MGMT @ The Tivoli

One of the most obvious signs of the onset of old age in your average music fan appears to be the annual comparison of albums bought versus album included in the music media’s end of year polls.  Whereas through your late-teens and throughout your twenties a ‘score’ of ten, twelve or maybe even a fifteen from a typical top 50 albums of the year list can be consistently achieved in any year, terminal decline sets in through your thirties until you are struggling to get more than one or two albums on any publication’s list that you have added to your collection during the year. 

MGMT have been a constant fixture on most of the 2008 end of year album polls I’ve seen, and whilst I haven’t gotten around to buying Oracular Spectacular‘, it feels like I don’t even have to as it’s been an omnipresent soundtrack to the year, inescapable any time you turned on the radio, switched on the TV or went out to the shops.

Whilst the album has been garnering the rave reviews and end of year accolades, the live experience seems to be a lot more of a mixed bag, with as many, if not more, bad reviews as good reviews, and their Brisbane show at The Tivoli was no exception. Whilst I only got to see the first three songs before I was escorted out (I also disappointingly didn’t get to photograph the support acts – Tame Impala and Luke Steele) it was three songs of extreme soporific tendencies, with all the electro-psychedelic-pop charm of the album sucked out and replaced by a dirge of self-indulgent, bad prog-rock guitar noodling. And for once I know that it’s just not me: the reviews and comments from other shows they have recently played in Sydney and at Meredith, together with the reviews from the Brisbane show, all seem to be somewhat less than flattering, and it’s a rare occasion when me and the Courier Mail agree on something…

A few more photos on flickr.

Footnote: BTW, the only album I’ve bought this year that most publications have included in the upper echelons of their respective best album polls is ‘Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!’ by Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds. Feel free to suggest anything from 2008 that I might like, a thankless task I’m sure… So long as no one recommends Vampire Weekend we’ll probably be ok…  Or at least off to a good start…

6 Responses to “MGMT @ The Tivoli”

  1. I have scored a big 0. I will open myself up here and list the 8 CD’s I bought yesterday…nothing new or groundbreaking…some quite ordinary…all on sale for under $10

    Motorhead – No Sleep At All
    John Cougar Mellencamp – Scarecrow
    Foo Fighters – Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
    Incubus – Light Grenades
    Basement Jaxx – Kish Kash
    Steely Dan – The Best Of
    Guns n Roses – The Spaghetti Incident
    Pearl Jam – Yield

    I think the underlying theme is that I thought these albums weren’t worth buying until they were heavily discounted (and one was bought purely to round out my Guns and Roses collection).

    Says a lot about me and my uncultured ways I think.

  2. Oh and I didn’t realise that MGMT actually played instruments

  3. Justin says:

    I did lol when i got to The Spaghetti Incident, possibly because I also need it to round out my G’nR collection…

    But I’m the same as you in that most of what I buy is in the $10 range. But it’s more because there’s still so much music that I’ve never gotten around to listening to, there’s still plenty of ‘classic’ albums I’ve never heard so a lot of what I buy is spent on that – this year have bought all the Triffids re-releases and been making my way through getting the Go-Betweens back catalogue as well, and also the Bob Dylan stuff. Also been buying up a few things that got back in the UK on vinyl but that missed, ie David Bowie’s 1971 – 1980 period, and at $10 you might as well just buy it. $10 is like 2 drinks, it’s lunch from a food court. It’s why I can trouble fathoming the whole ‘music is too expensive’ thing when it’s used as an argument for illegal downloading. $10 for a lifetime of listening pleasure, how can you go wrong? I so need to start a non-photo blog….

  4. Stephen says:

    I am probably way off the pace, too — largely because I stopped listening to Triple J about three years ago. I don’t even listen to the Zeds that much as well. I feel a touch cynical about some of these next big things that the Js promote tbh, and most of my new acquisitions, as it were, come gig-going and personal recs.

    I suspect that you probably have most of these, but these ones were my album highlights of 2008:

    Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Dig! Lazarus Dig!
    Ladytron: Velocifero
    The Gin Club: Junk
    Texas Tea: The Junkship Recordings
    The Grates: Teeth Lost, Hearts Won
    Esther Lamb: Listen For Home
    Violent Soho: We Don’t Belong Here

    Not sure you’d go for the icy electro-tones of Ladytron, but the soft pop-cabaret of Esther Lamb might appeal? I discovered her via Rave — she’s a South Australian and I think last.fm offers a few free downloads of her stuff.

  5. Justin says:

    I haven’t got that Grates album but probably will get around to it; I’ve got the 1st one and the EP that they released before that. Been a pretty strong year for Brisbane local releases. If the Gin Club album was by someone like Josh Pyke or the Texas Tea one was by something like Angus and Julia Stone I’m sure they’d be inescapable whenever you turned the radio or tv on or opened an Australian music magazine and up for every album award going in the country. Good review of the Texas Tea album in The Courier Mail today by Noel Mengel. Soho seem to be making waves and on the cusp of possible making a real breakthrough, so fingers crossed for them. I had to go into the city at lunch and planned on picking up a few albums from the end of year polls that I know are more my thing. But ended up with a load of old stuff:

  6. Pavement – Brighten The Corners 2CD remastered set (to go with the others I’ve got and as a stand-in for the vinyl version of the album that lives on the other side of the world…);
  7. Rowland S Howard – Teenage Snuff Film (which been meaning to buy for ages);
  8. Bowie – Reality + A Reality Tour Live DVD set ($15 from JB); and
  9. Lou Reed – Berlin + Coney Island Baby (The perfect Xmas selection, full of festive cheer. Or not. 2xCD set from JB = $10. Couldn’t say no…)
  10. Yeah, so best of 2008 albums will have to wait until the new year…

  • […] were really shocking when they played at The Tivoli at the end of last year; really terrible and disinterested, a band that had obviously spent far too long on the road. But […]

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