Archive for March, 2010

March 30, 2010

MGMT – Congratulations (and six bands it reminds me of)


The new MGMT Congratulations is streaming for free over on NPR. The album sounds like The Coral, but not as good. Remember The Coral? No. They had an incredible debut album of psych-rock. The next three albums seriously fell off after that. I don’t even know if they still exist.

Congratulations sounds like it was produced underneath a quilt. Everything is flattened. I’m not sure why they would produce it like that. Maybe to make it sound more “authentic” 60’s psych. I see MGMT’s first album in a new, better light. I always was pretty ‘meh’ about it. I thought “Time To Pretend” was brilliant, especially lyrically. I thought “Electric Feel” was robotically funky and “4th Dimensional Transition” was good psych-rock. “Kids” was singsongy in a kinda ugly way. I think I’m talking about songs from the first album because nothing on Congratulations sticks out to me. MGMT said they purposefully didn’t write “singles” and won’t be releasing any singles. They want the album to be one solid body of work, and not have people only download the popular songs. I guess this is a “separate the real fans from the poseurs” move? Are there poseurs anymore? I think “cool indie” music is too available now.

The 12 minute epic track “Siberian Breaks” stands out due to sheer length. The beginning is very pretty, reminds me of Jefferson Airplane a little. The part after the Jefferson Airplane part sounds like the band Love. The end of the song has pretty computer blinking noises and a decent drum beat. I also think The Kinks “Village Green Preservation Society” era is a reference point for a lot of the album. “Brian Eno” is a good rock song, has a fun chorus, and has a neat little electric organ breakdown in the middle and end. I think it’d work as a single. “It’s Working” also reminds me of the band Love, which makes sense given the “psychness” of all this. I like the bongos (buried somewhere in the mix) and the harpsichord. But, in general, songs kinda shift in and out, weak melodies come and go. There’s some woodwind things here, electric organ there, spacey vocals over here, mellotrons there. Admittedly, this does lend the album a nice flow to it. Some of it is very pretty, like the beginning of the slow, spacey “Lady Dada’s Nightmare”, but in the middle they introduce buried, processed screaming and dissident violins and it kinda goes no where. The end of the song has some pretty piano and violin plucking.

MGMT left out the singles, but I’m not sure how compelling I find the music on Congratulations. Compare this album to The Flaming Lips last album Embryonic (which MGMT had a guest appearance on). Take “Convinced Of The Hex”, where Wayne Coyne sings the vocal hook, “that’s the difference between us”. Or “The Sparrow Looks Up At The Machine”, which has that martial snare drum and bass groove, over layers of guitar and synth stabs. Or the spacey “Silver Trembling Hands”, which has those beautiful shimmers of synth. Another band I kept getting reminded of is The Fiery Furnaces. Their songs often feature multiple parts that shift and turn. They’re pretty trippy. But, The Fiery Furnaces also write melodies that stick out.

Maybe it all comes down to the production on Congratulations. It really sounds like shit. Maybe with better production MGMT’s melodies would have stood out more to me. I don’t think it’s a bad album, but in their effort to make a cohesive “body of work” the album was flat to me.

Great album art though.

The Coral – Skeleton Key

Jefferson Airplane – In Time

The Kinks – Animal Farm

Love – Stephanie Knows Who

The Flaming Lips – Silver Trembling Hands

The Fiery Furnaces – Black-Hearted Boy

The MGMT website has the video for “Flash Delirium”, and it’s the kind of video that makes me wonder if MGMT explained to the participants what this shit means.

March 29, 2010

Caduceus Cellars, Maynard’s wine store.

About two weeks ago, on March 17th, me and a friend took a road trip to Jerome, Arizona. Maynard James Keenan, of the bands Tool, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer, owns a winery called Caduceus Cellars, and a vineyard called Merkin Vineywards. At this wine store in Jerome you can buy his wine. Which we did of course! Maynard lives in Sedona, near Jerome in Arizona. The winery is in Cornville, which is also nearby. He also owns an organic produce market in Cornville. Jerome is an old copper mining town active in the late 1800’s, early 1900’s that is now mostly a tourist destination. So, if on the very off chance you’re in Arizona and have a couple hours, take a trip and buy some wine.

Here is the wikipedia section where it talks about his winemaking and other endeavors.

Here’s a link to his wine website. You can order his wine there. There is also an extensive list of places you can purchase his wine around the country.

This is the front of his store.

There's a closer look at the sign.

Here's the bottle I bought, and the bag it came in.

Town of Jerome

March 26, 2010

Delorean’s “Stay Close” is Sunkissed, Perfect

It’s like early 90’s techno never died. Especially those vocal samples. I can almost hear them covering Rozalla’s “Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good)”. Delorean’s first album Subiza is out June 8th.

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March 25, 2010

New LCD Soundsystem – Drunk Girls (Updated)

It’s fucking LCD Soundsystem. What are you waiting for? Listen to it before it gets taken down.

3/26 10:16 – Well, as you can see, the youtube version got taken down by EMI. But, this is the internet, after all, so here you go…

LCD Soundsystem – Drunk Girls

March 25, 2010

New Moon deconstructs “serious music”.

I watched New Moon last night. When a Bon Iver & St Vincent duet soundtracks the scene right before Edward leaves Bella, Lykke Li soundtracks a scene where Bella feels devastated because Edward left her, and Thom Yorke soundtracks a werewolf/vampire fight it creates a deconstruction of the idea that any music, even “serious music”, is truly on a higher credibility level. And, I like that.

March 25, 2010

Robyn – Fembot

Robyn released a new track streaming on her website. “Fembot” is a bouncy electro dance track with funny lyrics about being a sexy robot. It’s everything you want from her. Instead of “The Girl And The Robot” (Royksopp), she is the robot. “I got a lot of automatic booty applications.” According to an interview with Pitchfork, the album is out in June and Diplo produces a track.

Robyn – Fembot

Royksopp – The Girl And The Robot (with Robyn)

Her website is pretty trippy too.


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March 24, 2010

Phoenix – Free Live Album

Pitchfork posted a link to a free 8 track live album from Phoenix, called Live In Sydney. Yes, free. Phoenix are a great band live, as I blogged in February, and you can hear that 10 minute version of “Love Like A Sunset” in all its glory.

Here is the direct link to Phoenix’s website.
Here is the track listing:
1. Lisztomania
2. Lasso
3. Fences
4. Girlfriend
5. Armistice
6. Love Like a Sunset
7. Rome
8. 1901

March 23, 2010

This is why I love Britney.

Starbucks and Two Cigs!

Courtesy of The Superficial.

March 22, 2010

Master of Puppets vs Womanizer

When I was a teenager I was really big into the Big Four of metal: Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth, and Slayer. At this point, 2009, I really feel like those bands were far more poppy then I realized at the time. “Master Of Puppets” might be over eight minutes long, but if you deconstruct the song, it has a regular pop structure: Intro, Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Outro. The main difference is that in “Master Of Puppets”, the bridge is the lengthy guitar soloing and staccato “Master! Master! Where’s the dreams I’ve been after?” part. That lengthy section serves the same purpose as the part in “Womanizer” that would be considered the bridge. A bridge is a contrasting section which leads back to the main melody. To illustrate my point, I’ve “mapped out” the sections of both songs, and you can listen along. I think you’ll be surprised.

Britney Spears – Womanizer

Intro 0:00 – 0:14
Verse 0:14 – 0:42
Pre-chorus 0:42 – 0:55
Chorus 0:55 – 1:23
Verse 2) 1:23 – 1:51
Pre-chorus 1:51 – 2:05
Chorus 2:05 – 2:32
Bridge 2:32 – 2:46
Chorus 2:46 – end

Metallica – Master Of Puppets

Intro 0:00 – 0:52
Verse 1 0:52 – 1:27
Pre-chorus 1:27 – 1:48
Chorus 1:48 – 2:10
Verse 2) 2:10 – 2:47
Pre-chorus 2:47 – 3:08
Chorus 3:08 – 3:30
Bridge 3:30 – 6:39
Verse 3) 6:39 – 7:15
Pre-chorus 7:15 – 7:35
Chorus – 7:35 – end

March 22, 2010

I Love Archer

Like a long time girlfriend. I want to marry it.

Vodpod videos no longer available.