In the early ’00s, the Strokes (along with the White Stripes) helped to usher in a wave of sharp-dressed, retro-leaning “return of rock” bands that were supposed to wash out the nu-metal and post-grunge clogging up mainstream rock radio. While this wave wasn’t entirely successful in that regard, several of these bands have proved enduring, including Interpol, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Killers, Kings of Leon, and the Black Keys. Many more bands were swept into the historical buzz bin. In honor of the Strokes' new album, Comedown Machine, and with apologies to the Vines, French Kicks, Louis XIV, etc., here are 10 songs from the period’s lesser lights that I still put on personal playlists. And to listen to all of them, here is a handy Spotify link.
Bob’s Burgers, Fox’s cutesy (in a good way) cartoon comedy, flattened Annie Clark out to 2D, and had her sing a jaunty punk-rock tune about good girls going bad (but like, by fighting with their moms, not by rolling blunts on the top of their security guard’s heads). You know, when I was a younger man, the best parts about being a rock star seemed like it would be all the girls and the money and the free cheese pizzas. These days, though, it's more these kind of things — getting a fun animated version of yourself; you know, something you can frame and hold in your hands, and one day look back and reflect on — that seem to be the real perks. And now if you'll excuse me, I have some milk to warm.