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The story of MGMT is likely to be the same whether they’re around for ten, twenty, or a hundred years. Will MGMT ever be able to match the success and quality of Oracular Spectacular? The band, which is really the duo of Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser, and a bunch of touring musicians, released Oracular Spectacular on Oct. 2, 2007. The studio album was anchored by new versions of “Time to Pretend” and “Kids.” Both songs were featured on the band’s EP Time to Pretend (2005). The album steadily sold over one million copies and made just about every major “Best Albums of the Year” list. They were also nominated for the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 2010.
MGMT’s sophomore effort was Congratulations. It was released in mid-April of 2010. While Oracular Spectacular was heavy on synthesizers, Congratulations saw the band rely more on guitars. It also lacked the accessibility, charm, and energy of their debut. Their third studio album, self-titled, dropped in June of 2013 and followed in the footsteps of its predecessor. While releases two and three are very good neither come close to matching the band’s legendary premiere. Oracular Spectacular is a true classic.
Besides their psychedelic sound, which is infused with elements of rock, pop, and alternative music, the band is also known for their vibrant live performances. MGMT tickets are in high demand all over the world. They’ve performed on all the late night talk shows as well as major music festivals like Bonnaroo, Coachella, the Street Scene in San Diego, and the Fun Fun Fun Fest.
MGMT was originally called “The Management” but were forced to drop that sobriquet after they learned it was being used by another band. They instead went with the abbreviation for management, “MGMT.” Their name is pronounced “M-G-M-T,” not “management.” VanWyngarden and Goldwasser started playing together as freshmen at Wesleyan University.
In 2009, MGMT demanded payment from a French political party, Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) because they used their song “Kids” at a conference and on the internet. MGMT settled with the UMP out of court for more than 30,000 Euros. The band said that the UMP was “a little wack” for pushing anti-privacy legislation while using a song without permission. It’s doubtful MGMT would have demanded a dime had the party’s politics been more to their liking. The UMP is France’s center-right political party.