 at 7:48 pm

That was an awesome post!! I agreed with everything you said! And I am really hoping they can make themselves happy – by moving onto newer sounds, but also – make the fans happy by creating an album that we want to listen to from start to finish.

@LillySu & @Chris
Wow – Julian played guitar on Angles? I said this not too long ago – I would love to see him play guitar on stage with the Strokes – just a song or two! That would be so cool!
How can we find out which song(s) he played on?

10 Dracula's Lunch July 30, 2012 at 8:00 pm

@Annie, you’ll probably love these! (I fucking adore the way his voice sounds on that one) Albert mentioned that he really liked that song in that video The Strokes did about mix tapes last year.

11 Yo July 30, 2012 at 11:31 pm

@annie, not all of them though, i read it in a guitar player magazine on shesfixingherhair

12 Yo July 31, 2012 at 12:01 am

Lol, i sent that comment 2 days agi and it barely sent. I guess I have a lot more typing to do.
Annie, i still would like to see where you found out that the rest of the band wrote most of te nusic in angles. Also, “How do you approach your solos?

Hammond, Jr.: All of my leads are worked out, and Julian helps a lot — he’ll actually write some of the solos.”
You lose your head when someone talks ‘smack’ about julian, well I feel the same way about someone talking smack about the rest of the band. You cant just give them no credit, is all i was trying to say.

@scofl, come on, as a musician you cant say phrazes is more complex than angles. Sit down and analyze the progression for taken for a fool, the sheer amount of different chords in gratisfaction, the way alberts guitar harmonizes the flat 9 on UCoD, nicks shredding on youre so right. You dont find any of these things in phrazes, which isnt a good or bad thing but you have to give credit where its due. Angles is not simple or badly written. The only bad song on angles is youre so right, all the other ones are genius compositions. Sorry that I cant pay attention to the lyrics and instrumentation at the same time, I wish I could but there are far too many musical aspects that I hear before the lyrics.
Metabolism is one of my favorite tracks on the album. Heart in a cage is literally a 3 chord song, metabolism is one of the most exciting and constantly evolving peices of prog rock ive ever heard. The strokes are on par with tool with that one. I just cant see how anyone can say angles is badly written

13 Yo July 31, 2012 at 1:26 am

Sorry for all the typos, btw.

14 Scoflbopter July 31, 2012 at 7:49 am

I’m not saying that Angles isn’t complex, because it certainly is when you break it down to the essentials. So are many Strokes songs (Red Light. holy shit. twin guitars), but the band’s biggest talent is making it seem so simple and keeping it immediate and catchy. If you focus out on the big picture, Angles just doesn’t seem as wildly creative as Phrazes, nor as immediately memorable. I’m not going to go into specific details, but most of Phrazes blows my mind at the sheer amount of things happening at any given time. The songs have synths, guitars, vocals, and bass overlaying different melodies and somehow there isn’t a clash and it’s still pretty easy to listen to. Oh, and don’t forget needing two drummers to play all the rhythms!

We might just be on a different page about what we believe is ‘complex,’ but I do see what you’re saying about the neverending chord progressions. To me tho, that’s not as impressive as the overlaying so many melodies and still having it be aurally pleasing. That’s where a composer like Julian can really shine, not so much in the ability to know the circle of fourths and run through it like that bastard Pacobel (sp?)! Yet, when the Strokes do that on FIoE, I’m still floored by it every time.

And yes, Taken for a Fool does have an insane progression that shouldn’t work but does. If Nick wrote that as is widely believed, I commend him. Yet, for all we know, he could have taken the last 5 years to write it. Nick:1, Julian:50? haha not that it’s a contest or anything, but it’s easy to see why he has acheived god-like status…

I think what it still all comes down to is Angles being all over the place, not (as) memorable, at opposition with their other albums, and against most fan’s wishes of what a comeback album could be. Nothing against prog rock or the Strokes, but I personally don’t want to hear them playing it. I do think a lot of people would agree with that sentiment. It’s like the Killers playing bluegrass, haha.

I understand exploring the 80’s, and of course their love of the Cars, pop rock, and Steely Dan. What’s great is that these things come off more naturally when the Strokes do it, and you could see it as a further exploration of 12:51 and their perfect mining and improving of retro pop.

But YSR, Call Me Back, Games, and (to a slightly lesser extent) Metabolism are lacking the hooks that make the other songs on Angles so much better. That paired with the fact that they all sound so distant from what makes the Stroke the Strokes is the problem. It’s why Maccu Picchu is amazing (hitting a vibe like Between Love and Hate does) and Games goes nowhere and becomes a noodly mess. It benefits the player and not the song, which makes sense being that the band supposedly got paid for the amount they contributed.

I’ve rambled once more, but will end by saying the band should have put time in to make a consistent album. It’s the whole ‘comeback’ aspect that drives that point home. Obviously there was all the drama and personal problems, but it shouldn’t have affected the product. I think if they warmed us up with even an EP of the better 6 songs, everyone would have gone insane and they could have toured, repaired reltionships, and released a better album this year. It’s no surprise that Julian literally said verbatim that he was 60% happy with the album. I have a strong idea as to what the 40% of a ten song album he didn’t prefer. Or I’m crazy and he loves the songs nobody does and hates the singles, so enough of fantasy wishes. We have what we have and I’m so pumped for the next album.

Number 5 is ALIVE! (haha)

@Annie – can you out-ramble me??? hahaha

@LillySu – I have no idea where he played guitar, but it’d be funny if he did the shredding instead of Albert or Nick. Kinda like how McCartney did half of George’s lines on the early Beatles stuff because he has better at the time.

15 Scoflbopter July 31, 2012 at 8:09 am

Oh, and the one thing the band could learn from the Arctic Monkey is that you can be experimental and weird, but just make that stuff the b-sides and bonus songs. AM always makes sure their best and most consistent material ends up on the album (the thing that’s really pushed and actually marketed!). Then they put weird shit and instrumentals like ‘Chun-Li’ on the back of singles as extra shit for their hardcore fans.

The Strokes need to realize that there are expectations of them when it comes to albums. If they screw it up, hardcore fans will forgive, but the general public might not. Or maybe all their casual fans will ditch them so I can feel like a cool hipster again!! Time will tell haha

16 annem July 31, 2012 at 1:57 pm
17 Klarissa July 31, 2012 at 3:42 pm

I am sooooo IN LOVE WITH THE STROKES!!!! :DDDD Can’t wait till they tour!!!! I’ll definitely BE THERE!!!! 😀

18 Annie 1251 July 31, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Did you see what Albert just Tweeted about touring after the album?!! If not – go to the newest thread here – I posted it! 🙂

What is he doing in CA?!! I thought they were supposed to be all in NYC recording this album!!

19 Annie 1251 July 31, 2012 at 6:29 pm

First I want to say that although we haven’t agreed on anything throughout our debates here – I am still glad you are also a die-hard fan like the rest of us here on this forum!

I also want you to know that although I think Julian Casablancas is in his own unique songwriter category, I also am a huge STROKES fan. I love this band and their music so much it’s ridiculous. And I have always said that it’s these five guys and only these five guys together that can make this special, amazing music.

fyi: (about Angles) I used to be stuck at my computer for hours at a time, and I read and watched and posted SO many interviews and video interviews and articles about the Strokes and Julian’a solo tour. I really wanted to know what happened between them all, why they weren’t getting along and why Julian wasn’t in the studio recording with them, and why he seemed to distance himself from the guys and Angles. I spent a lot of time “researching” and posting (when I should have been studying, lol!) but I am working now and don’t have the time anymore to go and retrieve and look up all those interviews to post and to prove to you that Julian was not the sole mastermind behind Angles.

I am telling you what I found out – you can believe it or not – and you can research it yourself if you really want to. I promised I wouldn’t bring up all the negativity here and I won’t.

We all know Julian contributed something towards Angles (besides lyrics), but we do know he greatly reduced his role for that album. We also know that he wanted the other four to track the songs while he did his vocals separately. We’ve all gone over all the different reasons why he chose to do it that way – and -none of us here were happy that Angles was recorded that way!

We’re all hoping that this next album will be done right – with all of them together in the studio.
And these are five smart guys – I’m sure they have it all figured out by now!

20 Annie 1251 July 31, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Dude – 1) Your posts are insightful and smart and funny, and I am happy because
2) you make me feel better about my “wall of texts” (as Alan once called them, lol!)

I appreciate your posts! You know your Strokes stuff and I also appreciate the praises for Phrazes!

21 Yo July 31, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Why does everything I say come across as being so negative lol. I just wanted to read/watch an interview I hadnt before. Im an information seeker like you, i guess lol. Well Ill stop my feeble attempts at trying to sharing the goodness I feel about angles since noone appreciates them.

On a different note, everyone who reads this NEEDS to go listen to
A minor 4/4
Rhythm song

In my opinion theyre the 3 best songs the strokes have played. I have no idea why they havent been released

22 Yo July 31, 2012 at 8:10 pm

@scofl, i guess what it comes down to is you prefer listening over analyzing. Different strokes different folks! (ba dum tssss)

23 Scoflbopter August 1, 2012 at 5:59 am

Thanks so much! I’m so glad there’s a place to actually discuss all this online. Before I found this I pretty much convinced myself I was crazy for pouring over every Strokes detail I could find. While there’s so many opinions and fans here, I’m just glad to know there are indeed people like me out there. haha

We do indeed have different habits, but oh well. Sagganuts is the best thing ever in my book, and it’s a shame they havent recorded it. Another band did record a verion on that Brazilian Rock’N’Beats Strokes tribute, and like the rest of the tribute, it’s fantastic. Look it up!

24 ricardo August 28, 2012 at 3:33 pm

so… does anybody have the whole wfmu sessions? i used to have it on an old ipod, but it broke. i got it on soulseek, but its in a weird format (ogg i think)…

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