LCD Soundsystem: That’s how it starts

LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy can’t sing, dance, wear shirts, or pound on drum pads. Fortunately he can program beats, most of which were thunderous enough at last night’s show to distract me from his terrible late nineties hair and the oversized Gap shirt. I did a lot of thinking at last night’s show: why do I cut determined non-singer and ordinary person Bernard Sumner slack? Two reasons: by the time of Technique, he’d actually learned to sing in pitch and was quite moving at that; and, secondly, after 1983 he eschewed the winks at the audience that reassured them he was a scab, an accidental front man. He acted like he was in charge, not a stand-in for a dead lead singer. Murphy possesses many of these qualities, but his songcraft mitigates them on record; live, he’s another paunchy enthusiast who got lucky. His band — they really are a band in every sense — is spectacular, though,

Unexpected, because This is Happening is LCD’s most assured record yet. Only one har-har joke number called “You Wanted a Hit” mars Murphy’s most relentless collection yet, played, alas, last night too. But the one-two opening punch of “Dance Yrself Clean” and “Drunk Girls” were highlights, and the simmering, jittery “Home” worked as the perfect envoi.

As for openers Sleigh Bells, they proved you can program backbeats, play power chords, and lip synch and not know what the hell you’re doing. Which should teach you something about amateurism.

2 thoughts on “LCD Soundsystem: That’s how it starts

  1. So as someone who zero previous exposure to LCD (except for a mix CD given to me and which I’d heard only 2 – 3 times), I found Murphy totally goofy (agreed on the Gap shirt comment) and many times I found myself thinking, how did that guy end up here??

    However, I enjoyed a lot of the music and was impressed with their energy and how it affected the crowd (though clearly half those people were drunk and high). It was danceable and fun (though I was far too achy and tired to join in).

    And the lights, I admit, totally wowed me.

  2. He can sing. with his band. He can croon with the best of them. you superficial moron.

    The first two sentences of your show review reveal you to be a shallow, hipster d-bag. Comments about Murphy’s hair. for real? Who does that? and who cares?
    Go watch Arcade Fire if you want confident artifice in a lead singer.

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