Results for LCD Soundsystem

interviews

Top Albums of 2005

The“Best Records”list: It's“a sacred thing”in pop music fandom, says Jim, requiring a discerning ear and laser-like focus. Thankfully, our hosts are here to help. After sifting through hundreds of records, and countless days spent listening (perhaps to the discontent of their wives), they‘ve managed to pick out their absolute favorites. Here’s what Jim and Greg say they'll still be listening to in 2006.

Go to episode 2

James Murphy

As the frontman of LCD Soundsystem, James Murphy has made some of Jim and Greg's favorite records of the past decade. They thank him for that, as well as for getting everyone to dance again, despite not being your traditional lead singer. The regular ol' guy started as an indie rocker, but later fell in love with dance music, which he says has a point: to get you to move. He co-founded the DFA, or "Death From Above", record label with Tim Goldsworthy, and their roster would go on to include The Juan Maclean, The Rapture, and Hot Chip, among others. After LCD Soundsystem released some buzzworthy singles and 12 inches, the band put out three critically acclaimed albums: the self-titled debut in 2005, Sound of Silver in 2007 and This Is Happening, which became a Billboard Top 10 hit this year. Jim and Greg talk to Murphy about getting older in a business that values the young, and how he could have taken an entirely different path: as a writer for Seinfeld.

Go to episode 262

James Murphy

In LCD Soundsystem's 2005 debut album, singer/producer James Murphy says he's "Losing His Edge." Well, 2 years after the project disbanded, we wondered if this is the case? Murphy has gone from punk and dance clubs…to Broadway? He's composed original music for the Broadway revival of the Harold Pinter play Betrayal. But if you're going to lose your edge, this isn't a bad way to do it…the play stars Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz, is produced by Scott Rudin and is directed by Mike Nichols. James talks about working with such luminaries and shares a tidbit on the forthcoming Arcade Fire release.

Go to episode 414
specials

Joy Division

In 1977 Ian Curtis, Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris formed the band Joy Division in Manchester, England. Now 30 years later, the music and the legend are as important as ever. Acclaimed video director and rock photographer Anton Corbijn just released his Joy Division feature film, Control. In addition, a number of albums and compilations are being reissued and a documentary is in the works. Jim and Greg took this opportunity to delve into the band's music and story.

So, why all the interest in a British band that lasted only three years and never even toured the States? Jim explains that Joy Division left a lasting musical influence that you can hear in dance-punk fusion bands like Interpol and LCD Soundsystem, as well as mainstream rock acts like The Cure, Smashing Pumpkins and U2. Also, because front man Ian Curtis committed suicide in 1980, just one month prior to the release of "Love Will Tear Us Apart," the band's most successful single, the idea of Curtis and the band became almost as important as the music itself. The band was adopted by Goth youths and Curtis became romanticized as a tortured genius. Unfortunately while that propelled the band's name, it overshadowed what they were really about according to Jim and Greg.

The mythology surrounding Curtis‘ death isn’t the only thing that misrepresents Joy Division. Greg explains that the band's studio albums only showcase one side of the group's music. Producer Martin Hannett crafted the sound to enhance the band's dark, twisted image. On 1978's Unknown Pleasures and 1980's Closer, the songs were sparse and claustrophobic. But, as you can hear in live tracks like "Transmission," Joy Division was an aggressive, energetic band in concert. Their singles also present a more upbeat, dance-oriented sound. To get a full perspective on Joy Division, Greg recommends checking out the Closer reissue, as well as Substance, a collection of singles.

Go to episode 101
reviews
Sound of SilverSound of Silver available on iTunes

LCD Soundsystem Sound of Silver

The final review of the show is of LCD Soundsystem's second release, Sound of Silver. LCD Soundsystem is helmed by James Murphy, the DFA producer many credit with defining the New York club sound. His merging of disco and rock with the debut LCD release was hugely successful among critics and music fans. Now Murphy and co. are back with a second release that veers more towards the disco than the rock. Fans of the first release might be disappointed initially; this album doesn't suck you in as fast. But, both Jim and Greg urge listeners to give it more than one try. Some of the songs are less accessible, but music fans (and frustrated critics) will appreciate the many inside jokes and reference points. Sound of Silver gets two Buy Its.

JimGreg
Go to episode 68
This Is Happening (Deluxe Edition)This Is Happening available on iTunes

LCD Soundsystem This Is Happening

During the next segment Jim and Greg review this season's big new releases. First up, This Is Happening by LCD Soundsystem. LCD Soundsystem began as a pet project for DFA co-founder James Murphy. He's been instrumental in establishing the dance-punk sound of the past decade. Jim thinks Murphy is going for a Roxy Music vocal style. He explains that Murphy is saying this record will be his last, but notes that it's not his best. Greg agrees, adding that the bar was set very high with the previous two releases. There was much more honest emotion. But that said, it's still worth your money: a double Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 230
american dreamAmerican Dream available on iTunes

LCD Soundsystem American Dream

LCD Soundsystem – one of Jim and Greg's favorite bands of the 2000s – broke up in 2011 after a huge farewell show at Madison Square Garden. But only six years later, leader James Murphy has brought the group back for a fourth album, American Dream. Greg was skeptical after hearing the initial singles. But upon hearing the whole record, he calls it their most emotional work yet, designed to work as an album from beginning to end. He cites the haunted quality in Murphy's voice as he confronts getting older and loves the record's polyrhythmic vibes. While Greg gives it a Buy It, it pains Jim to give American Dream a Trash It. He's annoyed at hearing a 47-year-old complain about being old. According to Jim, the new album has lost the sense of humor, groove, and songs of the previous records, and he will never listen to American Dream again for pleasure.

JimGreg
Go to episode 614
Lost SirensLost Sirens available on iTunes

New Order Lost Sirens

At the beginning of the New Order review, Greg calls the English band's latest album Lost Sirens almost a collection of“leftovers.”That can‘t bode too well for it. New Order’s music in the 1980's was undeniably influential. There'd be no LCD Soundsystem or Radiohead without their electronic pop innovations. But, Jim doesn't hear anything that evokes their Madchester greatness on this effort. He says Trash It. Greg really liked the tracks "I Told You So" and "Hellbent", so that bumps up his rating to a Try It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 374
In Our HeadsIn Our Heads available on iTunes

Hot Chip In Our Heads

Also hailing from the UK is Hot Chip, a group some have called England's answer to LCD Soundsystem. Composed mainly of songwriters Alexis Taylor and Joe Goddard, the electro-poppers are out with their fifth studio album In Our Heads. On their last album One Life Stand, the band moved away from the happy-go-lucky party tracks that established them into decidedly more emotional territory. Does In Our Heads continue the trend? Greg says unfortunately, yes. He's always relished Hot Chip's dancier tracks for they way they compress the history of electronic dance music into three minutes. On In Our Heads the band continues to wear its influences on its sleeve, cribbing from the likes of Prince, The Talking Heads, and Luther Vandross. But for every killer single like "Let Me Be Him," there are more than a few drippy ballads. Jim agrees. For him, Hot Chip is essentially a singles band. When they're on, they're on, when they're not, they're not. On the strength of the few great singles on this record, Jim and Greg give In Our Heads a Burn It rating.

JimGreg
Go to episode 346
dijs

Greg

“Moody”ESG

This week it is Greg's turn to choose a song for the Desert Island Jukebox. He goes back to the late '70s and early '80s, the era when rock and dance music merged. This period has been referenced a lot during discussions of contemporary bands like Franz Ferdinand and LCD Soundsystem. For his pick, Greg goes to one of the sources—ESG. This South Bronx group made up of four sisters worked with Martin Hannett, best known as the producer of Joy Division. While not skilled musicians, the Scroggins Sisters had a unique sound that greatly influenced house and post-punk bands. Their track "UFO" is actually one of the most heavily sampled songs in music history. But for his DIJ, Greg chooses to play "Moody," which is both atmospheric and danceable. Listen for the conga solo by the sisters' friend Tito.

Go to episode 7
lists

The Best Albums of 2010

It's the moment all music fans wait for…the end of the year best-of list!

Go to episode 263

Desert Island Jukebox

All year long Jim and Greg hog the Desert Island Jukebox and play you songs they can't live without. In this episode, they flip the script and hand over the jukebox quarters to some of their musical guests. Slayer, LCD Soundsystem, Wild Flag and more took on the age-old rock question "What record would you take with you if stranded on a desert island?":

  • Troy“Trombone Shorty”Andrews - Louis Armstrong, "On the Sunny Side of the Street"
  • Alexei Perry of Handsome Furs - Doctor Alimantado, Best Dressed Chicken in Town
  • Dan Boeckner of Handsome Furs - Sonic Youth, Sister
  • Sam Beam of Iron and Wine - Harry Nilsson, Nilsson Schmilsson
  • Naomi Yang and Damon Krukowski of Damon & Naomi - Fairport Convention, Liege and Lief
  • Lily Allen - Squeeze, "Up the Junction"
  • Kerry King of Slayer - Ozzy Osbourne, Blizzard of Ozz
  • Dave Lombardo of Slayer - Amy Winehouse, Back to Black
  • Rebecca Cole of Wild Flag - Bill Withers, Just As I Am
  • Janet Weiss of Wild Flag - The Rolling Stones, Exile on Main St.
  • James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem - Roxy Music, For Your Pleasure
Go to episode 317

The Best of 2007… So Far

Jim and Greg just couldn‘t wait until the end of the year to start picking their favorite albums, so they’ve decided to name their 2007 mid-year best.

Go to episode 81

Best of 2007

It's a critic and a music fan's favorite time of year. Jim and Greg run down their top albums for 2007. You can view their complete lists below.

For more end-of-year discussion, check out the Sound Opinions Message Board.

Go to episode 107

The Best Songs of 2007 - Mixtapes

Jim and Greg present their Mixtapes for 2007. Check out the track listing below.

Go to episode 109

The Best Songs of the Millennium - Mixtapes

Jim and Greg like to end every year with a good old-fashioned mixtape (presented as a new-fashioned mp3 stream). But this year they decided to go even further and compile their favorite songs of the entire decade. They pick highlights to play during this episode, and their entire playlists are below. You can also stream their full mixtapes:

Go to episode 214

Best Albums of 2010…So Far

As the year hits its midway mark, Jim and Greg take stock of their favorite record releases and name the mid-year best.

Go to episode 237

Tearjerkers: Songs That Make You Cry

Feel a lump in your throat? Go ahead and let it all out as Jim and Greg play some of the greatest musical Tearjerkers. These weepies make you cry, no matter how strong your disposition.

Go to episode 439
news

Music News

Five years ago LCD Soundsystem announced its retirement. Boy has time flown, because they are back. James Murphy and his bandmates will be reuniting this summer for a series of performances at festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza. Jim and Greg lament that the schedules for the season's major festivals are virtually the same. Music critics from the New York Times agree and won't be covering any of the big three, instead focusing on boutique festivals and summer concerts. As they write, these destination festivals are more about fun in the sun than music.

After one year in business, Jay Z's streaming service TIDAL has numbers to report. According to the service, they have 3 million subscribers total and Kanye West's new album The Life of Pablo has been streamed roughly 250 million times. Jim, Greg and other industry-watchers are skeptical about this figure. But, however the accounting shakes out, TIDAL is small potatoes compared to the leader Spotify with 30 million subscribers and Apple Music with 11 million.

Go to episode 540

Music News

Former LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy has been keeping busy since the group disbanded in 2011. When not scoring Broadway plays and roasting speciality coffee, he's taking on New York City's notoriously noisy subway system. Murphy wants to change the soulless beeps made by current subway turnstiles into melodic notes that harmonize and respond to the amount of traffic passing through the station. Murphy first revealed this plan to Jim and Greg last year, but now he's making his campaign public. So far, New York City's Metropolitan Transit Authority isn't particularly warm to the idea, citing the significant cost and time, but Murphy remains undetered.

The good news for costumed rockers Kiss is that they'll be inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April. The bad news is that the band won‘t be compromising it’s creative integrity (a first, Jim says) by performing at the induction ceremony in its current iteration (which excludes original members Ace Freely and Peter Criss). With bad blood between Freely, Criss, and Gene Simmons, there's no hope for a make-up in time for the ceremony. But, Jim thinks purist Kiss fans would probably prefer to see no show than a show without the original Spaceman and Catman.

Go to episode 431

Music News

Sad news for a number of rock fans this week. Both The White Stripes and LCD Soundsystem have announced they are closing up shop. James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem suggested he'd be calling it quits (at least under that name) when he was on Sound Opinions last year. But the White Stripes announcement has come as a surprise. Greg is disappointed since Jack White's other side projects as a member of The Dead Weather and The Raconteurs and producer of albums by Wanda Jackson haven't provided him the vehicle he deserves. But, as Jim notes, the adage is true: nothing gives an artist a greater boost than dying or breaking up. Albums by The White Stripes have seen a massive sales surge.

U2's Bono and the Edge have joined forces with veteran theater and film director Julie Taymor to bring Spider-Man to the Broadway stage. The early reviews are in, and they ain't pretty. From The New York Times ("sheer ineptitude") to the Los Angeles Times ("an artistic form of megalomania") to the Chicago Tribune ("incoherent"), the critical pans are far harsher than anything U2 has received on any album. And it wasn't for lack of funds. The $65 million musical production is charging fans up to $300 just for previews. Jim and Greg wonder if Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark will fare any better than Capeman.

Go to episode 272

Music News

The news starts with Front Line Management's lawsuit against Axl Rose. Front Line's founder and chief executive is Irving Azoff, who is also executive chairman of Live Nation Entertainment, which merged with Ticketmaster last month. Jim and Greg discuss the impact of such a lawsuit on an artist. Considering the mega-corporation controls ticketing, venues and many other aspects of the industry, they may not be one to tangle with. Also, they note that the lawsuit is over a breach of "oral contract." Who agrees to an oral contract these days? Especially with Axl Rose!

Jim and Greg discuss the yet again delayed emergence of Spotify in the U.S. The Internet music service, introduced in 2008 by Daniel Ek, has become one of the most popular of its kind in Europe with 7 million users. But despite rumors that it would come to the States this summer, Ek is still having trouble navigating our thick legal system. He wants Spotify to be legitimate, and that means a lot of licensing fees. But once it does hit our soil, Greg predicts big success.

It hit about 80 degrees this week in Chicago, and while it may snow again next week, we've got our eye on the summer. Jim and Greg run down some of the biggest music festivals of the season. First up is Coachella this month, which will feature Jay-Z, LCD Soundsystem and Faith No More among others. The following month, music fans can travel to Washington for the Sasquatch Festival to see My Morning Jacket, Kid Cudi and Ween. In June Bonnaroo will host the Dave Matthews Band, Stevie Wonder and Weezer. Two of the biggest festivals are right here in our hometown: Pitchfork Music Festival, which will boast a Pavement reunion, and Lollapalooza, which Greg can nearly confirm will have headliners Lady Gaga, Green Day, and a reunited Soundgarden. But, Jim points out that not all of the best multi-act concerts are destination festivals. Lilith Fair is back this year as a traveling women-fueled act with Mary J. Blige, Cat Power and Kelly Clarkson.

Go to episode 227

Music News

iTunes announced that it will be offering cut-rate downloads on several albums in its catalog. The albums, which retail for $5.99 and $6.99, are part of a new series called“Next Big Thing.”The bargain bin includes albums from up-and-comers like LCD Soundsystem and Peter Bjorn and John. Jim and Greg are happy to see that the giant digital music retailer is waking up. Six bucks is a perfectly legitimate amount to pay for such good albums, and this is a move that's certain to please consumers, if not record labels.

Also in the news, pop star Avril Lavigne is being called out for a couple instances of plagiarism. First, power pop band The Rubinoos launched a legal case against Avril, claiming that her single "Girlfriend" was lifted from their 1979 song, "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend." Avril denies this, but the similarities are pretty striking. Then, gossip blogger Perez Hilton pointed out another suspicious similarity. The first 20 seconds of Avril's "I Don't Have to Try" sound nearly identical to electroclasher Peaches' track "I'm the Kinda." Jim and Greg think the evidence is stacking up against Avril, but are quick to point out that all rock music has been cribbed from one source or another.

Next Jim and Greg relay their experiences that at the recent Police reunion show in Chicago. Greg was pretty unimpressed, and says that the show was definitely not worth what people paid. Jim was less harsh, but agrees with Greg that the Police have always been better on album than live.

The Police concluded their tour at Giants Stadium as part of the Live Earth concert. Again, the band didn't wow our hosts, but it was Kanye West's performance that was the most strikingly bad. In fact, with the exception of a few performances, most of Live Earth was pretty underwhelming to Jim and Greg. And the world seemed to agree. Ratings were quite poor, especially compared to the success of previous attempts like Live 8. Jim is all for music influencing people to make change, but he didn't hear anything truly inspirational coming out of this crop of musicians. And Greg found the event to have a great lack of focus, though both hosts are all for Al Gore replacing Bono as music's new crusader.

Go to episode 85