LCD Soundsystem‘s Madison Square Garden show last year was their last gig. Bands don’t usually plan their final shows – they break up, or get dropped by their labels, or just trudge on and on and on. None of these options suited James Murphy, who as long ago as 2007 was putting voice to thoughts of quitting touring. Stopping LCD Soundsystem altogether, and so soon after their third album This Is Happening happened, caused many a sad face and not a few tears.
But now a trailer has appeared, previewing an upcoming LCD Soundsystem film, Shut Up And Play The Hits. The Madison Square Garden gig is the focus, inevitably. We can’t wait to see it.
Not least because LCD Soundsystem’s second album Sound Of Silver topped musicOMH’s Top 50 Albums Of 2007 writers poll. The sprawling eponymous debut double album, the EPs and the swansong were all never less than essential, at least to those of us who’d immersed our ears in these sounds. Or been to see the sight of this deceptively ramshackle ensemble, fronted by one of the least likely looking front men ever to grace a stage, create warm, organic earworms of sound out of vintage synths and loops and guitars – and a bloody cowbell – and soundtrack many a good time in many a good place. So many personal memories come wrapped in an LCD Soundsystem song, like so much augmented reality.
We interviewed James Murphy twice; once for the This Is Happening album, and we spoke with him in Barcelona back in 2007. On that occasion he was nearly two hours late; his phone was out of power, his tour bus had broken down, the band had lost their soundcheck spot and all was chaos. Except for Murphy. In the eye of the storm here was a zen-like calm, a man who wouldn’t hear of rescheduling or ‘wrapping things up quickly’, and who was not only generous with his time but great company.
We didn’t get to go to the Madison Square Garden gig; our last farewell to LCD was at London’s Alexandra Palace at the end of 2010. But this trailer makes us wish all over again that we had managed a skip across the pond, and that LCD Soundsystem were still around. But knowing when to bow out is a rare skill. Murphy ran things his way and, in future projects – not least with his DFA Records label – will doubtless continue so to do.