Sunday, April 12, 2015

Song of the day

"We Used To Dance", by James Murphy.

When you go to see "While We're Young", the new film by Noah Baumbach -- and you really should go to see it; it is very good -- the one thing it would be good to know beforehand (or, at least, it would have been good for me to have known beforehand) is that -- and I doubt that it's any great Spoiler Alert for me to mention this -- Dean Wareham plays a shaman.

For a very small proportion of people who were a particular age at a particular time, the three albums by Galaxie 500 are to this day worn like a badge of honour, or an entry card into a secret club. (Dean Wareham was one of the three members of Galaxie 500. He sang and played guitar. The three members of Galaxie 500 were of equal importance to the band, but it seems fair to say that Galaxie 500 would not have sounded the way it did if Dean Wareham hadn't been one of the three.)

For a (perhaps slightly larger) proportion of people who were a particular age at a more recent particular time, the three albums by LCD Soundsystem may have a similarly prominent place in their lives, both now and in years to come. (James Murphy was the singer and principal songwriter for LCD Soundsystem. He made the incredibly brave decision to call it quits before things had the chance to become less interesting.)

For perhaps a microscopically small number of us, these two sets of three albums form a kind of pair of bookends to our music listening over the past 30 or so years. So it's a curious footnote to "While We're Young", although it has no real bearing whatsoever on one's enjoyment of it, that Dean Wareham and James Murphy found themselves working together (in a sense) on the film, for which James Murphy (who has worked with Baumbach before -- as has Wareham, for that matter) wrote a couple of pieces of music for the score.

There is a kind of "Where's Wally" (or is it Whack-a-Mole?) aspect to James Murphy's career post-LCD. He lies low for a while, he does something, the internet goes (relatively) feral over that thing, he goes quiet again, etc. He does a coffee thing. Yadda yadda. He remixes a tennis match. Yadda yadda. He works on a sound system. Yadda yadda.  He does a Bowie remix. (Maybe one of the best things he has done, erm, "IMHO".) And so on.

Murphy wrote for the score of Baumbach's "Greenberg" a few years back, so it is possible these two pieces might even have been written while LCD was still a going concern. Nevertheless, they are further grist to the mill. We assume that Murphy, Salinger-like (or so we also assumed), is beavering away in some secluded somewhere on the next great thing. Because we are like that. And so we grab hold of these snippets. For that, really, is what they are. "We Used To Dance" is the one I have picked, but only because it's the longer of the two. The other one (see below) really is just a snippet. (Albeit a rather fascinating snippet.)

Bonus beats: