September 23rd, 2007 |


I have many wonderful, unique, intelligent, beautiful friends. Some will do great things. Some have done them already. Some on billboards, some in grad school, some still jabbing needles into their arms. Some call me incessantly, some never seem to call, and some—some are in bands.

Blair Van Nort is a talented writer, one of the only writers at my school (a school supposedly famous for its undergrad writing program) that didn’t suck. I thought he was going to be one of the few people in my class to get a book deal without an MFA. Which is why I was so puzzled when (while chatting between Whole Food delivery shifts a couple of years ago) he announced that he was giving up writing to start a band.

I have never understood when apparently intelligent people make decisions that are obviously stupid. It was confirmed when he announced that the band consisted of his little teenage brother, Boo Reed, the youngest person I have ever met to move to New York and maneuver like a pro, and then some scraggly freshman kid who was always reading a dog-eared copy of Please Kill Me in the courtyard, and some mute model friend. Everything about the band seemed wrong from the beginning. They took to wearing bandannas and headbands and showed up on websites like Last Night’s Party, Misshapes and Cobrasnake. And they named themselves the Young Lords! This friend seemed to have lost his fucking mind.

I went to go see them play at a club in the LES and unraveling before me was a mess of bumbling guitars, wanna-be Stones licks, Johnny Thunders posturing and cowboy boots. I think Blair even spit beer into the audience. I shrunk out into the night, sent a text saying they were great, and vowed never to see them again.

Well, the saying goes—there’s nothing that can’t be fixed by time. The Lords aren’t ground-breaking; they aren’t Gang Gang Dance or flute-playing goat-charmers lighting chocolate-covered incense. And you know what? Good! The Lords play tight pop that could scorch the pants off anything on the radio. Certain songs are infused with melodies from other famous rock songs and it’s kind of neat trying to figure out what the flavor is underneath the top layer. Do you like the Rolling Stones? The Clash? You’ll love these guys.

And Blair? I knew my friend was still a book nerd at heart when halfway through the set they tore into a song called “Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me.”

Reporting Live From New York,
I’m Nikki Darling and you’re not!