New York

SXSW 2005: Why I Do This

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I’m dancing three feet away from James Murphy, directly underneath Nancy Whang’s keyboards. Their band, LCD Soundsystem, is playing “Movement,” a song that feels like getting slapped in the face repeatedly, but in a pleasurable way. There are maybe 200 people in the club, so there’s plenty of room to move around. Everybody seems to be digging LCD’s disco-punk grooves. It’s the first time I’ve seen actual dancing at SXSW this year. People are bouncing up and down, waving their hands in the air, grinding with hotties. A guy next to me is even skanking.

Then the song explodes. (If you’ve heard it, you know which part I’m talking about.) So does the crowd. A full-on mosh pit breaks out, with guys in suits shoving girls in spiked heels, laminates flying everywhere, limbs flailing, big, stupid grins all around. It’s as if someone had just announced that the cool police had left the building, so it’s OK to act like you’re at home lip-synching to Kelly Clarkson in your underwear now.

This is why I do it. Why I’m at SXSW, why I go to concerts, why I care about pop music. Because every now and then, there are those little moments when everything just connects.

LCD Soundsystem