LCD Soundsystem was an NYC
-based sort of Dance-Punk band thing
that was the project of James Murphy, who plays most, if not all instruments on the records. For the sake of the sanity of this article, the project will be referred to as a band so the word "they" will be used.
They got their start in 2002 when Murphy released a handful of singles that got decent radio airplay on underground stations. After these successes he got a few musicians to collaborate with him, wrote a Self-Titled Album
and LCD Soundsystem was born. Then, in 2007 Sound of Silver
was released to critical acclaim, appearing on many year-end and decade-end album charts. Then finally Murphy announced a possible end to the project, with a "final" album titled This Is Happening
being released. Once again, the critics drooled and the album found itself on more lists. Their Out with a Bang
final concert, which among other extravagances had the highly influential 80's Post-Punk band Liquid Liquid as an opening act and the Arcade Fire
singing backup vocals, proved to everyone that James Murphy was actually ending the project.
Their music is part of the movement in indie music known as "Dance-Punk
". However, they are probably one of the bands that come closer to the "dance" side of that subgenre than with the "punk" aspect. Strangely, despite Murphy's vocals lacking the snarl of the other artists in the subgenre, it still works and qualifies.
Murphy writes ninety percent of the music himself but normally brings in "guest" musicians to play everything out during recording. Every now and then he records on his own as well, pulling off an I Am the Band
image. He's seen on stage with his fellow colleagues as well as by himself with just his synthesizer, so whether or not those other people are considered "part of the band" still sparks debate between fans.
The band are known for Murphy's distinctive voice as well as the clever wordplay involved in their lyrics ("Drunk girls know that love is an astronaut / It comes back but it's never the same," for example).
LCD Soundsystem's best-known songs are "All My Friends," "Losing My Edge," "North American Scum," "Drunk Girls," and "Daft Punk
Is Playing at My House."
- LCD Soundsystem (2005)
- Sound of Silver (2007)
- This Is Happening (2010)
EPs, Live Albums, and Remix Albums
- Introns (Remix album, 2006)
- 45:33 EP (2006)
- A Bunch of Stuff (Remix EP, 2007)
- Confuse the Marketplace EP (2007)
- 45:33 Remixes (Remix album, 2009)
- The London Sessions (Live album, 2010)
These following tropes are losing their edge:
- Album Title Drop: "Sound of silver talk to me" in the title track to Sound of Silver
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: Fact Magazine ("Pow Pow") exists and is not just an ironic figure to state obvious facts.
- Anti-Love Song: "Time To Get Away."
- Audience Participation Song - "All My Friends," "Us V Them," "Watch the Tapes," among others.
- Auto-Tune: Averted. Despite it being Electronic Music written after the year 2000, there is not a single moment Auto-Tune is used.
- Bolero Effect: Quite often, but notably "North American Scum."
- Broken Record: Several.
- "Yeah" has, well "Yeah."
- "Get Innocuous" has "You can normalize / Don't it make you feel alive?"
- "Never as Tired as When I'm Waking Up" has "But not with you / I keep on telling myself it's true."
- "Us v. Them" has "Us and them / Over and over again".
- Call-and-Response Song: "Watch the Tapes," "Drunk Girls," "North American Scum."
- Cerebus Rollercoaster: The self-titled album, with "Too Much Love" and "Never As Tired As When I'm Waking Up" between a number of high-powered uplifting dance songs.
- Cool Old Guy: James Murphy was in his mid-30's when he started LCD Soundsystem, far older than most indie rock artists releasing their first album.
- Cover Version: "Bye Bye Bayou," originally by Alan Vega of Suicide, recorded for Record Store Day.
- Dance-Punk: He is pretty much the defining artist of the genre.
- Dancing Is Serious Business
- Eagleland: Portrayed as both Type 1 and 2 in "North American Scum".
- Epic Instrumental Opener: "Tribulations", "Us v Them", "Give It Up".
- Epic Rocking: "All My Friends" and "You Wanted A Hit" are two of their longer songs, but many of their songs tend to go past the 6-minute mark.
- Over 3/4 of the songs on This Is Happening are above six minutes.
- "45:33" deserves special mention, all six parts clock in at a total of 46 minutes.
- His longest single songs are the two versions of "Yeah": the "Crass Version" is 9:21, the "Pretentious Version" is 11:06.
- Follow Your Heart: "All I Want," "All My Friends."
- "Friends" Rent Control: Inverted in "North American Scum": "New York's the greatest if you get someone to pay the rent."
- Hipster: Deconstructed in "Losing My Edge." The singer was an indie DJ back in the 60's and 70's. Now, everything that was underground when he played it is being co-opted by "art-school Brooklynites in little jackets and borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered eighties." By the end, he's in a name-dropping battle rattling off every group in his vinyl collection to prove his relevance..
- I Am the Band: James Murphey.
- Inaction Video: The video for "Drunk Girls" hangs a lampshade on this trope. A low budget was given to a bunch of people to buy whatever costumes and props they wanted in order to use any means necessary to distract and make the band screw up while they were calmly performing, a notable difference from the usual Inaction Video where the band doesn't acknowledge their surroundings.
- Played straight with "All My Friends."
- It's Always Sunny at Funerals: Mentioned in "Someone Great".
- It Will Never Catch On: "I was there when Captain Beefheart started up his first band. / I told him, 'Don't do it that way. You'll never make a dime.'" in "Losing My Edge".
- "I Want" Song: "All I Want," of course.
- Jossed: "Tribulations" has "dumb rock lyrics" according to James Murphy, but can be interpreted to favor both conventional and unconventional wisdom about society, or something entirely different. However, Murphy's seriousness in interviews varies greatly.
- Last Note Nightmare: "Get Innocuous!" is a fairly mellow and danceable song, but ends on some pretty dissonant strings that wouldn't sound out of place in a horror movie.
- List Song: "Losing My Edge." "Movement" kind of counts too, what with all the "it's like" comparisons.
- Long Title: "Never As Tired As When I'm Waking Up," "New York I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down."
- Love Nostalgia Song: "All I Want."
- Lyrical Cold Open: "Watch the Tapes," "New York I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down," "Sound of Silver," "Drunk Girls".
- Lyric Swap: "I believe in waking up together" becomes "I believe in waiting out the weather" during the last chorus of "Drunk Girls."
- Minimalistic Cover Art: LCD Soundsystem
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: 4 throughout the entire career.
- Motor Mouth: "Pow Pow," "Losing My Edge."
- New Sound Album: "This Is Happening" comes close, being more elaborate than the previous two albums.
- Nice Guys Finish Last: Inverted in "Losing My Edge": "I'm losing my edge to better-looking people with better ideas and more talent. And they're actually really, really nice."
- Non-Appearing Title: "45:33."
- Ode to Intoxication: "Drunk Girls" can be seen as this.
- The Oner: "All My Friends," "Drunk Girls"
- Perishing Alt Rock Voice: Thankfully averted.
- Perma Stubble: James Murphy, likely unintentionally.
- Precision F-Strike: "If I could fuck you here tonight" from "Never As Tired As When I'm Waking Up," "You don't know shit about where I'm from" and "what's it called? Oh, fuck it" from "Pow Pow," "Who has put up with all of your shit" from "All I Want."
- Politically Correct: The record label James Murphy owns, Death From Above Records, was changed post-9/11 because it was probably not a good idea for a label based in New York City to be called that. It's now just "DFA Records."
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Gil! Scott! Heron!" ("Losing My Edge")
- Rockstar Song:
- "Watch the Tapes."
- "All My Friends" can be interpreted as a bittersweet, nostalgic variant.
- Sarcastic Title: "North American Scum"
- Self-Titled Album
- "Daft Punk is Playing at My House."
- "Losing My Edge" mentions Can, Suicide, Captain Beefheart, Daft Punk, Paradise Garage, Larry Levan, The Beach Boys, Modern Lovers, Niagara, Yaz, This Heat, Pere Ubu (twice), Outsiders, Nation of Ulysses, Mars, Trojans, Black Dice, Todd Terry, The Germs, Section 25, Althea and Donna, Sexual Harassment, a-ha, Public Image Ltd., The Human League, The Normal, Lou Reed, Scott Walker, Monks, Joy Division, Sun Ra, 10cc, Soulsonic Force, David Axelrod, The Slits, GIL! SCOTT! HERON!, Faust, Swans, Soft Cell, and The Sonics. That's not even the full list.
- "We have a black president, and you do not" from "Pow Pow."
- Single Stanza Song: "Sound Of Silver."
- Spoken Word in Music: James's distinctive singing embraces elements of this.
- Tin-Can Robot: The "Home" video.
- Title Only Chorus: "Yeah", "Pow Pow"
- Word Salad Lyrics: "Pow Pow"