Silver, silver, silver. How’s that sound again?
Sound of Silver is the title of LCD Soundsystem’s new album, and it ain’t just the cold sound of cash money; it’s sound of the giant silver disco ball on the cover of their first album and the glitter mirror globe slowly spinning above the dancefloor @ the Ritz (aka Webster Hall these days) last night. That’s what the sound of silver makes me think of, after last night’s show.
LCD was freakin’ incandescent (ha!) on stage last night @ Webster Hall, and their mix of indie rock, techno, punk, dance, disco house pop whatever was one big tight sweaty smart dance bliss thing.
Opening with “Us v. Them,” James looked pretty relaxed – he told us this was the last night of the tour and he didn’t have to save his voice. And he didn’t. His crisp white shirt devolved into wrinkled chaos around the middle of the next tune, “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House” from the first album (Daft’s not playing at my house – yet – but they are gonna be at Coney Island’s Keyspan Park in August – I got my ticket, whatcha waiting for?)
Somewhere in between somehow conjuring up Pere Ubu’s big man, Dave Thomas for a second, hollering “Welcome to the Ritz!”, and noting he’d been kicked out of a Sonic Youth concert there once (in a nod to those audience members born BEFORE Reagan took office), Murphy made it burningly clear that LCD knows its shit inside out – its roots are in NYC club music – punk club, indie rock club, and most freakin’ definitely DISCO.
Murphy knows whereof he speaks about New York disco and house (ck out he interview in earplug). And punk. And indie rock. And whatever else musically he speaks of. He lived it; we lived it; and the crowd at the Ritz/Webster was living it too.
With Pat Mahoney crouching on drums to Murphy’s left and the great Al Doyle (catch him here postshow while you can on the LCD site) on glockenspiel, guitar, and drums to his right, LCD started that spin-tingling house party explosion buildup near the end of “Time to Get Away,” achieving near total sonic dance liftoff right in the middle of “North American Scum” – possibly the best lyrics heard this year. (I would suggest all the U.S. writers for Vice should read and memorize) – and totally blowing it up during “All My Friends.” “Get Innocuous” with Nancy Whang whanging on the piano flowed into a glorious “Tribulations” and a massive “Yeah Yeah.”
Yeah, good dance music does emulate the pace of everybody’s favorite activity. I would say the polyrhythm orgasm of three drums was somewhere around either set-ender “Yeah yeah” or the encore with “Someone Great” and “Watch the Tapes.”
Murphy started playing a little drum kit right in front of Mahoney – occasionally playing Mahoney’s drums too. By the time “Watch the Tapes” was in full swing, Murphy was bouncing water bottles off Mahoney’s drum, one at time: toss it, bounce off, toss another. In time. Then he just poured the stuff over the cymbals and watched it be all sparkly.
“But it looks good on the video. Got to look good on the video” he exhorted Mahoney, who was not too down with the Poland Spring cascade. Followed that with a goofy sardonic declamation to the crowd: “Radio is dead. Next year, no more records. It’s all gonna be CDs. Won’t be listening to radio no more. And video. You say, ‘who wants a CD?’ Next year, it’s all CDs.”
Who got it? Who knew? Who cared? Between the smart, smart lyrics and the booty-shaking beats, the theoretical underpinnings were moot.
Yeah, he knows where LCD came from. The show was grounded in the NYC scene of the 80s, but it didn’t sound anything like a pastiche and everything like a new celebration.
Could be no better finale than the love song to the city that ends Sound of Silver, “New York I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down,” sung my Murphy on his knees, to Al Doyle (who is appearing with them only on this tour). the first verse last night – “Al Doyle, I love you but you’re bringing me down” was pretty hilarious, in the way of good-natured, sweaty musician buddy love. Then Whang and Pat left the stage. Doyle handed his guitars to the audience at the end. The lights came on.
Damn, back in the day these things didn’t’t end at 11:45! You know that LCD remembers that, and a lot else besides. And they are keeping the party going.
Alas, the same cannot be said for the opener, Jona Bechtolt, aka Yacht, of Portland, Oregon.
he sank. (inserT an addiTional consonanT for deTail in that last verb)