From the moment I first heard James Murphy telling me how he was losing his edge, I wanted to see him do his thing with LCD Soundsystem and Saturday night – thanks to Ken – it happened. At a sold-out Madison Square Garden show, I witnessed the show dubbed, “The Long Goodbye”. It was epic.
Excerpts and Edits from the email I wrote Ken on the Bolt Bus heading home from NYC.
Thanks again for an amazing weekend. Your thoughtfulness is remarkable. The hotel was so nice. Caroline and I had a room on the, 17th floor, overlooking a 12-story building with a beautiful rooftop garden. The bed was nice – it of course would have been infinitely nicer with you in it, but Caroline and I had fun jumping on it and when we finally made it back to the room this morning at 5:30, it proved to be a fantastic place to pass out…(yes, we stayed out until after 5am. It was that good of a night)
Walking around, I was constantly impressed with the fashion and the architecture. Being there offered renewed awareness that Boston is a city of people with no fashion sense. They may be smart and practical, but no one has clued them in that taking a few minutes getting dressed in the morning can lead to that combination actually looking appealing. The architecture. One famous building I had never seen before was the Flatiron Building . The way the clouds were moving as I stood at the crosswalk waiting for the signal to change to “walk”, made it look as though the building was swaying to and fro in the wind. I could have stood watching the building for a lot longer.
I would love to have a weekend in New York with Ken. To go on an architecture tour of New York with him. We would grab food from street vendors and sip coffee with Bailey’s as we walked the city for hours watching people, holding hands and taking in the architecture in one of the most amazing cities in the world.
The first time I went to New York, I was maybe 22 and a buyer at Treehouse Boutique. It was January. After a flight cancellation due to snow in Cincinnati, my boss and I finally made it. That was the trip that I got stopped at market and asked if I was Toni Collette. It happened more than once. The bars. The food. The people. Then, I think it was too much for me to take in almost. I was overwhelmed. Maybe it was my age and having never traveled to a city that large, but focusing on work in the midst of the complete sensory overload that New York City can bring was definitely overwhelming. I wanted to go back.
And, I did. Since then, I’ve been back 5 or 6 times. This trip will be remembered as my favorite. My favorite because I was seeing LCD Soundsystem with my bff Caroline, and all the while I was thinking of Ken. Damn, he is great.
Before heading to the Garden for the show, Caroline and I had dinner at the restaurant in the hotel, Blu. We started with the a simple caprese` appetizer – the Caprese con Bufala e Olio di Pesto and then got super indulgent with the Bistecca ai Porcini con Cipolline alla Griglia e Asparagi which is grilled porcini- rubbed shell steak served with scallions and grilled asparagus. We liked it. A lot. Following our steak we got our dessert to go- an amazing chocolate cake (this dessert is not currently on their online menu so what I can tell you is that it was served with pistachio ice cream and tasted heavenly at 5:30am). The dessert went into the hotel fridge and we journeyed a few blocks over to see LCD.
We arrived at about 8:15 and Liquid Liquid had already played. We got to what we thought were our seats – we ended up moving twice, as it is difficult to find section row and seat numbers in the dark with a smoke haze and tens of thousands of people anxiously mulling about ready to see the concert of a lifetime. LCD began playing a little before 9 and played until nearly 1 am. They played everything I wanted to hear (except Disco Infiltrator). The end of LCD is bittersweet, LCD definitely stopped while on top and will be forever considered a seminal dance-punk band. I could write about the show and the set – which kept blowing me away – and the people, but there is a Village Voice blog that did a fantastic job saying everything I would have said and more in a much more eloquent manner. So, if you care, read this: Live: LCD Soundsystem Say Goodbye, For Once and For All . Also, if you want a timeline not of the songs but the actual happenings of the show, Time Magazine’s Claire Suddath did a pretty great job explaining the amazing weirdness that went on inside the Garden. This story also has a few relevant links.
After the nearly 4 hour show. Caroline and I went to the Tribeca Grand Hotel for an afterparty. The energy was intense. Everyone was still excited from the show and there were so many pretty hipsters. While many people are annoyed by hipster’s self-importance and nearly-guaranteed pretentiousness, I actually have an affinity for them. I was in dudes in skinny jeans heaven. Caroline and I each had one of the most expensive vodka drinks I’ve ever had at $13 each – it was just an Absolut (not my choice of vodkas either – that’s just what they were pouring at the dancefloor bar) and soda It was refreshing though and dancing and checking out the fashion was a blast. If it weren’t for the reality that Caroline had a flight to catch the next morning and that my feet were a bit achey, I would have stayed until the sun came up. I like dance parties even more than I like hipsters (fortunately they often go together). Note: NBC’s Parks and Recreation cast member and all around funny guy, Aziz Ansari, was at this party.
We made it to the hotel. Ate our chocolate cake – so glad we got it to go. Passed out. Caroline left at 10 for the airport. I gathered myself enough to make it to the restaurant, grab a New York times, drink a lot of oj and coffee and eat more carbs than I’d had in months. Following this I attempted to get ready to walk around the city. Everything is so much harder with 3 1/2 hours of sleep and a hangover (Until now I have failed to mention the pre-partying Caroline and I did. We don’t get together that often, so when we do, it’s as though we need to drink like we’re in college again.)
I think it took me an hour and a half to shower, get dressed and make it out the door from my next near 2 mile excursion to East Village, where I was to meet up with a friend. I walked through the Union Square Artist Market. I think I could have spent an hour just taking in all the creations. When I finally got to my friend Chris’s neighborhood I told him I needed a bloody mary. He said we should walk to St. Dymphna’s. I love this bar. It was quiet and small and the bloody mary was really good. I learned from Chris that Jeff Buckley recorded a live e.p. there.
After my bloody I walked back to the hotel, grabbed my things and headed to the grab my bus back to Boston. I proceeded to intermittently sleep and write for the next 4 1/2 hours. Okay, mostly sleep.
I will be posting a few pics and video from the trip soon and will update blog with that info.
Ken, thank you.
This was a weekend I will surely never forget. You are, without a doubt, the love of my life.
One year down, 60+ to go…
- NY I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down: The Final Sounds Of LCD Soundsystem (laist.com)
- LCD Soundsystem bow out in Madison Square Garden (guardian.co.uk)
- The Universe of James Murphy (esquire.com)
- The Last Concert: Indie Icons LCD Soundsystem Bid a Brilliant, Bizarre Adieu (time.com)