Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Bridging the Atlantic

>> Featured Artist: LCD Soundsystem

LCD Soundsystem proved their worth on "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House." The equation seemed pretty simple: fun hipster rock that is not just danceable, but also pretty funny. In fact, AllMusic reports that frontman James Murphy turned down an opportunity in the 90s to write for Seinfeld. Wow.

Heading into the band's 2007 release, Sound of Silver, it's not a surprise that LCD Soundsystem had a lot left to say. Chief among them, that they were from North America. Getting right to the point on "North American Scum," Murphy puts it all on the table: "And for those of you who still think we're from England. We're not. No."

The song somehow injects pride into the term "North American scum," an accomplishment that in itself should pretty much solidify the song's anthemic merits. And with another winner from LCD Soundsystem comes another summer of all-night dance parties.

>> Album Lookout: Victory

Let's French - Released: May 19, 2007 (self-released)

D.C.-based foursome Let's French won me over with their live show long ago. The band's first full-length was released this weekend at a well-supported Black Cat show (These United States, Death By Sexy), and I'm still digesting it. (I'm also still trying to get that goddamn stamp off my hand.)

But just on the mere strength of the band's songs and sound, Victory is sure to be a winner. Still, there's something that doesn't translate onto the recording. It's a come-down from the live, for sure. Perhaps it's absence of the daddy-long-legs drumming of Matt McCoy. Or maybe it's the sheer intensity of lead guitarist Max Sorenson, who treats McCoy's kit like a jungle gym that's missing.

Whatever it is, the album recordings are a little more polished - and just a little less visual (thanks to bassist Tim Gibbon's incredible album art). What does come out are the complexity of the song structure and the nice background vox - two things that separate them from other indie-cool bands on the scene these days. They're recipes for bigness. For now, I'm happy to see them for $10.

I suggest "Start a New Life" as a good follow-up to the "Boys and Girls" demo I posted a while back.

>> Reverting to: 1965

The between-set music at the Let's French show brought me once again to the Ringo Starr debate - for regular Toaster followers, you'll know I find myself embroiled in an end-the-world argument over the Beatles' drummer's value.

I'm pro-Ringo. Of course.

For those of you who might be skeptical, I submit "Ticket to Ride," which isn't just a classic Beatles tune, but one with a fantastic drum part that takes the song from pleasant to brazen - something that stood out among its contemporaries and still stands out today.

Bring it on, betches.

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