Lazy week (of sorts) for me.  The next few days will see me delve into some old ICAs and reproduce the words written about a particular song at the time, before expanding to include its b-sides.  Here’s SWC back on 25 March 2015 with something from ICA #9:-

North American Scum

You’ll all know this song but the point where the cowbell clangs and organ buzz that set off North American Scum is one of the greatest moments in recent music history. This is one of the finest anthems of our generation. There is an angry guitar that pushes its way to the front, and as it does burst through, you can’t help but grin at the stupidly brilliant American.”

Looking back, you can learn, or be reminded, that North American Scum was the lead single from the second studio album, Sound of Silver.  It was released on 26 February 2007 as a digital download and on 7″, 12″ and CD formats exactly one week later.

Here’s all the tracks you can expect to find across all the formats.

mp3: LCD Soundsystem – North American Scum
mp3: LCD Soundsystem – North American Scum (Kris Menace Remix)
mp3: LCD Soundsystem – North American Scum (Onastic Dub Mix by James Murphy and Eric Broucek)
mp3: LCD Soundsystem – Hippie-Priest Bum-Out

It peaked at #40 in the UK charts which, quite frankly, is another dreadful indictment of the taste of the record-buying public.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a few more guitars for those of you who prefer things that way.


45 45s @ 45 : SWC STYLE (Part 44)


2 – Call the Police – LCD Soundsystem (2017, DFA Records)

Released as a radio-play only single in May 2017 (Did Not Chart)

Ok I think I’m safe to tell this story…

Badger and I have been to a gig down in Cornwall, it was PJ Harvey at the Eden Sessions. We have decided perhaps against our better judgement to camp afterwards at a small site just outside the lovely seaside town of Perranporth.
This wasn’t our first choice of campsite. That was in Newquay, but as our decision was rather last minute most places in Newquay were full, it being July. At about three pm we rock up at this campsite and a kindly old man tells us that he has room for us. We pitch the tent and when we are finished we hungrily eye the small on-site shop.

The shop is possibly the strangest shop I have ever been into, except perhaps one in Gateshead which sold ‘cowboy hats’ and ‘dental equipment’ and nothing else, I digress, the shop is stacked with booze, plonk, liquor the devils home brew. It is like an overpriced, much smaller version of Bargain Booze. It has way more alcohol than anything else. We pop a couple of bottles into our basket alongside some crisps and the last two packets of sandwiches (cheese and tomato). Its then we see the book section.

I say book selection, what it actually was, was a shelf containing roughly 50 colourful small books each one a different version of a Bible story. ‘Jesus and the fishes’, ‘Jesus and the Good Samaritan’, ‘Jesus and Goblet of Fire’ that sort of thing. We shrug, thinking nothing of it. It’s then we see the noticeboard next to the counter.

“Welcome to Cornwall’s Premier Christian Campsite, please do not feed the donkeys”.

I look at Badger and mouth “Cornwall’s Premier Christian Campsite”. The kindly old guy is behind the counter and smiles at us when we pay for our goods. He hands a pamphlet with our change that invites us to ‘Morning Prayers’ at 11am the next morning. Badger and I decide that we will be gone by 11am the next morning.
The pamphlet also tells us that ‘Curfew’ is 9pm and noise must be kept to an absolute minimum after 10pm. Our gig finishes at 1030pm and is about thirty minutes’ drive away.

I mention to the kindly old guy that we will be back well after 11pm because we have an appointment in St Austell and he makes me promise that we will be ‘as quiet as church mice’ when we return. I nod innocently. He says ok but reminds me that “God will be watching”.

On the way back to our tent I pop to the toilets. A sign above the sink helpfully tells me that “Jesus washes souls as well as his hands…”

We go to the gig. PJ Harvey is amazing.

After the gig we return to the campsite to find it locked. The main gate is shut, so we park in the little car park and try and find a way in. We find a way which is jumping over the main gate. Sadly, this sets off a red light which sets off an alarm. Effectively we have just broken into a campsite luckily it is pitch black we have a quick cursory look around for cameras and then do then decent thing and leg it.

Four minutes later, Badger and I are back at his tent and we are between the giggles thinking that perhaps we should go and report what we have done. We can still hear the alarm whirring away and by now there are several torches flashing around and we hear voices asking, “What’s Going on?”. Badger sticks his head out of the tent door and asks a passing person with a torch what the racket is all about. The person tells us that a couple of youths have been seen breaking into the site and that the police are on their way. Badger then, ever, the charmer asks if they need a hand looking for them. I try and hide in my sleeping bag secretly pleased that I have been mistaken for a youth.

Badger returns an hour later, armed with a burger and a can of Stella. These are courtesy of the kindly old man who owns the place. He kicks me awake and tells me that ‘Police never turned and we couldn’t find them youths’.
The next day we check out, just before morning prayers and the kindly old man warmly shakes Badger by the hand and gives him a 50% discount. We leave me shaking my head for most of the journey home.

Oh yes, Call the Police was the best song of the last decade and these two were third and fourth-best:-

Avant Gardener – Courtney Barnett (2013, Mom and Pop Records, Did Not Chart)
Seasons (waiting on you) – Future Islands (2014, 4AD Records, Reached Number 25)





Is it really any wonder that all us adolescents fell for Siouxsie Sioux when she had been photographed ‘dressed’ like she is above

The finest moment in any of her records comes, and I use the word advisedly, at the 4:55 mark on the 12″ version of this marvellous single from 1982:-

mp3 : Siouxsie & The Banshees – Slowdive (12″ version)

A mate of mine once took that one second gasp and recorded it back to back something like 30 times in a row just so that he could imagine the punk/goth goddess was having an orgasm.

Twenty three years later, a very intriguing version of it, originally recorded for a radio session, was snuck out on a b-side:-

mp3 : LCD Soundsystem – Slowdive

As far as I know, the band Slowdive never made a cover of the song albeit they did record a song by that name as their first ever single back in 1990:-

mp3 : Slowdive – Slowdive




From the fingertips of S-WC…..

A few years back James Murphy, the kingpin behind LCD Soundsystem said that this band are ‘over once and for all’ and I for one was gutted. I think I said before that this is the only band I regret never seeing live. They were great and having earlier this morning dug out all of the tracks by them that I own and played them back to back in order to compile this (five hours it took, roughly) they are still great.

What made them great was the fact that they were genreless, they were DJs, they did songs, techno, dark stuff, rock stuff, pop crossover. LCD Soundsystem transcended the divide by combing dance and punk and I always thought that Daft Punk would have been a better name for them. For what its worth, ending LCD Soundsystem was I think the most selfish decision in musical history, solely because I can never see them live (until the obivious multi million pound reform deal in 2025 to mark 20 years of the release of their self-titled debut that is). Until that reform happens, here is their ultimate compilation.

Side One

1. Daft Punk is Playing At My House

(I’ve gone for Soulwax Mix simply because of the bit where it goes ‘DOWNTOWN’)

This was LCD Soundsystem’s most successful song, earning a Grammy nod and reaching No. 29 on the UK charts. It’s not hard to see why. Murphy always knew how to start a party, from the opening “OW! OW!” to the smashing hi-hats to cowbells and even reminding us that he had moved the furniture to the garage. A belter of a record.

2. I Can Change

The legend goes that after recording this song, he had to leave the room when the rest of the team listened to it. When he came back in, they all hugged him, to be honest when you hear the line ‘I can change if it makes you fall in love’ I wanted to bleeding hug him. The song reads like a quarrel that he is narrating.

3.  North American Scum

You’ll all know this song but the point where the cowbell clangs and organ buzz that set off North American Scum is one of the greatest moments in recent music history. This is one of the finest anthems of our generation. There is an angry guitar that pushes its way to the front, and as it does burst through, you can’t help but grin at the stupidly brilliant American.

4.  Someone Great

I once saw a man get shot, sorry to get personal on your asses, but I did, I won’t go into details, but it wasn’t pleasant, I didn’t know the chap I was literally waiting for a bus. The next morning around three am I woke up in my room after about two hours restless sleep. I switched on the iPod and this song came on – and the lyric ‘To tell the truth I saw it coming, the way you were breathing, but nothing can prepare you for it, the voice on the other end’ made my eyes sting. Not because its about death but because everything felt like a dream until about six seconds after that line was delivered.

5. Yeah (Crass Mix)

The first LCD Soundsystem I ever heard. I was hooked straight away. The perfect end to any compilation of their music. It twists and winds and bleeps and whirls and just explodes.

Side Two

1.  Dance Yrself Clean

The one thing about LCD Soundsystem that frustrated everyone was their reluctance to write ‘hit records’. They never got played on the radio, not the shows that sell records anywhere. This track was another raised middle finger to the industry, an eight minute raised middle finger of a single. It kind of wobbles along at half volume and includes a flute – A FLUTE – instead of a crashing beat or bass that you kind of expect and then suddenly it bursts and goes on for eight minutes. Plus and perhaps the main reason it is here – The Muppets are in the video for it, and it is the greatest music video ever made.

2.  All My Friends

Murphy hates this song, and yet it is clearly their greatest moment. He thinks it is too poppy and embarrassing. It is certainly the most romantic song he ever wrote. I have always thought it is widely reminiscent of ‘Ceremony’ by New Order but the call to arms of for his friends ‘If I could see all my friends tonight’ really emphasises the quality of this band and the friendship its members have.

3.  Losing My Edge

Apparently Murphy wrote this song after hearing DJs in a club playing music he thought onlty he was playing on his club night, ‘I’m losing my edge’ he bleats out – out of time – of the beat, if perhaps to make the point. He lists band after band to try and reclaim his relevance, its tongue in cheek of course, but wonderful all the same.

4.  You Wanted A Hit

My point in Side Two Track One is proved here, ‘You wanted a hit/But Maybe we don’t do hits’ sings Murphy in front of a synthesizers and tiny little guitar line. The song simply fades away. Much like that dream of making it big. Also it involves handclaps, and that in a LCD Soundsystem track deserves to be heard.

5.  New York I Love You, But You’re Bringing Me Down

The only closer that was possible, firstly because it was the last song they ever played live (at Madison Square Garden, New York). Secondly because of THAT piano that starts up again after a massive silence near the end of the track. If you have ever been to New York, or if you ever go, take a trip to the Williamsburg Bridge at night – gaze across to Manhattan and you’ll know what Murphy means.

mp3 : LCD Soundsystem – Daft Punk Is Playing At My House (Soulwax Mix)
mp3 : LCD Soundsystem – I Can Change
mp3 : LCD Soundsystem – North American Scum
mp3 : LCD Soundsystem – Someone Great
mp3 : LCD Soundsystem – Yeah (Crass Mix)
mp3 : LCD Soundsystem – Dance Yrself Clean
mp3 : LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends
mp3 : LCD Soundsystem – Losing My Edge
mp3 : LCD Soundsystem – You Wanted A Hit
mp3 : LCD Soundsystem – New York I Love You, But You’re Bringing Me Down

JC adds………..

Huge thanks to S-WC for this. LCD Soundsystem are a band I should know a lot more about and I certainly should owm much more of their material than I do. This is a cracking and seamless mix.

The mention of that last gig in New York got me digging into the vaults to May 2011 for this fantastic guest posting from Iain Fenton, a good friend of my good friend Mr John Greer.


The rumours that James Murphy, the architect and brainchild behind New York collective LCD Soundsystem, (and cofounder of DFA Records) was due to retire the band had been circulating for a while and he had been laying the ground for an announcement for some time when finally it came…. on Feb 5th 2011.

There was to be one last LCD farewell gig on their home turf at Madison Square Garden on Sat 2nd of April and billed as the ‘long farewell’ it was to be a 3+ hour show with guests and all sorts of extras and unusual song inclusions.

In the time since Losing my Edge announced LCD to the world back in 2002 they have released three unmissable albums (four if you count 45.33) and numerous classic singles and remixes. No other band in the last 10 years has given me so much enjoyment and after having seen them live a number of times I absolutely had to be there for the final farewell on 02/04!

Tickets went on-sale on 11 Feb at 14.00 UK time which shouldn’t have been too much of a problem as MSG has a capacity of 15.000 and LCD had never played to a crowd of that size for one of their own shows prior to this (James Murphy subsequently admitted that he thought they would fill the venue but only perhaps with a few days to spare). So, 14.00 arrived and Ticketmaster US and the Bowery websites show sold out within 2 mins of going on sale…. WHAT??? How can that be???

The LCD web forum filled with fans complaining that they couldn’t get tickets and some of the band’s friends (not wishing to hassle them) can’t get any either WTF???? Within 5 mins the first scalper tickets appear on E-bay and StubHub with a face value of $80 selling for $1,000.

It’s all kicking off and within a few hours Murphy has posted a long tirade on the website entitled ‘Fuck You Scalpers, Terminal 5 shows added’. In order to screw the scalpers and suppress demand, he has added four extra shows at the 3,500 capacity Terminal Five venue on the 28/29/30/31st of March with details of ticket sale to be announced – Yay, back in with a shout of a ticket!!

Finally on 22 Feb at 14.03 UK time I secured two tickets for the show on 30 March with all four shows selling out quickly but far more of the fanbase had been satisfied and would be at one of the farewell shows.

Well done to James and LCD for adding the dates and listening to the fans (an almost Joe Strummeresque thing to do).

No tickets would be sent electronically or by hardcopy. The only way of collecting your ticket was on the night itself by showing photo ID and producing the credit card that you used for payment – a pretty good way of stopping scalpers in their tracks!

Fast-forward by a few weeks and the 30th of March had now arrived and here we were in NYC already having holiday fun and full of anticipation for the show at Terminal 5 that night. Reviews from the fans on the LCD forum for the previous two shows were absolutely raving and the setlist looked unbelievably mouth watering. After a perfectly executed ticket collection we entered the venue in enough time to catch a bit of Shit Robots support slot. The venue is on 3 floors with plentiful facilities and drinks can be had within a couple of minutes (nothing like Brixton Academy then!) and finding a good position was relatively easy from which to view this historic farewell.

At 9.05, to the walk on music of 10cc’s ‘I’m not in Love’, the final LCD Soundsystem show (for me anyway) was underway. Starting with Dance Yrself Clean the atmosphere was electric, more like a fiesta really with seemingly the whole 3,500 attendees ready to party and celebrate big time. Now, my friends, I have been to more gigs than had hot dinners with the count into the high hundreds and have tasted the atmosphere of many a fine venue including the legendary Glasgow Apollo. However, I have NEVER experienced such a strong sense of camaraderie and sense of purpose to simply have fun and support the band! For the next 3 hours and 20 minutes T5 was a full-blown rowdy, singing, dancing cacophony of noise and celebration for the finest band of the last 10 years. Playing many songs that hadn’t been heard live before or at least for a very long time and aided by additional singers and a very tasty brass section, the sound was fantastic and joyous. Comprising of two sets with a very brief break between them, the night flew by and soon it was the final farewell.

Set 1

Dance Yrself Clean
Drunk Girls
I Can Change
Time To Get Away
Get Innocuous!
Daft Punk Is Playing At My House
Too Much Love
All My Friends

Set 2

45:33 Part One
45:33 Part Two
Sound of Silver
45:33 Part Four
45:33 Part Five
45:33 Part Six
Freak Out/Starry Eyes
Us v Them
North American Scum
You Wanted A Hit


Someone Great
Losing My Edge

Encore 2:

All I Want
Jump Into the Fire 
(Harry Nilsson cover)
New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down

It’s difficult to pick out any one highlight, but the rendition of the full version of 45.33 was truly epic and so wonderful I can barely communicate how fabulous it was.

Now that the dust has settled and a few weeks have past I can reflect back on what was truly one of the top 5 gigs of the whole of my life and that’s really saying something!

So thanks for the memories James & Co and enjoy whatever you do next!

To quote from Losing my Edge ‘I was there!’



Last week I told you that my iPods are always set to random. The big iPod has nearly 9500 songs on it these days, I am worrying about it breaking as it now 4 years old. Weirdly the Top 25 most recently played songs on my iPod are not all bad. At Number 5 is ‘Seven Nation Army’ by The White Stripes, at Number 4 is ‘Sun Hits the Sky’ by Supergrass, at Number 3 is ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’ by the National, at Number 2 is ‘Leave Them All Behind’ by Ride, these are chosen randomly by the iPod remember. At Number 1, the most frequently picked song on my iPod is ‘Someone Great’ by LCD Soundsystem. What. A. Song.

I love LCD Soundsystem and right now they are the only band I regret never catching live. To be honest apart from Primal Scream and perhaps PJ Harvey, there hasn’t ever been anyone better than LCD Soundsystem. The way that James Murphy blends disco, dance, rock and punk together to produce tune after tune of effortlessly cool anthems is nothing short of genius. ‘Someone Great’ is taken from their second and probably most well received album ‘Sound of Silver’. It contains this wonderful lyric:

“The worst is all the lovely weather, I’m stunned, it’s not raining. The coffee isn’t even bitter, because, what’s the difference?”

“Someone Great” is Murphy’s lament to a lost friend, lover, associate or child. The way that Murphy has I think, deliberately never revealed who or what the song is about I think adds to its brilliance. It is obviously about loss but in these eyes loss sounds beautiful, almost heavenly. There is a synth sequence running through this song that is kind of angelic and that corresponds with the lyrics which suggest someone who could do nothing bad, it is a lovely lovely record. One that should be sitting somewhere in your most frequently played songs on the iPod. The irritating thing is that this, this wonderful piece of music, is probably only their third or (possibly) fourth best song.

mp3 : LCD Soundsystem – Someone Great

I have a claim to fame.

In 1992 I saw Leatherface in the Melody Maker tent at the Reading Festival it was Friday afternoon, two days before the whole tent sunk under a biblical deluge of water. They were amazing, incredible, a performance that fitted a band at the peak of their musical powers. They were just becoming something, their (fourth?) album ‘Mush’ was gaining cult status and with the stand out song ‘Not Superstitious’ they had a song that was sort of crossing over. Singer Frankie Norman Warsaw Stubbs (his actual bonafide real name) possessed a voice that was as soft as sandpaper – he more growled down the speakers at you – but there was/is something beautiful in the way he did it. Musically it was kind of punk rock but there was a bleak humour about it. I urge you all now, if you haven’t got or heard ‘Mush’ to download it today. I promise you won’t regret it.

The claim to fame?? Oh, standing behind me at that festival performance was John Peel. I knew he was there, I was 17, he was like a hero (he smelt very nice by the way), and at the end he tapped me on the shoulder and said ‘What did you think of that then?’ I laughed and said ‘Mr Peel, that was shit hot and anyone who missed them should be ashamed’. He nodded and smiled and wandered off saying that he had to introduce some bunch of idiots on the main stage in five minutes but thanked us for our brief review.

We wandered over to the main stage the idiots were Public Image Limited. John Peel came on over the tannoy just before they wandered on stage. His opening words, ‘I’ve just seen Leatherface, they were, shit hot, if you missed them, then shame on you. Right then, here’s Johnny Rotten and his mates…’

mp3 : Leatherface – Not Superstitious

Finally for the letter L I struggled to find something that could compete with LCD Soundsystem and Leatherface so I did the random thing, the iPod chose ‘Breakers’ by Local Natives, this is taken from their much under rated album from last year ‘Hummingbird. They originate from Silver Lake in California. ‘Breakers’ was the lead single from ‘Hummingbird’ and it sounds a lot like Arcade Fire and the National.

Well perhaps a younger less grizzled National and less stadium friendly Arcade Fire.

mp3 : Local Natives – Breakers

Next week the BOX IS BACK.