Watch: The Unseen Beauty, featuring a new song by Julian Casablancas

by Eric Van Dril · 36 comments

The Unseen Beauty, a 10-minute movie featuring Sam Adoquei, Julian’s stepfather, was released online this morning.

Julian has been open about Adoquei’s influence on his career, saying “everything positive I’ve ever done I feel I owe to him” to the Guardian. He famously sent Julian a tape of the Doors, which seemed to have sparked his interest in songwriting, and served as a mentor through his formative years as an artist.

The Unseen Beauty profiles Adoquei unlike anybody, either on film or in print, has previously. This movie also features a new track from Julian. Check it out.

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 the modern age February 7, 2014 at 7:58 am

This is wonderful. I’m so happy watching this, it means so much to me.
Eric thank you for making this post.

2 coconuts February 7, 2014 at 9:17 am

Such an amazing humble man and so much inspiration in just 10 minutes!!
Everyone needs to see this! Love it ๐Ÿ™‚

3 the modern age February 7, 2014 at 9:20 am

Gabriel did a great job.

4 the modern age February 7, 2014 at 9:22 am

And obviously that music is gorgeous! Everyone has seen that painting of Julian right? He’s also in the MLK painting, and so are Sam & Jeanette and some other friends.

5 Wolfsie February 7, 2014 at 10:15 am

Really beautiful film and the song fits it nicely.

6 LillySu February 7, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Really good documentary. Carries the same sensation like his book Origin Of Inspiration. Makes you feel this men’s calmness and wisdom. And Julian’s little song fits perfectly.

7 heather February 7, 2014 at 5:27 pm

This is wonderful! Sam is an incredible man and artist. The whole team did a great job on this and the music fit it all so perfectly. Thanks for posting this Eric.

8 Annie 1251 February 7, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Eric thanks for the post! ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t think many people know what a huge influence Sam has had on Julian’s life.
Or that Sam, just like Julian, is so unique, so caring, so interested in people. and is all about contributing to the world. I love that!

I agree with TMA. Gabriel did a real good job-the film is wonderful.
and Julian’s little song is so beautiful.

9 Kev February 8, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Really enjoyed that. Thanks for posting!

10 river or wtf February 9, 2014 at 2:34 pm

When can you hear the song?????
Can anyone be more specific cuz i have failed to find it.

11 protogyl February 9, 2014 at 2:47 pm

this song uses the same chord progression as OWT. i can hear it clearly

12 Brian Wallace February 9, 2014 at 4:36 pm

I went to see Arctic Monkeys at Madison Square Garden last night and they were brilliant as usual.

However, it got me thinking. If the Strokes had played a similar show and played 17-18 songs almost exclusively from “Angles” and “Comedown Machine” and only played…say…”Last Night”, “Red Light”, “12:51”, “Reptilia” and “Heart In A Cage” would you be satisfied?

Last night they played 10 of 12 songs from “A.M.” (However, they did NOT play “No. 1 Party Anthem”!?!?! That’s was like, the best song I heard all of last year. If I wrote that song I’d play it every time.) And it’s a little different because I’d say 80% of the crowd got into Arctic Monkeys because of “A.M.” and its singles and the moved backwards. Almost the opposite of the Strokes.

I just thought it was interesting. I hate to see The Strokes become a nostalgia act. I was happy to see Alex Turner trying to avoid that.

Brian

13 Kev February 9, 2014 at 4:55 pm

I don’t know much about Arctic Monkeys but I have to say not playing a fan favorite (so you say, I don’t know the song) from LAST YEAR hardly makes them a nostalgia act. That’s just strange.

14 Kev February 9, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Sorry Brian – I re-read your post. I know what you meant to say. Sorry. I still think its strange they didn’t play that song.

15 Ubu February 9, 2014 at 5:44 pm

@Brian
I’d like to see a show based on Angles and CM. I only saw them once (in 2011) but, from watching videos and stuff it’s like I’m tired of the old songs. Actually, not tired, but it’d be really cool if they played mostly new songs, I mean, they probably feel different about those songs too.

If you think about the Arctic Monkeys, with their new look and Alex’s hair, it feels kind of weird when they play songs like When the Sun Goes Down or stuff like that. They re-invented themselves and that’s what, I think, gave them huge success last year.

16 Annie 1251 February 10, 2014 at 4:17 am

@river
the little song is around 7:00. It’s playing in the background while Sam is talking.
it’s a beautiful little song.
http://www.stereogum.com/1659182/hear-a-new-julian-casablancas-song-in-the-unseen-beauty/video/

17 Annie 1251 February 10, 2014 at 4:59 am

@Brian, Kev & Ubu
well Brian your post made me stop and think. Although I would love to hear SOME songs from CM and Angles, I have my favorites- more from CM tbh. but there are so many songs of theirs from the first 3 that I would be thrilled to hear. For instance, if I don’t hear Reptilia or H2E at the GB I will be very disappointed. understatement.
no I wouldn’t like it at ALL if TS did what the AM did – start with and play mostly new stuff.
And I’m betting I am not alone with this thought.

Is it because The Strokes older music is SO powerful- SO amazing-just so much more incredible than anything else ever recorded?
that’s imo before anyone gets crazy.
(sorry I know there’s a lot of AM fans here and they are a good band so I’m not trying to start THAT debate.)

just saying that -although I really like CM and am glad to see TS moving forward-
we can’t deny the music from their first 3 (ok some here say first 2 – I say first 3) albums was just some mind blowing music. Get into your Soul and not let go mind blowing music.

Is it because they toured relentlessly in their earlier years -and their amazing live music has become almost as familiar to us dedicated fans as the studio versions?
and that’s another thing- The Strokes are KNOWN for their amazing live shows. Again, not to take away from the AM or anyone else- but when TS are on their game-no one even comes close imo.

All those thoughts combined make me want to hear older songs. and yeah- can anyone here say they don’t feel a little twinge of nostalgia whenever you hear Someday?
I swear that song made me feel nostalgic the very first time I heard it. When it first came out.
That’s The Strokes Magic. ๐Ÿ™‚

So -proving what a powerful talented band TS are-here’s a ridiculously amazing 2010 performance of Reptilia. It gives me chills.
http://m.youtube.com/watch?autoplay=1&v=9fZW0_s7QSk&desktop_uri=%252Fwatch%253Fv%253D9fZW0_s7QSk%2526autoplay%253D1

18 Ted February 10, 2014 at 5:21 am

When you listen today to both first album of those 2 bands you know why the Strokes always plays it and not the AM. Is this It is just an absolute CLASSIC! And way better than the arctic monkey first album. I bought it (AM) the other month for my collection because I use to love it but it was an unpleasant experience to listen exept maybe for one or 2 songs.
The strokes have more hits than the AM, and those hits are more on the older albums. People wants hits and as they don’t play very long concert, they can’t experience new stuff.
AM are just more consistant today and way better that they used to be.

19 Mike B February 10, 2014 at 6:57 am

The truth is that AM made a better album in 2013 then The Strokes (At least that’s the general concencus from most people) My only problem with Arctic Monkeys is that I feel like their transformation is a bit fake. What I mean by that is while The Beatles were around in the 60’s where a lot of social change was going on, AM are in the 21st century. Each of their 5 albums specifically try to sound different (especially the last 3) they went from punk kids to more mature popular punk kids to acid users to acoustic lovers to Hiphop/70’s rock fusionists. ALL in 8 years! To me it almost seems like their transition is more Alex Turner saying “alright guys, what kind of album are we trying to make” because they don’t want to get boring. I personally love the new album, AM, so I’m not really complaining all that much (Obviously it’s all just my opinion). The Strokes on the other hand have made a really natural progression.
Lastly to @Brian I personally would love a show where more then half the songs were from CM and Angles. Those are 2 fantastic albums, yeah I would be upset to not see maybe New York City Cops live but there are countless performances of that online!

20 heather February 10, 2014 at 1:33 pm

A nice balance of old and new would be perfect. ๐Ÿ™‚

21 the modern age February 10, 2014 at 2:56 pm

It’s been 8 years since I’ve seen TS play and I’m happy I’ll be at GB. They have 5 albums I love for different reasons so whatever playlist they choose will be fun IMO.

22 Hi February 10, 2014 at 5:10 pm

This video sort of got me more motivated to draw, I’ve had a hard time finding inspiration on doing something, but it I guess made me realize there’s so much around us to collect from. I didn’t see the painting of Julian, can someone tell me when it was?

Also @Brian, the show is part of the AM tour, you can’t be surprised that they played mostly songs from that album. I do have to say I was disappointed they didn’t play No. 1 Party Anthem, I was reallyyyyy looking forward to seeing that one. I also agree how a lot of the crowd were fans because of AM, I don’t hate new fans or anything but a lot of them were pretty annoying, I’d take a show at Leeds and Reading over an MSG show here. Still an incredible show.

I think when The Strokes play at GB it’ll be a balance of old and new songs, I seriously doubt they’ll play mostly stuff from CM, which I think is amazing, but either way I’ll be happy to see them perform whatever.

23 Annie 1251 February 10, 2014 at 8:02 pm

@Hi
So glad you feel inspired to create after watching Sam’s film! If you haven’t already, you should consider reading his book Origin of Inspiration-I love it so much. and the foreword in the new edition is written by Julian.

To answer your question- the portrait of Julian is at 3:58-4:08. He is also in the MLK jr painting- 4:55-5:10. He’s kneeling down on the left with the baseball cap on backwards.

24 Great artist February 10, 2014 at 11:55 pm

Funny to see all these kiss-asses praising Sam. I mean he seems to be a good artist but nothing extraordinary.If it wasn’t Julian and his song,I doubt any of you would be making such a deal of him. =* ( )( )

25 the modern age February 11, 2014 at 7:15 am

@Great artist, Oh is that what you think? I’ve known Sam well before this film was even in the works. Shame you assume things about people you don’t know.

26 the modern age February 11, 2014 at 7:25 am

By the way, did you know that without Sam we probably wouldn’t even have The Strokes? Have you bothered to pay attention to anything other than your assumptions and judgements of people you don’t know? Do your research before you start talking shit.

27 the modern age February 11, 2014 at 7:31 am

My guess if you’ve never even seen this http://i.imgur.com/idzEJep.jpg or paid attention to Julian’s interviews, or even this film for that matter.

28 Wolfsie February 11, 2014 at 7:42 am

@great artist

You have no idea what you are talking about or who you are talking to…. It might be better if you just go back where you came from….

29 Great artist...well not February 11, 2014 at 8:34 am

@wolfsie I wish julian would introduce his barber, his cousins or his maid. Imagine ALL the asses you could kiss ๐Ÿ˜€

30 LillySu February 11, 2014 at 8:54 am

@Great artist
What’s your problem? VSP?

31 the modern age February 11, 2014 at 10:26 am

your ignorance is astounding

32 heather February 11, 2014 at 12:34 pm

@Great Artist: Iโ€™ll be as honest about this as possible. Sam is the man who inspired one of my favorite artists EVER, and that is Julian Casablancas. So, yes. You’re damn straight I’m interested in Sam’s work and what he has to say about his art because it was the catalyst that sparked one of my biggest music heroes’ interest in music and in creating his own art. Julian pretty much credits Sam for his entire career. That is a big deal. Does that not mean anything to you because it means everything to me.

What it means is that if it had not been for Sam, Julian may have never even ventured into music or been inspired to create it. Now just let that sink in for a few seconds and youโ€™ll better understand the magnitude of this manโ€™s influence in Julianโ€™s life. I am thankful to Sam for this influence, and watching this video made it all too clear to me why Julian holds him in such high regard. You can clearly understand why just by listening to the man speak. I, for one, am fascinated.

So, again, yes, Iโ€™m paying very close attention to every single word Sam writes and says and if being interested in the people who inspired your heroes is perceived as “ass-kissing,” then so be it! I have no shame in it.

And with that, I’m seeing that it is no longer fun to come to this site and discuss things because some people go way too far with their cynicism and bottom-of-the-barrel rude comments. This was beyond low, and who needs that?

33 the modern age February 11, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Thanks heather, great post ๐Ÿ˜€ This film is a really big deal and I’m so happy it’s reaching people. On top of everything he’s done, Sam is one of the nicest most genuine people you will ever meet.

34 Wolfsie February 11, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Thanks Heather – very nicely put!

35 squirrel February 15, 2014 at 10:44 am

@Brian Wallace
I think the main reason why they played mostly AM songs is because that album is basically what made them truly popular in the US. I highly doubt they’ll do the same when they play the UK/Europe festival circuit this summer because here people know them since the Whatever People Say… & Favourite Worst Nightmare era and *expect* to hear songs like ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor’, ‘When The Sun Goes Down’, ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ & ‘505’ because any of those songs is as popular (if not more) as anything from AM.

@Mike B
“My only problem with Arctic Monkeys is that I feel like their transformation is a bit fake.” — I totally agree. Don’t get me wrong, I actually like them a lot (seen them live 3 times), but I feel like there’s a lot of “style over substance” going on right now. The lyrics aren’t as witty and observational as they used to be (many songs in the 1st 2 albums were almost social commentary) & their current obsession with/emulation of all things American seems forced, borderline pathetic & sadly ironic – “You’re not from New York City, you’re from Rotherham”.

36 squirrel February 15, 2014 at 11:32 am

@heather
Great post. To be honest, I think comments like @Great Artist’s are too trollish & attention-seeking to even merit an answer, but that was a perfect response.

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