Tag Archives: James Murphy


LCD Soundsystem – Brooklyn Steel – December 11-23, 2017

December 27th, 2017

Photos courtesy of Gregg Greenwood | gregggreenwood.com


LCD Soundsystem Leave Them Wanting More at Brooklyn Steel

December 20th, 2017

LCD Soundsystem – Brooklyn Steel – December 19, 2017

James Murphy and his LCD Soundsystem lot are all too aware of the hype that surrounds their live performances. The collective that has reemerged from their “breakup” in 2011 in much the same arrangement, and with the addition of some new blood, recognizes the buildup prior to when everyone takes their positions onstage in their stacked pyramid instrumental setup that surrounds the spotlit Murphy, the master of ceremonies. They recognize the level of great expectation and with the poise of players in long-run theater, unflinchingly rise to the occasion. Murphy has essentially admitted that he was fooling himself to think that he could walk away from the life of making music and performing it with LCD Soundsystem. As evidenced at Brooklyn Steel last night throughout the seventh show in a run of 10, he needs that outlet. It’s too much of what he is. As you find yourself moved by the power and grace of his singing voice over primal dance grooves that don’t feel as if they have a discernible beginning or ending, it becomes clear that he was too much of a comet to hide for too long and the crew of old friends are the players that form around him like a solar system.

Putting on a good show is about reps. Any performer would tell you that. To go along with this year’s new album, American Dream, LCD Soundsystem have been getting plenty of them, having put on strings of consecutive shows that have become residencies at their new Brooklyn home. What’s so rewarding is that they have risen to that rarified place of performance where you know what songs are coming and yet when they’re played with that special mix of timepiece precision and instinctive improvisational flair sprung from the raw energy of the moment, you feel like you’re experiencing a favorite song for the first time, like what it felt like to walk through the woods stoned for the first time. Therein lies the unique magic of an LCD Soundsystem show, and why it never loses its vitality even after the second, fifth or seventh time you’ve seen it. The second-nature orchestration of playing parts all churning in sync is well oiled at this point and just takes off. It’s hard to imagine a better tone-setter to begin a night with than “Yr City’s a Sucker.” It holds that raw NYC cold-steel break-loop groove, priming everyone for the party that’s about to ensue.

The sequence of hits that followed was kind of mind boggling: “I Can Change,” absolutely resplendent live, “Get Innocuous,” “Tribulations,” “You Wanted a Hit” all unravel and ascend to their own euphoric peaks, and you’re so wrapped up that you don’t even realize songs like “Someone Great,” “Dance Yrself Clean” and the dizzying rapture of “All My Friends” are still ahead. Tracks from the new album are sprinkled in almost inconspicuously as the ’80s synth romanticism of “Oh Baby” drops the energy down into a beautiful lull. It was one of those shows that still makes you feel cool that you could get into and no matter how big the group’s become, they still extend meaty-jam grooves like basement bands that don’t know how to stop. They are a unique combination of musicians who understand how and when to give the crowd exactly what they’ve come for, a release into the frenzy of their extended plays. Almost right away, you see what all the fuss is about. LCD Soundsystem are the kind of band that snaps you out of the conversation you’re having with the person you invited to get to know, and suddenly you’re both dancing irresistibly with broad smiles. And when you walk away with that buzz that rolls on like one of their live songs, you know it’s an experience you’ll go back for as many times as you can. —Charles Steinberg | @Challyolly

Photos courtesy of Gregg Greenwood | gregggreenwood.com


LCD Soundsystem – Brooklyn Steel – December 11, 2017

December 12th, 2017

(There are a few tickets left for tonight’s LCD Soundsystem show at Brooklyn Steel.)

Photos courtesy of Gregg Greenwood | gregggreenwood.com


Two Nights to Shake It with the Juan Maclean

September 10th, 2015

Electronic musician and producer John Maclean already knew James Murphy from the Providence, R.I., band Six Finger Satellite. When the group broke up, Maclean drifted out of music but remained friends with Murphy. Several years later, having already founded DFA Records, the LCD System founder prompted Maclean to return to music—and his label provided a home for Maclean’s danceable mash-up of post-punk and experimental compositions under the name the Juan Maclean. Somewhere along the way LCD Soundsystem keyboardist and vocalist Nancy Whang came aboard, and over the course of nearly a decade and a half, there have been a slew of remixes, singles, EPs and LPs. The most recent of which, the ’80s-influenced In a Dream  (stream it below), came out last year. AllMusic calls it “the Juan Maclean’s best record yet. It puts together all the elements they’ve worked with in the past and added a few more, and the result is an emotionally powerful work that sounds easy to dance, dream or get bummed along to.” And the Juan Maclean (above, their video for “A Place Called Space”) play a pair of hometown shows this week, tonight at The Bowery Ballroom and tomorrow at Music Hall of Williamsburg.


Two Big Local Bands Take the Stage at Barclays Center

September 19th, 2013

Earlier this year, art-punk trio Yeah Yeah Yeahs—frontwoman Karen O, drummer Brian Chase and guitarist Nick Zinner—released their fourth full-length, Mosquito (stream it below). The album includes production work from LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek among others, and in praising it, the A.V. Club says the album “takes a much more open-ended, and less studied, approach to Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ electric eccentricity.” Of course, Yeah Yeah Yeahs (above, performing “Sacrilege” on Late Show with David Letterman) are most known for the fiery live performances, and you can see these hometown musical heroes tonight at Barclays Center. But do yourself a favor and get there early enough to see Har Mar Superstar.

Another big local band, Vampire Weekend—college buddies Ezra Koenig (vocals and guitar), Chris Baio (bass and vocals), Rostam Batmanglij (keys and vocals) and Chris Tomson (drums)—also put out an acclaimed new album this year, Modern Vampires of the City (stream it below). The band’s much-praised third LP is a bit of a departure, abandoning the post-college themes of their previous work, but gaining plaudits in the process, with Rolling Stone winningly comparing the quartet’s new tunes to Paul Simon and Tom Petty. But, like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Vampire Weekend (above, doing “Diane Young” on Saturday Night Live) are best experienced live. And alongside Solange and Sky Ferreira, they play Barclays Center tomorrow night.


The Crystal Ark Plays Music Hall of Williamsburg

May 29th, 2012

Gavin Russom knows the music industry inside and out. After playing in noise bands as a teen and studying music composition and theory in college, he began making experimental music in New York City in the mid-’90s. But it wasn’t enough to explore the sounds he created—he also wanted to explore how he made them. So Russom started building custom analog synthesizers. Two musicians who bought his work, James Murphy and Tim Goldsworthy, signed him to their label, DFA Records. Since then, Russom has collaborated with Delia Gonzalez, played synths and percussion with Murphy’s LCD Soundsystem and relocated to Berlin before moving back here a few years ago. More recently he began making music heavily influenced by Latin rhythms and psychedelic rave under the name the Crystal Ark (above, the video for “The City That Never Sleeps”), and the Crystal Ark plays Music Hall of Williamsburg tomorrow night.