Monday, January 24, 2011

For The Sake of The Song: LCD Soundsystem - Losing My Edge

"For The Sake of The Song" is a new periodical segment where I take a look at some of my personal all-time favorite songs, dissect them and try and show you their genius. 

"But I was There." is the conclusion James Murphy keeps coming to throughout "Losing My Edge," LCD Soundsystem's first and arguably best song. Originally released in 2002 as a single, James Murphy had no plans of being in a touring band, he just had an idea for a song and wanted to release new music. Three years later LCD Soundsystem release their first self-titled record that featured that song, and five years after that they're headlining festivals globally. LCD Soundsystem is one of indie rock's recent big success stories. However their success wasn't gained through mass radio play or commercial licensing. They earned their title of being the best dance-punk band ever through three solid LPs, a shit ton of Internet buzz and an unforgettable live presence.
It all started with "Losing My Edge" a seven minute plus change rambling dance epic that breathed life into a new sub-genre of rock that mixed the dance-hooks of Daft Punk with the frenetic art-rock of Talking Heads. 
In this track Murphy assumes the character of an aging hipster forced with the realization that with age comes a loss of coolness. "I'm losing my edge, the kids are coming up from behind" Murphy bluntly states at the beginning of the track. "I'm losing my edge to the art-school Brooklynites in little jackets and borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered eighties...I'm losing my edge to better-looking people with better ideas and more talent." As the youth begin to come into fruition, what is hip for a generation becomes re-defined, Murphy's character feels inadequate as a result of the changing landscape around him. 
 "But I was there." Murphy cries, because the one thing the in-crowd doesn't have is experience. "I was there when Captain Beefheart started up his first band. I told him, 'Don't do it that way. You'll never make a dime.' I was there. I was the first guy playing Daft Punk to the rock kids. I played it at CBGB's. Everybody thought I was crazy. We all know. I was there." There is one thing that older people will always have on the younger generation, and that is the benefit of "being there." For instance, there is a difference between actually attending a Rolling Stones concert in 1972 and buying a faded Stones shirt from Target. The experience of actually "being there" is priceless.
Murphy then goes on to make light of the Internet bloggers who "can tell me every member of every good group from 1962 to 1978" As well as the younglings who collect rare records and act as if it somehow makes them special. Murphy begins to playfully list off his favorite records, before the track climaxes musically and lyrically with the antithesis "You don't know what you really want."
To me, this song is a triumph. I have never heard a song that takes a rambling rant and turns it into an absolute club-stomper. This song can be taken multiple ways, it can either be seen as an aging hipster's love letter, a sarcastic attack on the naivety of youth culture, or my personal favorite, showing us just how silly the hip culture is. At the end of the day, does it really matter how many records you have collected? As we age, the most important thing we will have is to be able to look back on is our experiences, making the rest of that shit quite frankly, pointless.

Download via Mediafire:
Losing My Edge

No comments:

Post a Comment