Thursday, March 31, 2011

LCD Week #2 “Losing my edge”

This song was my introduction to LCD Soundsystem. I think that’s true of most people who discovered them in like 2003. A simple beat that builds into a wall of sound peppered with spoken/sung lyrics about disenchantment with the way things are turning out. Welcome to adulthood, kids of the 70’s. Not a great video for sure, but a killer song.

To me it’s always been kind of the anthem for us Gen X'ers who’ve always felt the millenials coming up from behind us. But there’s one thing they ain’t got yet and that’s experience. And the ability to rock the hell out. These are a few of my favorite lyrics from the tune.

I'm losing my edge/
To all the kids in Tokyo and Berlin/
I'm losing my edge to the art-school Brooklynites/
in little jackets and borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered eighties.

And this one:

I was the first guy playing Daft Punk to the rock kids/
I played it at CBGB's/
Everybody thought I was crazy.

I mean, CBGB’s doesn’t even exist anymore! Even the part at the end where Murphy name checks his album collection feels like he’s losing his edge. It used to be bragging about your record collection actually meant something. Those things were expensive and you really had to care and adjust your spending habits to put together a respectable collection. There used to be things called “imports” which were records you paid a premium for because they came from places like “England” and “Japan.” They were like $25. Sometimes they'd be like $40. Now they’re free or maybe $.35 on those Russian sites. Which brings us to this part of the song:

I heard you have a compilation of every good song ever done by anybody/
Every great song by the Beach Boys/
All the underground hits/
All the Modern Lovers tracks/
I heard you have a vinyl of every Niagra record on German import/
I heard that you have a white label of every seminal Detroit techno hit - 1985, '86, '87/
I heard that you have a CD compilation of every good '60s cut and another box set from the '70s.

Ya know, I used to have shelves and shelves and of records and CD’s on the wall and was proud of that shit. People looked on them in awe. I mean for a few months there in like 2001-2002 when the CD burner became affordable I was quite popular. Now anyone with a broadband connection easily has 1,000 albums on their laptop—probably more. Or, more likely, they’ve 40,000 songs because who buys albums anymore?

I’ve never been wrong/
I used to work in the record store/
I had everything before anyone.

I hear that!

LCD Week #3 “I can change”

Another one off last year’s “This is Happening”, this one seems to capture the simultaneous desperation for and suspicion of love that seems to come with being thirty-something. But in classic LCD style, the snazzy beat and heavy synth work and arguably Murphy’s best vocal performance ever gloss it over and make it something to dance to. That ain’t easy to do, kids. This is them live (and great) on Later with Jools Holland last summer.

And love is a murderer/
Love is a murderer/
But if she calls you tonight/
Everything is all right/
Yeah, we know/

And love is a curse/
Shoved in a hearse/
Love is an open book to a verse/
Of your bad poetry/
And this is coming from me.

But I can change, I can change, I can change, I can change/
I can change, I can change, I can change/
If it helps you fall in love.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

LCD Week #4 “Home”

This little gem came off last year’s “This is Happening” and just seemed to capture a moment somehow. I had just moved back to New York from LA last spring about a month or so before the album came out and this tune just kept coming on during my walks home from work. It could be because it was anchoring pretty much every playlist I made but then again it could also be because (knowing what we know now) it’s such a poignant end to what was to be their final album and return home after 8+ years away from it.

This isn’t the video but rather a teaser for the album I’ve posted before that uses the song. But it captures the fun they had making the thing in LA and some pretty sweet bass playin’ by Mr. Murphy himself.

Hair, 'tude, chops.

Monday, March 28, 2011

LCD Week #5 “Yr city’s a sucker”

This week LCD Soundsystem will play four final nights at Terminal 5 and then one big blowout at the Garden this Saturday before they hang it up. I missed “The Last Waltz” back in ’76 but I’ll be there for this. Sadly, like most fans I didn’t get tickets to Saturday night’s final, final show but what can you do?

For a group that really only burst on the scene as performers a little over 8 years ago and only released three full-lengths, they put a pretty solid stamp on the indie scene in a pretty short time in a way few other bands outside of Arcade Fire have. So to celebrate and simultaneously mourn the passing of one of my favorite bands, I thought I’d do a little retrospective this week of my five favorite LCD songs. So let’s light this candle with “Yr city’s a sucker” off 2002’s self-titled debut.
LCD Soundsystem - Yr City's a Sucker by Uberkampfe your city's a sucker

In classic LCD style, the tune starts off slow and a bit plodding but then escalates as it goes. It’s a sleazy love song to youthful New York and late night revelry and all the things that make New York not your town. Over a jangly beat, James Murphy bellows “your city’s a sucker, my city’s a creep” repeatedly while admitting “you have so much more space” and “you have so much more time.” But then, space and time have never been what make New York great.

#4's coming up tomorrow people.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

My new favorite band

Foster the People. Fighting out of Los Angeles, CA.

Foster The People - "Pumped Up Kicks" from Foster The People on Vimeo.

The kids can kick out a beat.