January 2008

And it looks like MGMT.

Ironically, I am already late with this band because I first heard about them on a Rolling Stone magazine of top ten bands you haven’t heard of. They just played the Echoplex in Los Angeles, and are touring small venues across the country but in seconds they will be opening for Radiohead and Arcade Fire, and then they will be headlining the Hollywood bowl in Yes/Fleetwood Mac fashion.

I don’t say this lightly. I never say anything lightly, especially when predicting the future. But we have all been waiting for the pendulum to swing us out of the oppressive culture war in America of the past decade, waiting to see how the fall of the Old Industry would ultimately scatter – and now that everyone from Prince and Radiohead to the upcomers have bucked tradition and the record deal dream – the new superstars are emerging through the new sub-radar channels. And MGMT represents all that freedom.

Their video for Time To Pretend accomplishes even more succinctly what Beck attempted with his retro video0feedback bonus features – dissolving the precious facade of bling and perfectionism and photo-realistic CGI and lays it out just as it is – a playground in the virtual realm, just as we used to play in the now quiet jungle gyms in our worn out cities.

We are now living with a generation that has always had an internet there. It IS their playground. It is where relationships and first kisses, and bruised knees and drunken parties formed. It is all the guts and spit and blood and bubblegum of life in real-time with real consequences, and the watchdogs are equally circumvented, and the contrarians gather in underground clusters, and every once in a while something comes along and shakes it like a Christmas snow scene and the whole thing illuminates into a fiber optic mantle display.

The New Wave is a revival of 70’s hedonism, Steampunk (that callback to the What If that connects our electro-static smattered wetware to the organic), ninjas (the covert assassins of the establishment) and Pirates (self-explanatory and no it has nothing to do with Jerry Bruckheimer and Johnny Depp).

When my band Blue Dog Pict covered itself in stage blood, dresses and twelve foot puppets, it was to erase the lines, plug things in to the wrong sockets and see what lit up. There was no such thing as web browsers back then. MGMT has that and now you don’t have to somehow catch their show to see what I mean. MTV doesn’t need to decide it fits into their programming so that you can see the video. It can come right at you.

Here it is.


Now go play. The future is yours.