Skip to main content

Equal parts joy and sadness: Shut Up and Play the Hits


Full disclosure: I am a huge LCD Soundsystem fan. And I am obsessed with James Murphy. To the point where it might be unhealthy. But whatever.


The film is beautiful, relishing every joyous scene of LCD’s final performance at Madison Square Garden as much as the quietly somber scenes shot both before and after said concert. SUAPTH jumps back and forth between the concert and James Murphy wandering the streets of NYC and doing an insightful interview with Chuck Klosterman. I would watch that interview as its own film.

For those of us that never got to see LCD live, the film does a wonderful job of immersing the audience in the concert. Shots of the band are nicely edited with candid shots of the concertgoers. I could feel the crushing hot, smell the sweat. I found my heart racing when the movie highlighted one of my favorite songs, my breath held in anticipation.
I would have hated being in that, though.
If I had any complaint about the film, which I really don’t, I would have liked to have seen more of James and the band outside of the arena. As much as I loved the concert footage, the stark silence of James waking up in the morning or going over the equipment the day after were disarming.

Throughout SUAPTH, there is as much sadness as there is joy. LCD Soundsystem is no more. Whatever music James Murphy comes out with next will never be LCD. And it’s a hard pill to choke down. But for all the melancholy, SUAPTH is a love letter to the fans.

The final shot of the film is of a kid—sixteen, maybe seventeen—crying. The show is over, the house lights have gone up, a sickening halogen white. We saw this kid earlier in the film during the concert, and he was losing his shit. It was during “All My Friends” and most of the people in the theater laughed at this boy. I did not. I knew exactly how he felt. I’ve had that feeling of reverence for a group. Where their lyrics and music combine to create something that wasn’t written specifically for you, but how could it not be? For instance, I can’t imagine what a total mess I’ll be when I finally get to see PJ Harvey in concert.
It will probably look something like this.
But that was one of the problems with the evening: the unappreciative masses. For the most part, everyone in the theater was considerate. It’s always the few morons who spoil it for the rest. A group of—let’s call them hipsters, even though that might be doing hipsters a disservice, decided to have a dance party near the back of the theater (in fair proximity to me). Although, that wasn’t really the issue; I couldn’t see or hear them for the most part. They would get loud and clap and what have you, like they were at a real concert. Even that didn’t bother me. The film itself lends people to dance and cheer.

No, what really pissed me off is that they’d feel the need to shout callbacks at the screen whenever a quiet moment would occur. This was not an Rifftrax or a Cinematic Titanic event. When I go to a movie, I want to be immersed in the film. I want to be transported somewhere else, as cliche as that sounds. For two hours I want to forget all the bullshit in my life and pretend it’s not happening. And these assholes decide it’s funny? They laugh at the crying boy, like they wouldn’t do the same in his position. But maybe that’s just me? Maybe I’m too empathetic. And you know what, I’d rather be that than someone who laughs at the kid having a profound experience or tells James Murphy he’s wrong to stop making music as LCD Soundsystem. Who the fuck are you to say that?

All ranting aside, I am thrilled I was able to this in the theater. Oh, and James Murphy, I don’t care what you call your next band/project/whatever. I’ll be there in the audience, waiting to jump up on stage and lick your face. 

That is a very lickable face, if I do say so myself.




Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

3 New Lana Songs Come Out From Upcoming Album "Blue Banisters"

Not even that far off from "Chemtrails Over The Country Club" being released this past March, Lana Del Rey dropped three new singles off her upcoming project, "Blue Banisters." They include the title track, "Text Book," and "Wildflower Wildfire." All three songs seem to merge the worlds of "COCC" with "Norman Fucking Rockwell," specifically Lana's mouthful of a track "Hope is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me To Have But I Have It." They also seem uncharacteristically more confessional than most of Lana's catalog to date, specifically "Wildflower Wildfire," which alludes to a conflict with her mother. She even starts the track with "Here's the deal," readying to show more of her backstory than she ever has in her decade-plus-long career. The three songs are gorgeous - especially "Text Book," which has a haunting quality to it (she mentions "Black Lives Matter" i

Tusse releases French Language Version of "Voices"

In case you missed Eurovision this past weekend - and if you're an American, you likely did - there were some truly talented acts among those competing for this year's prestigious title. There were some pretty boring acts, and there were only a few of truly strange contestants this time around (bummer).  Sweden's act Tusse was pretty talented; his joyful and uplifting track "Voices" was actually one of the few that seemed rather memorable to me. Turns out he's releasing it in French - which makes sense, as Tusse is Kongo-Kinshasa born. Tusse is enormously popular in Sweden from what I can tell, having won both Melodifestivalen (Sweden's precursor to Eurovision) and Swedish Idol. He's a talented guy, and I'm sure we're just seeing the start of what is bound to be a long and prolific career.   (you might not be able to watch this outside of Sweden so, see below) The French version of "Voices" is available for streaming here .  Also, whi

"Round the Bend" - Zoon (Beck cover)

My favorite album of Beck's has long been "Sea Change," for approximately the 20 or so years it's been out. I would probably regard it as one of my personal favorite records, for its wistfulness and its beauty. When I heard about Zoon (aka Zoongide’ewin) - the musical project of Daniel Monkman - covering the "Sea Change" track "Round the Bend," I was somewhat skeptical simply because the album holds such a place in my heart. Now, prior to hearing about this cover, I wasn't so familiar with the work of Zoon. And now, I've got to say, in my best Owen Wilson - Wow.  Apparently we both hold the 2003 Beck album in high esteem. Said Daniel about "Sea Change," "After my first listen I was so moved and at the time I was going through a pretty bad break up and this album helped me process my depression. Throughout my time away from music I’d always have a copy beside me; it kept inspiring me that I could try any kind of music style. I