While watching Netflix’s Queer Eye series, there are at least two things you can be certain of: You’re going to cry whether you like it or not, and you will see food & wine expert Antoni Porowski wearing a Strokes t-shirt. Okay, he doesn’t rep Julian Casablances & Co. on every episode, but Antoni does rock his Strokes tee on numerous occasions, explaining they’re one of his favorite bands.
To find out more about Antoni’s Strokes fandom, we asked him to list his 10 favorite Strokes and Strokes-adjacent songs. Check them out below.
10. “Welcome to Japan”
OMG yes! Worth inclusion just for the “What kind of asshole drives a lotus?” lyric.
Kind of lost in the shuffle in the middle of the Angles album. Really love the jazzy bass line by Nikolai Fraiture that carries through most the track.
8. “What Ever Happened?”
The first track off their second album basically picks up exactly where they left us after the masterpiece that is Is This It, with a little more polish. Too much change at once can be overwhelming and this allowed me to ease in carefully into the record.
Probably my favorite track by the band about unabashed youth and recklessness. (Ok maybe ever?) The music video seems to capture that as well with a deserved homage to their heroes Guided by Voices and Slash.
6. “11th Dimension” – Julian Casablancas
Technically a Julian Casablancas song but I would be remiss if I didn’t include this on the list. A true coming of age tune.
5. “Last Nite”
This is the song that put them on the map to the mainstream, relatively speaking, so it can’t be discredited. It’s pretty obvious that it’s a dead ringer for “American Girl” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers but from everything I’ve read even the late legend was a fan and onboard 100%.
Every single line in that song is about my late teens.
“I wish two drinks were always in me.” That’s about all you need to know about that song. I also get the sense he’s pleading for hope. I also get that I very well may 100% be projecting my 20-something year old self onto this song, haha.
2. “You Only Live Once”
If there ever was a quintessential Strokes song, this would get my vote. Basically, a song about self-reflection, the path towards self-actualization, sprinkled with wisdom from mentors here and there, all well camouflaged with catchy guitar hooks. The stripped down demo version titled “I’ll Try Anything Once” gives the track an interesting perspective as well.
1. “Hard to Explain”
Rock music as a whole was terrible in the early 2000s. (Nu-Metal anyone?) and hearing this song (and the Strokes) for the very first time was the wake-up call we all needed. I always interpreted the lyrics as someone roaming around aimlessly in search of unattainable ideals and not fitting in at the same time. This truly changed everything for me.
Honorable mention: “Drag Queen”
At first I thought it was some post-apocalyptic existence Julian was drawing out for us, but I think he’s just angry about our current, messed up world, and rightfully so.