What Would James Murphy Do?  // Augustus Roark Pays Homage to Musical Visionary

What Would James Murphy Do? // Augustus Roark Pays Homage to Musical Visionary

LCD Soundsystem: sound the alarm | Dazed

"Is he from the future?" One of the best lines from Seinfeld when Jerry askes about Elaine's new boyfriend who shaves his head.  That's what I often think of James Murphy.  His music sounds like it's from 100 years from now, in some advanced society where we have flying cars, smoke pot on a rocket ship on our way to Mars, and this is what we'd listen to.  But, as those in the top echelon of musical history will tell you, (and James Murphy would too), that it's actually steeped in nostalgia and influences from literally every conceivable genre and era.  Talk about Deep Tracks...LCD Soundsystem is All Deep Tracks!  And, it's like reading Shakespeare or Dostoevsky...you gotta really be patient.  It won't get good until 500 pages in...A lot of LCD Soundsystem's best songs don't really get cranking until 3, 4, sometimes 5 minutes in!  That's just beyond ballsy in today's 15 second attention span world.  And that is very, very intentional!  He wants you to earn it, but for those that do, holy crap...is it good!  Murphy was recently quoted as saying that he never formed the band to be a “cool band” and that they even craved for people to come to a show with negative expectations.  They wanted to win you over…they wanted to fight for your fandom, but they were cocky enough to know they would…every…single…time.

James Murphy became famous on the New York DJing scene for his wildly unorthodox pairings of songs.  He'd courageously make people endure a 10 minute long instrumental from CAN, and experimental German Rock band from the 60's that would make Frank Zappa impatient, then without skipping a beat, turn 90 degrees to the right by putting on a beautifully, yet extremely tight, 3 minute love ballad from the Manchester Marr + Morrisey dynamic duo, (The Smiths).  Demonstrating, you can be an Acid Rock hippie from Germany in one minute, and a post-punk minimalist in the next.


All Gates Open by Rob Young and Irmin Schmidt review – in praise of the  rock band Can | Music books | The Guardian

The Smiths:

Johnny Marr and The Smiths' best style moments | British GQ | British GQ

LCD Soundsystem is a total music melting pot and amalgamation of all types of music...and yes, it's a melting pot, not a tossed salad.  Because it's an infusion so deep it’s really impossible to separate the influences. It'd be like if you put smores on pizza...in theory, it sounds disgusting, and yet...it works!  And is brilliant!  It's legitimately intimidating to a lot of people to listen to.

LCD Soundsystem to reform for one-off cover version?

Diving into some of his old DJ sets and musical influences feels like writing a research paper for your PhD.  It's intense, deep, random, and insanely eclectic.  James Murphy is "into a lot of shit..." just like the Augustus Roark brand aspires to be.  LCD Soundsystem became super popular in Europe, and feels European in a lot of ways, but it's undeniably and proudly American, in all the self-loathing ways we have grown to become...kind of the "we know we're idiots, but...we're still kind of badass too...and you can take the cool from us...you just can't." The song, North American Scum encapsulates this feeling perfectly.

LCD Soundsystem came later in James Murphy's life.  He had been a producer, creating DFA records and after a bit of a fallout with his business partner, and frustration with the plateauing career of The Rapture, (what was supposed to be New York's resurrection of the Rock n Roll scene...which they later bequeathed to The Strokes) he finally just said screw it...I'm gonna do it myself...I'm going to form a band.  

But why Augustus Roark celebrates the James Murphy philosophy in music is that, he literally gives ZERO fucks about what he just played...he plays whatever he wants next.  It's also the same philosophy with Augustus Roark's soon to launch women's line...a high end women's line. Basically, just like James Murphy, he just went for it.

That is EXACTLY what Augustus Roark stands for... if you want to be the starting quarterback of your high school football team, but rather than go to the high school party after the game, you're introverted, and would rather go home, put on your head phones and jam out to some Joy Division alone...then do that.  If you're an Accountant by day, but secretly the bassist for a punk rock band by night, do it!  It’s a much more accurate depiction of what life is really like.  Life is random, unpredictable, and all over the place…life can’t be put into simple categories, just like LCD Soundsystem… where would you even begin…Punk?  Electronica? Indie?  It’s all of those, and none of those.  Life is complicated, people are complicated, and James Murphy is a perfect personification of that.  Be whoever you want to be...today! And if you want to change again tomorrow...then change!  Life's too short to care what others think...Just freaking go for it.  James Murphy did!

Some notable songs on the playlist:

Of course, lots of LCD Soundsystem songs.

The Rapture was one of James Murphy's biggest producing projects.  They never quite ascended to what everyone hoped they would, but still have some pretty awesome tunes.

The Rapture Archives - We All Want Someone To Shout For

Supersymmetry by Arcade Fire.  James Murphy produced this album, and literally sometimes I forget which band did the album, Arcade Fire or LCD Soundsystem. But if you were to LCD Soundsystem-ify Arcade Fire, this is what it would sound like, and in the best possible way.  Like a lot of LCD Soundsystem songs, it just slowly builds, and builds, and builds and finally careens off a cliff into the clouds of a beautiful orchestral piece.  Song will give you the chillbumps…

The Human League.  Of James Murphy's thousands of influences, he was quoted as saying he'd like to imitate the Human League, a super advanced Synth-Pop band from the early 80's out of Sheffield, England. The Human League is really in a category all on its own...it's just as groundbreaking now as it was then.

the Human League:


Bowie...All Roads lead back, to, through, and from...Bowie...as they damn well should!  I mean, who didn't Bowie influence, but, James Murphy wasn't spared either...Murphy was actually collaborating with Bowie on his last album, Blackstar.  If anything, this is a reminder of what could have been, and that life is finite...We will forever be haunted by the many tracks they could have worked on together.  Maybe they'll be on the other side of that rocket ship to Mars.

David Bowie - David Bowie: Fame 40th Anniversary (Pic Disc) Vinyl 7" -  Amazon.com Music

And as stated at the beginning of this post, I hope this playlist will still be suitable for those smoking pot on a rocket ship to Mars in the year 3000.

There are some things on here that Murphy WOULD dig...hopefully.

Modern Skirts, super cool band out of Athens...just feels at home on this playlist.

Listen to Modern Skirts

Washed Out

I don't know if Murphy Listens to Washed Out, but, I sure as hell hope so, and, they have to have crossed paths somewhere...

Washed Out - Live at Canton Hall, Dallas TX 12/28/2018 - YouTube

There's also a incredible song by The Horrors on there, that would be right in Murphy's wheelhouse, and, you gotta earn it...doesn't get good until 3 or 4 minutes in.

LeftLion - Interview: The Horrors Interview

Black Moth Super Rainbow...So weird, so awesome.

Old Yes | Black Moth Super Rainbow

Liquid Liquid..."the guy behind the guy" just an incredible influence.  The timeless classic White Lines, but Grandmaster Flash was sampled from Cavern, by Liquid Liquid.

Liquid Liquid Haven't Lost Their Edge - The Village Voice

Silver Apples

Silver Apples - Silver Apples – radio/ON

Delta 5

Pitchfork - News in Brief: Delta 5, Michael Yonkers, Kings of Leon, Rose  Elinor Dougall

Click here to enjoy the Playlist!

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