LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Wednesday night to promote the band’s new documentary, Shut Up and Play the Hits, which will screen at Little Havana’s Tower Theater on Wednesday, July 18. Sporting an all-white suit and a mostly-white beard, Murphy talked about his missed opportunity to write for Seinfeld and then jammed “Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)” by Talking Heads with Fallon’s house band, The Roots. To learn more about the Miami screening of Shut Up and Play the Hits, a collaboration with Oscilloscope Laboratories, the late Beastie Boys emcee Adam Yauch’s production company, check out the listing in the events section.
With YACHT at Electric Pickle, Neon Indian at Bardot, and Special Disco Version (the DJ project of LCD Soundsystem members James Murphy and Pat Mahoney) and Black Lips at Grand Central, Thursday night presented the music fiend with a dilemma. (See the Art Basel Music Guide — tonight is barely easier.) After letting a dart toss decide it, we ended up at Grand Central, where there was a wrap-around line of people who were probably hoping Nancy Whang would show up and SDV would transform into almost LCD. (Whang is in town for a DJ set at Bardot Saturday night. Again, see the Art Basel Music Guide.) That didn’t happen, but it was still a fun show. Here are our favorite 10 photos from the night. To see many more, head over to the Beached Miami Facebook page.
I won’t lie. I didn’t secure an invitation to last night’s LCD Soundsystem show at the Raleigh Hotel. Didn’t even know how to go about wheedling my way past the velvet rope. My plan was to go to the Art Loves Music Metric concert on the 22nd Street Beach, then to mosey over to the Raleigh, at which point I hoped luck or sympathy (the bouncer’s) would guide me into the presence of James Murphy and the gang blasting their glorious music into the cool, salty air.
The Metric show ended shortly after 11. The Canadian New Wave act has a decent sound (Twitter tells me they got their first Grammy nomination last night), but the show could not live up to my previous music experience at the same spot — Iggy Pop’s 2007 Art Basel performance, which in my opinion forever hallowed the sand at 22nd Street. Iggy Pop may be an unfair benchmark by which to judge the Toronto-based quartet, but I couldn’t help it. The show was so good the city should erect a statue of Iggy’s taut, ashen body on the spot, and I’m confident anyone who was there would join the petition.
After the Metric show, we walked the four blocks to the Raleigh along the shore. I’d heard competing rumors about the invite-only set and didn’t know whether Murphy was playing alone or spinning or whether the whole band was taking the stage.
But when we got within earshot, it was obvious the full Soundsystem was rocking the Raleigh. There was a small crowd of the uninvited along the boardwalk listening to the music creep through the tree line and over the fence. A few people stood on their toes to try to get a peek at the scene. I approached a side entrance in the hotel’s northern fence and tried to sneak in as a member of the white-clad catering staff pushed a service station into the alleyway. No luck. A young Russian in black uniform pulled the walkie-talkie away from his mouth to tell me the show was private. “I know,” I said. “That’s why I’m trying to sneak in.” He did not appreciate the logic.
Despite its reputation as a party city, Miami is rarely graced with good-quality music, let alone indie heavy hitters like LCD Soundsystem. So when James Murphy and the gang threw down a futuristic disco party last night at the Fillmore Miami Beach, true Miami music heads were more than ready to obey the title of the show opener, “Dance Yrself Clean.” The second the electric drums and synth glare hit, the crowd broke out dance moves they’d obviously been storing away all summer long. The energy only went up a notch when Murphy revealed that drummer Pat Mahoney used to live in Miami Beach.
As the audience settled in, the band moved through a couple of the more poppy tracks off their latest album, This is Happening, before launching into crowd-favorite “Daft Punk is Playing at My House.” With everyone singing along, Murphy and the band appeared surprised at the enthusiasm of Miami’s oft-criticized concert goers. But there was no way to stay calm. The ease with which Murphy commands a crowd puts him in a class with Brian Eno and David Byrne. It was almost like watching Bill Clinton’s “Man from Hope” speech on acid.