The Round of 64 for Sound of the City’s own version of March Madness—in which you, the Sound of the City voting public, help determine the quintessential New York musician—is a little jam-packed today, with six matches on the docket. (The schedule and results so far are here; the full, updated bracket is here.) As the day continues, we return to the Downtown quadrant, where the LCD Soundsystem dances off against the Talking Heads. Check out the arguments in favor of each below, and vote at Facebook for your favorite.
“I couldn’t talk to people face to face, so I got on stage and started screaming and squealing and twitching.” And thank god. David Byrne’s Talking Heads came at a time in New York’s musical history when the there were too many players on the field already, so it’s with sheer ingenuity and style that they became one of the most crucial acts to emerge from a scene that included Television, the Ramones, and Blondie. Committed to pushing genre boundaries but never afraid to become a pop band, Talking Heads have crafted some of the most beloved radio singles (“Once In A Liftetime”) and trailblazing albums (take your pick) of all time. Or more succinctly, they’re just the coolest band ever. While the possibility of seeing them onstage again is slim to say the least, the fact their music still feels ahead of its time means that they never seem far. And for New Yorkers, the high likelihood of catching a shock of white hair zipping past you on a bicycle is always a nice reminder.
For people of a certain age, “Someone Great” is the type of song that immediately triggers a memory. It’s about loss, it’s about nostalgia, and it’s about moving the fuck on. This is important, as there’s no other artist in recent past that so astutely captured so many feelings in such a such stripped-down, honest, dance-it-away manner as James Murphy has over his ten years with LCD Soundsystem. And let’s not forget about DFA Records, the label that fostered NYC’s dance-punk and disco revival through acts like Juan Maclean, Holy Ghost, Hot Chip, and The Rapture, and Hercules and Love Affair. In the end Murphy is an enigma: He’s a part frustrating egomaniac and part beloved genius who empathizes with New Yorkers about things they didn’t know were bothering them yet. That is, we are indeed losing our edge. New York, we love you, but you really are bringing us down. And Daft Punk is not playing at our house, but wouldn’t it be fun if they were?