For those of you who have been pondering the question of what my favorite song of the aughts was/is, wait no longer. My immediate reaction to the question was LCD Soundsystem’s “Someone Great” and upon further reflection, I’m pretty comfortable with that choice (and not just because Pitchfork ranked it #22 for the decade, even if it was only LCD Soundsystem’s third highest placement on that list).
When “Someone Great” is up to full speed, it’s a busy song with a lot going on musically, but for the first minute and a half or so, the parts get introduced one by one. When the vocals and glockenspiel finally kick in, there’s a good seven layers of sound that all come together like clockwork, each one popping up at just the right time on just the right beat. The integration is so tight that it’s easy to lose track of what’s going on and if it weren’t for the gradual buildup, some of the song’s features could easily get lost in the cacophony. The instrumentation’s complex sounds are in distinct counterpoint to the narrator’s story, which is pretty simple on first glance. A closer review of the situation, however, might suggest that the complexity of the situation also runs seven layers deep.
Two years ago (roughly) this weekend, I had the chance to see LCD Soundsystem at the Virgin Mobile Free Fest. They came out hot and for the first half of their set, never once took their foot off the gas pedal. My expectations of a good show were completely surpassed; they were amazing. Then the friend who was there with me wanted to leave. In the middle of the best set of the festival. I didn’t have to leave with her, but I felt obligated to, so I missed the end of their set. About six months later, LCD Soundsystem announced the final show of their career at Madison Square Garden. The show sold out in about five minutes. I tried, but couldn’t get tickets and now LCD Soundsystem has rode off into the sunset at the peak of their career. Someone great is now gone and all I can do is read all the setlists and watch the tapes (and hope for a reunion).
Someone Great – LCD Soundsystem