the (re)public house | Brewed according to the Rheinheitsgebot Purity Law of 1516.


e-mail this post

remember me (?)

All personal information that you provide here will be governed by the Privacy Policy of More...

There is a band you must check out: MGMT. What I am about to write is a pretty big endorsement.

First, let me give you a brief history:

In 1993 Sting released Ten Summoners Tales, and I met a musical mentor and friend who to this day continually makes me shake my head in inspiration and amazement. Sting is simply the best and to be most respected and honored popular musician of our time, in my humble opinion. Factoring his development of song writing, breadth of instrumentality, depth of lyrical and literary significance, seemingly unlimited versatility of genre, collaborative genius, incorporation of music and sound from all continents, and ability to translate and merge music into present relevance that originated hundreds and hundreds of years ago, it is very difficult to argue for anyone else. To be sure, there are many who are perhaps more historically influential as their vision and talent came at a time when music itself was redefining itself through the jazz, R&B, rock, hip hop movements. As a person who can fit together all this work gone before him though both in mind and practice, Sting is the greatest.

I remember the first time I heard Jeff Buckley in 1996.  It was in my bedroom when a friend of mine gave me a tape (yes a tape) to listen to for inspiration of a song we were working on. Basically, I was supposed to learn from how Matt Johnson supported the song by letting his drumming sit within the tune.  Though I probably acquiesced a little, I'm pretty sure I still played my usual Carter Beauford style which was way over the top and "hey, look at me." While it took a little time to mature and thankfully balance in my appreciation between guys like Johnson and Beauford, I instantly recognized and fell in love with the genius of Buckley. Whenever I listen to Buckley, I am haunted by his ever present yet never fully seen ghost. His grandness of capability in both his voice and guitar is almost impossible to measure. Tragically, the world was only revealed a glimpse of his talent, and we will never know the fullness of his potential. His brief life left this world an amazing gift; however, one cannot help but imagine what was to come and mourn such a treasure lost. (For whatever, it means, I don't own their first or latest album...though I like this last one very much.)

I also recall the first time I absolutely fell in love with Coldplay, which was actually later than many, in 2002.  I was in a Virgin Megastore listening to In My Place, and the last minute of the track hit. I will never forget the particular shiver that I felt in my spine and how my heart swelled inside me. It was sacred, a marked means of common grace in the Divine gift of music.

I could write about many others: Ryan Adams, Taylor Swift (yeah, seriously. Pure, simple songwriting developing from adolescence to maturity before our ears - take it for what it is and appreciate what should be an insightful journey), Radiohead, Lyle Lovette, and even Timberlake (again, seriously. The fusion of an actually talented songwriter who can actually play real instruments, actually sing without real-time pitch correctors, and actually package it to a generation who tragically doesn't even appreciate or see what he does really well. Actually true.)

So, after all this, here is my point. Ever since I heard and bought MGMT's new album, Oracular Spectacular, I have paused listening to all of these and the others and exclusively played, and replayed, and replayed this Brooklyn duo.  If I am driving in my car, taking a walk, reading a book, washing the dishes, relaxing in my house, or whatever, I am listening to MGMT. Will I at some point cease this absolute commitment to the band and reintroduce my normal favorites into my listening? Definitely. However, the more I listen, the more I love, and it seems doubtful that this will end anytime soon. I cannot yet relate them to Buckley or Sting, and they would have to work an almost divine miracle for me to; however, be clear that I am not attempting to. Simply put, the best endorsement I think I can give is to tell you that they have momentarily made all other music silent to me. They are great, and the more you take them in, the less you'll want to give them up. Take my advice: buy their album and don't worry about needing to again update your iPod or whatever anytime soon.

Matthew Moore's Facebook Profile



currently reading.



local favorites.


site nav.

old conversations.