Thursday, July 26th, 2012
Review of LCD Soundsystem’s Shut Up And Play The Hits
FacebookHaving only gotten around to discovering the genius of LCD Soundsystem with their third and final album This Is Happening, I feel immensely fortunate to have caught them live twice on their farewell tour – their final Toronto show in May 2010 and then in Chicago headlining that year’s Pitchfork Festival – probably more than someone as late to the part as I deserved.
But watching Shut Up And Play The Hits, the concert documentary covering their final ever concert at Madison Square Garden in New York in April 2011, I felt no small amount of regret that I didn’t move heaven and earth to be there. Not that I would have gotten a ticket, and not that I had even seriously considered it, but the film does such a great job of making it seem like it was much more than just a concert, but the a genuinely historic (at least from a musical perspective) passing of a band who so embodied their city for the decade that they were active. Even constrained to limited camera angles from the amount of gear and players on stage, the live footage captures both how great a live band they were – remarkable considering they were originally intended to be strictly a studio-bound concern – and just how much their fans loved them.
While I enjoyed the non-concert footage – particularly the Klosterman interview which I think became this Guardian feature – the scenes meant to show James Murphy’s first day of the rest of his life didn’t quite achieve the suspension of disbelief necessary. I mean, it’s possible that he acquiesced to having a camera crew waiting in his apartment while he slept and certainly does a good job of ignoring them while he goes about his band post-mortem business, but I don’t know. It’s too well-captured to not have been at least somewhat staged. And if I’m wrong and it really was all real life, fly on the wall stuff, my hat’s off to directors Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace for getting it so right. Ultimately a trivial complaint and I’m always up for more loving shots of New York City streets, but it did bother me.
The film is currently making the screening rounds – kind of a final farewell tour – and if you missed its last two times through Toronto (Hot Docs back in the Spring and last week where I saw it), note that it’ll be back for a third encore with screenings at The Bloor on August 3 and 4. The DVD edition, which also includes the entirety of the four-hour farewell show, is out October 9 and available to pre-order now – I long ago decided I’d stop buying music DVDs since I rarely/never watch them, but I think I’ll be making an exception for this one. And there’s a little bit of bonus/fan footage available to watch at The Creator’s Project.
Trailer: Shut Up And Play The Hits
If you were at that Shut Up screening last week, you would have seen a trailer for Searching For Sugar Man, the documentary that tracked down lost ’60s folk singer Rodriguez. The film begins a two-week run at The Bloor on August 10 and Rodriguez himself will be in town for a concert at The Mod Club on October 25, tickets $20. There’s feature pieces on the man and the film at The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Wall Street Journal.
Trespassers William nave announced a September 4 street date for their final release Cast; a double-disc set with collects an album’s worth of rarities and b-sides and a full-length version of their 2009 EP The Natural Order Of Things.
October 2 also marks the release of the new Mark Eitzel solo record Don’t Be A Stranger. Details on the release – his third since the last American Music Club album The Golden Age was released but the first since that band was officially retired (again) – are available at Exclaim.
Stream: Ben Gibbard – “Ichiro’s Theme”
Terribly if accurately named Los Angeles outfit He’s My Brother She’s My Sister are in town for a show at Parts & Labour on October 19.
Video: Andrew Bird – “Give It Away”
The Village Voice talks to Dean Wareham about Galaxie 500 and the odds of a Luna reunion. Update: NYC Taper has a recording of last week’s Dean & Britta performance in New York where they were joined on guitar by Sean Eden. 3/4 of the way there!