Julian Casablancas Meets The Strokes

Meet Me In The Bathroom is a fascinating dive into the early 2000s NYC indie scene, which briefly flared like a supernova with upstart bands like the Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs revitalizing music. Possibly the last time rock music was vital and hip in the moment as a mainstream force, directors Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace capture the era’s zeitgeist with amateur concert footage and an incredible collage of intimate audio interviews. Inspired by Lizzy Goodman’s popular book, an oral history of the dizzying music scene, the documentary serves as a fine appreciation of its most popular bands and how they were shaped by pivotal events including 9/11.

Detailing musical groups like Interpol, LCD Soundsystem, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio, and of course the Strokes, each band’s emerging personality contributes something different in the sprawling narrative. The scene’s biggest stars in Julian Casablancas and Karen O are given their just due, the two most charismatic forces depicted though a string of other performers play key roles. There’s a riveting moment when Karen O performs the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ signature tune, an aching rendition of Maps.

Meet Me in the Bathroom is a soulful journey into the rise of NYC bands such as Interpol and the Strokes

What Meet Me in the Bathroom does exceedingly well is paint a vivid portrait of the scene’s attitude and its NYC setting, a small group of musicians blazing their own path in the music business straight from places like the Mercury Lounge. For a brief, shining moment, the Strokes’ debut album “Is This It” sparked a small renaissance in rock, a genre which had been left reeling since the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994.

The documentary succinctly captures the performers at their best in raw, personal footage. It’s an energized vibe telling the world we’ve arrived and there’s no going back. There’s a glimpse of the Moldy Peaches from the anti-folk music movement in their heyday. There’s Karen O, unshackling the expectations for female singers with a verve and style all her own.

All of that gusto is indelibly portrayed through bursts of archival video and surprisingly lucid narration. Challenging the system is never easy and each band’s struggles are laid bare in honest detail, including the bizarre day Courtney Love “took over” MTV which ultimately ended in total embarrassment for the Strokes.

Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace aren’t entirely unfamiliar with music documentaries, having crafted the 2012 documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits, covering LCD Soundsystem’s frontman James Murphy. They clearly appreciate the music covered here without dipping into wide-eyed nostalgia for a scene which has come and gone. They even delve into the messy relationship between Ryan Adams and the Strokes.

Interestingly enough, virtually no talking head footage is used. Mostly never-before-seen amateur footage and smartly edited clips play under disembodied audio narration. It’s a refreshing change of pace as music documentaries often rely too heavily on boring new interviews with nothing going on.

Meet Me in the Bathroom is a soulful journey into the rise of NYC bands such as Interpol and the Strokes, their origin stories told with a raw intimacy and electric style. The documentary starts out a little roughly but powers through to a strong finish, immersing viewers in a place and time which millions of listeners will never forget.


Meet Me in the Bathroom almost entirely consists of primitive amateur video footage from the early 2000s, filmed before HD cameras were a thing. Even the MTV clips from the decade in it look woefully standard-definition, possibly taken from VHS recordings. A handful of higher quality footage looks better, including some devastating 9/11 footage shot in HD clarity from the ground level I had never caught before.

The main feature runs nearly 108 minutes, encoded in AVC on a BD-50. Highly limited by the often rough source material, the standard-definition video freely intersperses with clean still photographs in actual 1080p resolution. You’ll notice the archival footage riddled with numerous issues, everything from banding to crushed shadow delineation. There’s little in the way of detail or definition.

We should be grateful the co-directors have chosen to keep the 1.37:1 clips in their original aspect ratio instead of fitting all sources to the regular 1.78:1 presentation. Meet Me in the Bathroom is basically a DVD masquerading on Blu-ray, but otherwise the video does its duties offering rare unearthed footage from people close to the performers.


The 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack is solid and respectable for a documentary without an adventurous mix. Audio clips include what sound like phone interviews. If you’re looking for a wide array of music from the covered bands, a few live recordings from the 2000s pop up here and there. Bass support is occasionally emphasized.

It’s not a documentary loaded with studio-quality recordings from the acts. Music is mostly pushed up front with clean vocals. This is serviceable audio without the lush recording quality of a music label-driven project.

Optional English SDH subtitles play in a combination of white and yellow fonts.


Utopia smoothly handles distribution for Meet Me in the Bathroom on Blu-ray with a fine edition loaded with engaging special features and interesting extras. Arriving in a clear case with reversible artwork, a deluxe 16-page booklet packed inside offers an essay by Alex Ross Perry and also reproduces a Rolling Stone piece by Rob Sheffield interviewing Lizzy Goodman.

Press material indicates a slipcover is available but this reviewer’s copy came naked. The Blu-ray is locked to Region A.

Audio Commentary with directors Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace, author Lizzy Goodman & co-director Vivienne Perry – The group gets along nicely together, a warm and friendly discussion which isn’t always that informative but often entertains. Worth a listen for hardcore fans.

NYC Premiere at Webster Hall – Q&A with moderator Jim Jarmusch (44:16 in HD) – Better known as a beloved indie darling film director, Jarmusch hosts this lively chat which includes Adam Green and Lizzy Goodman, among others. Lots of little tidbits are revealed, including Jarmusch almost directed a video for the Strokes.

LA Premiere at The Fonda Theatre – Q&A with moderator Tim Heidecker (41:29 in HD) – A slightly different group of participants include the directors again with both members of the Moldy Peaches and author Lizzy Goodman.

Adam Green at Webster Hall – Unplugged (18:06 in HD; 2.0 DTS-HD MA) – One half of the Moldy Peaches, singer-songwriter Adam Green performs several songs in a stripped down live performance.

Meet Me In The Bathroom Trailer (01:53 in HD)

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided by the label for review. This has not materially affected DoBlu’s editorial process. For information on how we handle all review material, please visit DoBlu’s about us page.

Meet Me in the Bathroom
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A captivating documentary capturing the raw excitement of NYC’s early 2000s indie music scene with standouts including The Strokes, Interpol, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Moldy Peaches and TV on the Radio

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 36 full resolution, uncompressed HD screen shots ripped directly from the Blu-ray:

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