The first single off of the hard-to-understand third LP of a band with a hard-to-pronounce name was released today— in the form of a cassette tape. We get it, guys, the ’90s were a cool time, but stop trying to make the cassingle happen. It’s not going to happen.
MGMT, that completely obscure duo by Andrew VanWyngarden ’05 and Ben Goldwasser ’05, wanted to celebrate 4/20Zonker Harris Day Record Store Day by putting out a limited edition casette single (and also online, for those who sold their tape deck a long time ago) for “Alien Days,” which would hopefully revitalize the struggling independent record stores/the record industry as a whole. Still not as weird as that time that fellow psychedelic weirdos The Flaming Lips put out a single inside an edible gummy skull. At least they have something to aspire to.
According to VanWyngarden in an interview with Rolling Stone, “Alien Days” is “about that feeling when a parasitic alien is in your head, controlling things.” According to music blog Consequence of Sound, the tune is the band’s “latest love letter to David Bowie.” According to some anonymous sources on Foss Hill, it’s like, pretty cool, man, but I dunno if I really get it, you know?
“We’re not trying to make music that everyone understands the first time they hear it.”
This just in from Rolling Stone: Andrew VanWyngarden ’05 and Ben Goldwasser ’05, known collectively as MeGa-MeTa or Andrew Wynwasser and The Manage Mints, announced plans to release their eponymous third album in June. VanWyngarden and Goldwasser have reportedly spent the last year holed up in a cabin, tinkering with synthesizers and drum machines and guitars, and free-form jamming long into the night.
The duo’s last effort, the emphatically anti-pop Congratulations (2010), surprised many fans who were expecting a groovy, easily accessible sequel to 2007’s Oracular Spectacular. This time around, consider yourselves warned: MGMT will be “even weirder,” as VanWyngarden and Goldwasser weave patchworks of house-influenced, rhythmically complex, electro-cosmic tracks such as “Mystery Disease” and “Alien Days.” “The recording process was really strange,” confirmed co-producer Dave Fridmann (though Justin Vernon did do a similar thing Forever Ago, albeit acoustically and roughly 815 miles away).
“Kids” fans: good luck humming this one incessantly. Go ahead and try.
“Flash Delirium,” our first taste of MGMT’s upcoming Congratulations, is available now on the band’s website. I’m not sure how I feel about this one. It’s retro, clever, and slightly schizophrenic in a distinctly White Album sort of way (see: “Happiness is a Warm Gun”), but maybe too . . . ironic? Smugly detached? Something about those nifty ’50s doo-wop flourishes seem to preclude any real sincerity. But maybe it’s just the dry-as-fuck production (and from Spacemen 3’s Peter Kember, of all people) that irks me.
Nowadays when you can find almost any new release for free on teh Interwebs, it’s no surprise that musicians are looking for new ways to draw listeners to physical copies of their albums. The resurgence of vinyl is helping artists in this respect, but now MGMT has new ideas for how to boost CD sales: a 32-page booklet, free “custom metal” coin, and a hidden scratch-off cover! They announce the exciting packaging in a mock infomercial:
Moral of the story: buy the CD if you like the Nintendo-inspired cover art but only want to appreciate it until you get curious about what’s underneath. Also, did you know that their web site prominently features a live video feed of the ocean?