Living with…LCD Soundsystem…for a week

“I’m getting cowbells”

Rather like one of those wine-tasting sessions where people sniff the glass, swill the contents and then sniff the air, “I’m getting vanilla…and nutmeg…and figs” I was discovering something new.  I’m sure there were some cowbells lurking in the driving beat of LCD Soundsystem’s Daft Punk is Playing at My House.  Surely not?

The drummer/ percussionist in bands is generally the slightly eccentric one lurking at the back.  A gross generalisation I know, but like the keeper in a football team – please don’t come out of your area too much as we get very nervous when you do.  A goalkeeper can turn out a solid performance for 89 minutes , but turn in a minute of madness and they’re instantly to blame for the shortcomings of the rest of the team.  Drummers/ keepers are supposed to stay in the area, be the backbone of the team, but please don’t stray too far from there.  Unfair but sadly the way that the general music listener perceives things particularly now that in this area the machines have definitely taken over.

So back to the cowbells, as this drummer is surely straying out of his penalty area here…are they for real?  They most certainly are! And I’m not the only one to celebrate this discovery – two Facebook groups leapt out at me with great potential – Hey LCD SoundSystem! Let Me Play the Cowbell and All songs need more cowbell.  Possibly, they’re not quite as exciting as their titles may imply but worth it for the revelation that an album of Snow Patrol covers played entirely on cowbell is due soon!  Yeah, right…

For the record, the most famous use of cowbell is probably Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror.  It warms the heart to think that Jacko found inspiration from Alpenglockels…and worth trying to listen out for next time as a distraction to the rest of the song.  I’ll end my cowbell piece with a video link to a Saturday Night skit with Christopher Walken, Will Ferrell and others which obsesses on the need for More Cowbell. “I have a fever.  The only prescription is more cowbell…” Admire a young Mr Walken before he started dancing to Fat Boy Slim.


It’s been one of those weeks when I probably wanted my music to be more supportive than challenging so a mixed relationshop with LCD Soundsystem’s first album.  LCD Soundsystem are a punk disco band from New York who had a lot of commercial success in the 00s through to their dissolution in 2010.  You may not know the band’s name, but trust me you’ll have heard the music through adverts or games!

The influences are varied – if Talking Heads were still making music today, this would probably be their sound.  It ranges from out and out 70s disco to the punk of Siouxsie and the Banshees to the Beatles.  My particular favourites are of course the cowbell-inspired Daft Punk is Playing…,  Losing My Edge, Disco Inflitrator and the get-up and dance Tribulations.

Elsewhere, they experimented just a little too heavily for me this week…maybe another time I would have given them more space.  I also found that James Murphy does sound that he has a permanent cold.  I couldn’t better it, but then I’ve not sold millions around the world.

Overall, I’d heartily recommend the album (its a double CD, so there’s plenty on it) but you may want to have skip ready for a few tracks that maybe don’t gel with you.

Video of the week can be nothing less than Daft Punk is Playing…

Twotes of the Week

@Silixell: “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” ~ Albert Einstein

@Its_Death: Wouldn’t it be easier to start with a Small Society & work your way up?

@hotdogsladies: Turns out, you can make a random observation sound insightful by preceding it with, “Turns out.”

@sixthformpoet: Good news, Blackpool and Birmingham fans. A trip to sunny Brighton awaits. *silence* You’re still thinking about the bad news, aren’t you?

@petstourettes: I’ve just gathered my family and friends round and told them what I *really* thought of them. It’s now 6.01. Bugger (Rapture joke….)

Gleewatch:  Is it just me, or does it seem that every other film or programme I watch is centred around the High School prom.  I know it’s a great American tradition that has crept across the ocean, but give us a break – there must be other highlights in an American school kid’s life!  Thank you Glee for demonstrating that Recbecca Black’s Friday has the most inane lyrics ever…but good fun nonetheless.