Rasmus reviews the documentary that captures LCD Soundsystem's last stand.
When LCD Soundsystem stopped being LCD Soundsystem last year with a handful of shows at Madison Square Garden, the whole event was fairly well-documented. If you weren't fortunate enough to be there in person, the event was streamable in full and in bits and pieces on YouTube. But, as always with James Murphy & co., there is a deeper story to be told. That story is now documented in Shut Up And Play The Hits.
In the documentary, we follow Murphy and band-mates in the week leading up to their final show. Rather than a simple recap of the event, however, we follow James Murphy before, during, and after the show.
We see his morning after, waking up to what seems to be a blank calendar. We follow his preparation, including a great interview with journalist Chuck Klosterman, whose conversation forms the backdrop for Murphy's otherwise quiet journey around New York City. We follow his coffee obsession, his wistful last notes, and his energetic stage antics.
But LCD Soundsystem is about more than losing your edge and dancing yourself clean with all your friends. As Chuck Klosterman points out in his interview with Murphy, LCD Soundsystem is about forgetting yourself, yet remembering who you are. It's about commenting on contemporary culture, yet knowing that you are hopelessly intertwined with it. How do you deal with that? James Murphy recorded a series of albums, played a bunch of concerts, and can now add a great movie to his resume. He seems to be doing well so far.
Shut Up And Play The Hits is an extraordinarily clever, funny, and beautiful documentary. The live shots from the Madison Square Garden concert are rich with both incredible visuals and sound, while Murphy's own adventures carefully balance the pretentious and the brutally honest. Now that Murphy's public appearances have become less frequent, you might not realize just how much you miss him. Shut Up And Play The Hits will help you remember.