Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Middle MGMT

The story of Brooklyn, NY's MGMT (pronounced "management") is that of two friends who consciously opted to cash in instead of packing it in. In 2002, while studying music at a nowhere university in nowhere, Connecticut, Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser formed a "band" - an electronic rock two-piece whose first gig consisted of a never-ending rendition of the theme to Ghostbusters in a dorm room.

In the half-decade that has passed, the duo have come from playing music for their own amusement, to almost playing none at all, to forming a full band and touring with the likes of Of Montreal and the Fiery Furnaces, to shamelessly signing to Columbia records. Their debut album, Oracular Spectacular, was released this winter in the US and hits Canada January 22nd of the new year.

Produced by Flaming Lips' go-to guy Dave Fridmann, Oracular blends elements of electro, prog rock, experimental/indie and disco. Each of the 10 tracks have an entirely unique flavour, and one can assume that their list of influences might read like a detailed history of a Syd Barrett-inspired generation.

The obvious stand-out track is the first one. Time to Pretend kicks off the album with a flashy combination of crunchy bass, an impossible-to-ignore keyboard hook, and lyrics which display their tongue-in-cheek viewpoint on life as a rock star. Time to Pretend has single-handedly landed the band on the "top artist to watch in 2008" radar for Rolling Stone and others, and recently found itself in Pitchfork's top 100 songs of 2007, released late last week.

Other highlights include Weekend Wars, whose vocals rip a page from Ziggy Stardust, the undeniable disco-funk of Electric Feel, and the synth-rock gem Kids.

MGMT kicks off their North-American tour with a.m.p.m's latest discovery, Yeasayer, January 16th and includes a stop at the El Mocambo in Toronto on February 9th.

MGMT - Time to Pretend
MGMT - Electric Feel
MGMT - Kids

- bbbykmbrly.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

nice find. time to pretend is ace.

Anonymous said...

Wesleyan isn't exactly a nowhere university.

Anonymous said...

Agreed--MGMT's story is unique and improbable enough, no need to play down their very respectable college origins.