READ THIS: Meet Me In The Bathroom

May 06. 2020 | By Wayne Jessup

Meet Me In The Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll In New York City 2001-2011 promises so much, and in the hands of Lizzie Goodman, more than delivers. She does yeoman work in corralling all the woozy and sometimes contradicting narrative threads and weaving them into a celebratory whole. Her index of recurring characters in the front of the book might be the most helpful since Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s A Hundred Years of Solitude. The parade of recurring players covers band, management, journalists, bloggers, and scenesters, giving a riotous take on the evolving scenes anchored before and after 9/11, weaved into the story of the city.

Picking up the thread in NYC, it starts with the recovery from the Alternative Nation hangover and the dawn of a new era, pinpointing Jonathan Fire*Eater and DFA Records as the inflection points where once again NYC made itself felt as the place to be, building up to the detonation of The Strokes, whom along with the White Stripes, helped usher guitar band sounds back to the fore. It tracks the rise of Interpol and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and charts the transition of power from the East Village to the establishment of Brooklyn as Hipsterville USA.

The parade of sounds is dizzying and set the pace for the decade, from Electroclash to the waves of LCD Soundsystem, the Rapture, Kings of Leon, TV on the Radio, The Walkmen, Vampire Weekend, Grizzly Bear, Dirty Projectors, and the National, it was an explosion of imagination befitting the Big Apple.

Through the rise of the internet, Napster, Pitchfork, the IPod, MySpace, the rise of Coachella, and the retrenchment of traditional record business, it’s an amazing journey filled with epic tunes, drugs, sex, and all manner of interpersonal conflict that comes with the territory of being a band. Come for the gossip, stay for the knowledge. Meet Me In The Bathroom is available via Harper-Collins, or can be ordered through Bookshop.Org

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