Every eccentric element of Julian Casablancas‘s solo debut might seem spontaneous, but we know better; the Strokes frontman has a well-documented workhorse meticulousness to rival Brian Wilson, and Phrazes for the Young‘s ’80s synth, grand bottom-of-bottle philosophizing, and mandolin solo (really? Is that a mandolin solo?) are tenacious steps away from his band’s iconic guitar scruff. Overstuffed or not, it asserts a new identity worth our while—and, hey, he sounds excited, even if that heavy-lidded stare hasn’t softened in a decade. Plus, if “Out of the Blue” is to be believed, and he’s “going to hell in a leather jacket,” we can still wear what we bought the last time we copied his every move. With Telepathe and Tanlines.

Thu., Jan. 14, 9 p.m.; Fri., Jan. 15, 9 p.m., 2010

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