Meet Me in the Bathroom Writer on How to Know You’re Living in a Special Moment

Writer and executive producer Lizzy Goodman calls her book and accompanying documentary “ultimately a story about kids who are young trying to find themselves and come of age in New York in the context of these larger cultural forces that were going on at the same time will. ”

In the spring of 2011, months before the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Lizzy Gutman had just turned 30 years old. That same week she saw The Strokes and LCD Soundsystem’s final show at Madison Square Garden. She could sense the end of an era drawing near. It was then that she first had the idea for her 2017 best-selling oral history. Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City, chronicling the booming music scene of downtown New York from 2001-2011 and the rise of time-defining bands like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol, the Moldy Peaches, the Strokes and LCD Soundsystem. “I felt this sense of nostalgia for what was no more. It was a clear moment – not sadness, but nostalgia,” says Goodman vanity fair. “I felt like, wow, we kind of grew up.”

At the same time directors Will Lovelace and Dylan Southern made a documentary Shut up and play the hits, via the same LCD sound system show at Madison Square Garden. A few years later an advance copy of meet me in the bathroom landed in front of them.

In a full circle of events, Goodman soon received a text message from Interpol frontman Paul Banks about someone who wants to make a documentary out of her book. After a series of meetings, Lovelace and Southern took over the project and adapted Goodman’s book into a sort of visual time capsule of the same name. meet me in the bathroom The documentary weaves gritty archival footage and raw, thoughtful interviews with key figures to retell the story of a bygone New York City era.

vanity fair caught up with Goodman, the documentary’s executive producer, via Zoom to discuss the early origins of her book, coming of age in New York, and the rampant indie sleaze revival.

vanity fair: your oral tradition, Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City, which came out in 2017 was a dose of nostalgia for those who lived it and education of sorts for a younger generation. But in the end it was also a snapshot of a pivotal piece of recent American history unfolding. How did you balance telling the story of this particular scene in the larger cultural context of the political, technological and cultural changes of the time?

Lizzy Goodman: I felt like pitching a magazine story: the urge to use my skills, to set the stage for what is ultimately a story about kids who are young, trying to find themselves and growing up in the New York context of that larger cultural forces going on at the same time. I worked on it for six years and interviewed over 200 people. It was this huge monster. Somewhere in the middle of writing, I reached a point where I was trying to piece together all of these narratives, and there came this moment when I realized I had to solve the very problem you just raised: do I write book about these things? , those big thoughts, or am I writing a book with this cast of characters, the bands, to talk about it? Or do I write a book about these people and weave these themes into the story? The answer very, very, very much was the latter. I see it more as a story about young people coming to the city in this manner of New York myth, something that’s been happening for generations. This is the time capsule of that, and then there are all these themes that had to come through these individual people’s narratives. Meet Me in the Bathroom Writer on How to Know You’re Living in a Special Moment

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