This article originally appeared on Noisey UK.
Up until 2010, I had spent an inconceivable amount of my life listening to LCD Soundsystem, and watching them play live. More than any other artist. More than is socially acceptable. Then, suddenly, they ceased to exist, choosing to break up following a farewell show at Madison Square Garden in 2010. And my life was left with a gaping and swallowing void, like a sinkhole in some over-fracked British satellite town. Now, the band have announced their reunion, with new music and performances planned at Coachella, FYF Fest, and more to come.
Now, if you haven't watched them and are going to this summer, then I'm excited for you. If I could drive across the Atlantic then I would take you to the show and back personally, but I can't because A) my windscreen wipers are fucked and B) I don't want to watch LCD Soundsystem anymore. I have become the bitter dad who refused to watch the Stone Roses at Heaton Park because of the emotional closure he felt during Spike Island. That part of my life is over.
To explain, I'm 28 years old, and I've realized that I have become the very person that James Murphy conceived in "Losing My Edge." I was there at Piccadilly Records buying the debut album on the day of release; I was there in 2005 when a relatively unknown Hot Chip surprisingly blew them out the water at Manchester Ritz; I was there illegally downloading Sound of Silver for two days straight over my dogshit home broadband connection when it leaked. And I was there in Manchester, May 2010, holding a guy who was crying during "Someone Great" because it had been played at his father's funeral weeks before.
Through sobering lyrics, Murphy's sense of proportion and perspective was the stable paternal authority that I never had. He explained that it's okay not being cool and that I may not ever even be cool; that it's fine to grow old; that it's okay to have #creativegoals rather than #moneygoals. "When I was 30 I promised myself that I'd be out by 40, and I'm 40 now," Murphy told Clash in 2010. "What becomes the next goal? Being bigger? The next goal becomes about making more money. It's just not all that interesting."
I mourned the flight prices that prevented me from making the Madison Square Garden shows; I briefly considered whether I should actually be feeling this emotional about a group of people I have never met, and then I carried on being emotional. I said my goodbyes, I felt the pain, and then I watched it all come to a tearful but righteous end, when I paid 13 dollars to go watch Shut Up and Play the Hits—the group's farewell documentary—at my local arts center. Like a kid burying their recently deceased goldfish at the bottom of the garden, I slowly grew comfortable with the idea that they were gone forever.
Post-break up, James Murphy went on to produce some pretty amazing records for Arcade Fire and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. He opened his own restaurant, tried to soundtrack the turnstiles in New York subway stations, and launched the titanic touring soundsystem that is Despacio. Basically, he did loads of really James Murphy things, new and different things, and seeing it all unfold, I couldn't help but think "Yeah, maybe you did the right thing actually."
As recently as last week when the somber twinkle of new material, "Christmas Will Break Your Heart," rang in my Christmas morning, I was still adamant that an LCD Soundsystem reunion would definitely not happen. Not after all we'd been through. The problem lay in semantics, really: if Murphy called a hiatus, then I would be have been waiting for this. But when all that reunion gossip started in 2013, I believed his firm statement—that it was off the cards—unquestionably. When I then watched, through a mist of my own disapproval, the sight of The Libertines' reuniting so they could get a ticket on that big money noughties nostalgia train, I was comforted by the thought of that not being my beloved LCD up there.
I don't want to relive the ecstasy of "All My Friends" again when it should be kept as memories. I can't put a price on hearing this song live one more time. Their music evokes recollections associated with smoking indoors, the electricity of lust, and getting too close to the drums that would leave you deaf for the rest of the evening. Re-enacting this would make time out of joint, disfigured. I don't want to be in a room trying to re-open the closed book of my youth when I'm pushing 30. I don't want to look around and feel like I'm losing my edge.
Earlier this week, it became clear that I wasn't the only fan feeling like this. Murphy wrote a post on his Facebook page addressing the die hards who felt misled by his u-turn. "In my naiveté i hadn't seen one thing coming," he wrote. "There are people who don't hate us at all, in fact who feel very attached to the band, and have put a lot of themselves into their care of us, who feel betrayed by us coming back and playing. who had traveled for or tried to go to the MSG show, and who found it to be an important moment for them, which now to them feels cheapened. i just hadn't considered that. i know—ridiculous on my part. i saw some comments online a few days ago from people who felt that way, and it blindsided me, and made me incredibly sad."
There's no replicating who or what they were, but Murphy's Facebook post explained that LCD Soundsystem wouldn't do something if they didn't think it could build on top of their legacy. "The only thing we can do now is to get back to the studio and finish this record," he wrote, "and make it as fucking good as we can possibly make it." Now, don't get me wrong, there have been legendary acts who have reunited and come back with new material worth the emotional turmoil, like Sleater-Kinney or My Bloody Valentine. And some of Swans greatest material has come post-reunion.
But they are the exception to the rule, and too many legacies are built over years and destroyed in an instant, just for one last hurrah. Despite initial excitement over At The Drive-In's run of reunion shows in 2013, the performances themselves left the majority of fans with a bad taste in their mouth and the feeling that something precious had been pissed on. And let's not talk about the 2010 album from Hole. I don't want to see a 5.9 Pitchfork review of the new LCD album that ends with the word, "Meh." I don't want to stand in the Coachella crowd and hear a group of college students in "Eat. Sleep. Rave Repeat" T-shirts say, "This kinda sucks" during the new material, "should we ditch it and go see Jack Ü?"
For a band as close to my heart as LCD Soundsystem—as with the Stone Roses dads who stayed away from Heaton Park – anything less than perfect would be impermissible. The truth of life is: You'll just never get as high as the first time.
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