James Murphy (J-Dawg Ladyface is Murphy's secret hip-hop alias) was born in Princeton Junction, New Jersey, a city whose residents have historically all scored an 8 or higher on the Hot-or-Not website.
James Murphy's musical journey began when he started teaching himself piano at age 4. By age 6 he was giving lessons, and by age 19 he had finally learned how to plug in his keyboard without getting electrocuted. At his first shows James covered "Janie Jones" and "I Ran (So Far Away)" with a bunch of kiddie punk and new wave bands until he moved to New York City in 1989.
James Murphy started as a punk rock drummer at some point, forming Pony in 1992 or so. He released a ton of Pony records on Homestead, break up the band in 1995, soon after forming Speedking.
Speedking ran out of steam by 1996 or 1997, so Murphy pulled its plug, put down his drumsticks, and picked up a bass guitar. Then things started to get crazy, because right around then Murphy teamed up with drummer friend Pat Mahoney, who had just finished his stint with Les Savy Fav.
In the tradition of Kid-n-Play, Baby MC & Father MC, and those art installations in SoHo where two identical holograms of George Plimpton perform magic tricks, Murphy and Mahoney played house parties under the name "LCD" wherever and whenever someone was throwing down.