Tag Archives: Andrew VanWyngarden

Looking Forward to End-of-Summer Albums

12 Aug

End of Summer

Doesn’t it seem that summer passes by quicker than any other season? For those (like me) who live in a state that experiences distinct climates, it is easy to become ensconced in the warm weather just to have it ripped away from you quickly. I should stop complaining. Summer still has more than a month to bathe us in beach weather. As we continue to enjoy the fading rays of summer, let’s take a glimpse at some end-of-summer albums music lovers should be looking forward to.

August 20

John Mayer – Paradise Valley 

The crooning bluesman is fully recovered from his vocal surgery and has hit the ground running after the delayed (2012) release of his fifth studio album Born and RaisedParadise Valley abides by a similar formula as his last release: mixture of folk and country rock. The first single is evident of that.

Mayer’s airy croon does not disappoint and the song carries a relaxed rhythm. It’s a pleasant listen – and the embedded video is hilariously odd.

August 27

Franz Ferdinand – Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action

Franz Ferdinand

It has been almost a decade since “Take Me Out” hit #3 on the UK charts. Wow. The 2004 self-titled album sold more than three million copies and engendered worldwide popularity for the Scottish band. The band has always been able to stay relevant with its tunes, but the music has not been frequent. After a quick follow-up in 2005 it took the band four years to release its third LP and another four years to release the most recent album. The early reviews are proclaiming that it is well worth the wait.

September 17

Five For Fighting – Bookmarks 


John Ondrasik – a.k.a. Five For Fighting – has penned some pretty substantial hits on his piano including: “Superman,” “100 Years,” and “The Riddle.” Slice, his last album, was released four years ago, and it is about time for the lifelong L.A. Kings fan to release a new album (I wonder if Bookmarks will celebrate the Kings 2012 Stanley Cup victory). One thing I can presume is that the new album will feature Ondrasik’s original, infectious piano pop that continues to impress.



It is not usual for a band to have a self-titled third album, but, well, MGMT is not usual. This eccentric psychedelic rock band is on the cusp of the much awaited release of its unique third album, and fans of the band are in for a wacky treat. The band did tell Rolling Stone that they “are not trying to make music that everyone understands the first time they hear it.” It is refreshing to see two musicians carrying on the rich tradition of good psychedelic rock, and I have always been keen to the band. Just recently the band released its second single from the album, “Your Life is a Lie,” and…it’s…uhh…this:

The Best Songs of 2010: #7: “Flash Delirium” by MGMT

23 Dec

The story of MGMT is interesting. “Kids” is perhaps their best known piece and it is a six-minute synthpop classic with small elements of psychedelia. MGMT’s brand of synth music in this song does come dangerously close to modern psychedelic music, but it falls short and therefore I cannot consider the 2008 song a psychedelic piece. Two years later, though, MGMT released Congratulations (April, 2010) and the first single from the album was nothing like “Kids.” Instead it delved deeper in the psychedelic sound that, according to lead men Benjamin Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden, was what they wanted to do with this album. It is the #7 song on our countdown.

I mention this because MGMT to me was simply another band exploring synthpop which has gained a strong listening base as a sub-mainstream genre. While “Kids” was catchy, I gave it one quick listen to affirm my theory and then went on to better pieces of music. But, “Flash Delirium” is different. I will tell you why below.

Song: “Flash Delirium”

Band: MGMT

“Flash Delirium” is no where close to “Kids.” One can spot the differences right away. “Kids” depends solely on a hook to provide the song’s structure and meaning. Without that one infectious part, there is no “Kids.” Contrastingly, “Flash Delirium” has no initial hook. The song begins with a drum-driven verse that erupts into this temporary rock insanity and then falls back into the verse that adds a synth into the background. But, the synth is not the short and catch “Kids” synth. It is deeper. The noise hangs on like a lingering smell.

Then the pre-chorus hits you with a wall of sound that just comes out of nowhere. Suddenly you are being hit by an orchestral sound before the chorus (or what seems like the chorus) hits you with this Bowie-like “Ashes to Ashes” segment. Then a sing-a-long and a flute. You stop and think to yourself, what the hell is going on? And that is when I first realized that this is a good piece of psychedelic music. It makes you question normal music conventions. Hence why I am hesitant calling the chorus a chorus. The song’s structure is lacking. It falls into a void that lacks gravity. All sound is floating and hitting you at random times. And that is only after two minutes.

Then all hell breaks loose. More sounds are added and the song turns to a rock base with vocal repetition. The end of the song is an eruption. There is anger and then animal noises. You are left bemused and intrigued.

That is what happens with the video as well. I wanted to give you my song analysis before I posted the video. The video is genius. It is confusing, wacky, disoriented, sardonic and even possibly satiric. Basically, one of our main characters (who seem to be coming back from war) is hiding a hole in his throat, which he reveals after the flute (it’s like snake charming). There is something inside of his opening that sings and is then pulled out and inserted into this machine in an odd libidinous ceremony. The family in the video consists of hippies and war-mongers and crazy looking old ladies. The end of the video (which correlates with the volcano of sound at the end) is a string of psychedelic images that “mind rape” you. Animal noises coincide with darkness. Something really bad just happened. The listener/viewer is left shaking their head. Boy is that a good song! But it is unconventional. Hence why it has not received a lot of attention (besides top 10 lists). This is not close to “Kids.” This one is for the adults.



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