Wednesday, May 16, 2007

LCD Soundsystem and Yacht rock Webster Hall

Monday night, I met up with my favorite neighborhood bloggers, A Brooklyn Life’s E and D to catch the LCD Soundsystem show at Webster Hall. We grabbed some tasty Ethiopian food at Meskel in the LES, drank a quick beer at Kate’s Joint around the corner and we were off to Webster Hall for the LCD action.

Once inside the spot, we situated ourselves near the front, an easy task because the place was quite empty and waited for Yacht to come on. We didn’t know anything about Yacht so we entertained each other by guessing how many people would be in the band. E said 2; I said 3 and D joked with 1/2. We waited for what felt like hours and questioned the accuracy of the time slots we’d seen posted outside.

Eventually, the lights turned off and a guy stepped up to the mic on stage as if to introduce Yacht. Nothing could have prepared us for what happened next. He WAS Yacht. With no instruments in sight, he began singing and dancing around in a style a friend of mine identified to me yesterday as “nerd crumping.”

If you’ve ever watched Napoleon Dynamite, specifically the dance routine, and thought to yourself afterwards that this sort of act would make a good “band,” then you’ve envisioned Yacht. Do yourself a favor and Youtube him, check out his website or myspace page. I’ve seen a lot of things but I’ve never seen anything quite like Yacht

Naturally, the response to Yacht ranged from amusement to shock and awe. I can tell you one thing though, while LCD put on a fantastic show, most people who asked me about it yesterday heard a lot about Yacht. That probably rings true for everyone who witnessed that madness.

But enough about Yacht, LCD Soundsystem sold the place out and put on a great show for the last date of their current tour. The floor bounced as the crowd jumped in unison from beginning to end while James Murphy and company played through most of their recent album, “Sound of Silver”. They also threw in hard and fast versions of cuts from their last album, most notably “Daft Punk is Playing at My House” and “Tribulations.”

Highlights for me included “North American Scum,” because I adore that song (“New York's the greatest if you get someone to pay the rent / And it's the furthest you can live from the government”) and the entire encore teemed with brilliance. They started it off with “Someone Great” then went into an extended version of “Yeah” and topped off the night with the sincere and lovely “New York, I love You.”

While I saw a lot of 18-year olds in the audience and couldn’t help but wonder if the lyrics rang as true for them as they did for me, the air definitely hung with an echoed sentiment of love and harsh reality about our fair city during that last number.

I can’t stress this enough. If you don’t have the new album, run, don’t walk to your local record store and pick it up. You won’t regret it. I’m leaving you with some poignant lyrics from that touching last song:

“New York, I Love You
But you're bringing me down

Like a death of the heart
Jesus, where do I start?

But you're still the one pool
Where I'd happily drown”

(Make that McCarren Park Pool, please.)

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