James Murphy and band began to breathe in 2002, releasing three singles throughout the year on Murphy's brand-new label, DFA, and becoming a flagship of New York cool while chasing a certain version of honesty. One of those singles turned out to be more or less decade-defining: the lament-of-cool "Losing My Edge," a song that, at the time and in retrospect, captured perfectly the tenor of a pretty frustrating decade in which connotation and appropriation seemed as close as we could get to real cultural weight. So that's how a star is born. Murphy's circuitous career brought him from being a writer on Seinfeld (almost) to work as a sought-after New York DJ and producer, acclaim and fame as a dance/punk alchemist, and finally a position that will allow him to take full advantage of those laurels. Eight years, four albums, 18 singles, and innumerable classic interviews later (his headlined quote from a Guardian interview in 2004 is one for the books: "I speak as a lifetime failure"), Murphy and the gang are putting LCD Soundsystem in the memory box. This year they've been on what he calls an "album schedule—release, press, videos, and tour" in support of their retirement and their new record, the Los Angeles-bred This Is Happening. That record's opening song, before bounding straight into a beat that sounds culled from the mind of a cyborg Marc Bolan, declares: "It's the end of an era, it's true." Going by the almost unanimously rave reviews LCD Soundsystem are getting from the live shows they've put on this year, they intend to write their swansong with dignified spark and polish. With Hot Chip.
Sat., Oct. 23, 8 p.m., 2010