MONDAY

Sure, they’re overhyped and overprivileged. And sure, they’ve had the oyster of the world handed to them in a jewel case because they’re beautiful. But that’s not why I hate the Strokes. I hate them because—well, fuck it. The truth is, I actually kind of like them. The band the hiperati have agreed to hate doesn’t have an original idea in its pretty collective head: All of its best songs are blatant rip-offs of the Velvet Underground or Television—or even Tom Petty. But these boys are good rip-offs, which is more than I can say for all those other knockoffs who scream bloody murder because the Strokes were smart and cute and lucky enough to catch the media’s fickle, cyclopean eye. So what if their lead singer has Lou Reed’s voice? Now if they could just produce some decent lyrics—you know, like Lou, the poet laureate of NYC’s punk demimonde, used to write—or manage to sound impassioned or desperate for even a single minute, maybe then they’d really have a shot at becoming more than this year’s Velveeta Underground. In the meantime, I’ll dig “The Modern Age” and “Barely Legal” and “Hard to Explain” for what they are—snotty, rehashed, and fun. Heck, I even like that they scuttled their song that mocked New York cops in light of Sept. 11. Sure, real punks would have stood their ground. But these guys are prep-schoolers, not punks, and they have to face New York’s finest on a daily basis. If I were them, I’d have dropped the damn song, too. The Strokes hit D.C. with Moldy Peaches at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29, at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $10. (202) 393-0930. (Michael Little)