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Anti-Rock

LCD Soundsystem's brain trust happily loses his edge

Live, the digital crunch of an LCD Soundsystem record is transformed into a real rock experience. "We're a cover band," Murphy explains. "The greatest LCD Soundsystem cover band in the world. There are different rules for records and live performance." In fact, the live incarnation of LCD Soundsystem won't even play some songs. Don't expect to hear the thoroughly addictive "Disco Infiltrator" at a show anytime soon, for example. "We've made ten different versions of that song that sound totally different," Murphy reveals, "but I'm still not totally satisfied."

The perfectionism that drives Murphy to create ten variations of the same track is what makes his musical output -- both as a producer and as a musician -- so distinctive and, well, satisfying. His criticisms of the clichés of rock and electronic music are matched only by his own self-critique. While Murphy says that rock musicians are trying too hard to "mean" something, he seems to strive almost as desperately to mean nothing.

And to move some butts.

James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem has achieved his 
goal.
James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem has achieved his goal.

"The more horrifying things get, the more people want to dance," he proclaims. "It's cool to do something humiliating now."

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