Saturday, April 09, 2011

Song of the day (3)

"All I Want", by LCD Soundsystem.

Last weekend I was lucky enough to catch, by chance, the last three songs of the last LCD Soundsystem concert, which was streamed, in a somewhat professional manner suggesting DVD release in the near future, on Pitchfork. This song, fittingly, was one of those last three songs.

LCD had a fascinating career arc, going from total non-"band" in the early '00s to being, by the end, one of the few bands of the endlessly fragmented internet era to genuinely matter. Murphy is either an incredibly astute businessman or a very lucky guy. (If nothing else, he knows, in a way that few people know, how to build a song. Maybe that knowledge was all it took.) There are very few people, in music as in so-called "elite" sports, who can recognise that they are as good as they are ever going to get, and who have the guts to act on that recognition by calling it quits. So he gets points for that, too.

I loved their run of early singles. I loved the second and third albums. There are many songs of theirs that make me cry. This is one of them. I have no idea why: it's a collection of (astutely and cleverly) borrowed ideas, coupled with lyrics in the nature of "All I want is your pity / All I want is your bitter tears" (but then, I have never responded on an emotional level to lyrics in songs). But something about it gets me every time.

There are also, of course, LCD Soundsystem songs that make me smile, often for their sheer audacity. "He can't get away with that. He got away with that." Now he's going to get away with disbanding the greatest group of its era, before any of the rest of us were ready. And he will probably get away with whatever he does next, too. Bastard.