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Arts and Entertainment

Newish and Noteworthy Music: LCD Soundsystem, Band of Horses and Snow & Voices

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James Murphy is LCD Soundsystem

James Murphy is LCD Soundsystem
We hear a lot of music at LAist, and May was a month for a bumper crop for buzzworthy releases. Here are a few that we recommend:LCD Soundsystem: This is Happening
James Murphy is LCD Soundsystem. The NYC-based producer, DJ and co-founder of the dance-punk collective/label DFA, basically does it all on the third full-length studio album This is Happening (DFA/Virgin). He either wrote or co-wrote all nine of the tracks, sang and crafted most of the instrumentation of the CD, and it’s an amazing electro-pop-dance work that grabs the listener from the opening track “Dance Yrself Clean.” The song lulls listeners into thinking its a mellow, lo-fi piece--tempting you to crank up the volume--but then the sonic floodgates open after three minutes for a thoroughly danceable track, leading to the album’s first single, the post-punk inflected “Drunk Girls.”

LCD Soundsystem has never been about creating commercially accessible music, and we have to give Murphy props for that. “You Wanted a Hit” thumbs its nose at tightly polished pop songs with these opening lines--sung more than three minutes into the nine-minute song--You wanted a hit, but maybe we don’t do hits. / I try and try and it ends up feeling kind of wrong.

Sorry, bud, but This is Happening contains a lot of songs that feel kind of right. LCD Soundsystem plays two sold-out shows at the Hollywood Palladium and at the Fox Theater Pomona later this week.

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Listen to LCD Soundsystem

Band of Horses
Band of Horses: Infinite Arms
Indie darlings Band of Horses’ have the mellow, mid-tempo alt-rock market cornered. Led by Ben Bridwell, the outfit has drawn numerous comparisons to Neil Young, and rightly so. But in listening to Infinite Arms (Brown/Fat Possum/Columbia), the band’s third album, we could have sworn we heard a little Beach Boys vibe and even touches of Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound. It came as no surprise then to find out that the they recorded “On My Way Back Home" in the same studio where The Beach Boys recorded Pet Sounds. Check out the track “Older” and see if the twangy guitars and the vocals don’t remind you of a Brian Wilson and Crazy Horse mashup. The melodies on Infinite Arms are a great soundtrack to the start of summer.Listen to Band of Horses

Snow & Voices
Snow & Voices: Anything that Moves
The LA-based duo Snow & Voices also released their third CD Anything That Moves on their own independent Elastic Ruby Records. Singer-songwriter Lauri Kranz and her collaborating multi-instrumentalist partner Jebin Bruni have created a moody, sonic palate that hints at the work of Mazzy Star or Aimee Mann, just with fewer guitars and more electronic flourishes. It’s a dream-like CD chock full of melancholy, dreamy pop tunes with titles like “Everything Coming Apart,” “Blue,” “The Letting Go,” “Liar,” and “Please Be My Lover.” The one cover tune is Red House Painters’s “Mistress.” While not the most uplifting, Anything That Moves provides perfect chill out music--or a great breakup album.Listen to Snow & Voices

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