Thursday, June 11, 2015

This is Happening... Even if You Didn't Know It

There are so many bands and artists that I’ve been incredibly late to the party for. Beyond fashionably and well into the realm where everyone is already passed out, kicked out, or having gone home to enjoy themselves long ago, and the host of the party takes one look at me and is like, “Why weren’t you here ages ago?”

But one of the best parts of this day and age is that the party never truly ends. Even after a band has broken up or gone on to different things or--on the sad occasions--has passed on, there is a fandom out there still making like Wayne and Garth and partying on. This is definitely the case with LCD Soundsystem.

For reasons unbeknownst to me (though it was probably my own musical prejudices, caught up in such albums by Portishead, Mellowdrone, and the soundtracks of Clint Mansell), I never really heard them until a few months ago. Their song, “All My Friends,” popped up on an Amazon Prime playlist, and I was instantly enthralled by the extended build, the lack of a true chorus, and the way the song simply went on and on, and I never wanted it to end. Who IS this? I thought. And soon enough, I’d tracked down their album, Sound of Silver, devoured it, and moved on to the rest of their slim discography, ending--accidentally, albeit appropriately--with This is Happening.

This album has infiltrated my soundbar and won’t seem to leave. I’m always trying to explore and take in as much music as possible, but in between the new-new and new-old discoveries, This is Happening is happening at my place.

From the get go, the album is nothing short of perfection. “Dance Yrself Clean” drops a simple beat and transforms into a song that builds and fluctuates between loud and quiet; it ultimately sets the tone for the album--like the best first tracks should. Afterwards comes one of the most upbeat, rockish--and shortest--tracks, “Drunk Girls,” that not only demands movement from you, but it also is so tongue-and-cheek-wonderful lyrically that you’ll be cheering right along.

The rest spins out LCD’s signature mix of dance and funk and rock goodness. “One Touch” is stuck in my head more often than a song should be and is most excellent to let that bouncing bass hit your eardrums via some killer earbuds. “I Can Change” is another notable, capturing the truths of any relationship, while the track that follows, “You Wanted a Hit” is so self-reflexive of their career that you can’t help but laugh while shaking your booty. And yes, such shakes of booties happens. (I can’t dance, but so help me, I’m bobbing and weaving while grooving out to this album--and it does make doing the dishes both more fun and more complicated.) All of this tops off with such a bubbly and catchy song, “Home,” that you can’t help but wonder if the band members simply looked upon this album and said, “Welp… there’s no way we can top this. I guess we better disband.”

Hopefully, you made it on time to this LCD party, enjoyed the show, and returned home, caring for these wonderful tunes since their initial release. However, if you were an unlucky person like me and didn’t even see the party from the street or even hear about its epicness the day after, do yourself a favor and check them out. They might not be a band that instantly clicks for you, but if you give them a few spins--especially this album--you won’t mind picking your way over the Phils, the ones already partied out, to enjoy what’s left of this shebang.

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