“I’m With The Band”

by: Blaine Skrainka

October 2, 2012

LCD Soundsystem have always been more than a band. In fact, the Band wasn’t a band at all to begin with — that was to come. And today the Band has, well, disbanded; but LCD’s place in the New York City sonic mythos lives on.

LCD Soundsystem photo book

Set to the soundtrack of James Murphy’s punk disco, an entire generation of head banging dance freaks are now left to trade stories of the legendary shows: I discovered them in a tent in the middle of a field in rural Tennessee. It changed my life, or,  Remember when I jumped the fence in Chicago and found you during the piano crescendo of “All My Friends”?!, or,  Their last show, we hooked up the live stream from Madison Square Garden. First set, the broken disco ball hooked to our ceiling started spinning out of nowhere — it was an LCD Soundsystem miracle!. †

The tales are sure to be embellished as time passes. But that’s okay. LCD was a larger-than-life. A shooting star.

Luckily, we now have a new set of relics to color our collective memories of the seminal rock band so synonymous with New York City. This December, photographer Ruvan Wijesooriya will release “LCD,” an inside look at moments public and private in the life of LCD Soundsystem.

Wijesooriya was a fly on the wall from back in 2004, up until the day Murphy took LCD out on top in front of the world at The Garden. The photos go beyond the clubs of Brooklyn and Manhattan; the shots silently captured the group as they crossed the continent and beyond.

“All of Ruvan’s pictures remind me of that feeling: that you’re geographically fucked, and its all happening right now, somewhere else, without you. There’s an enormous amount of intimacy in them, and promise, and intrusion…” Murphy said in a release for the upcoming book.

LCD Soundsystem photo book

Never one to be hands-off (he had far from a passive role in the recent documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits), Murphy hesitantly (or so he says) wrote the foreword for the new collection. Here’s an excerpt:

Ruvan showed up at the studio today. Mind you, he wasn’t invited. He ambushed me. I knew he needed the intro to his LCD book, and I knew he wanted me to write it, but I was busy mixing the fucking thing for the 30th time–this time for stereo vinyl–and I was finishing up and getting ready to leave town in the morning. And totally dodging my friend. “I knew I had to get in your face.” Ruvan has been getting in my face for years. He has taken several thousand pictures of LCD over the last few years, and he whittled them down to literally hundreds for this book, laboring over it, and arguing between, I guess, what was “interesting” and what was a “good picture.”

Wijesooriya’s shots are both. Part of LCD Soundsystem’s appeal has always been the intimate, almost voyeuristic, connection that James Murphy has established with his fans — whether it be through vulnerable lyrics or behind-the-scenes videos or admissions of behaving like a hypersensitive and pretentious teenager — we were all there together. Diving into the images of “LCD,” we can one more time say: “I’m with the band.”

LCD Soundsystem photo book

LCD Soundsystem photo book

 True Stories.

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