Playlist: MGMT’s “Brian Eno” and Other Weird Musical Shout-Outs

Amy Rose Spiegel :: Wednesday, April 28th, 2010 11:40 am

On their new album, Congratulations, MGMT pays a rather strange quasi-homage to the mack daddy of ambient music, Brian Eno.  The song, aptly titled “Brian Eno,” was described in this way by band member Andrew VanWyngarden:

“It’s kind of a vampire-punk-rock song about finding Brian Eno in like a cathedral in Transylvania. He’s like a dark wizard. We originally asked him to produce the track, but he hadn’t heard of us.”

“Dark wizards” were chiefly characterized by their ability to create pleasant, minimalist music?  I have to brush up on my fantasy stories, I guess, because I don’t remember anything that sounded like Another Green World in the Harry Potter movies.

This bizarre tribute got me to thinking about some of the other questionable shout-outs that have been done in song.  Here’s a brief list of my favorites. MORE »


News, Tour

MGMT to Perform on ‘Live On Letterman’ + More Tour Dates

Nick Nicoludis :: Tuesday, April 27th, 2010 2:40 pm

MGMT, who will be out on the road this summer promoting their second album Congratulations, are slated to appear on the “Live On Letterman” music series, which will broadcast online from the Ed Sullivan Theater. The webcast will take place Tuesday May 11th, at 8pm EST via, and will air before the group’s appearance on the “Late Show with David Letterman” later that same night. MGMT’s live performance will be shown via the Late Show’s webpage, over CBS radio and will be available on-demand from a slew of different websites. Click through for more details. MORE »



MGMT: Congratulations

Shannon Hassett :: Wednesday, April 14th, 2010 12:15 pm

Congratulations is an album of parts: part letdown and part refreshing; part success and part failure. It’s sort of like life out of college, and MGMT has certainly graduated from 2007′s pregame friendly Oracular Spectacular. The first minute of nearly every track sounds promising, but whether it will continue on solidly or delineate into a trying 12-minute melodrama is quite the tossup. “I Found a Whistle” works, as does “Congratulations” and “Songs for Dan Treacy.” Let’s just say “Lady Dada’s Nightmare” was appropriately titled, and “Brian Eno” failed to live up to its namesake; “Siberian Breaks” is worth the listen if you can make it to the five minute mark. Go in with no expectations and you will enjoy this record. Their work with Spacemen 3′s Sonic Boom easily makes itself known, and the band’s willingness to depart from the formula that brought them to fruition deserves to be commended, insultingly ugly cover art and all.



MGMT To Begin Spring/Summer Tour

Amy Rose Spiegel :: Wednesday, April 7th, 2010 12:35 pm

MGMT are soon kicking off a tour in support of their forthcoming album, Celebration.  Beginning April 12, it includes dates at summer music festivals Lollapalooza and Bamboozle.  They’re pretty excellent live, so this is a tour worth coming out for.  For you hipsters who actually like to dance, dates are below: MORE »



MGMT Releases Video for “Flash Delirium”

Shannon Hassett :: Tuesday, March 30th, 2010 2:45 pm

Pitchfork is all up in arms about how “batshit” the new MGMT video ended up being. Really, Pitchfork? It’s certainly Adams Family meets Twin Peaks. It features a ton of old people, a bald veteran in army fatigues and ventriloquist dummies — all elements we’ve come to know as creepy. There’s some seriously phallic renegade medical procedures and Andrew VanWyngarden looks beyond bored for the duration of the video, but “pure absurdity” it is not. It’s possible to piece together a loose and uninspiring plot if so desired, but why? Is it not enough that the pair even took the time to make a video in this age of constantly leaking albums, one in which Gaga’s Tarantino attempting “Telephone” passes as art? A friend sent me this last week raving about how moving she found it. The song is beautiful; the video is literally nauseating and only appealing to someone who just got dumped (sorry, friend). “Flash Delirium” may not musically be the MGMT of yesteryear, but as a video, it contains all the necessary elements for video success. I’d rather watch a group of geezers do the electric slide than ponder the meaning of life a la Nate Vernon (and 2200 shots from a DSLR pieced together ad nauseum) any day. MGMT’s new album, Congratulations, is out on April 13 or is available in its entirety as a free stream here.


Should I Listen?

Jonsi Covers MGMT’s “Time To Pretend”

Amy Rose Spiegel :: Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 5:00 pm

Here is a beautiful cover of MGMT’s “Time To Pretend” by Jonsi, lead singer of Sigur Ros and amazing artist in his own right.  It’s replete with gorgeous piano and the most endearing accent this side of Iceland.

Check out our recent exclusive video interview with Jonsi here.



MGMT Dedicate Gig To Alex Chilton

Colm McAuliffe :: Friday, March 19th, 2010 1:54 pm

MGMT’s comeback gig at London’s Heaven venue last night was dedicated to the late Big Star frontman Alex Chilton who died this week at the age of 59.  Towards the climax of the comeback show, which saw the band preview tracks from their second album Congratulations, singer Andrew VanWyngarden paid tribute to the songwriter and frontman before embarking on new track “It’s Working”. Tributes have been coming thick and fast for Chilton, whom apparently was cutting his lawn when he suddenly collapsed and died. MORE »


Music Videos

Music Video: Devendra Banhart “Baby”

Nick Nicoludis :: Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 4:40 pm

Looking more like Guy Fawkes, Devendra Banhart’s new video for his peppy love song “Baby” is a sort of mystery. The song is lighthearted and happy, melding complex vocal harmonies and trotting guitar arpeggios that aren’t found in many of his world-weary folk numbers. This video however is an enigma; featuring Fabrizio Moretti of the Strokes, the GZA and Andrew VanWyngarden of MGMT. The group happily stroll together down sunny streets, until some giant cigarette filter looking thing comes and sweeps them up. At this point, I couldn’t really figure out what the hell was going on, and I was even more confused when the cylinder container entered some kind of butt-hole looking thing. I mean, maybe I’m imagining it but I think that is what it looks like. Guess who is the king of the butt-hole/mysterious orifice creatures: GZA. The song is great, and I could see myself listening to it a lot, but what the hell is going on with this video? Watch it after the jump and relay your thoughts on the mysterious orifice. MORE »


Today In Music

Today in Music

Shannon Hassett :: Thursday, March 11th, 2010 5:45 pm

Barbershop Punk is premiering at SXSW and looks like the coolest documentary ever.

Frightened Rabbit got mad at Pitchfork, and so have a lot of other bands, apparently.

Band of Horses is touring with Pearl Jam. Huh?

Kid Cudi, MGMT and Ratatat made a second video for “Pursuit of Happiness.”

Not music, but easily the best thing I’ve read all week. Long live NPR.


Today In Music

Today in Music

Shannon Hassett :: Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 5:45 pm

A reunited Faith No More will play the first concert in the Williamsburg waterfront summer series.

Will Sheff of Okkervil River interviews Roky Erickson about the pair’s forthcoming album.

Sunny Day Real Estate will record a new album in May. (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

A free download of the new MGMT single “Flash Delirium” is now available.

A Russian metal band captures its love for Gorbachev (and twinkies).



Today In Music

Colm McAuliffe :: Thursday, March 4th, 2010 3:30 pm

I’m The Ham Who Loves You: You can now eat Wilco sandwiches

Portishead and Goldfrapp come together for Joan Of Arc soundtrack

MGMT are asking fans to locate them

Devendra Banhart announces tour dates

Keith Richards denies that he is sober

The legendary Pere Ubu bring “Pere Ubu - The Spectacle” to Le Poisson Rouge



MGMT Unveil Album Cover for Congratulations

Amy Laviero :: Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 5:10 pm

Last week we posted the track listing for MGMT’s upcoming album, Congratulations, and today we give you the spectacular album cover which was unveiled earlier today.

The duo commissioned artist Anthony Ausgang, who is known for his “lowbrow” artwork depicting cartoon characters. They gave him a short description of what they were looking for, but left it up to him to create the piece. Some blogs are referring to it as the worst album cover they’ve ever seen, but I kind of love it.


Boingboing recently conducted an interview with Ausgang where he addresses his thoughts on Lowbrow and Pop Surrealism art, and explains how he met up with MGMT. MORE »



Fashion Police Arrest MGMT

Shannon Hassett :: Thursday, February 4th, 2010 4:40 pm

How’s this for irritating: Joan Rivers chastising MGMT’s wardrobe at the Grammy Awards. Opinions on talent aside, there’s only so much pick-on-the-little-guy a person can take, and that’s where I draw my line. Rivers is a nutcase, but she knows that, and I have always withheld from criticizing her on those grounds; the woman built her career around being a bitch, and in Hollywood, that’s good enough to earn you some credit. I’m not quite sure why E! deemed the Grammys worthy of an episode of its Fashion Police (Joan Rivers, Giuliana Rancic, Jay Emanuel and Khloe Kardashian), usually reserved for red carpet titans like the Oscars and Golden Globes, but I don’t think anyone could have expected the results to be pretty. MORE »



Newest Fad in Band Names: Rainbows

Nick Nicoludis :: Thursday, January 28th, 2010 5:00 pm

It is always interesting when new trends in band names arise. We can all remember the ‘bear’ trend (see: Panda Bear, Grizzly Bear, Bear Hands). There was also the ‘black’ trend with acts like The Black Kids, Black Keys, Black Lips, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Also, how could we forget the ‘zany spelling’ trend that encompasses acts like Wavves, Lovvers and MGMT.  Now we are in the dawning of a new era in band name fads but, this time it is something a little different: rainbows. MORE »