Wednesday, September 30, 2009

11th Dimension

Song: 11th Dimension
Artist: Julian Casablancas
Album: Phrazes For the Young

Really digging this new solo track from the lead Strokes. Reminds me just how much I miss the Strokes. This makes me very interested in the album.

Julian Fernando Casablancas (born August 23, 1978) is the vocalist and songwriter of the American rock band The Strokes. He also has a solo album called Phrazes for the Young.

Early life and education

Julian Casablancas is the son of John Casablancas, son of immigrants from Sabadell in Spain and the founder of Elite Model Management, and Jeanette Christiansen, a Danish model who was Miss Denmark in 1965, and brother of Cecile and John II Casablancas. His paternal grandfather Ferran Casablancas was a textile businessman. His parents were divorced when Casablancas was nine, and he lived with his mother and Sam Adoquei. He is best known for being a member of The Strokes.

The first original member of The Strokes with whom Casablancas met was Nikolai Fraiture. The two attended the same kindergarten and soon more schools to come. When he was 14, Casablancas was caught drinking before school and consequently was forced twice a week to attend a rehabilitation program called Phoenix House. Soon afterwards, his father sent him to Institut Le Rosey, a boarding school in Switzerland. It was here that he encountered Albert Hammond, Jr.. Though the two were not friends at the time, they would later become roommates and finally bandmates.

When Casablancas returned to New York after six months at Le Rosey, he continued his education at Dwight School in Manhattan, where he befriended Fabrizio Moretti and Nick Valensi, who later also became fellow band members. He dropped out in 11th grade and attended Five Towns College on Long Island for one year, receiving a scholarship after writing a classical composition. He worked as a bartender before going into music professionally.

Musical career

The Strokes

Julian Casablancas' vocals feature a distinct delivery as well as a wide range in pitch. His signature vocal style combines elements of sing-speak and soul, drawing influences most notably from Robert Pollard, Lou Reed, and Ian Curtis.

As The Strokes principal songwriter, he has the greatest impact on their sound and has been known to be extremely meticulous with it. While Casablancas composes on a variety of instruments, he uses the keyboard to write complex arrangements that he later transposes to fit The Strokes' guitar-driven lineup.

Another recent change has come in the recording of his vocals, which is significantly clearer and louder than their first two albums. At first, Casablancas would always use a filter when singing on The Strokes' first two albums. He has since changed this on First Impressions of Earth. However, Casablancas says this was adjusted only because it fit the new songs' style more, and not because he was any less self-critical about his voice.

Other work

Known to not play much on Strokes' recordings, Julian has proved himself an able multi-instrumentalist through guest appearances. He's played casio guitar on "Sick, Sick, Sick" by Queens of the Stone Age, bass guitar and backing vocals on Albert Hammond, Jr.'s "Scared", and the second set of drums on the Strokes' "Evening Sun".

He has also served as inspiration for several other musicians. For instance, Courtney Love's song "But Julian, I'm a Little Bit Older Than You", from her debut solo album America's Sweetheart (2004), was written about Julian Casablancas.

In 2008, Julian recorded a song with Santogold and Pharrell of N*E*R*D called "My Drive Thru" for Converse. He also appears in the ad campaign.

In 2009, Julian recorded a song with Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, and Akiva Schaffer of SNL and The Lonely Island called "Boombox" for their debut album. He also collaborated with Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse on the song "Little Girl".

Personal life

Julian (or 'Jules' as he is known by his friends and family) is an avid baseball fan, particularly of the New York Mets, and has said that "if I could go back in time I'd be a minor league pitcher". He also likes the New York Jets football team.

On February 5, 2005, Julian Casablancas married Juliet Joslin, an assistant to a band manager, in a private ceremony in New York. Their reception was at Tavern on the Green. He announced the engagement at several shows including Central Park, where prior to playing their song "Hard to Explain," he said, "Oh, and I'm getting married and this is 'Hard to Explain!'"

Julian is also a co-owner of a Korean BBQ restaurant Shin along with Danny Masterson, Steve Aoki (Dim Mak Records), Mark Ronson, Laura Prepon, Gerard Butler and others.

Phrazes for the Young is the debut solo album by the American songwriter Julian Casablancas, set to be released on October 19th, 2009 in the UK and October 20th in the US and Europe. Casablancas, who is best known for being the front man of New York garage-rock band The Strokes, recorded the eight-song album in 2009 in New York, Los Angeles, and Nebraska. Jason Lader served as producer, and Bright Eyes/Monsters of Folk musician Mike Mogis contributed additional production. The album was previewed in its entirety on August 31, 2009 at the Duo Music Exchange in Tokyo,Japan. "11th Dimension" had its very first airing on the Radio 1 Zane Lowe Show on September 17th, and was marked as Zane Lowe's Hottest Record.

Track Listing

1."Out of the Blue"
2."River of Brake Lights"
3."4 Chords of the Apocalypse"
4."11th Dimension" 4:02
5."Ludlow St."
7."Left & Right in the Dark"


11th Dimension

Preview of "Phrazes For the Young"

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