Category: mgmt

30 degrees for MGMT

30 degrees for MGMT

Ryan Spera

March 20, 2018

The time is 3:30 the doors open at 7:00. I’m impatiently waiting in my house. Trying to decide what time to get there I spontaneously just leave. Walking 15 blocks to the Electric Factory I have time to listen to the first half of Little Dark Age. There is a nor’easter happening as well. I start to hear things I hadn’t heard over the last couple of listens. Things that got me excited. Like different synthesizer sounds; I am questioning whether or not they were real or if I had made them up. As snow falls softly soaking my unhooded hair I walk quickly to the venue.

Now it is 4:00 and there are about 10 people in line already. I decide it is too cold. So I get my ticket and walk to a brewery around the corner. A half an hour (plus a chicken sandwich) later, I decide it’s time to secure my place in line; which was 15th in line. Shaking my head. I mistakenly did not pee before I left the bar and am panicking in line. On the verge of peeing my pants for an hour and a half. You could image once the doors opened I was one of the first to the bathroom.


Skip the opener (who was very talented but a bit boring).


In their prime. A new circa. Something… Medieval.

I had seen them three times before, one thing was different this time. WHERES MATT?! Just kidding.

Simon is a warm and goofy welcome to the live show. Wearing an all red suit with a Philly Boy Roy shirt, and a red beret.

The shows starts with James playing a beautiful melody on the “Harpsichord”. Andrew, Ben, Will, and Simon come out after a deep synthesizer note is hit. The stage has a few plants and two Doric pillars surrounding a rectangular screen. It is strange even for MGMT. But it fits well. The sound is beautifully executed, I did not notice any hiccups.

I sat myself above the crowd between two women, one was a mom the other was Amanda. The mom (unfortunately I did not get her name) and I watched her son smoke pot from a vape the whole night and laughed at him, one of the highlights of my night. The woman Amanda was seeing the band for the first time. When they finished the first song Little Dark Age I turned to her and said “do you love them yet?” and she laughed.

She must have.

They played these songs

Watching Simon nail every note on Little Dark Age and watching Will play She Works Out Too Much so perfectly made the night. Expert musicians together making fine music.

I have always been a big fan of the 3 big ones. But this time I wish they had skipped over them. Their current catalog is far more amazing than those 3 songs. I understand they are crowd pleasers but the band is at the point to where those fans have gone. We want An Orphan of Fortune.

To my surprise, they ended on Brian Eno, a personal favorite. They changed the break down similar to the way Tame Impala broke down Elephant live.

It was fantastic.

The mixing and feeling of the night could not have been more surreal.

Unfortunately, I was a bit tipsy by the end of the show and didn’t get Amanda’s number

Oh well.

(MGMT at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia, PA)

MGMT steps out of and into their ‘Little Dark …

MGMT steps out of and into their ‘Little Dark Age’

Kendall Wright

MGMT has officially returned to the music world. Today, after a string of catchy singles such as, ‘When You Die,’ ‘Me and Michael,’ and title track ‘Little Dark Age,’ they finally released their long-awaited, fourth LP, ‘Little Dark Age’ on Columbia Records. Some may call it a “return to form” based solely on their “big three” (‘Kids,’ ‘Time To Pretend,’ and ‘Electric Feel’) that they shocked the world with back in their dorm room days. The attainability that they strove for on this album is in stark contrast to their previous release, self-titled ‘MGMT’, after which many fans and critics wrote them off because they couldn’t write a “pop song.” Having not just one, but your three greatest hits at the very beginning of a career can be damning for an artist, and pigeonhole you to one sound. Such has been the issue for MGMT, until now. It seems as though Andrew Vanwyngarden and Ben Goldwasser are searching for a middle ground (as they did with ‘Congratulations’) of what the general public wants and the music they want to pursue. The duo worked with producers Patrick Kimberly and Dave Fridmann in crafting these 10 songs.

This new album draws heavily from 80’s synth pop/brit pop, and yet still holds true to that psychedelic charm that has peppered their career. They kick things off with ‘She Works Out Too Much,’ a spoof on exercise music. The driving beat, and pounding bass line keep the listener mentally jogging in place for four minutes and 38 seconds (the instructor voice-overs really sell it). Title track, ‘Little Dark Age’ is a darker turn into goth pop, previously unexplored by the duo until now. That’s not to say it’s not catchy, as it does bare a similar song structure and groove to one of their “big three,” ‘Electric Feel.’ It has, undoubtedly, the crispest production on the album; sharp vocals, a tight snare, and a most notable synth bass that doesn’t let up. The third track and second single, ‘When You Die,’ is gloomy and aggressive. The stringy acoustic guitar is perfectly present, weaving in and out of a frustrated Vanwyngarden, who isn’t hesitant in telling the audience, “Go fuck yourself”. ‘Me and Michael’ is a straight trip to the 80s: cheesy lyrics; copious synth; dozens of “woahs;” and some guy named Michael. It’s familiar, charming, and it’s a foot down on the grounds that they can still write a hook. ‘Tslamp’ (Time Spent Looking at my Phone) is what the tape machine spit out after being fed an utter disregard for the technology that we have literally become addicted to. ‘James’ is another ode to the 80s and a “Goonies” type camaraderie. ‘One Thing Left to Try’ is in the same vein as ‘She Works Out Too Much,’ in its annoying, overdrawn out glory. An unnecessary, synth pop battle cry.

After a few slight mishits, MGMT finishes the album strong with the hazy, ‘When You’re Small’ and beautiful, ‘Hand It Over.’ ‘When You’re Small’ allows the listener to sit and approach the song at their own pace, rather than a (at this point bleeding) synthesizer continuing to hammer at their ears. Piano and raw acoustic guitar slowly ease into wonky tones and a stoned haze. The wah pedal and strings slowly drift us out into the atmosphere, but focus and bring us back just in time for the finale, ‘Hand It Over.’ In one of their finest works to date, Vanwyngarden rides a gorgeous melody over the six bar chord progression with a “Brian Wilson” ease. The warm brass, starry organ, and distant harmonies hold the trance throughout until finally, a wave of flange carries us up down over the closing,

“Mm, anytime, Hand it over
It’s yours and it’s mine, Hand it over
Oh, I need time, Hand it over
No, it’s rightfully mine, Hand it over
Oh, anytime”

To try and predict what will come next of the two, is a fools errand, and a rabbit hole that Vanwyndarden and Goldwasser have been playing their way out of since the beginning. So for now, just appreciate the fact that MGMT is back. We sure do.

‘Little Dark Age’ is out now on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, etc.

MGMT are back with a haunting single titled ‘Little Dark…

MGMT are back with a haunting single titled ‘Little Dark Age’

Ryan Spera 

MGMT are back and delivering the goods. After two years of teasing, the band dropped their first single, “Little Dark Age” the title track to their finished but unreleased album. Classic MGMT sounds of mind-melting synthesizers draw the listener into the dark psychedelic void. Unlike previous songs, ghostly vocals fill the air, screaming at you to run away and to never look back. It’s a perfect mix between their past three albums. The synth-pop of Oracular Spectacular, gothic post-punk of Congratulations, and philosophical lyrics from self-titled. This haunting piece of music is setting the tone quite well for the new LP. No details on the exact release date, but in an interview with Zane Lowe from Beats 1 Radio, Ben Goldwasser mentioned a possible early 2018 release. Now delaying the album two years from the initial release year; this has been the most extensive amount of work MGMT has put into an album, and as of right now it is living up to be a beautifully crafted piece of music. Ariel Pink, Patrick Wemberly of Chairlift, and Dave Fridmann are confirmed to have helped Andrew, and Ben with the recording process. MGMT have become known as a very unpredictable band; that being said the album could drop tomorrow or three years from now. Until then keep your mind occupied with their spooky new music video for “Little Dark Age”.

MGMT are back with a single titled ‘Little Dark Age’MGMT ARE…

MGMT are back with a single titled ‘Little Dark Age’

MGMT ARE BACK!!! The electro-pop duo will be back in 2018 with their fourth album in 2018. The album will be titled ‘Little Dark Age’. The video they shared for their latest single was directed by Nathaniel Axel & David MacNutt. In 2013 the band released a self-titled album and we haven’t heard from them since. 

kick-it-like-bonham:Cage The Elephant – Kids (MGMT cover)


Cage The Elephant – Kids (MGMT cover)