Saturday Afternoon Artist: LCD Soundsystem

Since the 2002 single “Losing My Edge,” LCD Soundsystem has made its distinct clatter onto the scene. Somehow merging obvious computer tones with live pop instrumentation — vocals, keys, percussion, bass and drums. LCD Soundsystem is another name for adventurous New York City producer James Murphy. Not your average rockstar, James is awkward and geeky, and he is definitely in the groove.

On the first album, the self-titled released in January 2005, there were many impressive mixes of James Murphy’s pop side and the loops. The lyrics too had potency, hinting at the stronger abilities Murphy would develop later. Murphy is a writer, at one point said to have turned down a TV job with the show Seinfeld. On his first record, Tribulations is a great song, as is Daft Punk is Playing at My House.

Sound of Silver dropped in 2007 and was an even better album. With Murphy putting his experimentation into the pop songs rather than around them. And Murphy started making most of the songs long, 5-8 minutes. Most tracks that get airplay tend to be under 4 minutes long, so this was a brave move.

It was also the Sound of Silver tour that established LCD as a kinetic, danceable live band. With a reputation for extended, methodical sound checks headed up by Murphy onstage before the set.

Their 3rd full-length from 2010, This is Happening, is even a better record. Most of the songs are even longer (6-9 minutes). The beats are warmer than ever. A friend said to me that “you almost want to turn it down, cause they hit so hard, but you don’t.” And Murphy has come into himself as a performer and lyricist. The unexpected twists of phrase might inspire you to take out a lyrics sheet to see exactly what’s going on.

Walking up to me expecting walking up to me
Expecting words it happens all the time
Present company accept it present company
Except the worst it happens every night

Ah aaaaah present company
Excluded every time
Ah aaaaaah present company
The best that you can find

Talking like a jerk
Except you are an actual jerk
And living proof that sometimes friends are mean

Present company expect it present company
Just laugh it off it’s better than it seems

Ah aaaaaah present company
Excluded in every way
Ah aaaaaah present company
Makes me wanna stay

Killing it with close inspecting
Killing it can only make it worse
It sort of makes it breed
Present company accepting
Presently we all expect the worst
Works just like a need

Ah aaaaah present company
Excluded in the night
Ah aaaaah present company
Included in the fight

Ah aaaaaaaah, ah aaaaaaaah, aaaaaah
Ah aaaaaaah

Don’t you want me to wake up?
Then give me just a bit of your time
Arguments are made from make outs
So give it just a little more time

We’ve got to bring our results
I wanna play it ’til the time comes
But there’s a string of divorces
You go and throw your little hands up

I miss the way the night comes
With friends who always make it feel good
This basement has a cold glow
Though it’s better than a bunch of others

So go and dance yourself clean ..ooow
Go and dance yourself clean yeah
You’re throwing marks into pieces
Baby, they’re arguments, the pieces

It’s your show [x4]

Work a little bit…?

Every night’s a different story
It’s a thirty car pile-up with you
Everybody’s getting younger
It’s the end of an era, it’s true

And you go
(Stop, stop, stop, stop)

Break(?) me into bigger pieces
So some of me is home with you
Wait until the weekend
And we can make our bad dreams come true

And it’s ago yeah, it’s ago
And if we wait until the weekend
We can miss the best things to do, oh

Go and dance yourself clean
Go and dance yourself clean
You’re throwing marks into pieces
Maybe they’re arguments the pieces


We should try a little harder
In the tedious march of the few
Every day’s a different warning
There’s a part of me hoping it’s true

Michele Myers spins every Saturday on KEXP from 3-6pm. Every week she plays 3-in-a-row from the Saturday Afternoon Artist. She is the creator of KEXP Documentaries and hosts Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 6-9am on WNYE 91.5FM in New York City.

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