LCD Soundsystem Close Out a Banner Year With an Epic Stand in Brooklyn

At the start of each performance during LCD Soundsystem’s epic ten-night stand at Bushwick’s Brooklyn Steel, a giant disco ball descends from the rafters, signifying that a party is beginning, one fans won’t likely forget. But by December 17, 2017, the fifth show of the series, singer James Murphy was already having trouble remembering which night it was. “Hi, everybody, welcome to show four!” he said, quickly correcting himself: “Show five!” Murphy was recovering from the flu, calling the opening night performance a week before some of the worst singing he’s ever done. The band had already played two residencies at Brooklyn Steel this year, consisting of seven shows in June and five in April respectively. But this marathon stand in the middle of flu season would mark the band’s longest consecutive run yet. Ten nights of sweaty, dance-happy rapture can take a toll on anyone, let alone a group of middle-aged hipsters.

The Brooklyn Steel shows cap a landmark year for Murphy and his cohorts, who hijacked New York’s music scene more than a decade ago and then seemingly walked away forever in what Murphy decided would be their final show on April 2, 2011, at Madison Square Garden. He believed that bands were often only good for three solid records, and he’d made three classics: LCD Soundsystem in 2005, Sound of Silver in 2007, and This Is Happening in 2010. Once Murphy had made up his mind, that was it. This nearly four-hour swan song was chronicled in the documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits, as an enthusiastic crowd mourned the loss of a band that had the ability to bring together punk rockers, indie kids, and, generally, anyone seeking a good time.

While the band was broken up, Murphy got married, had a son, made his own Blue Bottle Coffee blend called House of Good, opened Williamsburg wine bar the Four Horsemen, co-produced Arcade Fire’s fourth studio album, Reflektor, and lent percussion to David Bowie’s Blackstar. He was busy.

Then, in 2015, rumors began circulating that there’d be some sort of LCD reunion. On March 27, 2016, it happened at Webster Hall, as the band played its first show in almost five years before going on to headline festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza, and Bonnaroo. Before long, they were back in the studio working on their fourth album, American Dream, which was released in September. For Murphy — along with current members Pat Mahoney, Nancy Whang, Tyler Pope, Al Doyle, Gavin Rayna Russom, Matt Thornley, and Korey Richey — these latest Brooklyn dates are something of a Christmas homecoming.

At last Sunday’s show, a familiar announcement came after Murphy’s energetic performance of “Yr City’s a Sucker,” punctuated by “ha-ha-ha-ha”s and accompanying hand gestures: “If you’re in this general swath, take a picture now then put your phone away. If you just need evidence you were here, do it … and unless you’re a grandmother, turn your fucking flash off. Learn how to use your phone, or Nancy will have to talk to you about it.” Whang chimed in, pointing out individuals and telling them to do the same while Murphy sipped from a glass of red wine.

The crowd seemed to take the hint, and from the start — a one-two punch of “Get Innocuous!” followed by “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House” — the entire floor swayed under the relentless disco ball. The band tore through “Tribulations” and “Movement.”, before Murphy donned his suit jacket for “Someone Great,” only to take it off as soon as the track faded out. The wave of collective euphoria kept building through two tracks off American Dream, “Change Yr Mind” and “Tonite,” before finally cresting when the band returned for the encore and launched into the shimmering “Oh Baby.”

“I told you we’d come back. We made a pact,” Murphy told the crowd. “We have a relationship now, in a way. Not like that. Don’t call all the time.”

LCD Soundsystem. Night 3 of 10

For LCD Soundsystem, 2002’s “Losing My Edge” stood as both introduction and statement of intent, as Murphy sang-spoke his fear of losing relevancy to “the kids from France and from London” and “the art-school Brooklynites in little jackets and borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered Eighties.” In 2001, when 9/11 changed everything, Murphy was on the wrong side of thirty; he was broke, and he was sleeping on an inflatable mattress at DFA Records’ clubhouse/HQ in Greenwich Village. “Losing My Edge” gave him the energy to come out of that.

“I think you should know that Pat is bleeding for you,” Murphy announced. “His snare drum is covered in middle-aged man blood. You know what? Middle-aged man blood is pretty cheap.” Murphy was in high spirits, marching equipment around the stage, laughing, and messing up the lyrics to “Dance Yrself Clean.”

The night ended with the dancefloor anthem “All My Friends,” arguably the closest thing New York’s post-millennial rock scene has to a theme song. When it first came out, Murphy worried that the song was too pop, with its steady build and skittery “Baba O’Riley” synths. Pitchfork named “All My Friends” the second-best track of the 2000s, second only to Outkast’s “B.O.B.” It was the song that proved Murphy and LCD Soundsystem were never really in danger of losing their edge at all, despite growing older: “You spent the first five years trying to get with the plan/And the next five years trying to be with your friends again.”

The song evokes a certain euphoria associated with the realization that you’re not alone, embodying the sense of community and comfort the city found in music in the early 2000s. It speaks to young people trying to find a sense of themselves and their crowd in New York City. The lights came up as the song drew to a close with Murphy singing, “Where are your friends tonight? If I could see all my friends tonight.” And for a second they were all there, by your side, before heading into the night.


A Shadow History of LCD Soundsystem in Five DJ Sets

James Murphy: Beats in Space radio show #111, part two (WNYU-FM, New York; May 9, 2002)

Before James Murphy was an impresario, he was a drummer — a notoriously hard hitter — and his fascination with bare rhythm is one of the constancies of the music he both makes and plays as a DJ. What’s changed most over time with the latter are the rhythms and the amount of echo Murphy applies to the vocals. His sets have moved from tense to nearly pacific, from heavy on clipped guitars to reliant on the most spun-sugar disco, but always, he likes to establish his tone with just drums. It’s a way to build suspense; he learned that from all those 12-inches. (Remember this term: tops and tails — the way dance tracks begin and end with only the beat.) He also learned it from classic motorik: Krautrock bands like Can and Neu! could conjure vistas by letting their audaciously metronomic timekeepers lay in the cut.

I downloaded the file of this show years ago from the Beats in Space site (it’s no longer there; the stream is from my Mixcloud page). It had a curious and telling credit for the DJ: James DFA. In 2002, DFA — the label Murphy co-founded with partner Tim Goldsworthy — had kicked off with a pair of instant masterworks, the Rapture’s “House of Jealous Lovers” and LCD Soundsystem’s “Losing My Edge”; the DFA remix of Le Tigre’s “Deceptacon” was equally omnipresent in New York clubs. Tim Sweeney, Beats in Space’s host, was DFA’s first intern.

None of those tracks are on the May 9, 2002, BIS set. “I don’t normally play my own music,” Murphy would later tell the Guardian. You only had to hear “Edge” to figure out whose music he did play: Can (“Vitamin C”), Larry Levan (Loose Joints’ “Is It All Over My Face”), and Sixties garage rockers the Sonics, whose “Shot Down” is sandwiched between — get this — a track from German electro label Disko B and vintage Manu Dibango. That’s actually the best stretch in a mix where nothing lags, even if the mixing is occasionally rough.


The DFA: Colette No. 5, disc two (Colette, France; rel. 2003)

Part of a compilation series issued by the French clothing boutique of the same name, the double CD Colette No. 5 went for about $30 at Other Music at the time — and the reason you wanted it was for the second disc, credited jointly to the DFA, Murphy and Goldsworthy. It’s less of a through line than Murphy’s usual, but that fits too — when electro came back, it brought with it license to break the groove up more, and the right-angled transitions work nicely. It’s also the most ardently current of any set here, with many tracks from 2002 or ’03, including a pair of DFA gems, the Rapture’s “I Need Your Love” and Juan MacLean’s “Give Me Every Little Thing”; the rest are early-Eighties postpunk. Aside from the Tim Sweeney–mixed Dance to the Underground, the cover-mount mix CD from the April 2003 issue of the late British dance mag Muzik, this is a definitive aural snapshot of the period, give or take one’s tolerance for Casiotone for the Painfully Alone.

Get the tracklist here


James Murphy & Pat Mahoney: FabricLive 36 (rel. October 2007)

Post-disco dance music has been constantly “rediscovering disco” since, oh, 1983. The mid-2000s New York version was steeped in “edits” that cut and extended the juiciest bits from old disco tracks — which, as Chicago DJ and producer Chrissy pointed out in a recent interview, is more or less exactly what Chicago and French house producers were doing routinely in the mid-Nineties, only those “were considered tracks in their own right back then. But if they came out today, they would be considered disco re-edits — possibly because today’s target audience is more knowledgeable about disco than they were in the Nineties, and so are more likely to spot the sample source. For instance, if [Daft Punk’s] ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger’ came out in 2017 from an unknown producer, the record store would probably file it in the re-edits section!”

A couple of things differentiate mid-Aughts disco cut-ups from those of the Nineties. One is upgraded equipment: Many releases on iconic Chicago labels like Relief and Dance Mania were made with older equipment that could only sample a few seconds, say, rather than the endless cut-and-paste that digital editing allows. Another is the ultra-ripe feel many of the best post-millennial re-editors achieved. While Murphy had always spun disco, it was now occupying the center of his sets — which he was now beginning to play alongside fellow drummer Pat Mahoney, who’d played with the excellent cockeyed Brooklyn postpunks Les Savy Fav before joining LCD Soundsystem.

“Pat and I started playing disco as a way to make people more uncomfortable,” Murphy told Resident Advisor. “Because it’s more fun. Then people come out of their shells in different ways.… I’d play festivals with 2manyDJs and start sneak [sic] the Bee Gees in, sneaking disco in, and it was really fun. It was fun to earn and fun to know you were taking people out of their comfort zone and they were going for it, because you did a good enough job of playing things that made them trust you and feel comfortable and then they trusted you enough that they just came with you into a zone that if you were to just present it to them flatly, it would have been really boring.”

Released seven months after LCD’s Sound of Silver, Murphy and Mahoney’s FabricLive 36 is a testament to their catholic sense of what “disco” is and can be. Many of the tracks are original versions — an early showstopper is Chic’s “I Feel Your Love Comin’ On” — but several are edits: Theo Parrish’s version of GQ’s “Lies,” Danny Krivit’s edit of Lenny Williams’s “You Got Me Running,” and most dramatic of all, Murphy and Mahoney’s touch-up of Donald Byrd’s “Love Has Come Around,” which in this context is like walking into sunlight after a long ride on the subway.

Get the tracklist here


James Murphy: Beats in Space radio show #586 (August 16, 2011)

“I’ve been DJing a lot since the demise of my rock ensemble,” Murphy told Tim Sweeney four months after LCD Soundsystem’s Madison Square Garden finale. “I didn’t want to come here and do a radio version of what I’ve been playing out.” Instead, this full-show, two-and-a-half-hour set would contain “the stuff that I’ve been thinking about a lot more so than playing.… I’m excited. It’s not going to be the smoothest mixing, and the tempos are going to be all over the place. But it’s stuff that I love.”

Think of this show, then, as a workshop. Many of these tracks are things Murphy was playing out for the first time ever (and many have reappeared in his later sets, particularly Sylvester’s “I Need Somebody to Love Tonight” and Steve “Silk” Hurley’s “Jack Your Body”). Murphy creates a distended, suspended, slo-mo feel, particularly in the first half, which is almost irradiated at times. The second half is sharper-lined, climaxing with an unexpected (and inspired) Prince choice, “The Future,” from the Batman soundtrack. It’s also a place for him to air out more than just musical ideas, as when he tells Sweeney, “I want to get into doing luggage.”


James Murphy: Live @ 12 Years of DFA Records (May 25, 2013)

Opening with a monster edit of Bill Withers’s “Harlem,” this is Murphy the disco man at his most fluid. Some of the tracks are the type that he was playing ten years earlier — A Certain Ratio’s “Do the Du,” Yellow Magic Orchestra’s “Computer Games” — but here they seem transfigured by the company of Sylvester (twice!), the Bee Gees”, and Diana Ross, like they’re all covered in the same gloss. Or speaking the same language — something else Murphy was saying ten years ago as well.



‘Fixed’ w/ John Talabot+Shit Robot

With a name like Shit Robot and debut album cheekily titled From the Cradle to the Rave, unsuspecting listeners might peg Irish electronic musician Marcus Lambkin as a novelty, but just a few minutes listening to his sublimely funky productions should provide enough proof that Lambkin’s sense of humor does nothing to detract from his house and disco bonafides. A close collaborator of LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, Lambkin is playing in New York as he prepares to release his second album, We Got A Love, another vocal-heavy set featuring high-voltage contributions from singers varying from the Rapture’s Luke Jenner to multitalented comedian Reggie Watts.

Fri., Feb. 7, 10 p.m., 2014


Todd Edwards

James Murphy claims to be the first to play Daft Punk for the rock kids, but it was Todd Edwards who brought garage house to the robotic duo themselves. An acclaimed remixer with a notable sampling aesthetic that makes microscopic vocal samples irresistibly funky, Edwards is a major-label magic maker who also happens to count the most ubiquitous group in electronic music as massive fans. Edwards co-wrote and sang on the Daft Punk hit “Face To Face” as well as appearing on their recent Random Access Memories, but at Cameo his DJing should focus on the giddy house and two-step garage with which he made his name. GONSHER

Sat., Nov. 23, 11:59 p.m., 2013


The Juan Maclean

While Holy Ghost! challenged Phoenix’s melodic ebullience, Factory Floor became critical darlings with their skeletal throb-rock debut, and James Murphy ran off brewing coffee somewhere, DFA scored two bonafide house hits thanks to longtime family member Juan Maclean. Both “You Are My Destiny” and “Feel Like Movin'” include effervescent vocals from ex-LCD Soundsystem member Nancy Whang, and their compact, celebratory joy has revived Maclean’s career as a deep house DJ. A full album in 2014, please?

Thu., Oct. 31, 10 p.m., 2013


How Not To Interview Musicians

On Monday night, I had the privilege of watching James Murphy salvage an interview that, in lesser hands, probably would have gone down in flames. Mostly, the interviewer seemed to suffer from poor posture (perhaps he should watch this dry-mouthed TED talk on the power of body language) and lack of confidence– “Should we open it up to questions?” he asked at one point. Murphy’s response? “I don’t know, dude, it’s your interview.”

To be fair, maybe he was having a bad day, maybe he was forced to do the interview last minute, and it wasn’t the worst two hours of my life. I wasn’t the one onstage, after all. Plus, let’s be real: Musicians can be a finicky bunch who don’t really like to talk to the press. In the meantime, let’s look at some ridiculous, less-than-stellar interviews in the long, tenuous history of journalists versus musicians.

In short: This is how you don’t do it.

See also: James Murphy’s Cerebral Cortex Cannot Handle a DFA Musical


Don’t dress up as Nardwuar.
Apparently Blur never grew out of the reportedly dog-eat-dog British school system known for its cruel headmasters and worse bullying. The band members push Nardwuar around, remove his glasses, and steal his hat, which he asks for repeatedly while amazingly not breaking character. “As long as we’re getting this on tape, we’re good!” he says at one point. At least Dave Rowntree found it within himself to apologize years later.

Don’t look like an idiot and be sure to understand your subject’s references.
When Will Oldham introduces “Big Friday” during a morning interview on Kansas City TV, the anchor, god bless her, says, “I love big Fridays!” Buzzkill Bill points out that it’s actually a reference to Big Wednesday, a surf term popularized in the 1978 film of the same name. She also doesn’t get it when he references Bonnie Prince Charlie as one of the inspirations for his three-pronged Bonnie Prince Billy moniker. Live and learn, I guess.

This might seem obvious, but know how to pronounce your subject’s name.
Terry Gross’ interview with Gene Simmons goes to some dark places, but things start to derail when she doesn’t get his Hebrew birth name, Chaim Witz, quite right. “The name came out of a gentile mouth,” Simmons says. “It came out bland.” “It’s not a gentile mouth, actually,” Gross responds. “Ooh, maybe it’s a discussion we can have. But I don’t want to start something we can’t finish,” Simmons says. Maybe it’s because I’ve listened to This American Laugh too many times, but Simmons’ sexual undertones in this case (or ever) are just, well, gross.

If you make a joke, make sure it’s a good joke.
Clive Anderson’s interview with the Bee Gees goes well enough until he interjects one too many times. “We did make one hit during that time,” Barry Gibb says, “called ‘Don’t Forget to Remember’.” “I don’t remember that one,” Anderson retorts. With a straight face, Gibb walks out, followed swiftly by his brothers. It’s pretty pathetic watching Anderson’s face slowly fall as he learns, as we all do, that his actions have consequences.

See also: Barry Gibb Week on American Idol: Not Particularly Great TV

When in doubt, interview yourself.
A few musicians have found a way around the necessary evil of giving interviews: ask not what your interviewer can do for you, but what you can do for yourself. In a pitch-perfect parody, “Dick Flash” of “Pork Magazine” interviews Brian Eno, hilariously mixing up the title of Small Craft on a Milk Sea and cutting him off.

Don’t be a dick and remember that musicians are overly sensitive about everything and will probably misread your constructive criticism.
When Queen toured in 1984 after a three-year hiatus, guitarist Brian May gave an interview with a French journalist who called Queen’s style “a bit overblown.” “Is that a criticism?” May asks. He starts to answer and then abruptly turns around to scream, bizarrely but appropriately, “Fuck off!” at someone making noise behind him.

How Not To Write About Female Musicians: A Handy Guide
The Top 15 Things That Annoy Your Local Sound Guy
The Oral History of NYC’s Metal/Hardcore Crossover



The Comedy: Look at This Fucking Movie

Could there be a more unsympathetic character in today’s culture than a well-born white male who uses his privilege irresponsibly? A highly improvised fictional exposé in search of the elusive heart and soul of hipster nihilism, The Comedy stars alt-comic superstar Tim Heidecker as Swanson, a trust fund 35-year-old hanging out in Williamsburg, fucking around, and waiting for his sickly dad to die.

The title is ironic, or maybe “ironic”—the film, writer-director Rick Alverson’s third feature, is basically a shock drama. Its sensibility is kind of a hybrid of the awkward conceptualism associated with Heidecker and co-star Eric Wareheim (TV’s Tim and Eric) and the brand of another of the film’s players, James Murphy, figurehead of blue chip hipster auto-critics LCD Soundsystem. Where Murphy is known for dance tracks with lyrics that witheringly dismantle the pretensions of the audience most likely to dance to them, Alverson’s film takes the form of a kind of glacially paced, shaky-cam art project that the Brooklyn dude-bros it depicts might bike over the bridge to catch at IFC Center—if for no other reason than to tell chicks they’ve seen it.

Heidecker makes a much more convincing 21st-century Arthur than Russell Brand. Chubby, bearded, beer-soaked, bedecked in novelty sunglasses and shorts, Swanson lives on a boat—because he’s floating, get it?—and runs with a crew of dudes also defiantly unkempt. None of them are apparently married or seriously employed, and they have nothing better to do than to approach life as a starting point for a real-world version of improv comedy. Cab drivers are repeatedly fucked with. Swanson defends Hitler mid-flirtation, and the girl still goes home with him. The gang takes an ironic field trip to a church, followed by dive bar whiskeys. Swanson evolves from pretending to be part of a landscaping crew in order to mess with entitled homeowners to actually slumming it as a dishwasher; from blithely snacking on scotch and cookies while a male nurse attends to his sick dad to showing some glimmer of a desire to feel for the infirm.

Alverson has big ambitions: His statement in the film’s press notes describes his protagonists as “an inevitable byproduct of the utopian dream come to fruition, ignorant or oblivious to the precarious state of world affairs, the economic uncertainty of their own country and the stagnation of the culture in which they live.” I’m not sure if it’s a blessing or a failure that those ideas are barely gleanable from what’s actually on screen. There’s not a false note in the film, but maybe there’s a difference between accuracy and truth. Certainly you can’t accuse The Comedy of pandering to its audience, sentimentalizing its character study or even editorializing on top of it. That ultra-cool, matter-of-fact address is maybe the best way to speak to the knee-jerk indifference of its audience in this moment—the movie’s analysis of Swanson and friends’ behavior is essentially the cinematic equivalent of a Listicle Without Commentary on the Awl. But I wonder if decades from now, The Comedy might function as a sincere snapshot—its intended satire might be too dry, too implied, to survive the passage of time.


James Murphy and Shut Up and Play the Hits Reflect on the End of LCD Soundsystem

“When we started the band, suddenly we were, like, New York famous. We could get into anyplace, but you know—I was never recognized on a plane.”

James Murphy, former frontman of self-reflexive post-punk dance band LCD Soundsystem, has called to talk about Shut Up and Play the Hits, a new film documenting LCD’s sold-out April 2011 farewell concert at Madison Square Garden. He’s attempting to explain why he chose to call it quits on a band that, 10 years after the landmark first single “Losing My Edge,” was indisputably at the peak of its success. In addition to the predictable ubiquity in Silver Lake and Williamsburg, LCD’s third and final full-length, This Is Happening, had debuted in the overall Billboard Top 10 and displaced Lady Gaga at the top of the dance chart. Anna Kendrick starred in one video; Spike Jonze directed another. The higher profile was part of the problem.

“I felt the band getting bigger, but I was always like, well, it doesn’t matter when I can come back to New York, where nobody gives a shit. And then I came back to New York, and people started giving more of a shit, so I was at the beginning of me not wanting, um . . .”

Murphy, chatting while en route to his home in Brooklyn, interrupts himself. “I’m looking out of my car, up at Terry Richardson having an animated conversation through a window,” he says. “He’s flailing his arms a lot. He’s looking at me.” The legendarily sleazy photographer, Murphy suggests, is the epitome of “New York famous”—a household name in enough households to improve his standard of living without impinging on his actual life. “I wasn’t that interested in actual famous-people fame, you know what I mean?”

Murphy has never been a typical rock star, and Shut Up is by no means a conventional rock doc. Co-directors Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace condense the four-hour, 29-song MSG show into a few full performances of “hits” like “North American Scum,” “New York, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down,” and “I Can Change,” interwoven with excerpts from an interview with Murphy conducted a week before the show by pop-culture pundit Chuck Klosterman and vérité footage of Murphy shot the morning after MSG, tracing his first day as a 41-year-old rock-and-roll “retiree.” Moments of onstage transcendence are sandwiched between Murphy’s preshow contemplations of pretension and rock-star mythology and postshow evidence of life going on at its most mundane. Talking to Klosterman, Murphy marvels that even the most superhuman pop star “is just a dude. He has to check his e-mail.” The morning after his triumphant goodbye show, Murphy still has to get out of bed to walk the dog.

“We were very deliberate about the day after being the perspective from which we view the story,” Southern says. “You have this huge show at this iconic venue, and it’s a kind of euphoric event. And the best position to look at some of the reasons why you would end the band and what that would feel like the day after—the sobriety of the next morning and the fact that nothing really happens.”

“I wanted it to be about what it’s like when you make things,” Murphy says. “The band, the movie—everything in some way is always about what it feels like to make something, the actualities. Not the myth of being a maker.”

Lovelace and Southern’s approach allows them to expose the psyche of a man walking away from fame while contextualizing how that move fits into Murphy’s ongoing personal conflict between his interest in highbrow and/or obscure art, music, and literature and his compulsion to make music that makes people want to dance. The coexistence of serious ideas and genuine emotion in party songs with often hilarious lyrics—that’s LCD Soundsystem in a nutshell.

Lovelace and Southern use the phrase “end of an era” to describe the significance of LCD’s demise, which Murphy rejects—”I can’t pinpoint what the era is.” Whatever it is, Murphy seems to have been pointing to the end all along. In a reflection of the times that spawned it, LCD earned its stripes in hipster culture in part by brilliantly and affectionately skewering that culture through songs like “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House” and “Losing My Edge.” In Shut Up, Klosterman begins to suggest that “Edge,” a spoken-word dance track in the voice of an aging scenester, is essentially a novelty song. “That song’s serious as a heart attack,” Murphy argues, likening the experiences that inspired it to “a sad, hipster DJ Revolutionary Road.”

“Audiences had changed, the way people consume music had changed, and I think James was kind of one of the first people to catch on to that,” Southern says. “‘Losing My Edge’ is the song I think they’ll be remembered for. I think it must be a strange thing to have done that in your first record. That’s a hard one to follow up.”

Eleven years after first forecasting his own obsolescence, those changes in cultural consumption are still on Murphy’s mind. Record stores, he says, were replaced with online affinity groups amounting to “People Who Agree With Me dot com. A record store, you go in, and you’re faced with, like, the gauntlet. There [were] defining queries that you put yourself through, which are missing now. Now you just get told you’re awesome all the time, and if someone tells you you’re not awesome, you just unfriend them.”

In the film and in conversation, Murphy is ever aware of his comparatively advanced age. At its most basic level, his rejection of the rock-and-roll lifestyle is a question of self-preservation. Every time he tours, Murphy says in the film, he returns with markedly more gray hair. “That’s the visible sign,” he says. “What’s going on inside? I don’t want to, like, die.” He pauses a beat, then says more firmly, “I don’t want to die!”

“Health is a big reason [to end LCD],” Murphy says today. “Life is a big reason. I didn’t live a normal life for a long time. I toured and made records and toured and made records. I didn’t want to be stuck being in a professional band and not having a life.”

Not that he has exactly been a homebody since the days chronicled in the film. He went to Sundance to promote this movie and another, The Comedy, in which he acts. He went to London to work on the Shut Up sound mix. He has myriad projects in some state of development, including a boutique in Brooklyn and a disco-themed exhibit at MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary, scheduled to open in fall of 2013. “I don’t know quite what my role is,” Murphy admits. He adds dryly, “I can’t compare it to my previous curatorial work.”

In Shut Up‘s morning after, Murphy notes that he feels “disturbingly normal”—he hasn’t had time to process. And now that he has had a year?

“Nothing is out of whack from my experience of being in LCD Soundsystem,” Murphy says. “Yet, when I go make a record that’s not an LCD Soundsystem record, that’s gonna be weird.”



For all the A-listers and Best New Music winners scheduled to perform, the biggest and most promising words on the Governors Ball flyer are a glowing “No Overlapping Sets,” assuring those taking the ferry to Randall’s Island that they won’t have to decide between Passion Pit and James Murphy, Duck Sauce and Major Lazer, or Chromeo and Santigold. For those unwilling or unable to drop $180 for a two-day pass (and don’t forget to add $50 for ferry or parking), the only choice is whether to come Saturday or today: Dancers will prefer the former, but the latter features indie giants Beck, Modest Mouse, Built to Spill, Explosions in the Sky, and Fiona Apple, who will be celebrating the release of The Idler Wheel . . . her first record in seven years.

Sun., June 24, 11:30 p.m., 2012



If after too many New York late nights and with some help from DFA’s James Murphy and Tim Goldsworthy you tried to re-create the synth pop and new wave that scored some teenager’s summer of ’84, the result might sound a lot like a Holy Ghost! track. In this afternoon’s DJ set, though, Holy Ghost! are likely to shake off some of their own aloof nostalgia with an enervating dose of contemporary disco house. Fellow local duo Blondes and their tableful of equipment disperse a more cosmic version of disco. Theirs is a mind-clearing, palate-cleansing sound perfect for spending a Sunday afternoon forgetting the week to come. This is the first of a series of summer parties that promoters JDH and Dave P (Fixed) and Paul Raffaele (the Dog & Pony Show) are throwing in Dekalb Market, the shipping-container playground and food court open mini mall off Flatbush Avenue.

Sun., June 3, 3 p.m., 2012