Tag Archives: MGMT

Spontanious MGMT concert in Washington!

Pretty amped that MGMT decided to play an impromptu concert on the White House lawn. Would’ve been more amped if they didn’t play anything off of “Congratulations”. Can’t believe they even played ‘Kids’! Feelin’ like this is a monumental moment in ‘indie’ history. A moment that brought us all together. Never really known a world in which MGMT was ‘good’ live, or ‘cared’ about their fans. Think that everything is about to change. Just glad I got to return (for a while at least)  to a simpler time when there was an album with 3 songs that defined my fun loving life.  Just wanna go back to summer 09.

Which of the ‘big 3’ MGMT songs define you?

Did the founding fathers realize how chill it would be to chant our country’s name?

Were you amped last night? Or is MGMT already ‘over’?

Did ‘kids’ restore your faith in America?


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Lollapalooza: I draw the line at 7 concerts

Went to Lolla Sunday. My first real taste of a mega-festival. Felt like every band that I watched (The Antlers, The Dodos, Blitzen Trapper, Yeasayer, Frightened Rabbit, The National, Arcade Fire) put on a really good show. By the end though, there was a strong feeling of “I just want to not be squished by people”.

The Antlers

"If the stage falls over and kills us all. We Want our ashes spread on this field"

Kind of hard to believe that the day started off cold and wet. Wishin’ i’d enjoyed it more at the time. By the time The Antlers started to play, conditions were pretty miserable. The Brooklyn based trio took the stage dressed in muted tones, singing heart wrenching rock songs from an album (Hospice), that’s essentially a narrative of a caretaker falling in love with a slowly dying cancer patient; under other circumstances The Antlers may not have been the best early afternoon act. Not exactly the type of band that makes you want to get buzzed, party and then pay seven dollars for a gyro. However, the weather conditions couldn’t have been more perfect for the set. After a song or two, lead singer/guitarist Peter Alberman looked around and started to apologize for the conditions. Then he had a change of heart: “But then again this weather does fit us. It’s not like we are a FUCKING surf pop band” said Alberman with just the right amount of disgust. Then he immediately tore into the next song (which I believe was ‘Thirteen’). Easily the most rock n’ roll moment of the day. The rest of the set was eerily beautiful and peppered with brief outbursts of emotion. ‘Two’ was by far the stand out. Even more impressive then on the album, the track starts off with a lone strumming guitar and near whispered lyrics and gradually accumulates more and more girth. By the end Alberman was practically screaming just to be heard over the drums, keyboard and ambient noise that filled the song nearly to its breaking point. There were chills, and not just because we were cold as shit. It was an extremely heart felt performance and I think best summarized by Alberman after a gust of wind sent the giant hanging speakers swinging wildly, and a quiet but visible level of concern sweeping through those of us near the stage: “If the stage falls over and kills us all. We Want our ashes spread on this field” declared the lead singer. Questions about sincerity aside, it was the right thing to say and it lightened the mood and almost made me forget that they didn’t play my fave Hospice song: “Bear”.

The Dodos

After the emotionally draining ‘Antlers’ set. Needed some time to recover. Decided to see some lighter bands from a comfortable distance. The Dodos started just as the Antlers let out. Opening with their 2008 stand out “Fools”, the echoing cheerful chorus and pounding drums really drew you to the stage. The quirky San Fran three piece had a very pleasant set and seemed to bring out the sun. Felt like the set appealed to all types of lolla-goers. Probably a good thing because I don’t think there were that many die hard Dodos fans in attendance. Neko Case even joined the band on stage for a few songs and anytime Neko wants to sing, it is a good thing in my opinion anyway. The airy acoustic single “Fables” off of “Time To Die” was probably the high point of the set.

Blitzen Trapper

Went to watch Blitzen Trapper immediately after the Dodos. Blitzen Trapper is a large pseudo 1970’s style, folk rock group out of Portland Oregon, and they look exactly like you would expect a retro folk rock group from Portland Oregon to look. Overall, they sounded really solid. Almost identical to how they did on their albums. Almost too identical. I always kind of want something to be jazzed up or shifted around just a little when I hear it live for the first time. You essentially know what you are getting with these guys They aren’t gonna change things up much.They are also an older group of bros and therefore weren’t one of the more physically active performances of the day. They seemed to do mostly stuff off their last two albums (‘Black River Killer’ and ‘Destroyer of the Void’). And again, much like the Dodo’s it was just really nice filler music even if you weren’t super into Blitzen Trapper. Good music to listen to while grabbing something to eat. The harmonica laden ‘Silver Moon’ off of ‘Black River Killer’ was by far their most lively and joyous song of the set.


"This song is called Ambling Alp". - Magic.

Decided to pass on Mumford & Son to get a good spot for Yeasayer. Proved to be a wise decision. While waiting for them to start, I gave Mumford a listen from across the field. Seemed like they had too many ‘heavy’ songs that were burdened with painfully long intros for a band called ‘Mumford and Son’. Seems like if you are going to have banjos in your group (which I’m all for), then you can’t take yourself so seriously. When they finally got to some more raucous numbers though they weren’t half bad.

When Yeasayer finally got on the stage, lead singer “Chris Keating” was rocking some dapper brown suit thing. A shocking decision because by this time of day it was hot as dick. The coat lasted for like three songs. Overall it was far and away the most fun set, on a day of some relatively heavy music. The band started out playing mainly stuff from their debut: “All Hour Cymbals”. Kind of an homage to the die hard fans who waited at the stage for them, a classy move by the now suddenly very popular band. “2080” was one of the three best song of the day by any group. The ambient intro fading into that guitar and baseline was magic. Everything on the song just popped in person. After playing 5 songs or so, Keating paused, looked at the audience and said “I bet a lot of you new guys are wondering ‘When are they gonna play songs I know?’…Well here are some songs you know”. Instantly this was followed by the shrill echo of a synth, announcing the beginning of “ONE” and of the 80’s inspired dance party that was the rest of their set. In addition to “ONE”, “Madder Red” was a major crowd pleaser and took on a whole new life live with it’s lyricless yet sing along friendly (mandatory) hook. Keating also probably had the best vocal performance of anyone on Sunday. He truly has one of those rare power-pop voices that can really transform a song. Combined with his spastic antics on stage it was all very Freddy Mercury-esque. Yeasayer fittingly closed with “Ambling Alp” and the crowd erupted. All in all it was a finely crafted performance and really what the festival was needing at that time of the day. My only gripe was that one of my favorite songs, “Sunrise” sounded a little more muddled and frankly, less loud than I would have expected in person.

Frightened Rabbit

"I love playing festivals because there is so much clapping! There are two types of clap at a festival though."

Went to one of the far stages after Yeasayer to catch the Scottish folk rockers “Frightened Rabbit”. If it wasn’t for the spectacle that was “Arcade Fire”, Frightend Rabbit was probably the best set I saw all day. There was a surprisingly large turn out to see these guys. Lead singer/guitarist Scott Hutchison was a charming host to what was a nice mix of die-hards and curious on lookers. Ending every song with a very polite “Cheers!”, cracking jokes and giving little tidbits about upcoming songs, all while being genuinely gracious for having been given the invite to perform; Hutchinson was easy to like and became  even easier to like after he started playing. “Keep Yourself Warm” was one of the best tunes of the day. When Hutchinson proclaims “it takes moooore than fucking someone to keep warm” for the first time at about the minute and a half mark, the collective feeling of shock and expectation that ran through the audience was indescribable. Then about thirty seconds later when the song dips and Hutchinson repeats the crude but insightful line, the the guitar and keyboard immediately pick up, and everyone rejoiced. “Old Old Fashioned” was another one of the high points for me. It’s just a jangly rambunctious acoustic number and was one of only a couple of “feel good” songs by the Scotsmen. In total the set was the perfect blend of old and new, pleasing the Frightened Rabbit aficionados, while simultaneously creating new fans. It was the type of set where even if you didn’t know Frightened Rabbit before the set, by the end you magically knew exactly what Hutchinson was gonna say next in every song.

The National

"I'm just a really happy guy."

Decided to skip MGMT (best move of the night) to get a good spot for the “The National”. While listening to MGMT from across the field I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the legions of 17 year old girls that came specifically for the duo, as they were forced to listen to hours of pseudo-artsy rock music, while waiting for the three songs they know the words to. I think MGMT has done the one thing that pisses me off more than anything with their last album. They turned their backs on what got them famous. Really not only did they turn their backs but they seem to actually hold their pop songs in contempt now. Writing music that people like isn’t a bad thing, and being misunderstood isn’t always cool. I understand that their insta-fame threw them off but Jesus. Heard that they didn’t even play “Kids” at Coachella. Dick move.

Anyways, it was nice being amongst “The National” peeps. Seemed like we all had reached the same verdict about MGMT. It was a more mature crowd than any other show I saw that day. The type of people that just want to hear music and gently sway back and forth. I can dig that.

When The National walked out, Matt Berringer immediately poured himself something brown to drink. And silently raised it to the audience. The crowd went nuts. Baller status for sure. I’ve always loved The National and Berringer’s soulful baritone voice, and therefore have always wanted to see them live. However I never thought that they would be able to command the stage and a giant festival with the ease that they did. Berringer sounded great and watching that man handle a mic stand is like poetry. I think “England” was my favorite song by them on the night. The horns at the end really bring that chorus to life. “Bloodbuzz Ohio” killed as well. “I still owe money to the money to the money I owe. I never thought about love when I thought about home” is a chorus that really means business, especially when heard in person.

About midway through the set Berringer said something along the lines of “You write the saddest angriest songs when your happy. That’s why all our stuff is so depressing and mean. In real life I’m just a really happy guy”. Can’t help but question the validity of such a statement but it was funny anyway. Other surprises in the National’s set included the very ‘post-rock’ use of the guitar by both of the twins. They really got some crazy noises out them and that was something that never really came through for me on any of the albums. It was fun to watch. The single most surprising thing was actually just how lively these guys were. Berringer was all over the place; pounding the ground, jumping on speakers and going back to visit the drummer on nearly every song. All in all a quality rock show.

Arcade Fire

"I hope you’ve got a little more in the tank"

First off. If you chose to see Soundgarden over Arcade Fire. You may need to do some soul searching and start reevaluating your life, or just stop listening to music altogether*

Right when you thought you had had enough music and were ready to go home and put on some aloe. Right at that moment when one too many bro-parades tried to squeeze their way to the front even after you had waited in your spot for an hour, right at that breaking point, that’s when Arcade Fire started to play  and blew your fucking mind, and you forgot about it all because it didn’t matter. The stage design was gorgeous, the emotion was raw, and the accordion was bangin’ (no seriously).

The set exploded from the starting gates with “Ready to start” and didn’t slow down until the encore. Personally, I always love the tracks sung by Regine, so “Haiti” and “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” were particularly great. I think a drunk bro behind me stated it best when “Haiti” started: “Time to put that accordion down and dance bitch!”. And she did and so did everyone else, and it was great. Everything they played was bigger than life and even with the 11 or so people on stage, you couldn’t help but wonder where all of the music on a track like “No Cars Go” was coming from.

Arcade Fire did a great job of sprinkling in the brand new stuff. At one point Win Butler stated “You don’t know how fucking intimidating it is to come out here in front of so many people and play all of these brand new songs. But you guys are too good to us”. One of the best new ones was “Month of may”. If a song can sound violent, then that’s what the Month of May was. Every dip  was followed by an explosion of guitar that hit you like a right hook to the jaw. Near the end of the set Butler once again addressed the audience, saying “By the end of a festival people are usually so burned out they’ve got nothing left. … I hope you’ve got a little more in the tank” Then wham, another PCP laced rock tune shot right at you.

The encore was predictable in the best kind of way. “Wake up” closed the performance and the festival the way that both deserved to be closed, with thousands of people swaying and ooohhhh oooooohh oooohing in unison.

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Hooded Cloaks – 2010 Alt-fashion/music video trend?

2010 - Cloakin'

Seems like “hooded cloaks” are pretty big right now. Hard to miss them if you have watched an alt(ish) music video in the past year or so. Been trying to figure out why “hood-cloaks” are so “in”. Don’t think they have been this popular since like the 1300’s.

Trend Setter

Darth Maul - Authentic cloak wearer?

It’s possible that cloaks might just be an ironic jab at the Star Wars prequels or M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Village”. Thinkn’ that enough time has passed to make those movies “cult classics”. Episode 2 might be the next “Harold and Maude”.

Really thinkn’ that I need a cloak. My Am-Apparel hoodies probably make me seem super entry lvl….Sucks.

Probably should buy a cloak and take down my S. Africa flag now that the "Die Antwoord" craze is over.

Not positive, but pretty sure that the start of the current cloak era was this landmark MGMT performance on Letterman.

Sure the performance kind of (really) sucked. But it wasn’t the cloaks’ fault. They fuckin’ rocked. If it wasn’t for those cloaks you would just think these guys might be touring with “Everclear” or “Fastball”. But the cloaks let you know that this performance was “artsy” and “not for everyone”. Cloaks are probably the most exclusive form of head/back-wear.

Since the Letterman performance the market has been relatively flooded with indie cloaksters.

Yeasayer – Ambling Alp

You Say Party! We Say Die!

Beach House – Norway

Seems like cloaks might be highly correlated with medieval(ish) traveling through “harsh” terrain. Also, weird animals.

The Dirty Projectors

Le Loup – Forgive Me

Sunset Rubdown – Dragon’s Lair

Pretty overwhelmed by all this cloakage. I should probably get mine soon. Before too long the Jonas Bros will be wearing them. After all, cloaks do seem like the natural next step after an afghan-like neck thing.

Just want to be cool in 2010. Just want to look like a picnic and little red riding hood at the same time.

Should I get a cloak?
Do you know of any cloak retailers?
Who was the first “authentic” cloak wearer of the last 5 years?
Do you know of any other music videos with cloaks?
Do you know of any music videos without cloaks?
How long till cloaks are at Urban Outfitters?
How long till cloaks are at Old Navy?
How bad was MGMT on Letterman back in the day?
Will “Cloak-core” replace “chill wave”?

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MGMT – Congratulations – W T Fuck?

The lame album art was actually the most "fun" thing about "Congratulations"

Knew going into this one that it wasn’t supposed to be as poppy as “oracular spectacular”, but still this was disappointing. Probably wanted to like the single “Flash Delirium” more than I really did. Just wasn’t ready to write off the whole album after hearing one sub-standard song. Heard that MGMT actually came out and apologized for the song sucking….

“When we first wrote that song, we were laughing so hard,” said MGMT’s Ben Goldwasser.

“Andrew just reminded me of that – that we thought it was the funniest thing we’d ever heard. And then we got used to it, it started to sound more normal. It’s not a single, but we thought it was a good way to entice people to listen to the whole record.

“I’m sure there are plenty of people who think it’s completely weird and not what they were expecting. I’m sorry.”

Not sure if apologizing is the best move. Seems pretty shitty if you can’t even stand behind your work.

It’s understandable that they might not want to keep making poppy “soundtrack” friendly songs that teen gurlz can jam out to. I get the desire to evolve and change. Probably wanted to prove they had real alt-cred. Just wanted to feel ‘meaningful’ and be respected as artists by critics. Probably thought they could transform into a new ‘Animal Collective’ or ‘Grizzly Bear’. The problem isn’t really in the goal, but the execution. MGMT might just kind of suck at being ‘edgy’ and experimental. Not sure that they know the difference between weird and good.

Maybe this is the type of music that they really want to make. Maybe Congratulations truly represents them as musicians and people. That might be the case, and while I respect their choice to make music that makes them happy. That doesn’t keep me from thinking that it is pretty horrible.

MGMT Congratulations 1 out of 5

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Song of the Day: MGMT – Flash Delirium

“Flash Delirium” by MGMT

MGMT looking very feminine/neo-psychedelic

Flash Delirium

I took a couple days off of song of the day because I’ve had shiit to do. Im sure all 12 or so of you readers were pissed.

Anyways here is the new one by MGMT. Everyone in the world is waiting for their new album “Congratualtions”. If “Delirium” is anything like the rest of the album then I’m not so sure it will be the cross over success that “Oracular Spectacular” was. I enjoyed the song but seemed like it was too over the top and had too much stuff going on to get big at a mainstream level. Probably won’t be used in movie previews anytime soon. Seems like the type of song that probably goes well with shrooms.

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Dream Job – baseball, raised expectations and middle america

Recently landed my dream job. Gonna be getting paid to choose the music played between innings at spring training baseball games. I feel like this combines two of my favorite things: sports and forcing people to listen to my taste in music. Can’t even believe that there is actually a paid position for this. Seems ridiculous. Starting to realize that I will never have another job even half as awesome as this. Kind of a depressing realization. How will I react when I have to go back to a crappy customer service job or something?

Where I will be working

Kind of concerned though about the audience for my DJing. The spring training games are for the St. Louis Cardinals. The fan base at these games seems very 50+ in age. Thinkin’ that my taste in music may be very different from most Middle American baseball enthusiasts. Because they are in Florida they are probably gonna want to hear lots of Jimmy Buffett to complete the ‘vacation experience’. Really gonna try and avoid playing “Margaritaville” regardless of the pressure.

Do you think 'Veckatimest' made his top 10 of 09 list?

I can deal with playing a lot of classic rock. Feel like that’s all I listened to for a good portion of my life. Thinkin’ that if you don’t actively seek out good music today, you probably get the impression that the only good music ever made was in the 60’s and 70’s.

Im guessing I will need 17 songs ready for each game considering one for each half inning switch, minus the 7th inning stretch because we will probably play ‘Take me out to the ball game’. Started to generate a list of songs that I plan on using.

What I will probably use:
1) John Mellencamp : Jack and Diane (Pretty much as American as …well… baseball)
2) Vampire Weekend: A – Punk (Realistically, very accessible, but still probably not gonna be a crowd pleaser)
3)Sugar Ray: Every Morning (Everyone loves some 90’s nostalgia)
4)Tom Petty: American Girl (Feel like this one was obvious)
5)MGMT: Kids (Great song and cheery enough to not bug any old peeps)
6) Third Eye Blind:Semi Charmed Life (Pop Rock anthem)
7) CCR: Bad Moon a Rising (CCR has mass appeal)
8)Phoenix:1901 (It’s in a car commercial so therefore acceptable)
9)Fastball:The Way (Notice the pattern of classic rock, alt(ish), 90’s. I feel like this is a recipe for success)
10)Paul Simon: Me and Julio Down by the School Yard
11) Portugal. The Man: People Say
12) Everclear: I will buy you a new life
13) Doobie Brothers: Listen to the Music
14) Miike Snow: Black and Blue
15) OMC: How Bizarre
16) Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo child
17) Metric : Stadium Love

What I would Really Like to Play:

1)YACHT: Psychic City
2)Surfer Blood: Fast Jabroni
3)Best Coast: When I’m With You
4)Peter Bjorn and John: Amsterdam
5)Yeasayer: Ambling Alp
6)MillionYoung: Hammock
7)New Theory: Washed Out
8)Beach Fossils: Desert Sand
9)Strange Boys: Be Brave
10)The Ruby Suns: Cranberry
11)Dum Dum Girls: Jail La La
12) Spoon: Written in Reverse
13)The Sandwitches: Back To The Sea
14)Regina Spektor: That Time
15) The Soft Pack: C’mon
16) Passion Pit: Sleepyhead
17)Mayer Hawthorne: Your easy lovin’

Which song list should I go with?
Do you have any song suggestions?
Can you think of a better job than this?
Does ‘middle America’ read Gorilla VS Bear?
Will I get fired?

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MGMT: Oracular Spectacular and Neo-Psychedelia

MGMT's Oracular Spectacular 2008

MGMT's Oracular Spectacular 2008

Im thinkn’ that ‘neo-psychadelic’ is probably the most over used term in music today. Also heard that bands like, Grizzly Bear, Black Lips, Of Montreal and Animal Collective are neo-psych. Not sure what this means. None of these bands sound similar. Thinkn’ that ‘neo-psychadelic’ might just mean, ‘music that is better enjoyed while getting high’. Couldn’t this be all music?

High or not, I think that “Oracular Spectacular” is a pretty ‘buck’ cd. I think the song “Time to Pretend” might just be the “Baba-O’Riley” of our generation. Feel like both songs capture the essence of ‘youth’ and have an ‘electroish’ feel. Both songs kind of make me proud to be young, and excited for the near future.

(Time To Pretend)

(Baba O’Riley)

There is some Bob Dylan quote where he is giving this speech to all these young peeps and says,

Bob, probably thinkin bout youth...

Bob, probably thinkin bout youth...

“took me a long time to get young and now I consider myself young. And I’m proud of it. I’m proud that I’m young. And I only wish that all you people who are sitting out here today or tonight weren’t here and I could see all kinds of faces with hair on their head – and everything like that, everything leading to youngness, celebrating….Because you people should be at the beach. You should be out there and you should be swimming and you should be just relaxing in the time you have to relax. (Laughter) It is not an old peoples’ world. It is not an old peoples’ world. It has nothing to do with old people. Old people when their hair grows out, they should go out. (Laughter) And I look down to see the people that are governing me and making my rules – and they haven’t got any hair on their head – I get very uptight about it.”

It seems like Bob would ‘get’ MGMT. I’m not sure how he feels about electro or ‘neo-psychedelia’, but I think he would get their general message and tone. The whole ‘living for today’ type deal. Maybe its just because I’m young and am going through what should be an exciting year in my life, but this seemingly silly song about sex, drugs, youth, and adventure really gets to me.

I don’t think its coincidence that greats like Dylan and the Who discussed similar material. Youth is something that needs to be reveled in and appreciated. Kind of feelin’ bad for all the pre-med students of the world right now.

Anyways, I love this cd and the song. Also, I heard that “time to pretend” was originally about a mantis, via pitch4k. Think that’s pretty awesome. I like mantids. I want to hear that version now.

Can anyone better sum up neo-psychadelia?
Would Dylan like MGMT?
Does MGMT like Dylan?
Are mantids not marketable?

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