LCD Soundsystem battles Daft Punk

Quite possibly the world's No. 1 LCD Soundsystem cover band, North American Scum will play its “best show ever” Saturday at the Rickshaw Stop, lead singer Roberto Baldwin says, on the phone from his day job as a gadget reporter at Wired magazine.

The 2-year-old, six-piece San Francisco dance-punk cover band will battle a Daft Punk-spinning DJ for top honors amid Berlin-style ping-pong matches and bouts of karaoke. It's all part of the two-year anniversary party for “American Tripps,” a recurring San Francisco party night hosted by Allan Hough, editor of San Francisco culture blog Mission Mission.

Titled “LCD Soundsystem Is Playing At My House,” the Rickshaw party will be North American Scum's roughly 16th show in the two years since the beloved, critically acclaimed New York group, LCD Soundsystem, disbanded.

North American Scum was founded out of abject sadness over the end of LCD, which was a project of writer-producer James Murphy that garnered three Grammy nominations. LCD's third and final album “This is Happening” made the Billboard Top 10 in 2010. Murphy disbanded LCD April 2, 2011, after a four-hour live show at the sold-out Madison Square Garden.

Baldwin took the news hard, and thought a cover band should play LCD songs in a San Francisco club on the night of the New York band's last gig. He says, “Then, five minutes later I thought, 'I should do that!'”

Within three days, Baldwin had a band composed of other tech writers and friends in digital publishing. They played an eight-song set at Kimo's and kept going.

“The whole idea is to have fun,” he says. “If we weren't having fun we wouldn't do it.”

North American Scum will play an energetic, LCD Soundsystem-only live set as part of an unapologetic dance party, says Baldwin, who lives in the Richmond district.

Baldwin played in a punk band in his 20s, but performing was full of worries over his band's aesthetic, sound and selling out. Today, married and in his 30s, he says, “Now, it's just like, 'Whatever, I just want to have fun.' If you're having fun on-stage then the people in the audience seem to be having fun. We get a really great reaction from our audience at shows because we're jumping around like idiots, basically.”


North American Scum

(LCD Soundsystem cover band)

Where: Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St., S.F.

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Tickets: $6

Contact: (415) 861-2011,



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