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James Murphy Chats About LCD Soundsystem Split, Reunion Prospects, Wacky Store

James Murphy / Photo Courtesy Oscilloscope Laboratories

James Murphy’s suggestions to improve public transportation a few months ago were only a preview of the myriad activities the ex-LCD Soundsystem frontman has been exploring since breaking up his band with a farewell show at Madison Square Garden last spring. According to his most recent New York Times profile, which dropped yesterday, previewing the one-night-only theatrical release of final-show doc Shut Up and Play the Hits on July 18, he’s got a whole lot more to share than just future music projects:

  • Soon, Murphy will open House of Good, a storefront in (of course) the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, where he will sell more or less all of the weird things that James Murphy likes: “cheap Chinese sneakers, whimsical socks, candy from Denmark,” coffee, and Murphy-designed “custom luggage.” When the store will be open for business remains unknown.
  • While House of Good is under construction, Murphy has — in addition to DJing (with and without LCD drummer Pat Mahoney as Special Disco Version) and working with Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Klaxons, and Kathleen Hanna’s Julie Ruin — been learning to scuba dive in Tahiti, training as a barista in London, and has “discussed staging a disco exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles with the museum’s director” — you know, to keep things casual.
  • Had HBO picked it up, Murphy would’ve made his second on-camera appearance in Noah Baumbach’s TV series adaptation of Jonathan Franzen’s novel The Corrections, as “Gary, the rage-filled eldest child” of the family in the story. He also would’ve done the music for the series, but the network ultimately turned down the pitch.
  • The other members of LCD weren’t as psyched to put the band to bed as Murphy was. Both Mahoney and keyboardist Nancy Whang confess in the profile that though they understood his decision, they would’ve liked to have stayed together.
  • The closest thing to an explanation Murphy has provided for ending LCD: “I felt like, barring me making a terrible record, it was about to potentially either fail, or get bigger. And neither was very enticing to me.”
  • There seems to be a tiny possibility the band could reunite — to record a cover song for a director pal’s soundtrack. It’s something everyone else in the band “seems to want to do,” Murphy admits.

Of course, no pre-LCD Soundsystem documentary interview would be complete without a few more previews of the movie itself: among the scenes included in the film, which SPIN saw (and loved) at Sundance, will be one in which Murphy wakes up still wearing his tuxedo shirt and “quietly [weeps] in the band’s storage space” the morning after the final show. So maybe he needed that Tahitian scuba lesson after all?