Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Strangely Delicious Brew

Before Lykke Li, my musical addiction centered on MGMT. And that was, what ... a week ago? I can be rather fickle sometimes.

You know, I didn't much care for Oracular Spectacular when I first got it. I really only bought the album for "Time to Pretend." Slapped that on my current playlist and ignored the other tracks.

Then I heard "Kids" playing while I ate dinner at Belcourt. (Fantastic restaurant, by the way. Why hasn't steak with bone marrow sauce caught on at more places?) There's something strangely transformative about hearing music that you only kinda like playing in an environment where you don't expect to hear it. After the dinner, I gave the album another listen, and it started to grow on me.

My guess is that, for most people, Oracular Spectacular will sound quite strange upon the first listen. It did for me. But that's likely because MGMT has created such a unique sound. It's at once dancy and psychedelic, serene and bombastic. Sometimes, they sound like a hippie-ish band from the 60's. Other times, they sound like the Bee Gees on the soundtrack for the 21st century remake of Saturday Night Fever. Still other times, they sound like a band that couldn't decide whether to play electropop or indie rock and decided to do both. Seems like a recipe for a really disgusting oracular stew. And, on first listen, it is. But it becomes addictively tasty after you get over the weirdness.

They're playing a free show at McCarren Park Pool on Sunday with The Ting Tings. And I'm probably going to miss it because I let a friend sucker me into a road trip to Toronto for the weekend. (He needs to be there for a wedding, but he doesn't want to pay for airfare. So he convinces me to go to keep him company. Then he tells me that I'm not invited to the wedding. And he tries to make it all better by noting that one of his rather cute cousins from Australia will be riding back with us. 17 hours roundtrip? She'd better be a supermodel. Cheap bastard.)