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Author Topic: ♫ Your blood is all around you now ♫ (II)  (Read 114886 times)

Fairytale of Hurt

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Re: ♫ Your blood is all around you now ♫ (II)
« Reply #480 on: November 21, 2013, 08:43:33 PM »

http://m.memphisflyer.com/memphis/new-mgmt/Content?oid=3551439

MGMT comes to the Orpheum this Saturday. And for member Andrew VanWyngarden, a 2001 White Station High School graduate, it's something of a return home. VanWyngarden is half of the platinum-selling musical duo that formed at Wesleyan University in 2002, along with Ben Goldwasser. (VanWyngarden is also the son of Flyer editor Bruce VanWyngarden.)

We talked with one of Memphis' biggest musical successes about MGMT's new self-titled third album on Sony Music and the storm of commentary that seems to follow the band.

Memphis Flyer: Everybody has an opinion about this record. What do you think?

Andrew VanWyngarden: I'm a little biased, because I made it. I like it. I think it's not very comfortable-sounding music. It's something Ben and I tried to make intentionally a little upsetting in a way. It's not easy listening. We try to avoid the word challenging, because I think that's a bit pretentious. It accurately reflects Ben's mood and my mood when we were recording in 2012. I think it's an honest and real album. I'm proud of it and happy to tour around to promote it.

How did your approach change from the earlier albums?

It was just me and Ben in the studio. On the second album [Congratulations], we were definitely going for a more live, whole band, sort of psychedelic folk sound. This time around, it was more about the two of us experimenting in the studio. We weren't thinking about translating the songs to a live setting. It's really all about the listening experience. And this is studio time. It's been different for each of our three albums. This time, it was more about starting off with sessions of improvisation and finding moments that we both liked and building songs out of those. A lot of arranging and editing. We haven't put out an album that has live takes or more than one person playing at once. Maybe bass and drums or something. We've always worked more in the sense of setting the time and then getting it together.

Did you intentionally abandon formal song structures?

There are still songs like "Alien Days" and "Plenty of Girls in the Sea" that are more traditionally structured and have verses and what we call choruses and that kind of stuff. But, in general, the headspace we were in while we were making it was about creating dense sonic worlds that you can get overwhelmed in if you want to. It was more about trance, in the sense that we would do things that were repeating over and over. And the chord progressions are more simple than on the first two records. So it's more about repetition. What we were looking for in the improvisations and the moments we try to build songs on were usually ones where Ben and I felt like we were in a trance state. In the moment we were making it, we felt like it was automatically happening.

You wore your early influences on your sleeve. Who influenced this new direction?

Our musical tastes have evolved. I think we were definitely going for a Beach Boys Surf's Up thing [on Congratulations]. But also definitely influenced by tones and personalities of more obscure English '80s bands like the Deep Freeze Mice, the Monochrome Set, that kind of stuff.

This time around, what makes this album different — and I think what makes it cool — is that we didn't go into it with specific musical references in mind. For the second album, we knew we were consciously trying to reference a moment in musical history. This time, we weren't doing that at all. The music we listened to while we were making it was much more about textures and the kind of environments than sounds ... Woo, the Orb, and Aphex Twin. The songs are their own individual worlds to go into.

Why did you return to work with producer Dave Fridmann after an album with Sonic Boom?

Even on Congratulations, we mixed it at Fridmann's studio. So he was still part of that album but not as much on pre-production. Since we first went up to Tarbox Road Studios, we have felt comfortable there recording and creating. Dave is the kind of guy who helps to push us and motivate us to do the crazy ideas we have. He's such a good guy. He doesn't have an underlying intention or motivation to mess with the song or stamp his own kind of sound on it. That makes us feel comfortable working with him. This time, it was cool to go back. We've only done this a couple of times, when we're writing everything in the studio with Dave.

How important is it to isolate yourselves from the social-media commentariat?

That's one of the things about being at Dave's studio in rural, western New York — it's easy to forget about that side of the music world and to kind of push it out. I think that's what Ben and I have done while making the second and third albums. Both times, we've gotten completely into our own world and come out and released it and been a little bit giddy. Back to that naive mindset thing ...

Ben and I both feel a little bit shocked [at the response]. We're both sensitive dudes. A lot of times it feels like it's a competition to see who can say the snarkiest thing. It's so much less about listening deep into the music, which is all we want to do. The good thing is that if music critics aren't doing that, then our fans are more and more. We hear it from them. That's why we play shows. We're fortunate that we've established and developed deep connections with our fans. They've kind of followed us along and gone down different paths of experimentation with us. And that's what we want.
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Rachel

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Re: ♫ Your blood is all around you now ♫ (II)
« Reply #481 on: November 21, 2013, 09:49:33 PM »

Loved that one. Ooohh, our boys.  :)
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shra

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Re: ♫ Your blood is all around you now ♫ (II)
« Reply #482 on: November 21, 2013, 10:28:37 PM »

That last paragraph gets to me, awwww :D
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Hunter Clark

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Re: ♫ Your blood is all around you now ♫ (II)
« Reply #483 on: November 21, 2013, 11:48:39 PM »

I'm glad they know we care, it makes me heart ache in all the right ways.
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lala

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Re: ♫ Your blood is all around you now ♫ (II)
« Reply #484 on: November 22, 2013, 04:46:40 PM »

http://whoismgmt.com/image/67780316856

You can read the NME interview ^
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lala

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Re: ♫ Your blood is all around you now ♫ (II)
« Reply #485 on: November 27, 2013, 12:19:31 PM »

http://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/mgmt-turns-inward-on-new-album/Content?oid=1712255

MGMT turns inward on new album
"I think there's a universal human feeling of not living up to our full potential."

"We are trying to process the feeling of being confused and overwhelmed," says MGMT's Andrew VanWyngarden. "And not overwhelmed by band experiences, but by life experiences. The themes of the [new] songs get into existential problems and bigger issues that affect everyone, and not just us."

As these themes suggest, VanWyngarden is just like you and me. In fact, he spent some of his formative years growing up in Wilkinsburg, went to McEwen Elementary (a now-defunct school in Shadyside), and even almost lost his prized Pirates hat when it slipped out of his hand and into centerfield during an early-'90s Pirates game.

"I had to convince the usher it was mine instead of Andy Van Slyke's," he says. "But I got it back."

Unlike you and me, VanWyngarden is the frontman of a popular, successful band — making the existential musings intriguing, a thematic departure from the humor-and-irony-driven ascent of the band's initial surge to stardom.

On MGMT's new self-titled full-length, gone are the days of sunnier psychedelic dance pop, that earlier, broadly popular era punctuated by ironic and humorous gold singles "Time to Pretend" and "Electric Feel," and the platinum, world-breaking ode to the comforting longings of nostalgia, "Kids." Founding members VanWyngarden and Benjamin Goldwasser have chosen to descend toward creating structure-defying, gauzily-produced and heavily layered songs with existential themes: the end of civilization ("Mystery Disease"), alien invasion ("Alien Days"), self-examination ("Your Life Is a Lie", "Introspection"). There is an integrity behind this inward turn and continued experimentation: Instead of shamelessly attempting to re-create the past's ironic success, MGMT chose to get serious.

In the early 2000s, Van Wyngarden and Goldwasser were slumming in the dorms of Wesleyan University, making funny sounds with old synthesizers, hosting "concerts" consisting of friends sitting in a circle and being weird. An EP of jokey pop songs released on the small indie Cantora Records seemed to serve as the peak for another obscure college act only their friends would remember. But in fact — that EP found its way to the ears of Columbia Records, who declared the group worthy of a record deal. Next came collaborating with star producer Dave Fridmann and recording an album, Oracular Spectacular, that, on the strength of its ironic and humorous songs sold 900,000 copies in an era where albums don't sell 900,000 copies.

The band's first hit single, "Time to Pretend," comically trumpets: "Let's make some music, make some money, find some models for wives." The ultimate irony is how prescient the song turned out to be. But success was overwhelming.

MGMT's second album, 2010's Congratulations, was a personal reaction to being thrust into stardom. Humor and irony are replaced by an intimate sensitivity. Abandoning the immediate, hook-heavy pop of the first album for complex and ambitious multi-part suites, these songs welcomed being spun on a turntable in some darkened basement, examined seriously.

Debuting strongly at No. 2 on the Billboard top 200, Congratulations ended up selling a little over 200,000 copies — respectable, but a far cry from the Oracular Spectacular rocket ship. Quick success had created the difficult second album; would this be a momentary diversion before the predictable, return-to-their-popular-roots third act?

Quite the contrary, this third album shows Congratulations was a spot on the map towards MGMT's ultimate destination. Bridges and codas appear unpredictably out of an ether of swelling instruments; a darker, psychedelic pop supports more mature lyrical themes. This approach is divisive, adulated by some and discomfiting to others, who, VanWyngarden believes, do not wish to examine the issues these songs confront.

"The lyricism is about why there is a dissonance of knowing you should be somewhere a little further along, and knowing that you're not and trying to figure out what's keeping you from getting there," VanWyngarden says. "I think there's a universal human feeling of not living up to our full potential."

We like to think of our celebrities as transcending existential dilemmas — this idea is at the core of the great American desire to be famous. But, when a successful band admits to being tormented by the unanswerable questions that affect us all, the illusion of celebrity is shattered. This is challenging to an audience, and negative reactions are inevitable. This can also be rewarding, and the third album is: Initial inscrutability gives way to illumination.

Reacting to success will be the overarching storyline in MGMT's career. When a debut album explodes, most bands pursue duplication — to try to make that same album again and again. Bands who completely diverge from a successful formula confound their initial supporters, open themselves to fail at their new experiments, and cast a shadow of doubt over the veracity of that initial success. But this approach also liberates and dignifies. Let's appreciate the poignant idealism behind the struggle with being identified that drives a band towards experimentation; most importantly, let's appreciate a band for whom success may not be and never was the ultimate goal.

This time around, the second single, "Your Life Is a Lie," is the band's ironic song — appearing on an album where the band's primary objective is to tell its fans the honest truth.

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Fairytale of Hurt

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Re: ♫ Your blood is all around you now ♫ (II)
« Reply #486 on: November 27, 2013, 04:19:22 PM »

http://m.metro.us/newyork/entertainment/music/2013/11/26/no-more-time-to-pretend-for-mgmt/

No more ‘Time to Pretend’ for MGMT

MGMT’s Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser never wanted to be famous. But quirky poppy zingers like “Kids,” “Electric Feel” and “Time To Pretend” from their 2007 debut, “Oracular Spectacular” made them household names, especially after being featured in movies such as “21,” TV shows like “The Voice” and a Nokia ad. It was like their psychedelic private art house jamming session had been crashed by an accidental open Facebook invitation.

Rather than embrace the masses, the Brooklyn-based duo stoically continued with an ever more zany second album “Congratulations,” in 2010. Indeed, the early days of face paints, hippie headwear and neon accents were discarded in a now forgotten fancy-dress box – and “Kids” was no longer on the set list.

This apparent fan neglect reads as career suicide; MGMT’s paradoxical style can seem frustratingly hipster but they, as self-indulgent as this sounds, are out to please themselves. The 30-year-old rockers are in an enviably privileged position with the backing of a major label [Columbia], free to satiate their musical whims – something they’ve taken into their self-titled third album “MGMT.”

Here, Goldwasser chats about the new album, pop culture and his disdain for social media.

 

You said that your music has been misunderstood and labeled incorrectly in the past. Is this album about reestablishing your identity?

I feel like we’re presenting ourselves in the way we’d like to be seen. I think it’s a little strange to us that people want to impose a narrative on us as a band. We’re not thinking too much about what our image is or what we’d like to be known for.

 

Your music is often described as paradoxical. Is it important for you to create something that’s intangible or ineffable?

I think in a lot of ways music is always about the intangible. I think our album is music that a lot people could get into, potentially. We’re not trying to scare or be intentionally experimental but also I don’t think you want to be known only as a band who writes quirky pop songs.

 

You get a lot of criticism for alienating your fans but you’ve got nearly 4 million Facebook likes. Do you find it frustrating that critics and people keep harking back to the days of “Time to Pretend” and “Kids”?

It’s frustrating. We’ve never intentionally alienated anybody. We’re people who appreciate lots of different music: catchy dance music, noisy industrial stuff and quiet pretty music that you’d listen to in your living room. Maybe a lot of the critics who said we’re trying to alienate our fans only have this one-dimensional appreciation of music.

 

You only started tweeting in January of this year. Why have you been resistant to embrace your fans via social media?

I guess we just started doing it because we were bored in the studio and we were looking for something to do. But I don’t personally do any social media stuff.

 

NoFacebook?

No, I’m not on Facebook, no. I just do Instagram – posting funny things I see on the street. We don’t really like putting our egos out there as a band – I don’t really have the energy for that kind of stuff.

 

Is it because you’re concerned about your privacy?

I mean, partially. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care about having some sort of privacy. I don’t really appreciate that level of ego-driven social media behavior – I just think it’s really obnoxious. It’s a similar thing to how people behave really differently when they’re behind the wheel of the car and they’re anonymous. They do all those things that they would never do face-to-face with someone else. I think social media is really similar to that in a lot of ways – there’s a lot of disgusting behavior.

 

What do you dislike about pop culture?

I don’t want to say that I dislike it. It has its place but I think there’s room for a little more subtlety in pop culture. It’s really strange for us as a band because we’ve been accepted by mainstream culture kind of by accident. But we also draw so much of our inspiration from underground stuff that never reached the mainstream. So we have a complicated relationship, I guess.

 

In “Plenty of Girls in the Sea” you say “The trick is to try to stay free.” Why splice politics into your lyrics?

I think there is a lack of freedom here. I think if more people started acting on what they really believed in and started saying what’s on their minds or that kind of thing, there would be a lot of opposition. A lot of people are afraid and too comfortable or don’t want to risk giving up that level of comfort for potentially something better. I feel like things could go in a nasty direction if people realized that the comfort that they thought they had is in fact transient.

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Fairytale of Hurt

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Re: ♫ Your blood is all around you now ♫ (II)
« Reply #487 on: December 02, 2013, 02:06:07 PM »

http://www.courant.com/entertainment/hc-mgmt-at-oakdale-1205-20131202,0,3251383.story

MGMT Plays The Oakdale by Michael Hamad

During a period of relative stability, MGMT has produced its least stable-sounding record so far.

"MGMT," the self-titled new album by the duo of Benjamin Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden (their fourth overall), gathers together 45 minutes of lysergic bluster, arena-rock drums, synths and sirens, fraying interludes and unexpected codas. It's also the band's most confident statement to date, wrapped in an increasingly unhinged sound-world.

"While Ben and I feel more confident and at ease with doing what we want to do and not letting outside influences or expectations get in the way artistically, I think that the new album sounds pretty uncomfortable," said VanWyngarden.

To write and record "MGMT," the two holed up in a Buffalo, N.Y. studio for a half-dozen sessions, surrounded by banks of keyboards and wires. They jammed for hours, without preconceived notions of what they were looking for, cut off from the outside world. Chemicals were ingested. Four measures of groove here, 15 seconds of texture there, a genuine vibe or feeling: signs of a successful session. The lyrics, for the most part, came later (except for "Your Life is a Lie," which emerged fully formed).

"We tried to get into this crazy realm," VanWyngarden said. "We surrounded ourselves in a circle of instruments we had all set up in a room, all plugged into a board. We went in without any sort of goal... We were trying to get to these points that felt that we were coming from another world... It's hard to put it into words without sounding cheeseball."

VanWyngarden cites filmmaker David Lynch, who practices Transcendental Meditation, and the late Lou Reed, who often didn't understand his lyrics until weeks after writing them, as models. "A lot of other artists have worked this way," VanWyngarden said. "We didn't know what we sounded like or where it was coming from. That's the kind of thing that's been taken out of the promotional materials."

Comb through the lyrics to any of "MGMT"'s 10 tracks, and you're bound to find a few head-scratchers. "Must've skipped the ship and joined the team for a ride," VanWyngarden sings on "Alien Days," the unabashedly psychedelic opening number, "A couple hours to learn the controls and commandeer both my eyes." (You'll want to spend some time with this one, he seems to say.) "A Good Sadness," which opens in a swirl of harmonically wandering synths, finds VanWyngarden distilling his thoughts down to a few repeated, disconnected utterances: "No line / Disprove / Mean time / Desperate / Confide / Inrush / Disprove." On "I Love You Too, Death," he recites a series of couplets, over stacked fourths and sevenths, like these two:

Try to memorize your smell

It reminds me of a field

Crickets clearer than a bell

Have all their guts recast in steel

Other than a faithful cover of "Introspection," a 1968 song by the Long Island, N.Y. band Faine Jade, you're unlikely to find much comfort in the music either. Chords spontaneously change stripes, flower-power progressions devolve into coloristic word-paintings; even the gentle, swinging groove of "Plenty of Girls in the Sea," the album's other conventional song, is undermined by what sounds like a police siren. Amid calm seas, there's always disruption.

"I'm happy with the new album," VanWyngarden said. "It was unexpected to me, the music we ended up making."

Not surprisingly, the album's accompanying visuals are pretty damn trippy. A high-budget, glossy video for the song "Cool Song No. 2," directed by Isaiah Seret, stars Boardwalk Empire's Michael Kenneth Williams as The Plant Hunter, a mercenary who infiltrates an illegal drug manufacturing compound to rescue his lover, Tree, a junkie who's slowly mutating into a plant. Seriously.

Like Tree, the band seems to be transforming. Once derided as a mediocre live act, their shows have improved considerably. They've embraced taping at shows, perhaps with an eye toward drawing the jam-band crowd. (VanWyngarden is a huge Phish fan.) Once resistant to oversharing on social media, they've announced an Instagram contest where the winner will bang a giant cowbell onstage during "Your Life is a Lie."

When we spoke, MGMT had just wrapped a European tour, their first since 2010, and VanWyngarden was happy with the reception. "It was a very intense tour in terms of how many shows we played," he said. "It all went really well. People get it in their heads that we are one thing and not another. We definitely have a reputation as a bad live act, so it felt good to play some great shows."

MGMT arrives at the Dome in Wallingford on Dec. 6. The appearance, which falls toward the end of the tour, is a kind of homecoming for VanWyngarden and Goldwasser, who met as freshmen at Wesleyan.

"I saw shows [at the Oakdale] when I was in college," VanWyngarden said. "That's a very special area in the country for me. I'm excited to come back."
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Fairytale of Hurt

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Re: ♫ Your blood is all around you now ♫ (II)
« Reply #488 on: December 03, 2013, 06:00:30 PM »

http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2013/12/03/mgmt-new-music  You can listen in this link, or below is the transcript.

JEREMY HOBSON, HOST:

It's HERE AND NOW.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TIME TO PRETEND")

MGMT: (Singing) I'm feeling rough. I'm feeling raw. I'm in the prime of my life.

HOBSON: That is the well-known 2008 song "Time To Pretend" from the band MGMT. The band members were just college kids when they wrote the song, which is about what it would be like to be famous.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TIME TO PRETEND")

MGMT: (Singing) This is our decision, to live fast and die young. We've got the vision. Now let's have some fun.

HOBSON: Well, they did become famous. They won a Grammy. They played with Paul McCartney. But their second album didn't go over as well. So they decided to take some time off. Well, now they are out with their third album, and they're here to share it with us. Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden, welcome to HERE AND NOW.

BEN GOLDWASSER: Thank you.

ANDREW VANWYNGARDEN: Hi. Thanks.

HOBSON: Well, tell us what you're trying to do with this new album. It's been a while since you guys have come out with an album.

VANWYNGARDEN: Yeah. Well, we took about a year off from really touring or writing and then used our rejuvenated spirits to kind of go into the studio, and through improvisation we recorded an album. And we didn't really have like a goal. We kind of just wanted it to be a pure representation of working in the studio and being in the moment, that kind of thing.

HOBSON: And sometimes hours and hours of improvisation, right?

GOLDWASSER: Yeah. We wanted to get to the point where we weren't overanalyzing what we were doing. And that was the best way to do it, which is to play for long enough that we kind of forgot what we were doing. And then it kind of seemed like the music was coming out of thin air.

HOBSON: What's the best example of one of the songs on the new album that benefited from all the improvisation?

VANWYNGARDEN: "A Good Sadness." Most of the song came kind of fully formed out of an improvised section of music. Originally it was like 20 or 30 minutes. But in general the structure of it and the kind of the main sounds that are going on, that's how they were played live.

HOBSON: Let's take a listen to a little bit of that.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "A GOOD SADNESS")

HOBSON: Of course a lot of people know you from your first album. How was the process different for this one than that?

VANWYNGARDEN: The first album, it was all pretty new to us. We just signed to Columbia, to a major label. And we went in to write songs to go along with three songs that we had already written in college: "Kids," "Time To Pretend" and "Electric Feel." So we found, like, a little dance studio in the industrial part of Williamsburg. And the songs pretty much all have a lot of tracks that we recorded ourselves in kind of like a lo-fi way, unintentionally at least.

So this new one is way different since we recorded everything, you know, over the course of a year and didn't go in the studio with any songs already written.

HOBSON: And as you were doing this, did you feel pressure from fans who wanted to hear that early stuff, "Electric Feel," as you said, "Kids"? They wanted that sound.

GOLDWASSER: I mean, in some ways it's a tough relationship because on the one hand we're really grateful for the fans we have. But at the same time, we've seen how opinions can change. I feel like we have kind of a mutual respect between us and our fans where they trust us when we want to do something different and they're patient with this. And those are the fans that we really want to keep around.

HOBSON: But there are some fans that have not been patient with you. You were booed at a concert in London when you didn't play "Kids."

VANWYNGARDEN: When was that?

HOBSON: 2010.

GOLDWASSER: Did you read it in NME?

(LAUGHTER)

HOBSON: Is it wrong? Did that not happen?

VANWYNGARDEN: Well, I mean lots of things were weird in 2010. I think, you know, that was right after our album - second album came out. And definitely, it was a shock to some people who only knew us for a couple of songs, like you were saying. And so Ben and I got a little bit of enjoyment out of going on stage and playing these long, psychedelic, sweet-style songs and denying people what they really wanted.

You know, I think at that point, the scales were a little bit tipped towards giving the people what they didn't want. And now we've come back and kind of found a good balance where the live show has songs from all three albums, and I think it's really working well.

GOLDWASSER: I don't want to make it sound like we didn't care about giving people a good show though. And I think that touring for the last album, the music press was kind of sensationalizing how we'd completely abandoned any sort of pop music structures or things like that. And in reality, the shows were really great and most people enjoyed them. And, you know, it wasn't as black and white as it was made out to be by some people.

HOBSON: Well, let's take a listen to one of the songs on your new album. This is called "Alien Days."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ALIEN DAYS")

MGMT: (Singing) A couple hours to learn the controls and commandeer both my eyes. Hey, be quick, dear. Times are uncertain. One month crawling, next year blurring. Decades in the drain, monograms on the brain. Decide what's working and what's moved on to the last phase. The floodgate alien days, I love those alien days. Mm, the alien days.

HOBSON: There is a spacey sound to that, isn't there?

VANWYNGARDEN: Yeah, I guess you could say that. It definitely has references with the drums and maybe the harpsichord. A little bit of, like, glam or space rock from the '70s.

HOBSON: But I do want to ask you about the titles of some of the songs because if you look at your earlier songs, you've got "The Youth," "Electric Feel," "Kids." And then the titles of these ones - "Mystery Disease," "A Good Sadness," "I Love You To Death" - people might ask, are you getting older and bitter?

VANWYNGARDEN: No. You know, you're asking about songs that we wrote when we were 19 and songs that we wrote when we were 30, and obviously, like, we've had a lot more life experiences. We've had the experiences with our band, which are pretty surreal and bizarre at times, in their own right. And maybe on the second album there was like a little vein of bitterness, kind of confusion as to what had just happened.

And the new song titles, I think, are just trying to be a little bit more real and open and honest. And just for us both, there happened to be moments of melancholy or confusion still and just wondering why things happen.

GOLDWASSER: I think in a lot of ways the new music is - for us it's the most positive music we've ever made because it's coming from a really honest place and we're not really trying to hide from anything or escape. And our old music, even though, I mean a lot of the lyrics were really idealistic, in a way for us it feels like more of a positive thing to write songs about how life is not always easy and there are some bad things happening in the world right now and confronting that and recognizing that everyone is thinking about that right now.

HOBSON: Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden from the band MGMT. We'll be back with them in a moment. You're listening to HERE AND NOW.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

HOBSON: It's HERE AND NOW.

Let's get back to our conversation with Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden from the band MGMT. They are best known for songs like this one, "Electric Feel," from their first album.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ELECTRIC FEEL")

MGMT: (Singing) I said, ooh, girl, shock me like an electric eel. Baby girl, turn me on with your electric feel.

HOBSON: Well, with their new album, MGMT continues to turn away from that poppier sound to a sound that's a bit darker.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "COOL SONG NO. 2")

MGMT: (Singing) Wherever scientists turn lead to birds, torment ignites, essence delights from the Earth. What you find shocking, they find amusing. Something else to soften a sadistic urge.

HOBSON: That is "Cool Song No. 2" from their new album, which The New York Times calls both testing and eventually rewarding. And I want to ask you, Andrew VanWyngarden, when I spoke with John Gourley from the band Portugal The Man recently, he was talking about the difficulty of writing songs that are short, that it's a lot easier to write longer songs. And I notice that "Your Life Is A Lie" from your new album is only a couple of minutes long. Is it difficult to write a song like that?

VANWYNGARDEN: No. I think we wrote that song in like two minutes.

(LAUGHTER)

VANWYNGARDEN: I think that's one of the things I like about our new album, is that there's a lot of different styles and methods that went into the making of the songs. Like we said before, we have a song, "A Good Sadness," that's coming from improvisation, and then "Plenty Of Girls In The Sea," which is - we were trying to write almost like a standard or something. You know, we were like thinking about music from the '20s and...

(LAUGHTER)

VANWYNGARDEN: ..wanted it to be kind of like a novelty song. That's what I'm looking for.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PLENTY OF GIRLS IN THE SEA")

VANWYNGARDEN: I don't know. We're just kind of having fun in the studio. Ben and I really love working and writing in the studio and producing. And, you know, we did have a good break before starting on this third album, and now we're both in the mindset of really wanting to make more music more often. So hopefully that'll happen.

HOBSON: So that break is important. It's nice to take a little time off.

GOLDWASSER: It was at that time. We were feeling a little burnt out and disconnected after not having really taken much of a break between touring for the first album and the second album or - and recording the second album. It had a direct effect on our attitudes and the music that we were making. And sometimes it can be a little annoying when musicians write too much about being musicians and not enough about other things and feel like we were kind of going into that territory.

HOBSON: You got to get in touch with the outside world.

VANWYNGARDEN: Or the inside world.

GOLDWASSER: Yeah, or everyday life in general.

(LAUGHTER)

HOBSON: Who has influenced you in the last year or so, people that you've been listening to that maybe you weren't listening to when you were doing your earlier albums?

VANWYNGARDEN: Well, I mean it's different for the two of us. But I think maybe we kind of went in opposite directions. But for me, personally, compared to what I was listening to on the second album, which was a lot more psychedelic rock and folk from the late '60s and '70s, for the new album I definitely started getting into music, I guess, that you would call electronic music and dance music. It was kind of a new universe for me to explore. And I definitely moved away from rock and roll a little bit and got a little bit tired of rock and roll attitude.

(LAUGHTER)

VANWYNGARDEN: It sounds like a child behaving badly. I'm tired of your attitude.

(LAUGHTER)

HOBSON: Well, what is - let me ask both of you this question. What is your favorite song on the album? We can start with you, Ben.

GOLDWASSER: I think my favorite would be "Astro Mancy." I have a really good memory of recording it, and we kind of did a live mix of the song, which is mostly how it ended up on the final - the album version where Andrew and I were both sitting at the mixing board and we each had our own half of the board to be in control of, and we would just fade certain parts up when we felt like it was appropriate. And it has this really cool organic feeling to it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ASTRO MANCY")

GOLDWASSER: Also, when we were in Chicago, it came on in a Starbucks, and I thought that was really cool.

HOBSON: Hmm. Really?

GOLDWASSER: Yeah.

VANWYNGARDEN: That was cool.

HOBSON: You still get excited when you hear it in a Starbucks?

VANWYNGARDEN: Corporate bastards.

(LAUGHTER)

HOBSON: What about you, Andrew? Favorite song on the album?

VANWYNGARDEN: My favorite song in the album is probably the last one, "An Orphan of Fortune." I just like the emotion in the last one and I think it's a nice closer on the album. I was really satisfied with how it ended the whole thing, tied everything up.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AN ORPHAN OF FORTUNE")

MGMT: (Singing) If I don't feel right, polishing off the sand, lay by me and we'll erode as gently as we can into the twilight. Into the twilight. Into the twilight. Into the twilight.

HOBSON: As you're writing these songs, of course you have to think about what they're going to sound like. But you also have to think about the video that's going to go along with them these days. How does that process work? When do you start to think about what the video is going to be?

GOLDWASSER: Well, we do get a lot of imagery just in our heads when we're writing. And I think that did translate in a lot of ways to the videos that we've put out.

HOBSON: Well, I'm thinking of the video for "Your Life Is A Lie" with some people kicking a bucket on the ground when a cowbell is hit every time.

GOLDWASSER: Yeah. The original idea for the video was that it would be like a Whac-A-Mole game and like...

VANWYNGARDEN: Well, just something that emphasizes cowbell hits - just felt like, you know, a giant Whac-A-Mole baton thing, hitting people that were walking down the street would be funny. But I'm really happy with the way the video turned out. I think it fits the song really well, just the kind of - I don't know. The song definitely has a tongue-in-cheek element to the structure and obviously the lyrics. So I think it fit really well.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "YOUR LIFE IS A LIE")

MGMT: (Singing) Tell your wife this is your life. Your life is a lie. This is your wife. Now she knows, she understands her life is a lie. Nobody wins. Try not to cry. You must survive on your own, on your own.

HOBSON: Well, Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden of the band MGMT, thanks so much for speaking with us.

GOLDWASSER: Thanks for having us.

VANWYNGARDEN: Thank you.

HOBSON: And Robin, I cannot let this moment go by without mentioning that I know Ben's grandparents very well. Ned and Lizzie Goldwasser, they're great family friends from Champaign-Urbana. They have been married for 72 years. They've just celebrated their 72nd anniversary.

ROBIN YOUNG, HOST:

Well, I'm sure they're thinking right now, you know, we thought our kid was doing well. But now he's really made it.

HOBSON: Their grandson is doing very well.

YOUNG: He's been on Jeremy's show.

(LAUGHTER)

HOBSON: From NPR and WBUR Boston, I'm Jeremy Hobson.

YOUNG: I'm Robin Young. This is HERE AND NOW. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
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Re: ♫ Your blood is all around you now ♫ (II)
« Reply #489 on: December 05, 2013, 02:24:42 AM »

Just a little pre-Toronto blurb but there are a couple of quotes that I like.

http://www.nowtoronto.com/music/story.cfm?content=195624

MGMT
Brooklyn duo learn to be who they wanna be
By KEVIN RITCHIE

MGMT was not an easy band to be in three years ago.
The introspective psych-folk of Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser’s second album, Congratulations, asked more of listeners than their celebrated debut, 2007’s Oracular Spectacular.
That album’s trio of feel-good electro-pop hits – Time To Pretend, Kids and Electric Feel – launched the Brooklyn-based duo’s career and inspired legions of neon-headband-wearing fans to emulate their shamanistic hippie pop star aesthetic.
When Congratulations came out, critics and fans alike accused MGMT of insolence and self-sabotage. Kids, their biggest hit, vanished from the set list, and audiences’ disappointment was palpable.
“In 2010 we went through a weird phase of feeling really self-conscious onstage,” singer/guitarist VanWyngarden explains during a tour stop in Charlotte, North Carolina. “But we probably made it worse ourselves than it really was.”
The press honeymoon effectively over, the pair took their psychedelic experimentation in a blistering electronic direction on their self-titled third album (Columbia).
Written in the studio with producer Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, Black Moth Super Rainbow), its densely layered songs are full of feedback-drenched hi-hats, vocal effects and churning noise that nod to the solo work of Martin Rev and Alan Vega from influential proto-punkers Suicide.
MGMT’s sunny pop melodies occasionally shine through the digital din on tracks like Alien Days and Introspection – a cover of a 60s psych-pop obscurity – but others completely dispense with pop structure.
“It’s a tiny bit abrasive, aggressively mixed and a little bit grating sometimes,” VanWyngarden admits. “But what we’re trying to do under that initial messiness and noisiness is to create a whole slew of paths you can take through a song. So you can follow one sound and hear the song completely differently from the last time.”
VanWyngarden’s lyrics were inspired by surrealist poet Philip Lamantia, whose druggy verse conjures a world of erotic mysticism and melancholy. A political undercurrent grapples with disillusionment and apathy about current affairs.
That theme is bluntly articulated on confrontational single Your Life Is A Lie, a reaction to the blue-eyed escapism the band revelled in on songs like Electric Feel.
Nowadays, MGMT make room for both the escapist and the introspective in their set list. Having weathered the awkward sophomore phase, VanWyngarden and Goldwasser are high on a sense of liberation.
“We feel more at ease with the fact that there’s not a certain sound that we’re expected to make,” he says.
“Anything could be MGMT.”
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Re: ♫ Your blood is all around you now ♫ (II)
« Reply #490 on: December 06, 2013, 09:29:29 PM »

http://espn.go.com/blog/music/post/_/id/6420/mgmts-vanwyngarden-recalls-luck-visit

MGMT's VanWyngarden recalls Luck visit
By Daniel Dodd | ESPN.com


MGMT has come a long way since forming on the campus of Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT in the early 2000s, just a stones throw from ESPN headquarters.

The "dazzling electro-psych" band, as described by Rolling Stone in a review of the their 2008 debut album "Oracular Spectacular," has since opened for Paul McCartney at Fenway Park, released two more critically-acclaimed albums and been nominated for two Grammy Awards. Back in the Nutmeg State for a tour stop, we caught up with lead singer Andrew VanWyngarden to ask how he got Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck on stage at a show back in November.

Andrew, thanks for the time. So let’s get right to it. MGMT and Andrew Luck on stage together. Set the scene.
We usually have some kind of contest in each city and the winner gets to play the cowbell. Or we might bring out a friend. Our tour manager had played at the same venue with another band and Luck had come to that show. They were still in contact so we asked Andrew if he wanted to play and he did! Him and Anthony Castanzo came and played. Andrew seemed like a pretty hip dude. I had a great time and it was amazing just to stand next to him. The cowbell is like 75 pounds and it comes with a giant drumstick. Seeing this mega-man doing it was pretty funny to watch.

You’re not a huge sports fan though, right? Did you realize who these guys were?
James Richardson, our guitarist, was even more into it than me. He’s obsessed with everything NFL and fantasy football. He’s a Redskins fan, but he was still really into it.

Do you guys still get excited by finding out who listens to your music or in what areas of the world you are most popular?
Definitely. It’s always exciting. We’ve gone to places like South Korea where people are singing every word. It’s amazing to see. It’s fun to know when a celebrity or athlete likes our music.

What was it like playing Fenway Park when you opened for Paul McCartney?
We’re not really a stadium band. It was amazing to see Paul McCartney with all his pyrotechnics and stuff. I think a stadium like that is more suited to legendary acts like him. Being on the field at Fenway was very cool though.

Coming back to Connecticut must be a bit of a trip down memory lane. As was your recent show in Pittsburgh where you grew up. What has the last week been like?
Pittsburgh really was a trip down memory lane. We hadn’t played there since I think 2005. I haven’t really been around there much since I grew up. I went out with my tour manager just driving around to see the school I went to and the house I grew up in. And the place we are playing here in Connecticut, I think I went to a show or two there when I was in college.

Coming up you have the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. That’s still a fairly new venue, not a ton of artists have played there. Are you particularly excited about that show?
We’re really stoked about the Brooklyn show. It will be our first show in New York in over three years. It’s nice for that to be the closing show of this big US tour. We’re playing with Dinosaur Jr. and Kuroma. It’s going to be pretty sweet. I hope all my friends can come.

Are you going to get some time off after that show?
We don’t get much time off until mid-January. We are going to Australia and Japan over New Year’s. I hope I can get some surfing in. I have some friends in Sydney and I hope we can get in the water.

What is it about surfing that you fell in love with?
I already loved the ocean and being in nature. I was into skateboarding and snowboarding when I was a kid, so this is the perfect thing for me. It’s therapeutic to just sit out there, even by yourself in 30 degree water.

What should people expect when they go to a MGMT show?
It’s gotten to a good point where it’s a combination of songs from all three of the albums we have put out. We play with a six-piece band. It all works well together, especially the visuals behind us. We’ve been having some of the best shows we’ve ever played in the last couple months. I’m anxious to show everyone in New York how far we’ve come since 2010.
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Re: ♫ Your blood is all around you now ♫ (II)
« Reply #491 on: December 13, 2013, 09:29:43 AM »

http://au.news.yahoo.com/entertainment/a/20306051/mgmt-reflect-on-reality-before-aussie-tour/

Life could all be just one big hologram.

So muses MGMT's Andrew VanWyngarden as he reflects on the inspiration behind Your Life Is a Lie, a song on the psychedelic pop rock act's self-titled album.

The other half of MGMT, Ben Goldwasser, sings and plays keyboard, while VanWyngarden is the lead vocalist, lyricist and guitarist.

VanWyngarden opens Your Life Is a Lie: "Here's the deal/Open your eyes/Your life is a lie/Don't say a word/I'll tell you why/You're living a lie/Your life is a lie."

He says he wrote the song in about 45 seconds in front of a campfire.

"It seems to have manifested out of some sort of subconscious frustration with something," VanWyngarden says.

"I don't know, I think maybe monotony, or a kind of routine, or just kind of a feeling of floating through life."

He adds that he recently read an article about physicists who suggest the universe could in fact be a hologram.

"A new study has come out from scientists who have evidence now that it's more likely that our reality is just a giant hologram than it's not.

"It (Your Life Is A Lie) kind of fits in with that.

"Who knows really what reality is?"

MGMT is the group's third album, following Oracular Spectacular in 2008 and Congratulations two years later.

VanWyngarden says the record is not meant to be a defining statement about the group, despite being self-titled.

"We thought it was kind of a rock and roll cliche, a self-titled album, and we had to do one so we did."

The album also features Plenty of Girls In The Sea, in which VanWyngarden sings: "The trick is to try and be free."

He says the song is a reflection on feeling like the grass is always greener on the other side, whether you are in a relationship or single.

MGMT will play at The Falls Music & Arts Festival later this month and then head to Southbound in Busselton.

During Your Life Is a Lie, an audience member will have the honour of playing a giant cow bell the band has taken on tour.
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Re: ♫ Your blood is all around you now ♫ (II)
« Reply #492 on: December 17, 2013, 05:37:47 AM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/16/arts/music/mgmt-performs-at-barclays-center.html?smid=fb-share

Wide Repertory Invites Plenty of Meandering
MGMT Performs at Barclays Center

A handful of hit singles gives a band some leeway, and MGMT used all it has at Barclays Center on Friday. MGMT — led by the singer Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser, who both play guitars and keyboards — strategically doled out the three hits from its 2008 debut album, “Oracular Spectacular”: “Time to Pretend” early in the set and “Electric Feel” and “Kids” near the end, each one drawing arena-wide squeals of recognition.

In between, MGMT plunged into the musical and verbal convolutions that make up far more of the band’s repertory. While the hits lean toward 1970s pop, most of MGMT’s other songs put new twists into the already labyrinthine legacy of psychedelic pop. It’s not bait and switch; MGMT’s albums have always revealed its woolier side. But the band — which has been mostly touring theaters with 2,000 to 3,000 seats, not arenas like Barclays — now has two different constituencies: those who know the happy-sounding hits and those who are willing to follow the band’s more abstruse ambitions.

On its second album, “Congratulations” in 2010, MGMT stepped away from writing choruses and keyboard hooks, choosing instead to build songs as a string of verses — often two or three contrasting ones — with arrangements that grow more elaborate each time around, like a theme and variations. Mr. VanWyngarden’s lyrics turned gloomier and were particularly skeptical about success and materialism. “Mass adulation not so funny/Poisoned honey,” he shrieked at the end of “Flash Delirium,” the set’s opening song. “Congratulations” also included a 12-minute suite, “Siberian Breaks,” that tested the crowd’s attention before MGMT regained it with “Electric Feel.”

“MGMT,” the band’s 2013 album, kept its songs shorter and somewhat less meandering, with more obvious refrains. But those refrains can be bleak — like that of “Mystery Disease” — and MGMT still isn’t courting a mass market. It unearthed “Introspection,” the title song from a 1968 album of psychedelic pop that had become a collector’s item, “Introspection: A Faine Jade Recital.” And on Friday, it brought out Faine Jade himself to play guitar and sing along on it while much of the audience wondered who he was.


The band performed calmly and meticulously, offering more musicianship than showmanship as it summoned echoes of the late-1960s Beach Boys, early Pink Floyd, the Byrds, the Beatles and considerably more obscure ’60s artifacts. Bright colors rippled and flashed across the video screen overhead. And when MGMT got to “Kids,” its poppy and arty missions converged. The song’s perky keyboard line and lyrics hinting at environmental consciousness for a young generation — “Control yourself/Take only what you need from it” — had the whole arena singing along; then, using the momentum of the bass line, MGMT went into a one-chord jam full of layered rhythms from staccato keyboards, hypnotic and propulsive in the zone where kraut-rock and disco overlap. It was something for everyone in the arena.
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Re: ♫ Your blood is all around you now ♫ (II)
« Reply #493 on: December 17, 2013, 10:26:44 PM »

http://www.busseltonmail.com.au/story/1978807/mgmt-southbound-set-to-be-bands-first-wa-visit/?cs=1435

AMERICAN psychedelic-pop band MGMT hit the international stage after their debut album Oracular Spectacular in 2007.

Now with three albums under their belt – Congratulations in 2010 and self-titled MGMT released this year, the band are preparing for their visually stunning set at Southbound Festival in the early new year.

Founding member and multi-talented vocalist, guitarist and keyboard player Benjamin Goldwasser spoke with the Mail’s entertainment reporter, Tasha Campbell, about how the band is looking forward to visiting Western Australia for the annual festival.

Will this be your first trip to Busselton in Western Australia?

I believe so yeah, we've only been to Byron Bay before so we're really excited to come down; it should be a good time. It will be nice for us to get a little warm weather too, it will be great.

Being your first time to play Southbound festival – what are you looking forward to the most?

Everything I’ve heard about the festival. It sounds like it’s a really good airing for what we do with our live shows and I have a good feeling about it.

Do you prefer playing festivals or sideshows?

It’s nice to have a mixture – we’ve been doing a lot of our own shows over the last couple of months but we started out this year doing mostly festivals so we’ve had a pretty good taste of both.  We feel confident enough with the show that I think it’s going to be really fun to do festivals, although I think sometimes that festivals can be a little stressful for us when we’re having technical difficulties and when people are expecting a spectacle that’s seamless. But we can’t wait to come over.

Do you have a favourite album to play out of your three?

The new one because it’s the best we’ve been able to represent ourselves and we had a really good time making it and I think we really put in as much work as we needed to make it the way we wanted to. It still does something to me when I go back and listen to it – I still find new things in it, which is the first time that has really happened. I think in the past when we have made music we’re ready to just be done with it and once we’ve finished it we don’t really want to hear it anymore.

What do you think has changed across them?

I think we’ve always been trying new things and I think in a lot of ways we are the same people but we now have more perspective and I think when I go back and listen to some of the earlier stuff we’ve done I can hear how we were trying to do something that didn’t quite get there and I’ll always hear things that I would have done differently. I’m sure it will be the same when I go back in a few years and listen to this album but we just keep growing, however I do still like our old music.

What can the Southbound crowds expect from MGMT?

It’s a really cool show these days – it’s just musically really tight and we’re having a lot of fun on stage and we’ve been playing with the same musicians for a long time now so we’re feeling each other really well and we have a really good visual show. Our friend Ella is doing our live projections behind us so she performs it live with the music in response to what we’re doing and there’s a lot of interactive stuff going on so it’s pretty neat.

What is the most rewarding thing about being an artist?

The fact that we get to play so much music and second to that would be getting to do a lot of travel. But if I had any other job I would still be wishing I had more time to play music – wait, I still wish I had more time to play music now.
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Re: ♫ Your blood is all around you now ♫ (II)
« Reply #494 on: December 26, 2013, 08:18:36 AM »

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/change-of-pace-puts-mgmt-back-in-control-20131226-2zxrz.html

Change of pace puts MGMT back in control
The indie poppers are out to prove they're not Kids any more.

It's easy to think of MGMT as one of those "I like your old stuff better than your new stuff" bands. But the truth is, they haven't maintained a particular sound or style for more than one album at a time. Each of their three releases has been entirely different from the former.
"It just changes naturally," says Andrew VanWyngarden, who with Ben Goldwasser makes up US indie poppers MGMT. "Every time we've sat down to write an album we've had different things that are influencing and inspiring us."
Their 2008 debut, Oracular Spectacular, spawned the mammoth pop singles Kids and Time to Pretend, and the band were named by Rolling Stone as a top 10 "artist to watch". Then, in 2010, their second release, Congratulations, left fans confused, as the feel-good festival songs were dropped for an ambitious and psychedelic romp.
With the third album, the self-titled MGMT, the pair shed their skin again and emerged fearless and satisfied. "For the first and second albums, there was definitely anxiety from not really knowing what was going to happen," says VanWyngarden. "We didn't want that to be a part of the process this time. We didn't want to think about some stupid critic somewhere, or what other people were going to think."
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Compiled from hours of improvisation, toying with guitars, synthesisers and drum machines, MGMT are happy with the results – and they don't mind showing it: "I think it'll turn some people off, but I really like it. No harm can come from being proud and confident in something you've made."
MGMT last visited Australia in 2011, playing at Future Music Festival, but they're now returning to headline Falls Festival and the duo are relishing the change in pace. "I'm relieved," says VanWyngarden. "Falls seems like it's much more in line with the vibe of our band."
So how does a band choreograph a festival set that encompasses such a diverse range of albums? "It's a challenge, but I'm very satisfied with how we've put together a show that seems to make everybody happy," says VanWyngarden. "It's songs from every era of our band, and the way we've been writing the set list, it flows nicely. It doesn't really feel like there's one thing that's out of place."
Audiences can also expect to see the performance enhanced by technicolour visuals, created by artist and long-time collaborator Alejandro Crawford. "We're not the kind of people who jump around on stage and scream at the audience to put their hands in the air," says VanWyngarden.
The duo have even taken the visual element one step further and released The Optimiser, an album-length video accompaniment to MGMT. Featuring colourful visuals and psychedelic imagery, the idea is that fans can sit back, relax, and enjoy the full MGMT "experience" from the comfort of their own home.
"It's really helped consolidate our live show into more of an experience. We put the album out and figured, why not do that to the recorded songs, too?" says VanWyngarden. "We're in our own heads, playing our own music. This helps to get people onto the same wavelength as us."


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/change-of-pace-puts-mgmt-back-in-control-20131226-2zxrz.html#ixzz2oaR0cnLJ
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