Music Literature Film Index About

Sound of Silver, LCD Soundsystem

DFA/Capital, March 20, 2007

Track Listing: 1. Get Innocuous!, 2. Time to Get Away, 3. North American Scum, 4. Someone Great, 5. All My Friends, 6. Us V Them, 7. Watch the Tapes, 8. Sound of Silver, 9. New York, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down

“That’s how it starts”

-all lyrics on this page are fromAll My Friends

They were so very happy, scorching and shitfaced in the ravaging sun, tramping and traipsing up and down Halsted through the Market Day masses like a herd of cattle—Grade A beef. Beer worked best on days like this, if for no other reason than its predominant availability in the food and beverage tents, but house money was on the bet that beer wasn’t the only thing flowing through the skin-to-skin stroll, the suggestive hellos, wide smiles, friendly hugs, laughter, and curbside dancing. Sure, there were sangrias and the standard Sidetrack slushy drinks too—liquor is quicker—but you had to be thinking that in some of these circles, party favors were likely making the rounds. Even if not, people think what they think.

“And if it’s crowded, all the better
Because we know we’re gonna be up late”

As is the case in any scene, there were cliques aplenty: pretty little twinks who sashayed up and down the boulevard as Hollywood starlets attending their own premieres, big burly hairy bears who in some cases were probably showing a bit too much skin, lovely ladies who in their natural beauty were not nearly as glammed up as the drag queens that spent all morning and then some in makeup readying for their close-ups. There were other cool chicks too, some surrendering to separation anxiety from Harleys so that they could join in on the fun. There were even more than a fair share of strollers, and panting canines too. All in all, the congregation was pretty standard fare. Only difference this weekend was the close proximity and underlying unity of the typically mutually exclusive groups. Here, they were one mass community of friends, like a happy hippy commune, and with a similar potent pungency too (due in part to the sweaty tank top-wearers and bare-chested beauties but also simply an unavoidable side effect of what happens when that many partiers are squeezed into suffocatingly tight quarters amidst such soupy humidity).

“But if you’re worried about the weather
Then you picked the wrong place to stay
That’s how it starts”

You could always count on the heat, a common denominator. Like a Farmer’s Almanac, Market Days somehow seemed to have insider info. The dog days of summer at this annual event was just the way that it was, dating back to the beginning of time.

“We set controls for the heart of the sun
One of the ways we show our age”

Yes, he was there too, the sexy guy everyone swore owned only two T-shirts: CBGBs and The Ramones, although some insisted at having seen him sporting a Dark Side of the Moon shirt on occasion as well (a claim that left many entirely skeptical). This year, it was definitely CBGBs. He was so-and-so’s friend from Arizona or Texas. Somewhere hot. Like him. Funny thing was, punk rock wasn’t common in these parts, certainly not now, in 2007, but that was the essence of his cool. It didn’t matter one iota to him what anyone thought. Besides, at this lovefest, he didn’t even need to think twice about such silliness as he was among eight long city blocks of the closest friends anyone could ever ask for.

There were three stages of bands playing music as diverse as the crowds that congregated, shimmied, and vogued in front of them. These were typically the hot spots where sneakers and sandals came to a screeching halt to create the heaviest traffic jams. As if enjoying legal outdoor booze with a group of close friends wasn’t enough, live music was a cherry on top. At least before the scene, and you, started to show its age.

“You’re talking 45 turns just as fast as you can
Yeah, I know it gets tired, but it’s better when we pretend”

In December through February along Halsted, snow is plowed to the side of the streets over existing gray mounds. The fresh white layer is left to blacken in the coughing exhaust of dirty fumes and the pelting spray from filthy cars desperately in need of washings.

“You spent the first five years trying to get with the plan
And the next five years trying to be with your friends again”

The cold, dead of winter was as unforgiving as a jilted lover. It was when Halsted was left to the homeless and the brave, not celebratory block parties. The radioactive glow of tanned hides was nowhere to be found in the dank, dim-lit days. Gone was the swarming buzz of crowded conversation, and with the exception of football tailgates as far away as Soldier Field and Evanston, the other outdoor midday buzz was noticeably missing as well. The party, if still going, had been pushed indoors.

“And to tell the truth
Oh, this could be the last time”

Indoors, where someone is currently alone at 62-something West Buckingham Place just off Halsted, registering on a dating site, fudging a slightly more favorable body weight and an age from a few years back, apparently in accordance with the rules or else perks of anonymity.

Indoors, where at the same time a bit further up north and a few blocks west an unexpected call leads to distressing news about an old friend.

“If I could see all my friends tonight
If I could see all my friends tonight
If I could see all my friends tonight
If I could see all my friends tonight”