Tag Archive | MGMT

Video Clip Of The Week: MGMT, “Little Dark Age”

MGMT is a band that Geoffrey and I love so much, and feel so protective about, that we still pronounce its name “Management” just to be dicks. The Brooklyn-based neo-dance-by-way-of-surf-rock duo won me over back in 2007 with their phenomenal debut album, Oracular Spectacular, and its follow-up, Congratultions, which was my favorite album of 2010. So, it was kind of inevitable they they would fall from grace with a hard and painful thud by releasing a third album which was their own personal version of Metal Machine Music via an eponymous 2013 release that just sucked irredeemably. Yet somehow, the band ‘managed’ to not get booted from their sweet major label deal, and they are still around to be releasing a fourth album in early 2018 — yay! Today, we bring you the video for that hotly-anticipated album’s title track, “Little Dark Age.” As you will see, it was worth the wait.

Visually and thematically, “Little Dark Age” hearkens way back to the Golden Age of MTV, when bands still gave a shit about making videos that looked crazy while adding a backstory to the song. Here, we find vocalist Andrew VanWyngarden channeling his inner Robert Smith amid a cinematic music video (think: The Shining as directed by Ken Russell) featuring sinister and surreal vignettes of VanWyngarden, partner Ben Goldwasser and a supporting cast of band members and groupies having adventures in an around a spooky haunted house, all while being stalked by the figure of Death. Very scary! The video was directed by the capable team of David MacNutt and Nathaniel Axel. Aurally, “Little Dark Age” sounds like MGMT dug out their catalog of old Cure and Tubeway Army records and just went to town. High fives all around on this one.

“Little Dark Age” was produced by MGMT, Patrick Wimberly (Chairlift, Kelela, Blood Orange), and long-time collaborator Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Spoon, Tame Impala) who I still love most for his work with Mercury Rev.  Enjoy!

MGMT Litttle Dark Age Still
Andrew VanWyngarden Channels his Inner Robert Smith

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Video Clip of The Week: BØRNS,”Electric Love”



Greetings Glam Rockers! Let us imagine for a few minutes that is it still the early to mid-Seventies, and that the radio airwaves are alive with the sounds of new songs by Queen, ELP and the original band called Alice Cooper. Those were the days. If you remember that time as well as I do, you will agree that there is so much to love about this week’s video clip, “Electric Love” by the new American act, BØRNS, including an androgynous male vocalist, go-go girls in glow-in-the-dark, fringed outfits, flashing neon, psychedelic mandalas and a stone groove that just will not stop kicking ass.  Is it possible that BØRNS (AKA Garrett Borns) is the reincarnation of the late Marc Bolan? Yes, yes it is. Watch for the 2-Minute mark, when BØRNS actually transforms into the cover of the T Rex‘s Electric Warrior. I shit you not.

If you dig MGMT and Tame Impala this song will ring your bell a few times. Thanks in abundance to Geoffrey for turning me on to this artist and the accompanying resplendent video. Rock is Dead, They Say. Long Live Rock! Enjoy!

Borns Electric Love

Video Clip of The Week: Metronomy, “I’m Aquarius”

As the Sun moves officially into the Sign of Aquarius on January 20th, it’s wildly appropriate to post this truly visually groundbreaking video for “I’m Aquarius” from Britain’s modern pop act, Metronomy. This song speaks to me on one level because I, too, am an Aquarius. But more than this very catchy song that reminds of me of something you might hear from MGMT or Beck, the video itself is just ridiculously great. It’s like Kubrick’s 2001: a Space Odyssey in a four minute video. Insane. “I’m Aquarius” is from Metronomy’s upcoming new album, Love Letters, which will be released on March 11th, 2014 on Elektra Records (Yeah, Baby!). Enjoy!

Metronomy Love Letters Cover Art

Recommended Listening: Tame Impala, Lonerism

Tame Impala Lonerism

A couple of years ago, Geoffrey called me up one morning to babble enthusiastically about one of the approximately 300 bands he sees per year that he had seen the previous evening, an act he said was called Tim and Paula. “Tim and Paula,” I asked, “are they a folk duo?” G got a good laugh out of that before correcting me, “No, not Tim and Paula, Tame Impala!” And so it came to be that Tame Impala, an amazing psychedelic rock quartet from Australia, are known between Geoffrey and me now and forever as Tim and Paula.

The album that turned me on to this group is called Innerspeaker, and it surely would have been among my favorite CDs of 2010 had I heard it in time for it to make that year’s list. Sadly, I was a little late to the party. Still, I’ll always be grateful to Geoffrey for hipping me to one of the best new bands I’ve heard since MGMT breathed new life into my record collection with the release of its first album. Because, seriously, the last time I heard any music that I could say even remotely reminded me of the genius of The Beatles was when I heard Radiohead’s “Karma Police.” And that was a long time ago.

Tame Impala just released its sophomore album, Lonerism, and I can assure you it is currently vying for the number one position on this year’s Top 10 CDs list. Produced by vocalist Kevin Parker and mixed by the gifted Dave Friddman (best known for his work with Mercury Rev), Lonerism serves up a swirling vortex of aural bliss. Aside from the opening track, “Be Above It” – which sounds like the well-intentioned result of Tame Impala being hired to write a self-empowering commercial jingle for a brand of sneakers, every track on Lonerism lives up to all the hype that’s been circulating for the two years since Innerspeaker fractured skulls across the globe with its brilliance.

There is so much to love about this CD that it is almost impossible to contain my squeals of ecstatic delight. “Endors Toi” sounds like “Magical Mystery Tour” with Keith Moon on drums and “Apocalypse Dreams” is the kind of song I wish they’d played at the local roller skating rink I frequented as a pre-teen. “Music to Walk Home By” – which deserves an award for its title alone – comes as close to approximating an aural representation of the physical effects of hallucinogenic drugs as the most psychedelic Pink Floyd song. Parker’s voice may owe a heavy debt to reverb and a few hits off a tank of nitrous, but he really knows how to work it. I mean, check out “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” and tell me that the influence of John Lennon’s “Number Nine Dream” didn’t work its way in there at least subconsciously. Holy cow, what a great album.

It’s sad to think that kids today (did I really just type “kids today”?) will never know the incomparable joy of discovering a band like The Who or Queen while that band is still making new records (a joy that I got to experience first hand, having been born a million years ago), but anyone discovering Tame Impala’s Lonerism can read that sentence above and understand that hearing this album in 2012 creates, for me, a transcendent-bordering-on-religious experience comparable to how it felt listening to “Won’t Get Fooled Again” for the first time, on vinyl, back in the stone age. Album of The Year!

GRADE: A+

Tame Impala’s Lonerism is available now on Modular Recordings wherever fine music is procured.

Tame Impala 2010 Press Shot by Maciek Pozoga
Tame Impala 2012 Press Shot by Maciek Pozoga

Maurizio Cattelan’s All Retrospective at the Guggenheim

It was a few weeks ago now, back on November 11, 2011, that I had my first in person experience with Italian-born artist Maurizio Cattelan’s most unusual retrospective exhibit, All, when I visited the Guggenheim that Friday evening for a live performance by the very excellent pop band, MGMT. The band performed a tight, 45 minutes set of mostly instrumental new material specifically inspired by the 128 separate works now suspended from the ceiling oculus of the museum’s rotunda. The songs fell very much within the surf-psychedelia vein of MGMT’s well-loved sound with a bit of a soundtrack vibe befitting the evening’s experiencing in general. Also, gee whiz, but what a spectacularly hallucination-inducing light show they had! I’m still having flashbacks. Music! Art!

The following week I had to pay another visit to the museum to take in All once again, because when I was there for the MGMT show I had a beer in my hand and the Art Nazis (guards) wouldn’t let me go up past the second ramp with a beer. And you really do need to trek all the way to the top of the ramp to fully experience the innumerable subtle nuances of this exhibit, which literally reveals itself further and further at every turn. The time lapse video above shows the installation process by the museum staff, which will answer your most pressing questions about “just how they got that stuff up there.” See it while you can.

Maurizio Cattelan’s All is on Exhibit until January 22, 2012 at the Guggenheim, Located at Fifth Avenue and 89th Street. Museum hours are extended to 7:45 PM on Monday and Tuesday nights (from 5:45 PM on other days) from December 6, 2011 to January 17, 2012. More information is available at This Link.

Click on This Image to Enlarge

Gail’s Top 10 CDs of 2010!


I’ll say one thing about 2010: it was a better fucking year for new music here at the Chickpad.  Some of you might recall that when compiling my “Year End” list of 2009, I couldn’t even come up with ten CDs that I could admit to having listened to, let alone liked. That was weird, but what can I say? Today’s music just isn’t yanking my chain the way new records used to get me all hot and bothered, even as recently as, say, two or three years ago. Fans of the Rad Blog know that I wrote about Art and various facets of Pop Culture exponentially more often than I ever wrote about new music or bands that were turning me on. The times, they are a-changin. By semi-switching alliances from Music to Art I know I missed out on a lot, but I did discover ten aural gems this year that I think you should have in your record collection.

MGMT, Congratulations

I tagged the sophomore effort by Brooklyn’s MGMT as Album of the Year way back when it was first released at the beginning of 2010, and my mind hasn’t changed. In 2010, who else but MGMT is releasing albums crammed full of homages to surf music and Brian Eno? No one else, except maybe…

Mark Ronson & The Business, Record Collection

Everything old is new again! The thoroughly sublime and appropriately entitled Record Collection is the best album of 80s music in twenty-five years!

Posies, Blood Candy

Blood Candy proves that The Posies are the closest thing we’ll ever see to a second incarnation of The Beatles.

Cameron Meshell, Prizefighter

Shreveport, LA in 2010 is a very long way from London, England in the 70s, but that sleepy little town has nevertheless managed to spawn singer / songwriter / multi-instrumentalist Cameron Meshell, whose blissfully malleable vocals conjure the heady ghost of the late, great Freddie Mercury like no ouija board ever could. Discover Cameron Meshell at his finest on his knockout second full-length release, Prizefighter.

Gripweeds, Strange Change Machine

Best. Sixties. Revivalist. Band. Ever.

Ratt, Infestation

Shamelessly unapologetic worshipper of the 80s Metal that I am, if you’d told me last year that in 2010 I’d be putting an album by Ratt, Los Angles-based icons of Hair Metal, on my list of favorite CDs, even I would have laughed you off the face of the Earth. So no one was more surprised than me to hear Ratt, valiantly holding on to most of its original line up (RIP Robin Crosby), sounding as on top of the rock world as they did in 1987, serving up a collection of classic metal songs with more visceral sex appeal and crunchy, loud guitars than you could imagine. Someone tell me where these guys are hiding their time machine.

Hawkwind, Blood of the Earth

Hawkwind have been a band for longer than most people reading this have even been alive. I am not fronting when I say that the songs on Blood of The Earth will appeal to all genres of metal, prog and hard rock fans of bands as varied as Zodiac Mindwarp, Jimi Hendrix, The Pretty Things, Yes and Nine Inch Nails. Must own!

American Bang

Except for MGMT, southern rockers American Bang are the only “new” band on this list, because they kick ass and take names. I mean, don’t they just look like they rock? If I were 25 years old I’d be in the front row of their shows throwing my panties on the stage. Plus their bass player writes a food blog!

Robert Plant & The Band of Joy

This collection of Americana covers by rock god legend Robert Plant and his amazing Band of Joy makes the list because their magical show at the Bowery Ballroom this winter was the best show I attended all year. Led Zeppelin!

Bryan Ferry, Olympia

It’s about his voice. Olympia hasn’t exactly checked in as a critics’ favorite, but as far as I’m concerned, the former Roxy Music front man could sing a menu and I’d get on board.

How about you guys? Feel free to leave your top picks in the comments!

Top Ten Random Observances from Last Night’s MGMT Show at Radio City

Hurray for the Mr. Softee truck parked right across the street!

From the third mezzanine (thanks, Ticketmaster!) the band really did look like ants. It could have been anyone on that stage.

They charge $5 – Five Bucks – for a bottle of Coke in this place. Geez. At least they let you take it to your seat.

All female MGMT fans are between the ages of 18 and 23 and have straight, light to medium brown long hair. All of them. They are like Stepford fans, or something.

As stupid as I know I look when I dance in my seat because I am too lazy to stand up, the woman next to me, who resembled a Tyrannosaurus Rex trying to do the Robot (note new fake band name: Tyrannosaurus Robot) as she danced to “Electric Feel” wins the prize for most retarded dance moves ever! Ever!

Estimated percentage of MGMT fans in attendance who actually know who Brian Eno is and can name one of his albums: 3%.

Attention, all people with ants in their pants: If you have an assigned seat number, please stay in it. Please do not move seats every time someone with a seat one row closer to the stage gets up to go to the can. You are annoying and I get pleasure from making fun of you.

What is it with these dipshits who compulsively need to text and send emails all throughout the show like they can’t even possibly continue to live if they aren’t in continuous contact with their friends on FaceBook and Twitter? Guys, get with the vibe of the music and pretend it’s the Seventies, when this techy shit didn’t even exist. And get a life while you’re at it.

If you light a match in the Ladies Room behind closed stall doors, the Radio City Toilet Police will come storming into the john and loudly threaten anyone with ears that, “If you are smoking in here, you will be kicked out!” Jesus lady, it was just a courtesy match. If you knew better, you would be glad I lit it.

As we battled our way back out onto the sidewalk after the show, a random MGMT fan tapped me on the shoulder and asked if she could take a picture with me, because she likes “Pink People” and not because she recognized me as a world-famous blogger. Just being serious. I enjoyed the attention, but am unsure if she was able to get my pink Chuck Taylor’s in the frame, because honestly, they would have made  the shot.

Read Geoffrey’s legitimate critical review of the show – complete with set list and pictures taken from a hundred miles away from the stage – at This Link.

MGMT "It's Working" Video!

Geoffrey and I are seeing these guys tonight at Radio City! So excited!

Album of the Year: MGMT’s Congratulations!

OK, I realize it’s not even April yet, but I’m predicting now that there will be no better album released in the year 2010 than MGMT’s sophomore release, Congratulations; due to drop officially on April 13th. Downloads of Congratulations first leaked all over the Internet weeks ago, so of course this work of sheer aural bliss found its way to me, as things of great genius tend to do. Being blessed with a pair of old-school rock and roll ears, these nine heavily 60s and 70s influenced tracks appealed to me on first listen. Yes, this album is a massive departure from the dense electro-pop of Oracular Spectacular – which was my favorite album of 2008. And in this case, change is good.

According to the band, the songs on Congratulations were primarily inspired by surfing. That much is obvious from the opening track, “It’s Working” which draws heavily from classic surf instrumentals by The Ventures and Dick Dale. Ah, simply sublime. There’s a pervading sense of psychedelia throughout the CD as well, which reminded me early on of Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, The Lovin’ Spoonful and, to name a more contemporary influence, Israeli rockers Rock Four (recommended: check out their 2007 release Memories of The Never Happened, which is just amazing). There is even an homage to Brian Eno. Brian Fucking Eno, I shit you not. Track Listing for Congratulations is as follows:

1. “It’s Working”
2. “Song for Dan Treacy”
3. “Someone’s Missing”
4. “Flash Delirium”
5. “I Found a Whistle”
6. “Siberian Breaks”
7. “Brian Eno”
8. “Lady Dada’s Nightmare”
9. “Congratulations”

A lot of people whose taste is all in their mouths are whining about how this album sucks because it doesn’t sound like nine different versions of “Kids,” but they can all go fuck themselves because MGMT’s Congratulations is the best album of the year!

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Gail's Top Ten Favorite CDs of 2008!

2008 wasn’t the worst year for music. I managed to find ten CDs I really like. These are them.

Gail’s Top Ten Favorite CDs of 2008

1.    MGMT, Oracular Spectacular

2.    Sloan, Parallel Play

3.    Hugh Cornwell, Hoover Dam

4.    Weezer, The Red Album


5.    The Verve, Forth


6.    Secret Machines

7.    Bigelf, Cheat the Gallows

8.    Robert Pollard is Off to Business

9.    Starflyer 59, Dial M

10.    Opeth, Watershed