|“I think you should be serious about what you do because this is it. This is the only life you’ve got.”
~ Philip Seymour Hoffman
When dancing like no one’s watching is automatic.
As a DJ and expectant father-to-be, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’ll introduce and teach music to my son. But in watching these clips I realized that, at least when it comes to dancing, babies might have more to teach us. Let go. Have fun. Who cares?
Playlist #13 : LCD Soundsystem
Born in 2005, their final, fevered concert took place on April 2nd 2011 and was documented in the film “Shut Up and Play the Hits.” On that day, sad disco balls stopped spinning and hipsters the world over shed non-ironic tears. It’s a mixed bag when bands dissolve at the apex of their creative powers. On the one hand, they exit with a bang instead of a whimper. But on the other, especially when it’s a toe-tapping, dancefloor filling group like LCD Soundsystem, one can’t help but wonder what groovy electro album they might have produced next, and it’s easy to mourn all the house party anthems we’ll never hear.
- Dance Yrself Clean - This is a nine minute jam that doesn’t drop the hammer until a full three minutes into the track. In a music industry obsessed with easily digestible and dispensable singles, it’s risky to even attempt to record something longer than five minutes. So it’s all the more impressive that this opus keeps me interested in every single second. “I miss the way the night comes, with friends who always make it feel good.”
- Daft Punk is Playing at My House – This is the track that put LCD (and for some, Daft Punk themselves) on the map. It’s a fun, punky, groovy ode to house parties and the DJs and producers who fuel the dance floor fire. “…I’ve waited 7 years and 15 days.”
- Get Innocuous! - The first track on their sophomore album, Sound of Silver, this song is one of my favorite to run or workout to. A slow build releases to a driving beat that just won’t quit.
- I Can Change - Found on their last album or original releases, This is Happening, this is one of my favorite LCD songs to play in a non-dance environment. It’s more pulled-back and chill than their normal fare and I think the lyrics highlight the skill of frontman James Murphy. “And love is a murderer…but if she calls you tonight, everything is alright.” Deep.
- Home - In the process of nailing down my favorite 10 songs, I discovered that Sound of Silver is my favorite LCD Soundsystem album. This is the last track on the album but it won’t be the final one on this list. What separates LCD from other electro rock bands for me is the vocals provided by Murphy. He manages to make long, epic tunes like Home feel like they’re constantly moving. And I think the concept of being “afraid of what you need” is true poetry.
- Tribulations – This one gets us back to the hard, driving, electronic sound that is the bedrock of this group. And if you like Tribulations, be sure to check out the Lindstrom remix. I am in no way trying to sneak two songs into one because I couldn’t decide which version I like better. Not at all.
- North American Scum – Since their first single, “Losing My Edge,” LCD established themselves as funny and self deprecating group not afraid to point fingers at society and themselves. North American Scum was released when the rest of the world was, shall we say, less than enamored with the U.S. Again, they bridge electro dance grooves with punk vocals and sentiment. Murphy even lets loose with a few wails on this one. “I know you wouldn’t touch us with a 10 foot pole…”
- All My Friends – Another opus that slowly builds into an anthem about love, friendship, and the indescribable bond that is built when you party and dance with those closest to you. I once had a bride and groom choose this as their last song of the night. All 8 minutes of it. Needless to say, all their friends were on the floor for the whole thing.
- Someone Great – A morbid and painful look at death and loss that doesn’t attempt to overly explain or comfort. “We’re safe for the moment. Saved. For the moment.”
- Great Release – Though the last song they played live together was “New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down,” I choose to close my LCD Soundsystem Top 10 with what I think is their most beautiful song. This is one band I wish would un-break-up.
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