Profiles in Hustle: James Murphy
The best thing about James Murphy is that his best work probably isn’t behind him. It’s whatever he does tomorrow.
James Murphy is a rock demi-god. The former LCD Soundsystem frontman all but invented prestige electronica in 2005, which gave him the sort of street cred that allows you to change your address. But Murphy stayed in New York and just kept working. He now runs Death From Above records, performs steadily, and provides the occasional soundtrack for an indie film. Murphy isn’t the loudest guy in the room, he’s just a guy who seems to be in every room.
To that point, Murphy was offered a writing gig on Seinfeld when he was only 22 years old. That’s just internet trivia now – he wanted to be a musician – but it feels indicative of his Zelig-like cultural ubiquity. Want to know what the next big thing is going to be? Look at whoever is standing next to Murphy. How does he accomplish this sort of trend spotting domination? Well, no one really knows, but it’s probably because he’s constantly working, constantly meeting new people.
The guy remixed the 2014 U.S. Open into music, created a specialty coffee for Blue Bottle and showed up in Tim and Eric’s film The Comedy. It probably takes him the better part of a day to scroll through his contacts.
The best thing about James Murphy is that his best work probably isn’t behind him. His best work is probably one of three things he plans to do tomorrow. Still, Shut Up and Play the Hits, the amazing documentary about LCD Soundsystem’s last show, is going to be hard to top.
Photos by Cara Bloch/The Hell Gate/Corbis / APImages