[1] LCD Soundsystem, ‘All My Friends’

All My Friends

Junior says: “I used to give this one [thumbs-up], but now I give it two,” which is the point, really. ‘All My Friends’ improves with age, as do LCD Soundsystem, as does James Murphy, as do we all, even if it feels as if all that youthful vigour is slipping away along with our cool and our relevance in this cultural tumult. None of that periphery matters in the end, none of those mistakes, none of those false friends, and nor does it amount to a hill of beans if a plan comes apart or you’ve worn away your edge. Because in the end you’ve made it, and you can celebrate that with the other survivors.

‘All My Friends’ is brushed with regret, but its pace and build is thoroughly rousing. From the stabbed pianos – which immediately launch Junior into a pencil-straight staccato dance – to the warm, coaxing bass to the headlong, delirious clatter as it hits full stride, this is an anthem for pelting towards 40 at full speed. Bring it on. For once Murphy escapes his influences, sublime as they are (“Heroes”, ‘Once In A Lifetime’, yeah, ‘Love Vigilantes), because this is absolutely natural, no slavish imitation. As a piece of music it shares qualities as insubstantial as mood. As a piece of poetry it has its own heart.

Best bit: At each peak, another layer is added. Just when you think you’ve got it, it moves on and you’re left holding the first 10 years.

[1] Talking Heads, ‘Once In A Lifetime’

Talking Heads

Rarely less than astonishing anyway, this is Talking Heads’ entrant for the pantheon – a dizzying, harebrained time-travel through our psyches from David Byrne, set to the finest groove ever laid down by our Tom Tom Club friends at No.20. Hell, it’s just the finest groove ever laid down. Period, I think they say. From the eternally exciting bass-pull at the beginning through to the howling, treated guitars spinning us around “Same as it ever was…”, this is music from the future we all wanted.

Junior may’ve found herself sitting on the backseat, wearing a tiger mask.

My God! What have I done?

[1] LCD Soundsystem, ‘All My Friends’

LCD Soundsystem, ‘All My Friends’

The single of the millennium – sorry, Scissor Sisters, you had a good innings – is a fantastic achievement from a man at the very peak of his game. I’ve already mentioned this year’s Sound Of Silver, which snaffles the album rosette, but this is the dizzy high point of the set. A sensitive appraisal of a life in motion, ‘All My Friends’ is unsentimental but touching and universal.
It’s difficult to pinpoint. To these ears it’s a glorious amalgam of New Order’s ‘Love Vigilantes’ and ‘Run’, Talking Heads’ ‘Once in A Lifetime’ and David Bowie’s ‘Young Americans’ – and as wonderful as that suggests, but it’s no copy. It’s a stunning original, a would-be seminal track if it was possible to follow it.
To unending layers of piano, bass, guitar and bags of atmosphere, James Murphy sings of running with the pack, but always coming back to what counts – your friends. Aww. But, as I say, it’s not sentimental. It’s resigned, but happy. Wistful and celebratory.
You’d think loving this track was the sole preserve of the thirtysomething, but Junior has adored it all year. As ever, she mimes along with the woodpecker piano of the intro, more frenzied as it works itself up, and sings the last word of each line like one of those people who always finish your sentences. Only she does it in a cute way. That’s a deft move.

Talking Heads, ‘Once In A Lifetime’

At some stage, scrabbling around for a theme, we were going to do Jukebox Junior’s Top 10 Greatest Singles Of All Time but, what with ‘Young Americans’ already gone and now this, I’m throwing them away cheaply. This would be Number Four. Probably.

Also, I should’ve done this on a day that Junior was wearing oversized clothes with huge shoulders – not an uncommon occurrence – and not when she’s in her just-right denim dress. All in all, I’ve made a right pig’s ear of it. Junior’s not quasi-autistic like her dad, fortunately, so she couldn’t give two hoots about the circumstances. She’s right there with David Byrne’s nervy, scratchy paranoid funk twitches, even clapping at “there is water at the bottom of the ocean”. She finds the sublime in the ridiculous.

This is so far ahead of its time, I’m surprised it wasn’t drowned as a witch. Music caught up 10 years later when rock bands found dance elements to their music and Paul Oakenfold got rich. Talking Heads never needed help.