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Losing My Edge


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LCD Soundsystem's Losing My Edge shuffled through the ipod as I was leaving the gym today and while generally hilarious it seemed like a particularly pointed screed against, well, people like us.

Yeah, I'm losing my edge.

I'm losing my edge.

The kids are coming up from behind.

I'm losing my edge.

I'm losing my edge to the kids from France and from London.

But I was there.

I was there in 1968.

I was there at the first Can show in Cologne.

I'm losing my edge.

I'm losing my edge to the kids whose footsteps I hear when they get on the decks.

I'm losing my edge to the Internet seekers who can tell me every member of every good group from 1962 to 1978.

I'm losing my edge.

To all the kids in Tokyo and Berlin.

I'm losing my edge to the art-school Brooklynites in little jackets and borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered eighties.

But I'm losing my edge.

I'm losing my edge, but I was there.

I was there.

But I was there.

I'm losing my edge.

I'm losing my edge.

I can hear the footsteps every night on the decks.

But I was there.

I was there in 1974 at the first Suicide practices in a loft in New York City.

I was working on the organ sounds with much patience.

I was there when Captain Beefheart started up his first band.

I told him, "Don't do it that way. You'll never make a dime."

I was there.

I was the first guy playing Daft Punk to the rock kids.

I played it at CBGB's.

Everybody thought I was crazy.

We all know.

I was there.

I was there.

I've never been wrong.

I used to work in the record store.

I had everything before anyone.

I was there in the Paradise Garage DJ booth with Larry Levan.

I was there in Jamaica during the great sound clashes.

I woke up naked on the beach in Ibiza in 1988.

But I'm losing my edge to better-looking people with better ideas and more talent.

And they're actually really, really nice.

I'm losing my edge.

I heard you have a compilation of every good song ever done by anybody. Every great song by the Beach Boys. All the underground hits. All the Modern Lovers tracks. I heard you have a vinyl of every Niagra record on German import. I heard that you have a white label of every seminal Detroit techno hit - 1985, '86, '87. I heard that you have a CD compilation of every good '60s cut and another box set from the '70s.

I hear you're buying a synthesizer and an arpeggiator and are throwing your computer out the window because you want to make something real. You want to make a Yaz record.

I hear that you and your band have sold your guitars and bought turntables.

I hear that you and your band have sold your turntables and bought guitars.

I hear everybody that you know is more relevant than everybody that I know.

But have you seen my records? This Heat, Pere Ubu, Outsiders, Nation of Ulysses, Mars, The Trojans, The Black Dice, Todd Terry, the Germs, Section 25, Althea and Donna, Sexual Harrassment, a-ha, Pere Ubu, Dorothy Ashby, PIL, the Fania All-Stars, the Bar-Kays, the Human League, the Normal, Lou Reed, Scott Walker, Monks, Niagra,

Joy Division, Lower 48, the Association, Sun Ra,

Scientists, Royal Trux, 10cc,

Eric B. and Rakim, Index, Basic Channel, Soulsonic Force ("just hit me"!), Juan Atkins, David Axelrod, Electric Prunes, Gil! Scott! Heron!, the Slits, Faust, Mantronix, Pharaoh Sanders and the Fire Engines, the Swans, the Soft Cell, the Sonics, the Sonics, the Sonics, the Sonics.

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Just in case you missed it, the Pitchfork P2K blurb about Losing My Edge was fantastic.

If the songs on this list were chosen solely by how they captured the zeitgeist in independent music, "Losing My Edge" would be an easy #1. The most audacious debut single of the 00s, "Losing My Edge" captured the anxiety of trying to use your taste in music as a badge of cool in the era when all music is available to anyone who can afford a broadband connection. Over a beat borrowed from Killing Joke's "Change", James Murphy alternates a lament about being eclipsed by "The kids coming up from behind" with tall tales of early encounters with Can, Suicide, Captain Beefheart, and other icons of hipster scum. The worst thing about this new generation of interlopers? "They're actually really nice," Murphy says, which makes them even more difficult to hate.

But while he laid out the essential facts of music fandom in our age and also articulated the central absurdity of forming a band in a time of such excess (What do you do when everything has been done?), Murphy then managed to transcend it all. Yep, we're fucked: there's nothing new under the sun, and unlike the kids, we don't have the advantage of not knowing. So what next, then? You go for it, make music anyway, and do it so well that no one cares what you actually know and whom you're borrowing from. Which is what he did the rest of the decade. --Mark Richardson

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