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Topics - lala

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MGMT / Nick Alexander and a message from the fans
« on: November 15, 2015, 01:00:15 PM »

Nick and Polina Buckley

By now you've all read the heartbreaking news that friend of the band, Nick Alexander was one of the victims at Le Bataclan.  Nick worked Merch for MGMT and was doing the same for EODM on Friday night in Paris.  A memorial account has been set up.

A message from the fund's creator Miguel Benavides can be read below...
Nick Alexander Memorial Fund
About this fund: My initial goal for this find was to benefit my friend in the most direct way that was calling to me. I personally want to help his family. Two things happened: we reached a significant amount quickly, and our extended tour family pointed out a basic rule of the road: we take care of our own, even the ones we don't personally know. Taking this to heart, we are converting this fund to taking care of more than just Nick.
My role: I am in Los Angeles, CA. I started this because, after 24 hours, I noticed that no one else had, and I wanted to do something that felt productive and positive. I have already spoken with an entertainment attorney who many of you know, and we have already spoken to tax counsel about the best way to set up this fund. It's a weekend, so we will get more info on this as the week progresses.
If this isn't the right time for you to make a donation - please know we hear you, we understand.
Today or tonight raise a glass to the memory of Nick Alexander a guy doing a simple job of touring with a band and selling t-shirts going new places and making new friends. Last night, he ended his journey in a small theater in Paris along with many others who's lives were cut short by hate, by misguided religion, by ignorance.
Here is to you my friend may you and the others from this tragic event find peace...

From MGMT's fans:  We are all heartbroken over the loss of Nick.  He and his family along with the others who were at Le Bataclan on Friday are in our thoughts and prayers.  The French fans have always been among MGMT's biggest supporters and no doubt many of their long time fans were in attendance on Friday.  Their lives will be forever changed.  I can report that our dear Coralie was there and is safe.  I hope that others will post and let us know that they are alright. 

Many of us keep in touch, even during this "down time" while the boys are writing.  We were immediately in contact on Friday night.  Of course as soon as we heard "Bataclan," we thought of MGMT and their French fans.  Coralie let us know right away that she had escaped and was safe with her family. We were all brought together by our love of the music and everything for which MGMT stands.    Peace to all of you. --lala and the CKs

MGMT / Trailer for Land Of The Midnight Sun (Surf movie starring Andrew)
« on: October 28, 2015, 12:25:02 AM »
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MGMT / Record Store Day 11/27/15!!!
« on: October 01, 2015, 01:05:08 PM »
Hey MGMT fans and admirers of the band MGMT!
Yes, it has been a while since you've heard a peep from our "camp," but that's mostly 'cause we just don't really peep a lot when we're camping. Pack out what you pack in, you know? Everything is going and going pretty swell though, and we have some exciting news to share:
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of our first ever official release, Cantora Records will be re-releasing the 2005 MGMT Time To Pretend EP on glow-in-the-dark vinyl for Record Store Day, November 27th!!
That's right! All 6 tracks have been carefully and fancily re-mastered to further enhance and amplify the antiqued crevices of the post-collegiate bright-eyed doe-eyed golden glory that is the 2005 Time To Pretend EP. Hear early versions of some of your fave MegaMT songs:
"Time to pretend"? It's on there, obviously. "Kids"? You betcha. But also prepare for some fun and bizarre MGMT tracks that have never appeared on vinyl *AND MAYBE NEVER WILL.
here's a (mutated) tracklist:
1) Tome to Proton
2) Bogie Dawn
3) Destrickt
4) Uggs Alwiz Retain
5) Intel Rokkers
6) Keds
Please dig out a functioning record album player from your grandfather's garbage pile so you can play this EP!!! See where it takes you!
See where it will Be, here:
Goo pick up the Time To Pretend EP and lots of other goodies from other bands on Record Store Day, November 27!
*all 6 songs do appear to be on this vinyl release.
actual tracklist: 1) Time To Pretend 2) Boogie Down 3) Destrokk 4) Love Always Remains 5) Indie Rokkers 6) Kids


MGMT / Ben and Andrew involved in art installation soundtrack
« on: September 11, 2015, 08:56:17 PM »
Jennifer Herrema Enlists Kurt Vile, MGMT, Hot Chip, More For Installation Soundtrack

Artist duo Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe asked Herrema, frontwoman of Black Bananas, to curate the immersive soundtrack

Jennifer Herrema, frontwoman of Black Bananas and formerly of Royal Trux, recently curated a group of artists for an immersive soundtrack to be used in artist duo Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe's new installation at Red Bull Studios in New York-- an interactive installation called "Scenario in the Shade". The installation debuts September 12 and will run through December 6.
"Scenario in the Shade" features a series of rooms that visitors can wander through while enjoying a soundtrack provided by the different artists on Herrema's soundtrack, which features Devendra Banhart, Kurt Vile, Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor, Gang Gang Dance's Lizzi Bougatsos, Brian McKinley and Neil Hagerty (her partners from Royal Trux), RTX and the Black Bananas, MGMT's Benjamin Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden, Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie, OFF!'s Mario Rubalcaba, and others.
The installation was designed to give visitors a glimpse of the youth cultures of San San International, a fictional city that "sits somewhere between San Diego and San Juan".
According to the New York Times, the display includes everything from "a Moroccan-themed, sunken living room fit for a bachelor pad and a Victorian space complete with a player piano and shelves of jars filled with random books and magazine pages" to an exit through "a modified Port-a-Potty" that lands in "the San San International courtroom; it’s situated next to a deli/arcade/performance area" where Herrema and a few of the contributors will play. “The soundtrack is completely integral,” Herrema told the Times. “Basically it will guide through these scenarios that there will be multiple intentions. Because we can make a mix for every day of the week, and you would feel differently about the space.”

Jennifer of course sang backing vocals on Flash Delirium 

MGMT / Our birthday wishes for Will 2015
« on: July 21, 2015, 01:31:09 PM »
Will, I hope that you have an amazing day with people that you love.
Thanks for being such a sweetheart

MGMT / Andrew on Wesley Stace’s Cabinet of Wonders: The Podcast
« on: May 28, 2015, 02:39:11 AM »
Wesley Stace’s Cabinet of Wonders: The Podcast

If variety is the spice of life, April’s Cabinet of Wonders, the first podcast, is the spiciest yet.

In which the show must and does go on! Imagine, if you will, a world where Southside Johnny, the godfather of the New Jersey Sound, shares a bill with Andrew VanWyngarden, lead singer of MGMT: only in the Cabinet! Andrew sings the MGMT classic “I Love You Too, Death” along with covers of beautiful psych by Les Baroques and the Brazda Brothers, while Southside sings us “Hearts of Stone”, written of course by Bruce Springsteen. The meat in the Southside/MGMT sandwich was another great New Jersey poet, your ex-Poet Laureate, Robert Pinsky, with The English UK backing him on “Antique”. The assembled company then join for a celebratory, valedictory rendition of Kevin Ayer’s “Religious Experience.” (WARNING: contains excellent harmonica playing.)

MGMT / MGMT Laser shows at Carnegie Science Center
« on: May 12, 2015, 06:22:39 PM »
If you're in the Pittsburg area, you can check out the MGMT laser show at the Carnegie Science Center! 

This Grammy award-winning duo has played with world-class artists such as Radiohead, The Flaming Lips, Beck, and Paul McCartney. Now, Laser MGMT comes to the Buhl Planetarium dome in dazzling laser light. The show features a selection of songs from each of their albums and explores the depths of their imagery.

The shows are currently scheduled daily now through September 5

MGMT / Our birthday wishes for Matt 2015
« on: March 10, 2015, 12:55:53 PM »
Matt we love you so much!  This is totally my fault.  I've been really, really ill and I dropped the ball.  We all adore you and wish you the happiest birthday surrounded by all of the people who make you smile!!

MGMT / Our Birthday Wishes for Andrew, 2015
« on: January 25, 2015, 02:06:16 AM »
I can't attempt anything cute.  I am trying to avoid going to the hospital-but Andrew...I hope you have a wonderful day filled with more laughter and love than you can handle.  I want to say thank you for everything, but you're the word man.  Mine would be sorely inadequate when I'm at my very best.  So I won't try to be clever or cute, I just want to say thank you for making such beautiful music and reopening the world to me.  :-*  Happy birthday

Music / Shaky knees festival ATL
« on: January 14, 2015, 06:26:00 PM »
We're putting together a little forum group for this  8)

MGMT / Our Birthday Wishes for Ben, 2014
« on: December 11, 2014, 02:53:59 AM »

I hope you're having a smashing birthday Ben!  I wish that I could mix a delicious Mint Julep for you on your special day

Thanks for everything this's been exactly one year for me since my diagnoses, and the news today was not what I wanted to hear, but I'm so very grateful for the wonderful memories that you guys gave me-in a million years, I couldn't have dreamt it.  Cheers to you today, with love, lala

MGMT / Blikk Fang is finally happening! (Andrew and Kevin Barnes)
« on: October 29, 2014, 09:53:00 AM »
Wow so after a five yearish (I think) tease, this project is actually happening!!!

Polyvinyl Records will be including a 7” single from Blikk Fang (Andrew VanWyngarden & Kevin Barnes from of Montreal) as part of this year’s 4 Track Singles Series. This single will be pressed on colored vinyl, limited to 1,000 copies and only available to those who subscribe to the series. Get the full details at:

MGMT / Bazaar Teens featuring original prints by Andrew
« on: October 23, 2014, 01:52:04 PM »

The work is now for sale.  Check it out at the above link!

BAZAAR TEENS happened September 23rd 2104 for the 1st time When the teens hosted a two weeklong art show in a retail space in the east village of New York City font titled after one of the magazines featured in the teens’ collective memory of magazines, presented large-scale paintings and small-scale paintings on canvas on wood on other surfaces including walls and bricks and smaller works and photographs and paper closely related to the teens’ understanding of the war on terror and other terrors (9/11-ongoing). The BAZAAR TEEN projects insecurity with value, insecurity w/ seeing (selfies and glasses!), hand motions that project ambiguity and sounds that are also ambigious. BAZAAR TEENS was begun with the ISIS beheading of James Foley who in declarative sentences for example said All in All I Wish I Wasn’t America (but I am Amercia) and thinks about on internet anticapital affirmations about internet people (“Internet Are The Root Of All Evil”) and continues today with various other objects works thoughts and words assigned to different sections of BAZAAR TEENS dot COM where intelligible yet not reducible to a simplistic meaning is the Teens’ thoughts ’bout supernatural, theoretical and praxis—What Is a Girl?
The works are titled after the manner of the artist’s discretion and is inscribed on them in an index or show catalogue that was never actually made because the Teens are about talking and not doing, when it comes down to it. Because the Teens are aware that the people who accomplish what they set out to accomplish—have forethought, cunning and so on—are sociopathic. Having goals is sociopathic etc
The works referencing James Foley and the smaller works referencing Golfing Obama, golf, and Princess peach and Evanston IL. In a short video the teens set footage of Obama golfing over an image of Princess Peach weeping (Astraea, innocence also Persephone the teens are not well equipped in their allusive ambition ) and to the right on the screen driving footage of Evanston IL. IA Richards theory of metaphor literally applied. BAZAAR TEENS project was created “to interact with propaganda/value/meaning/politics” at the level of the “the internet mixed message,” where people say two or three things at the same time” this is irony, which the Teens like as well as jokes. The paintings in BAZAAR TEENS bear little paint. One is composed of holes by Andy Cahill. Carefully arranged. Another is a skewed flag. Another painting is actually a picture printed onto peg board. An out of focus pyramid scene into which pegs have been placed by Artist Daniel Kent on which have been hung various objects—a fly swatter, a DVD, a bottle cap—each item, in focus functioning slogan-like in a way that is at times decipherable, and at others obscured by the gestural abstraction of the entirety of the gestures, the show included.
Some words about the show are clearly decipherable yet unintelligible, such as Why is it the stuff parents say isnt make snse. The text is inscribed in white lettering with heavy weight accents over red bright paint on the top half of a postcard that served for a long time as the show text. The bottom half of the card featured the featured artists in the BAZAAR.
Elsewhere are puns that work visually but not aurally. For example, the viewer of BABY FED (food agent), will recognize “Duchamp” as the visual mother of “the half piece sculpture pegboard,” but then realize another aspect of the work the faux cracked glass of the Bachelor (because it is reprinted badly as a photographic picture) is doubled by the cracked glass of an iPhone screen on the obverse side which bears a critical text written by artist Mike Caputo who also has in the show a piece that references the piece being discussed. Hanging from the cracked glass side of the work are crunch candy bars, krackle candy bars. On the Duchamp side of the piece into which a peg has been inserted into the peg board hang pictures of the complete bride stripped bare by her bachelors piece hang Gerber Baby Spoons, literally spoon feeding the viewer The Art History Joke. A richard prince print hangs opposite this work, beneath a picture of richard prince taken by a fan at a richard prince book signing. The picture isn’t particularly well photographed. Prince is centered in the frame. The image is watermarked with a line of copyright, black text, which sits beneath Prince’s pocked and bulbous schnoz defaces prince’s face a la LHOOQ These visual puns, not present in the title, are not clearly legible within the works either; on the contrary, they belong to where the overall effect is closer to gestural abstraction, as is the case with the two other phtoographs in the show, the Heads placed on Teen stars bodies, photoshopped decapitations.
The same variations can be observed in the performance video, the decapitated child’s vanity, with INDIGNATION veering toward almost total abstraction A Blonde Girl in Leather Jumper Putting Sticks On Hot Dogs,
The teens state that the “primary interest is the visual aspect of language as performance of value, intention and desire to be other, and that this is vanity and ego.” Here the head is lost, the mabrles are lost and sunk in head.  traces of the body’s action on losing its head losing its language losing its ability to use  language in present in the physical act of speaking to Speak Oneself Out of Danger, the failure to communicate meaningfully what one means before one days ALL IN ALL I WISH I WASNT AMERICAN
Who dropped those bombs that killed all those people John? The works blur the already ambiguous and absurd ISIS message, the humor present in the words often deformed by pictorial gestures. Additional objects such as Teddy Ruxpin displayed on specifically designed plastic buckets made to interfere with the stairs and disrupt the visitors’ sense of nostalgia. The head of the ISIS cow hangs above the stairs above a fake brick wall, labels are nowhere to be found. This is the mischievous way of conflating commodity, language, nation and abstract expressionism into one container.

The Show / First time in Peru!!! Lima Nov. 4
« on: September 22, 2014, 04:09:47 PM »

SUNDAY, SEP 7, 2014 08:00 PM EDT
Before it was cool: What I learned at the hipster sex party
The place was so hip even the guy from MGMT was there. But were we liberated and free? I guess so.


What follows is my best reconstruction of the events of a party that took place in 2003 on the campus of Wesleyan University, one of the most hipster colleges in America. It’s a good illustration of certain facets of hipster culture. It involves a minor brush with fame. My memory, like everyone else’s, is fallible, so some of my recollections are probably inaccurate. Corrections may be kindly addressed to Benjamin Winterhalter, The South Pole.

There she was, seated in a comically large plush chair, which was no doubt some trophy the hipsters had claimed from a Nickelodeon set (or some such) during one of their bizarre hazing rituals, the girl who’d invited me back to her dorm room to listen to Radiohead and sip organic tea. I had not previously been aware that “organic-vs.-inorganic” was a meaningful distinction when it came to tea. It’s a life of learning.

She was holding a plastic wine glass, whose contents she’d managed to spill on her treacherously short pink dress, and chatting with several boys at once, holding court and looking pleased with herself, laughing at their jokes exaggeratedly, or possibly at her own, it was impossible to hear over the music.

A friend of mine had pledged the frat that fall but backed out when he got the annual Pledge Task List, a hyper-secret document whose contents were known only to a select few. Its campus-wide reputation, however, was for being, and my friend confirmed that in fact it was, “just really weird.” Like what? He wasn’t supposed to say, but just to give me a small taste, if I promised not to repeat, the first command was “steal us something cool.” The imagination leaps from there, tries to conjure weirdness in excess of weirdness, wonders how illegal things get at Item No. 8. Certainly great marketing, albeit for a pretty esoteric brand.

This was their annual Sex Party. Most of the girls were in their underthings, the most scandalous ones they owned, retrieved from the bottoms of university-supplied dresser drawers and modeled for roommates beforehand, probably while pre-gaming with shots of Goldschläger, which was, for reasons that still elude me, very popular that year. Others came in corsets and thigh-high fishnets; latex fetish-wear that I found it shocking to learn an 18-year-old could possess; at least one in just her panties with masking tape Xs over her nipples; and plenty in short-cut bathrobes or teddies. “Treacherously short pink dress” was, in fact, a relatively chaste selection for the occasion. Guys were mostly in just boxer shorts, no shirts, though some of the gay men wore very form-fitting briefs, a few with silly accouterments like suspenders or fedoras.


It’s the sort of occasion that brings to mind the expression “the rumors are true.” Almost no one has actual sex at the party — though I suppose the rules are somewhat ambiguous about how to count members of this “hipster frat,” who could, of course, just go upstairs — but a number get very close and I’ve heard rumors. I’ve also been told that people do coke in the bathrooms. Most people, though, just get wasted, dance very dirty with people they half-know, and then at some point after 2 a.m. wander off, leaning drunkenly against each other as they careen down the sidewalk half-naked, probably intending to finish the scene in their bedrooms.

The first DJ that night was playing cheesy trance, the thump-a-thump-a kind with long beatless passages during which it’s unclear what an appropriate dance would look like. If the group in which I found myself is any authority on the subject, the answer may be “gyrating in slow motion while making wavy gestures with one’s arms.” My impression was that the crowd wasn’t particularly keen on the music selection — it certainly seemed like a bafflingly unhip choice to me — but no one was going to let that spoil their fun, the mostly-nude partygoers were on the dance floor just the same. Maybe it was supposed to be ironic, everyone joked.

There were strobe lights, disco balls, streamers everywhere, sex toys and condoms and dental dams — who uses dental dams? — guilelessly taped to the walls. The nominal political themes were “sex-positive feminism” and “queer pride” and just plain old “sexual liberation,” though the motivation for supplying these rather obviously euphemistic labels was fairly obscure. Hi, yes, is this Trent Lott? Sir, I thought you should be informed that some college students are having a sex-positive-feminism and queer-pride and general-sexual-liberation party, seems like they mean business, maybe we’d better reconsider.

At some point, the flow of music was interrupted and a number of hipsters emerged, some of them sporting their ordinary Dior T-shirts and women’s jeans, in apparent defiance of the party’s undressed code (a move that may have been intended to communicate “I’m sexy just like this”). They constructed an impromptu catwalk, I believe out of wooden crates. A kid who looked like he’d washed his hair with stale beer announced that there was to be a cross-dressing fashion show, to support the trans community, of course. Candidly, I do not remember much about it — believe me, I would tell you — except that I felt socially obligated to whoop and applaud for the various performers, not that I wouldn’t have, and that the best-received was a tall, muscular man in very well executed blond drag, purple feather boa and all.

When the music did not resume soon enough after the show, I got bored and decided to wander out onto the balcony, as did many others. I fell into a conversation with a group of girls wearing black corsets, who’d journeyed all the way from a neighboring college for the sole purpose of attending this party. They were mystified. I told them I was too. In the distance, leaning against the wrought iron of the fire escape in a pair of hunter-green boxer shorts, one still-Chuck Taylor’d foot propped against the railing, I saw a guy I recognized from my Russian literature class. His skinny frame must have been cold in the late-September air.

He was the type who actually wore an ironic John Deere hat most places he went, along with flannel shirts and ripped jeans. I might be making this next part up, but I also seem to recall that he owned a pair of aviator shades. He had been dating another girl in our class, a freckle-faced redhead with Coke-bottle-thick grandma glasses, the type who usually wore neutral-colored T-shirts and corduroys to class. We’d read Turgenev’s “First Love,” along with some lit. theory article by (I want to say) Mikhail Bakhtin. We were having the sort of meandering discussion that my professor seemed to like best, with long excursions about his time working for the Soviet government and regular tie-ins to works of popular culture, whose dialectical relationship to the novel would only become clear at the end and even then usually seemed a little tenuous. We’d somehow gotten from a scene in “First Love” to some point of Bakhtin’s to an unrepeatable Soviet story involving stolen copy machines to “Kill Bill, Vol. 2,” which I hadn’t seen, and our respective impressions of it. He, John Deere hat, raised his hand.

Now, he and his girl usually sat right next to each other, probably even passed love notes back and forth, or at any rate snarky comments about the rest of us, but today they’d situated themselves on opposite sides of the desk-circle. After he’d finished his spiel about “Kill Bill,” she snorted audibly. “Jesus!” she yelled, stunning everyone with her volume, including the professor, who craned his neck to see what would happen next. “You think you’re so smart. Why don’t you go cry in your room and listen to Modest Mouse, asshole?” She got up and left.

Yet there he was, not a week later, neither crying nor listening to Modest Mouse. I watched him retrieve a smoke from a pack of American Spirits, which, pocketless, he’d decided to tuck into one of his socks. He lighted it, then turned his head wistfully to the side as he exhaled. He was alone and seemed to want to be. I wondered if she, the now-ex-girlfriend, had been the author of a student editorial I’d read in the campus newspaper that week. The writer, a Miss Regatta Summer II, Class of ’05, ha ha, had related a story from a party at which she’d sat next to some hipster boy on a grimy leather sofa and listened to him drone tediously on about his interests. He’d tried to impress her by claiming to like Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River” unironically, though she, street-smart socialite that she was, had seen through his ploy and quizzed him about his knowledge of Timberlake’s earlier catalog, a subject on which, suffice it to say, he’d rather embarrassed himself. Bluff, called. Next, he’d switched gears and tried to discuss the music he was “sincerely” into, and had lighted on a new album by the queer shock-rocker Xiu-Xiu, a novice move if ever there was one. I remember these two sentences of the article verbatim: “I mean, come on darling, Xiu-Xiu? Xiu-Xiu isn’t even that cool.” Your efforts to charm me were pathetic, in other words. Who’s so smart now?

(It is, for the record, my sincere hope that no woman ever feels the lust for vengeance required to inspire such a piece of writing. I’m certain my own efforts to impress are at least this flimsy.)

In any event, I’d kind of hit it off with one of the girls from out of town, which in retrospect was probably not an especially challenging feat. “Everyone’s so liberal and free here,” she marveled. I said I guessed so. The floor inside had become sticky, owing to the steady stream of PBR that had been sloshed on it all night. A new DJ had taken the booth and was spinning newish hip-hop, a change of pace for which everyone seemed grateful. The incredible heat on the dance floor, which, come to think of it, was probably sticky with sweat as well, was rather unpleasant, especially compared to the cool autumn air outside. As the songs wound on, she turned around to grind on me, thong on boxers, a new experience for me, to say the least. We gradually got more adventurous, my hands on her waist, her ass, up her curves to her breasts. “Do you want to make out?” she asked. I said I guessed so.

The music stopped again at some later point and the same beer-shampooed guy from earlier announced that next there would be a live musical performance. The crowd hollered. After some moments of relative quiet, during which everyone was still talking loudly, the lights went up. Something about how he couldn’t see the back of his mixer and could someone get him a Y-splitter and also the mic was too hot. Raising the lights was, of course, a serious breach of the implied social contract that governs the Sex Party. Girls wrapped their arms nervously around their exposed midsections; guys crossed theirs standoffishly. Tape-Xs-on-her-Nipples pretended to be too cool to care and went on gabbing, breasts bouncing as she gesticulated, red Solo cup in hand.

“OK, cool, kill it,” someone said, and all the lights died. People screamed. A thundering synthesizer blared, and multicolored strobes came on. The beat skittered and hopped, the bass throbbed, and he, a shirtless guy with longish hair, began to sing. He had a good-not-great tenor, and the mic clipped a bit (it was, in fact, too hot). It didn’t take long for me to recognize the tune, owing to a somewhat unfortunate “metal phase” I’d gone through in 10th grade, though more and more people began to catch on as the song progressed. It was, indeed, Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer.” Squeals of delight went up from the crowd as he approached the chorus. “I want to fuck you like an animal!” he snarled, “I want to feel you from the inside!” On the second go-round, everyone was chanting along, the song selection so obvious and therefore so perfect, since the exploration of the unspoken obvious was the theme of the night. At the end, we went absolutely wild (as though we already weren’t).

“Any idea who that guy was?” she shouted in my ear. “None,” I replied. Curious myself, I looked around the crowd for the people I’d originally come with, and spotted a friend some distance away. “Hold on, I’ll be right back.” I weaved and pushed my way through the mass of bodies, making no effort to avoid brushing skin on skin, and found him. “Hey,” I yelled, “any idea who that guy was?” He shrugged his shoulders. “None, pretty damn good, though.”

* * *

That guy, in turned out, was Andrew VanWyngarden, lead singer of the band MGMT, who were then a campus group known as The Management.

I’d first been introduced to their music by my hall’s resident advisor — den mother, only he was a father — a couple of weeks earlier. He was exactly the sort of R.A. any freshman looking to get up to no good would hope for, always willing to turn a blind eye about bottles of vodka in dresser drawers or fire-code-violating candles. “R.A. Goggles,” he called it. He was the sort of dude who, after doing his required rounds around the dorm — most of which he spent chatting with people he wanted to know better — could be found at in-room parties the next dorm over, losing at beer pong while shuffling his feet to Michael Jackson. He wore Van Halen T-shirts and Levi’s 501s, even tied a paisley bandanna around his head from time to time, a gesture he most assuredly meant. I’d once decided, rather mischievously, that I should test his loyalties by daring him to write me up on the grounds that I was a big butthead who deserved it, a category for which the school’s “R.A. Concern” forms did not have a pre-printed checkbox. He went with “Other, please specify: Is a butthead.” I believe he actually got in some trouble for this, though I’ve always felt it was an important bonding moment for us. We learned fairly early on that we both played the electric guitar and decided, one weekend, to hang out in his room and jam.

He had a stereo system that would make any neighbor furious, provided that neighbor was not also a college student with an equally fierce stereo system. We tried to learn Smashing Pumpkins’ “Today,” me on rhythm, him on lead, but after a while got sick of playing and ended up just sitting around talking about music. This led to us each playing some of our favorite cuts for the other. He was into the Darkness’ “I Believe in a Thing Called Love,” which I said was entertaining but not necessarily my style. I think I played him Interpol’s “Untitled,” a song I’d heard for the first time at a party with my high-school friends that past summer. I had been totally blown away, though I think somehow Goldschläger was involved then, too. “So,” I asked, “are there any good campus bands?”

“There are a couple.”

“Like who?”

“Well, there’s Andy, a ska band, everyone likes them.”

“Yeah, I think they played at the, like, orientation concert for freshmen. Anyone else?”

“You might like these guys, check this out.”

What he played me was an early version of the song “Kids,” which would go on to become a top 10 single on the Billboard Modern Rock charts in 2008 and make several “Top X Best Songs of the 2000s” lists, including Rolling Stone’s. They’d first recorded it, he told me, back in 2002, and were trying to promote their demo. It sounded awesome. “Control yourself,” VanWyngarden’s voice sang over the impressive speakers, “take only what you need from it!” I sat down and shut up during this one, a courtesy I hadn’t extended to the Darkness. “Wow,” I eventually managed, “that was pretty sick.” I asked him to burn me a copy of the track.

Years later, some friends would tell me that the lyrics were supposed to be about environmental consciousness, that they contained references to Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree.” I chuckled, since it seemed fitting enough, though I’d never bothered trying to decipher the words. When the band’s impressive debut album, “Oracular Spectacular,” dropped shortly after my graduation, several people from my new group of friends asked me if I liked “Em Gee Em Tee.” I replied that I didn’t know who that was.

In case there was any ambiguity, yes, I am trying to say that I liked this band before it was cool — way before, in fact. The only difference is that, in my case, it’s actually true. I was not friends with VanWyngarden, nor was I friends with lead instrumentalist Ben Goldwasser. I doubt very much that they have any idea who I am, and I suspect that they wouldn’t care if they did. I did, however, see them in concert at various locations on campus and was, in point of fact, playing the song “Kids” for people a long time before it was actually released.

What all of that amounts to, I feel, is approximately nothing. I do not consider myself special or unique or extraordinary as a result of the fact that I saw the singer of MGMT cover Nine Inch Nails at a Sex Party in 2003. I just happen to have encountered this particular band well before they became popular, which is no more a point of pride for me than the fact that I was 3 years old in 1988. I should not have told this story.

I suspect, however, that when people roll their eyes in disdain at hipsters who make similar claims, they feel themselves to be the intended targets of an especially overt — and obnoxious — form of cultural condescension. “Oh, Real Estate? I guess they’re OK. I was into them a few years ago. My cousin is friends with their drummer. Their new record is overrated, though.” Maybe it’s that these claims sound insincere — posturing for the sake of posturing, not grounded in lived experience. Or maybe, more likely, it’s just that we don’t want to get sucked into the hipster status-performance game, a vortex of irony in which we may be doomed to swirl forever. But either way, I think we can agree that it’s pretty annoying. Not a socially beneficial behavior, that’s for sure, and at any rate one whose principle effect is to bolster the power and influence of Pitchfork Media. Why don’t you go cry in your room and listen to Modest Mouse, asshole?

Benjamin Winterhalter is a writer and journalist based in Cambridge, MA. He is currently writing a book of creative nonfiction. He tweets at @BAWinterhalter.

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