James Murphy Will Shut Up and Play the Hits, Thursday at the Gulfstream Park Fountain
James Murphy spins at Gulfstream Park Fountain on Thursday night.
Courtesy BB Gun Press
In 2012, LCD Soundsystem's final show at Madison Square Garden was immortalized in Shut Up and Play the Hits, a documentary that looked back at the band's cultural impact and tailed its leader, James Murphy, the day after the show as he tried to figure out what he was going to do with the rest of his life. Between moments of self-reflection was concert footage of the final show, which cemented how unique the band's live performances were.
The stage, loaded with everything from drums and synthesizers to guitars and loop pedals, seemed like a mad scientist's lab. And with a loose collective of eight band members and several guest performers, it looked like it could all collapse under the enormous weight.
It's also what made Murphy's collective so utterly unique. It felt like a rock show, but the music coming out of the speakers was danceable, if at times a bit chaotic. So perhaps it's no surprise that in its relatively short, decade-long existence, the band made it cool to be a little punk and still like dance music. (Some even credited the band's track "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House" as the reason hipsters fell in love with the robotic duo to begin with.)
Sadly, those days are over, and there's been no talk of a reunion. Murphy still has plenty to do, though. DFA Records, which he cofounded with Tim Goldsworthy and Jonathan Galkin, is still releasing records by acts like Holy Ghost!, Shit Robot, Dan Bodan, and the Juan Maclean. Murphy has always been a musician slash producer, and he's kept busy with production work on the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Arcade Fire's latest albums, as well as scoring the film While We're Young.
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If that isn't enough, Murphy has added another slash — restaurateur. He opened a wine bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, earlier this year called the Four Horsemen, where in addition to being a partner he was also responsible for the sound engineering.
However, Murphy's best postretirement job is probably as a DJ, reminding people he still has an ear for good music. His sets follow DFA's four-to-the-floor aesthetics, which keeps things danceable but never boring. The sets serve as a compilation of Murphy's influences — anything from David Bowie to the Beatles — while hinting at his current musical state of mind. So rest assured that Murphy is a crowd pleaser, following his mission of just shutting up and playing the hits.
Lexus Pop-Up Concert Series Powered by Pandora. 8 p.m. Thursday, August 20, at Gulfstream Park Fountain, 901 S. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach. Ages 21 and over; free with RSVP at eventbrite.com.
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