Sun. Jan 23rd, 2022

I’m hanging halfway out of the window looking up at the stars, taking in the smell of bay water and wind when I hear the first few keys and quickly hurl myself back into the car. “Turn it up!” I demand. Alex pulls my head into his chest telling me repeatedly through hiccups, inebriated slurs, and forehead kisses, “Emily Durkin, I love you;” this is friendship, this is being strung out on late night wanderings, this is growing up. I hear those simple few keys and get goose bumps, biting my lip in anticipation of that low voice; it feels like the first time hearing it. We smell like a mixture of skunk and ocean water, our eyes half-open and blood-shot, our voices cannot carry a single note. I never can quite understand why I am the only one who demands silence and the speakers so loud that we not only hear every word, but feel them as well. This song is relatable at any age, but for us, the 20 to 30 something’s, it should be appreciated, taken in, and committed to memory.
The song “All my Friends” by LCD Soundsytem always reminds me of those classic literary works written by beatniks and travelers who were high on drugs and strung out on adventures; it’s sad, yet the audience doesn’t recognize it right away. While listening I feel a sense of freedom and that tugging of sadness. The lead singer and song writer, James Murphy, does this with several of his works. One of their more well-known songs, “Dance Yrself Clean,” has the same way of making you feel so happy, but yet it’s about the tension and turmoil that builds during a relationship. He hooks you with the keyboard and catchy beats, and then makes you dig in for the meaning; making you feel, somehow, connected to the song.
This song found me and hooked me six years after its release in 2007, but the lyrics will always ring true. The main idea behind the song isn’t just about a fun night with old friends, but Murphy’s nostalgia of the time that has passed; he’s telling his audience to appreciate time, because things change, people grow up, nothing stays the same.
 The beginning of the song describes a fun night with his old friends; “And if it’s crowded all the better, because we know we’re gonna be up late.” As you grow older you’ll go in a different direction then planned and you won’t see your friends; you’ll wonder where they went and how they’ve changed. “You spent the first five years trying to get with the plan, and the next five years trying to be with your friends again.” Seeing old friends always brings up past memories, that longing for the past, that longing for things to go back to the way they once were. Each line in the song defines the emotions of yearning for the previous days of a younger you that there’s no way of getting back. You grow up, you move on, you don’t recognize where you once were, or the people you were with.
An analysis by Hua Hsu compares the song to using the drug ecstasy. I do not agree with this view entirely, but I have an understanding of what he means. People who have experienced this drug say it’s like slowing down time; seeing the full moment, or taking in the full experience of time itself. The world looks different; beautiful, whole, unreal. I see what he means, and the song very well might be about drugs, but I see it as being about the natural high you get when you really slow down and take in where you are, where you’ve been, who you’re with, just living in the present while remembering your past. It’s about having fun and letting go of mistakes; “I wouldn’t trade one stupid decision, for another five years of life.” It’s feeling free of any regrets, letting go while you’re still young.
From the lyrics to the few notes played on the keyboard, you can hear Murphy’s feelings, both blissful and melancholic, of nostalgia. It inspires you to appreciate being with your friends now because you won’t have this forever. It inspires you to take trips, be broke, make mistakes, throw regrets to the wind, and enjoy every minute.
 Murphy really has great insight, yet, I half-wish it wasn’t so sad. It seems so catchy and sets such a happy tone, and then you see what it’s really about; the nostalgia of a 37-year-old front man, repeating over and over: “If I could see all my friends tonight.” Like many LCD Soundsystem songs it lies somewhere between fun and serious. But, all in all, it is a timeless song about friendship living in the moment and appreciating time; an important concept. Something many may not realize until they’re 37; I lucked out, I heard this song.
Emily Durkin is a fourth-year student. She can be reached at ED797328@wcupa.edu.
 

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