LCD Soundsystem – “Losing My Edge”

Released: 7.8.02

Peak: Did not chart

James Murphy turned 32 just 19 days after I did. The year was 2002, and if it was a drag to be alive, as Wordsworth might have put it, to be wedged somewhere between young and old totally sucked. Just three years earlier, with teenpop on top, Eric Weisbard (himself then 32, I think) lamented that we X-ers are doomed to obsolescence by own insufficient numbers: “Some get a decade. We get a moment.” And to add insult to aging, unseen creatures, who apparently needed no human contact, had absorbed all recorded knowledge and overrun our new public e-space, determined to fact-check the universe. No wonder our parents never learned to set their VCR clocks–they realized there’d just be some new damn thing to learn later.

At the time, Murphy’s CV rang impeccably Gen X: a self-professed “failure” who turned down a Seinfeld writing gig to bop from one derivative indie band to the next and DJ in his downtime. And then, admitting that the digital waters around him had grown, Murphy rewrote “The Times They Are A-Changin'” from the old guy’s perspective. “Losing My Edge” remains an unflagging eight-minute joke that I can’t start quoting ’cause I’d never stop (with laffs in the beats as well), and a downright public service to boot–its empty protest of “But I was there!” renders every cry of authenticity in its wake an instant cliché.

But if Murphy resigns himself to the fact that younger artists and fans, with their confused misreadings of history, their “borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered ’80s” (their unwarranted fascination with Vashti Bunyan hadn’t quite kicked in), would remake music regardless of his input, the real punchline was even funnier: Murphy celebrated his obsolescence at the moment of his ascension to subcultural stardom. How fucking Gen X can you get?

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Comments

  • Matos W.K.  On April 5, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    lol @ Vashti Bunyan

  • Pete Scholtes  On April 13, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Wow, never heard this, just heard/absorbed references to it. Love the line that you can’t stop quoting because you’d never stop.

  • usefulnoise  On April 13, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Pete, you should definitely seek out the long version!

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