Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Shut Up and Play the Hits

I recently paid homage to a much beloved and recently departed band, LCD Soundsystem.

The movie follows the band, and primarily lead singer James Murphy, on the night of and day after their final show at Madison Square Garden in April of last year. The movie was half concert film, half documentary, showing many of the songs played at the sold-out show in full, which had me and many of the others at the screening tapping our feet and singing along. Interspersed among the concert footage, the film followed James Murphy as he went about his day following the show, including walking his dog, checking in on DFA (his record label), giving interviews and collecting the band's equipment.

When LCD Soundsystem first announced the end, it was a little hard to comprehend. They had just released their third album, This Is Happening, and their visibility was growing with each release. The movie made it a lot easier to understand and appreciate why the end came when it did. Still, it had some very sad moments. The first tear-jerk moment came they showed Murphy back at MSG to collect the band's gear from the storage room. Faced with the realization that this was the last show, the last time he would be doing this, he broke down and cried (and I think the rest of us did, as well). At the end of the film, the cameras focused on a young fan still lingering, almost alone, on the floor of the venue, still looking at the stage and letting the emotion come over him. The band had an effect that went far beyond that which most indie, and even mainstream, acts may never be able to capture. I seemed an honor to be able to be a part of that, even if in such a tangential way.

Mini soundtrack:

"Losing My Edge"

"North American Scum"

"Dance Yrself Clean"

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