I’m excited ya’ll, because 24 hours from now I’ll be seeing LCD Soundsystem live at D.C.’s shiny new music venue, The Anthem. I’m hyped because they’re a group I thought I’d never see live, especially after their 2011 breakup. 2017 is full of surprises though, and one actual good one is this band returning, with a new album and a tour. I’m all over it.
For the uninitiated, LCD Soundsystem is an indie(ish) outfit which gained massive critical acclaim throughout the 2000s for their fun, energetic, and fascinating takes on dance and rock music (with an old school flair…) that is very much an aural confessional for frontman James Murphy, with songs about loneliness, alienation, awkwardness, unrequited love, and trepidation about being middle-aged and losing your edge in the half-wonderland/half-hellhole of New York City, the band’s home. From their earliest singles around 2001-2002, LCD Soundsystem was at the head of the pack when it came to being indie darlings celebrated by the likes of Pitchfork and Fader, known for their exclusive live sets in the hippest spots of NYC, but they also had some great music to back up the hype. Their second and third albums, 2007’s Sound of Silver and 2010’s This is Happening really put the group into the stratosphere. The music was perfect for the dance floor or the cozy art venue, and with enough depth to stay with you after it’s done. At the height of the group’s success they called it quits, deciding to pack it in while they were on top, and that was that.
For about six years.
Now LCD’s back, last month dropping their newest record, American Dream, and getting back into the swing of things. While the new album doesn’t quite hit the heights of their earlier works, it does have some fantastic moments, of which I was going to feature on this post….buuuuuutttt this particular track was calling to me tonight.
Sound of Silver was my introduction to the group back in the late ’00s and still an album I enjoy a lot a decade later for it’s disaffected and wildly exuberant vibe, full of fun moments and ridiculously danceable listens like this one. “Us V Them” is a highlight, one of my most favorite, favorite, favorite joints by the group. It’s spastic, wild, and flowing…a whole journey in 8 1/2 minutes. From the get-go the drums and tempo get you amped and ready to move, and in the first two minutes the song rises in tension, getting increasingly agitated and prepared for an awesome break. There’s also a ringing cowbell here which has has no right sounding this awesome too (That’s prolly the reason why I chose this listen tbh). The song keeps building and building before reaching a euphoric crescendo, then a kicks into a five minute comedown with those repeated words: “Us…and them…over and over again.” It’s an experience you’ve got to hear to believe, and trust me, it does wonders on a running playlist. This one goes, I love it!