The LCD Soundsystem Madness Bracket

I don’t want to imply that you live under a rock if you haven’t noticed the current popularity of *insert artist here* Madness brackets in the past week or so, but I’m a rebellious guy. Crawl out from under there and pick your favorite Kanye West song here.

This bracket is more inclusive, better curated, and overall much more pleasing to look at than mine.

I picked All of the Lights over We Don’t Care, just so you know.

Being an enterprising idiot with a weak grasp of Photoshop, naturally, I felt obligated to create my very own bracket for my very own favorite band, LCD Soundsystem.

You’ll notice, if inspected from far away, that this is ugly and poorly made.

These have been seeded out based on, very scientifically I might add, Spotify streams as of March 15th, 2018. I recorded each songs stream count and created a single elimination bracket with that data. I even went ahead and made cute little backgrounds featuring each song’s respective album art to try to hide the fact that it looks awful. I didn’t split the bracket onto two separate sides or name the regions because I was born a trailblazer.

Yes, I hear you over there, person I can’t stand that acts the same way I do and also listens to the same music as me, there are indeed only 45 songs on the official releases of LCD Soundsystem’s 4 studio albums. I’ve added Christmas Will Break You Heart (single), Throw (bonus song on This Is Happening), and Live Alone (cover of Franz Ferdinand’s song of the same name). That being said, I seem to have missed some fan favorites.

I implore you, if you’re a fan of this band, do this bracket. It feels like choosing which child to bring for ice cream. Nobody ever wins. It will rip your heart out. You’ll be upset for a few minutes. It’s good fun.

Here’s my bracket. Please keep scrolling, I promise I’ll hit my word maximum below.

Bless this mess.

Round 1 is pretty self-explanatory, but I’m really surprised i used to managed to take Thrills out. I like the new album, but it hasn’t really grown on me yet. That being said, I think i used to is gonna go down as a quintessential LCD track as time goes on.

how do you sleep? is an unfortunate victim of my utilitarian seeding here, although it probably would have just ended up falling victim to Yeah (Crass) anyway.

Round 2 is an interesting round, but still pretty straightforward. Live Alone beats out Get Innocuous! which I feel might be more of a recency bias thing, as I’ve been really hot on that song for the past few months.

how do you sleep? is an unfortunate victim of my utilitarian seeding here, although it probably would have just ended up falling victim to Yeah (Crass) anyway. It’s a highlight from American Dream for sure, but You Wanted a Hit has a bracket run to make.

So uhhh yeah I picked Movement over All My Friends. I love love love All My Friends, it’s one of the first songs by LCD that made me realize that music didn’t have to follow any rules to still be amazing (seriously, when people catch this song in my car, after about a minute I invariably get, “is this the entire song?!”), but fuck if Movement doesn’t just brute force it’s way into round 3. It’s loud, wild, erratic, driving, and it makes me sweat every time I hear it. It’s fuel for my ears.

Home vs Pow Pow was the first really hard one for me, but I had to give it to Pow Pow. Home is a gorgeous track, and it’s unsurprising that it’s making deep runs on a lot of the brackets on the LCD Soundsystem subreddit, but Pow Pow manages to be unrelentingly cool for 8+ minutes, and is another one of those essential James Murphy talk singing songs that I can’t get enough of.

Round 3 isn’t very unique either. Movement over All I Want might be a hot take for some people, and I feel like that’s pretty understandable. It got lucky being paired with an American Dream track I’m not a huge fan of in round 2, because there aren’t very many tracks it would have beaten, if I’m being honest. All I Want is a great tune, but better ones dot LCD Soundsystem’s discography.

Also, the only reason that Yeah (Crass) didn’t make a deeper run is because I specifically told myself that I wouldn’t decide songs based on the live versions from the long goodbye. If I used the live versions in this bracket, I wouldn’t have even needed to do it. Yeah would have easily won, it wouldn’t have even been close. I’m still furiously angry that it wasn’t played at any of the shows I attended on their new tour.

Round 4 is where stuff gets a bit more complex. Yr City’s a Sucker ends it’s run against the big dog in the bracket, Dance Yrself Clean. Honestly, I like Yr City’s a Sucker, but it got an easy bracket besides oh baby, which was a little tough.

You Wanted a Hit vs Pow Pow makes me wish I cheated the seeding a bit in a few places. They would have likely been in grand finals for me if they were on opposite sides of the bracket. Sadly, they meet in the semi-finals, and You Wanted a Hit takes a close one.

Also On Repeat gets a small upset — more on that later.

Round 5 fucking sucks. I hate this round. It sucks bags of dicks.

I Can Change barely gets ousted by Dance Yrself Clean, on the grounds of being more emotionally meaningful to me. That’s it. I know that that match-up seems like a no-brainer to a lot of people, but it sure as hell wasn’t for me.

I should probably explain what On Repeat is doing in a finals round with the three best songs on This Is Happening. It got deeper than most might expect because it was the very first LCD track I ever heard, way back in 2007, as it was on the Forza Motorsport 2 soundtrack along with Disco Infiltrator. Forza also introduced me to Bloc Party, which is one of my top 5 favorite bands, depending on which day you ask me.

However, after a monumental run through a very difficult bracket, it’s killed off quickly and painlessly by You Wanted a Hit. Press F.

That leaves us with our obvious #1 seed Dance Yrself Clean showing up for grand finals wearing moccasins and pajama pants, and our #15 seed You Wanted a Hit showing up battle scarred after a vicious bracket run. It beat out how do you sleep? — one of the best, if not the best, song off of American Dream — Yeah (Crass), Pow Pow, and On Repeat, a dark horse pick if there ever was one.

Dance Yrself Clean is James Murphy’s magnum opus and the shortest 9 minute long song ever made. It has one of the best breakdowns of any song I’ve ever heard, and shows, not for the first time, that James Murphy is incredibly aware of his place in the eyes of the industry and his fans.

Literally everything in the last paragraph applies to You Wanted a Hit. Same subject matter, same length, same amazing breakdown, but something about it keeps me coming back. I think it might be because Dance Yrself Clean is a real song. It’s long, weird, and two separate pieces of a song, but it’s still a song. You Wanted a Hit doesn’t feel like that, it feels more like James Murphy speaking in earnest to the listener. It almost entirely sheds normal songwriting tradition, with short, scattered verses, and a plethora of repeated lines. Also, fuck me, that breakdown. So amazing. That’s the only thing I can think of when I put it at #1.

This bracket was rough. My seeding method, while fair, led to a lot of hard fought match-ups throughout the bracket. LCD Soundsystem is my favorite band of all time, and this bracket made me realize why. To reuse an analogy I used earlier, this bracket felt like choosing your favorite child. Only you had to choose in front of a CPS officer and your entire family.

Long Live LCD