Furtively Favorite Manhattanites

City slickers

Love 'em or hate 'em, the charm of the Strokes has drastically worn down since their emergence onto the scene some five years ago. Even though the release of their 2001 full-length Is This It caused rock critics worldwide to spooge their pants and sing the praises of what they dubbed the supposed "re-emergence of rock"—not to mention plastered the photogenic faces of these five lanky, shaggy- and curly-haired Manhattanites on magazine covers everywhere—all the word-of-mouth hype, hysterical media frenzy and every-other-second radio airplay has caused the Strokes to lose their street cred. It's just not cool to like them anymore, sorry—it doesn't even matter if you owned The Modern Age EP way before your friends memorized every word on "Last Nite."

And sure, the Strokes have always been an image-reliant band. Fab Moretti's dating Drew Barrymore, the cutest, most down-to-earth actress, like, ever; in early 2005 Julian Casablanacas wed longtime friend and assistant band manager Juliet Joslin—wow, he's so real; Albert Hammond Jr.'s got that great head of curly locks; and both Nikolai Fraiture and Nick Valensi have the requisite gangly standoffish rocker look down. But you know what? I know you liked 2003's Room On Fire. Yeah. I saw you bobbing your head to that killer bass line in "Reptilia" and digging Valensi's guitar-turned-synth riffs on "12:51." Let's not kid ourselves, people. The Strokes might not be enterprising messiahs of rock & roll, but they do put out great rock albums with great songs that you can, you know, just enjoy.

And now, with the tour for their third album, First Impressions on Earth, you get your chance to go catch your furtively favorite band live. It's okay: I won't tell anybody.

The Strokes at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, 2695 E. Katella, Anaheim, (714) 704-2500; www.arrowheadpond.com. Sat., 8 p.m. $29.50. All ages.

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