James Murphy: soundtrack of my life

From The Guardian:

Born in New Jersey in 1970, James Murphy spent his formative years playing drums in a series of low-profile rock bands and working as a sound engineer. Success didn’t come until his early 30s when he formed LCD Soundsystem and started exploring how the punk and krautrock influences of his youth would sound in a dance music context, creating classic tracks such as Losing My Edge and Yeah.

After releasing three albums on his own DFA label, Murphy disbanded LCD Soundsystem last year. In his spare time, he has composed a soundtrack for the Noah Baumbach film Greenberg and starred in a film called The Comedy. A new documentary, Shut Up and Play the Hits, follows Murphy as LCD Soundsystem play their last ever gig at Madison Square Garden in February 2011.

THE FIRST MUSIC I CAN REMEMBER

The Lion Sleeps Tonight, The Tokens (1961)

I have an image of hearing this in the hallway when I was three or four. The sound of it was really crazy – like it was from another planet. Those early years in New Jersey were amazing. We lived in a really small town with tons of kids my age. There were fields and woods and a creek – it was a pretty ideal place to be a little kid.

THE RECORD THAT REMINDS ME OF WANTING TO LEAVE HOME

Rock’n’Roll, The Velvet Underground (1970)

Later on, I grew to hate my home town with a burning, searing passion, and this Velvet Underground song captures that feeling. I wanted out really badly but I didn’t leave until I was 19. I thought it was backward. In a way it was, but it took me years to realise that the people I grew up with were smarter and more interesting than most of the people I met in New York.

THE FIRST RECORD I EVER BOUGHT

Fame, David Bowie (1975)

I was always just blown away by David Bowie and how mannered the guy was willing to be. It was so far from what I imagined someone with my confidence to be capable of. I always wished I had a more flamboyant streak, but it’s just not what I’m made of. Once I stopped feeling bad about that and started feeling, OK, why don’t I just be myself? – that’s when I started to make much better music.

THE RECORD THAT MADE ME WANT TO BE A MISFIT

Violent Femmes, Violent Femmes (1983)

This was like a gateway drug to weird punk rock, and it immunised me against the more macho variety. I was 11 or 12 when I first heard it. My friend Arthur had a boombox and this was one of the tapes he played. For me punk rock was a bit like the B-52s – it was pretty gay and weird and broken and really misfitty. It wasn’t like 300 guys with their heads shaved agreeing – that never felt punk to me, that felt like a football game. I wanted to be in a room with the weirdos, not the football thugs.

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