The internet exploded this week in a frothing excitement over the return of indie-pop legends LCD Soundsystem, an influential band of early/mid 2000s rockers whose effects on pop music are certainly indelible. More cynical cultural critics, however, could be found biting their tongues. What's the big deal?
This comeback is already way overhyped (paired rather conveniently with the lineup announcement for the indie-clusterf*ck Coachella festival) – the band only broke up in 2011! Doesn't this kind of instant nostalgia-pandering seem suspicious to anyone else?
Besides, LCD Soundsystem have been oversold to us from the very start. Despite their praise as originals, James Murphy and his gang have been systematically using the same sound and aesthetic as way more inventive and radical queers and women for far too long. LCD Soundsystem essentially took their style from the Electroclash scene, an underground movement of 80s influenced dance punks. By removing the graphic sexual and political content of more obscure music, LCD caught the attention of mainstream reviewers while better bands languished in relative obscurity. It became imminently easy to condemn the women of Electroclash for their overt (and often not-straight) sexualities; yet Murphy was always praised for his edgy cool.
Just another case of straight culture robbing LGBTs and getting rewarded for it, I guess.
Anyway, we're taking a look back at some of our favorite early/mid 2000s bands who deserved way more praise than LCD Soundsystem, many of whom we'd be delighted to see reunite. Check out our list, below!
1. Le Tigre
Fronted by punk legend Kathleen Hanna, Le Tigre is the sexy, silly electro-sister of the undeniably influential band Bikini Kill. Singing playfully about lesbian justice and dancefloor politics, Le Tigre's brand of anger was never without humor or fun. The band hasn't exactly been active in the past few years, and we should all secretly pray for a reunion from them, too.
2. Gravy Train!!!!
The exclamation marks included in this band's name are certainly warranted considering the vast majority of their songs were about gay sex and snack foods. Almost universally reviled by reviewers at the time, Gravy Train!!!! irked sincere indie rockers with their aggressive raps about cheeseburgers and late night adventures. Former members Seth Bogart and Brontez Purnell have since gone on to form their own kick ass punk bands.
3. Avenue D
Rapping over minimalist beats in Spanish and English, Avenue D anticipated the anti-slut-shaming movement by almost a decade. Often dismissed as a joke, these ladies spitting skills were shockingly superior to plenty of rappers putting out songs today. Foul-mouthed and unapologetic, their breakout single “Do I Look Like A Slut?” is still a favorite of Brooklyn drag queens to this day.
4. Tracy + The Plastics
Tracy + The Plastics is actually the solo project of artist Wynne Greenwood, who would perform alongside video projections of herself to create the illusion of a band. Between songs, her different digital personas would engage in bizarre banter until they eventually decided to sing together about LGBT rights and issues of identity.
5. Chicks On Speed
Half parody and half sincere dance punk, Chicks On Speed is a group of diverse radical feminist performance artists who put out a handful of albums lampooning the art world and eurotrash indie rock culture. Chicks on Speed have since gone on to exhibit around the world with their unique brand of DIY culture.