MGMT, the makers of indelible psych-pop nuggets like "Kids" and "Electric Feel," are back with their sophomore album, Congratulations.
Unlike Oracular Spectacular, the group's breakthrough debut album, Congratulations appears to be a much denser, complex affair -- and if the album's first single, "Flash Delirium," is any indication, then we're in for a long, strange, musical trip.
The clip for "Flash Delirium," as MTV News' James Mongomery has noted, also bares a striking resemblance to the work of Beck, both in its use of zany visuals (i.e. weird costume design and senior citizen choreography) and its drugged-but-funky sound.
Check out the video for "Flash Delirium" below. Congratulations is out April 13.
+ Jay-Z had yet another homecoming last night, playing another typically awe-inspiring show at Madison Square Garden—the venue which hosted his Fade To Black concert film and his 9/11 benefit show. Opener Young Jeezy nearly stole the show from the headliner, though. The Atlanta rapper brought out Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne, who celebrated his lack of incarceration by performing Young Jeezy's underground hit, "I'm Goin' In." (MTV News)
+ Justin Timberlake's affair with Hollywood continues unabated. The pop star will act opposite Cameron Diaz in the upcoming film Bad Teacher. A couple of things are wrong with this: 1.) We're getting a little annoyed that Justin Timberlake keeps finding movie sets more inviting than recording studios, and 2.) Did anyone notice that Diaz is Justin Timberlake's ex-girlfriend. Jessica Biel can't be cool with this. (Just Jared)
+ The psych-pop kids in MGMT have a new full-length album, Congratulations, out April 13. And by way of promotion, they've made a snappy infomercial, highlighting all the neat bells and whistles that come with the CD's packaging. (Flavorwire)
+ The Pussycat Dolls tour bus is probably a pretty lonely place these days because the nu-burlesque girl group recently lost more members, Kimberly Wyatt and Ashley Roberts. The pair left the Nicole Scherzinger-led group while they were on tour in England. (PopEater)
+ Idolator have put together a jaw-dropping gallery of the craziest, most passionate, most ornate, most dedicated and, in some cases, most disturbing pieces of fan art they could find. The package includes renderings of Taylor Swift, Jay-Z, Adam Lambert, Kanye West and many more. (Idolator)
Sampling in hip-hop is becoming somewhat of an endangered art-form. How come? Well, it's just too expensive to go around taking Aerosmith guitar riffs (Run-DMC's "Walk This Way") or Led Zeppelin drums (Beastie Boys' "So What'cha Want"). Those days are decidedly gone—or are they?
Enter Philadelphia underground rap duo Chiddy Bang and their insanely catchy new single "Opposite Of Adults." Sure, we love the cut's combination of easily-to-relate-to nostalgic lyrics, courtesy of Chiddy Bang's MC, and the giant, tumbling beat, thanks to DJ/producer Xaphoon Jones. But another reason the song's so great likely stems from an ingenious sample of MGMT's "Kids."
Cut and pasted and re-arranged, the keyboard hook from MGMT's hit sounds fantastic in this hip-hop context and, well, don't get us started on the kooky video. Ever wanted to see large superimposed heads of the Chiddy Bang members on younger, smaller bodies? We'll take that as a "yes."
MGMT: You go for the lush, electronic-but-organic instrumentation and bouncy beats, but you stay for the insanely catchy melodies.
Jams like "Kids" and "Electric Feel" have a timeless quality to them; they're just examples of rock solid songwriting. And it's this basic, elemental quality that comes across in this version of MGMT's mega-jam, "Kids," by British band The Kooks. It reminds a lot of the version "Electric Feel" cover that Katy Perry did a while back; with voice, guitar and a little bit of keys for embellishment.
+ Listen to The Kooks' cover of MGMT's "Kids" here (as well as their covers of Peter, Bjorn and John and Gnarls Barkley), and check out the MGMT's "Kids" video, for the sake of comparison, below.
The leaves are leaving the trees and the kids are back in school. It's starting to look like Woodie weather out there, no?
MTVU's annual award show--held this year on December 4th--honors those artists who put it down on college campuses everywhere; celebrating the music the kids listen to while studying to become the future leaders of America, etc. And the best part about this show? You can vote to determine who wins!
This year features a really healthy crop of artists. Let's take a gander at some of the categories and nominees, shall we?
For the Woodie of the Year Award, for the artist who made the biggest splash on college campuses this year, we've got Asher Roth, Kings Of Leon, Drake, Silversun Pickups and MGMT.
In the category of Breaking Woodie, which honors up and coming artists who have made headway with the kids, the nominees are Grizzly Bear, Never Shout Never, Wale, La Roux, Friendly Fires and Passion Pit.
Probably my favorite category, Left Field Woodie, which features artists who defy classification, features nominees like Amanda Blank, Major Lazer, Janelle Monae and P.O.S.
You can also vote in the categories Performing Woodie, Good Woodie and College Radio Woodie, BMOC Woodie and Best Video Woodie.
The Brooklyn band Amazing Baby, tells you everything you need to know about them in 150 words while on location at the East River Amphitheater in New York City. The guys talk, condensed Twitter style, about getting to know one another, being in it for the long haul, and moving forward with their sound.
Made up (somewhat) of former co-workers at ringtone company, Amazing Baby makes dancey, psychedelic pop-rock that would sound just fine in a shuffled playlist with the likes of MGMT, Animal Collective, Chairlift and classics like Pink Floyd and Love. Their album, Rewild, is in stores now.
Watch Amazing Baby's new MTV interview and their "Head Dress" video.
+ Mariah Carey gave a big "F U" to the R.I.A.A. (Recording Industry Association of America) and their silly little Grammys by pushing back the release date of her new album to a day after the cut-off date for it to be considered eligible for this year's awards. Personally, we think she's pulling a bitch move in light of fellow megastar Whitney Houston releasing her new album on September 1st. Nothing like a little competition between two DIVAAAAAAAAAAAAAS, right lambies? (The Frisky)
+It's so wonderful seeing the excitement on Kanye West's face to be out and about with someone as overtly glamorous as Amber Rose (especially in a barely-there bikini, and by "barely-there" we mean linguine-draped meatballs with a leg of lamb. Seriously?? Her body was assembled by spare parts. AND WE LIKES IT.) (The Blemish)
+ New pictures have surfaced of a hotter-than-ever Ricky Martin hanging out on the beach with his angelic one-year-old twin boys. ME ENCANTO! (Socialite Life)
+ Apple now accounts for 25% of total music sales via iTunes. (CNN Money)
+ Oh, and in case you're one of like four people in the world who wasn't annoyed when songs would auto-play on MySpace Music, they've disabled that feature to save a buck or two. (TechCrunch)
+ Be on the lookout for Yeah Yeah Yeah's frontwoman Karen O and MGMT to guest on the new Flaming Lips record, Embryonic. Evidently Karen did her portion of the two songs she recorded right over the phone. (NME)
+ Emo kids, get out your eyeliner and prepare for a reapplication: Conor Oberst just announced that Bright Eyes will release its final album next year. Perma sad face. :< (Pitchfork)
+ I wonder if some days Lady Gaga just wants to put on a pair of sweatpants that say "PINK" on the ass, and like, a ratty t-shirt and walk to the store on the corner to buy a Nesquik and a Cowtail. I mean, sure -- she's not in a unitard or a crazy dress, but is this her idea of comfy/casual? Um, and check out the headline on her crotch. Stay classssssay, Gags! (Seriously? OMG! WTF?)
+ Nas was just ordered to pay almost $44,000 a month in child support to Kelis for the baby she had on Tuesday. Who wants to go to Discovery Zone??? Nas' treat!!! (Star Magazine)
+ In the wake of the Beastie Boys' sad announcement about Adam Yauch's cancer diagnosis, the Yeah Yeah Yeah's have stepped up to take their place at Lollapalooza. (The Tripwire)
+ And in a unifying show of solidarity, none other than Jay-Z is subbing out for the Beasties at All Points West. (The Tripwire)
+ Also, on the Jay-Z tip, weird or WOW that MGMT will be contributing to his next album? Boys better be gettin' paaaaaaaaid. (Reuters)
+ Miami-based heavy metal band Black Tide are doing a lot of trash talking about our boys from Tokio Hotel, and guitarist Zakk (uh... right) has gone so far as to put together a playlist of songs he thinks are way better than anything TH could ever do. Sounds like someone's totes jelly of Bill's hair (and, oh.. the 40 or so awards like this one they've won for being so awesome)?! What do you think about Black... who? (The Rad Report)
+ Hollywood Records confirms that sister act Aly & AJ have officially changed their name to 78 Violet. Huh? (Tommy2.net)
+ This week's Most Awkward Moment award goes to the barista who works at the Aroma coffee shop in the Valley. Said barista had NO IDEA that the person standing in front of him ordering a chai latte was NICK. JONAS. AGH!!!!! Are you kidding me??? You could recognize that puss a mile away! (Celeb Snacker)
+ Katy Perry is fearless in fashion and is utterly unremorseful -- check out this editorial spread she did for Canadian magazine Flare. (Styleist)
+ Even though my Production Assistant was slightly unimpressed by MGMT's recent concert in Brooklyn's Prospect Park, I'm totally going to check out their recently remastered Time To Pretend EP that was just released. There is NO pleasin' some people. (The Tripwire)
+ It's hard not to mention the emotional Michael Jackson memorial service held today at the L.A.'s Staples Center. MTV has the entire show on demand, plus every scrap of MJ memorabilia you could ever want, to help you immortalize the King of Pop. (MTV)
+ ON franSAY, see voo PLAY?! Britney's in Paris for the European leg of her cash cow Circus tour, and she's done a lot more than just change her hair color and her pantyhose. (The Blemish)
Amazing Baby is a tribe of Brooklyn weirdos on a hardcore vision quest. On their debut full-length, Rewild, the sonic explorers glam out in the far reaches of a dozen imagined mini universes, introducing mystical creatures ("The Narwhal"), gruesome danger ("Bayonets," "Deerripper") and fantastic real estate ("Invisible Palace"). In league with fellow Brooklyn heavyweights MGMT and Chairlift, Amazing Baby have been generating high-intensity buzz since the first sky-ripping growl of their neo-psychedelic revolution.
Amazing Baby's latest single, "Smoke Bros," is a cosmic boogie about starving cannibals that's half smirk, half snarl. The single's heady pomp and swagger is pure T.Rex, but its outer space guitar sounds and cynical edge are pure Brooklyn, 2009. Don't miss this new glam-rock (hey, aren't Tokio Hotel kinda glam...?) juggernaut.
Watch the mind-blowing video for "Headdress" below, to get a feel for the level of Arcade Fire intensity we're dealing with here, then download "Smoke Bros" for free on Amazing Baby's website.