ALTREPORT.COM, February 18, 2010
by the ALT REPORT Robot

MGMT debuts new album art on Boing Boing, shafts music magazines
the Robot
In one of the most interesting developments of 2k10, MGMT decided to ‘debut’ their album art on boingboing, one of the largest generalist blogs in the world. As opposed to ‘debuting’ the album art on a mainstream music site such as SPIN, Rolling Stone, Stereogum, or Pitchfork, their strategy was to reach out to a massive amount of new fans. It will be interesting to see how hard the Sony marketing machine pushes MGMT for their new album Congratulations. Most likely, we will see them packaged as a Killers-type band.

Some are theorizing that Sony paid boingboing to feature it on their site:

The Boing Boing debut was disguised as a meaningful interview with the artist Anthony Ausgang in which he explained his ‘concept’ behind zany cartoon doodles.

How did you get hooked up with MGMT?

I met Andrew and Ben from MGMT through the experimental musician Sonic Boom of Spacemen 3 and Spectrum, for whom I had done album cover art in the past. MGMT was recording “Congratulations” at a mansion in Malibu so I went there a couple of times to hang out and watch the process unfold. Not being a musician I was occasionally left to my own devices so I would sit around and draw on pieces of paper then leave them there when I went home. I got along well with the band and gave them copies of my book, Vacation From Reality. Later, Josh Cheuse, the art director from Sony, contacted me once the recording was finished. The most important thing was that MGMT wanted the “look” of my style of painting and gave me only a few points that I had to hit. Naturally the process took some time but they were always cool with the criticisms. A lot of people who commission a painting only know what they don’t want; fortunately MGMT knew what they wanted and let me do it my way.

We cannot confirm that they did drugs together and formed some sort of deep bond.

Will the album be ‘critically accepted’ or will it become music sites’ opportunity to ‘pan’ one band that is trying to go too mainstream in order to send the message not to abandon them? We can assume that music websites will grow bitter since they will be ’shafted’ for larger outlets as the album release process/meme release cycle evolves.

Was KIDS the #1 song of the 2k0s?
Did this album art launch ’succeed’ in reaching the mainstream?
Will indie / alt / mindie music sites be neglected in the future as their biggest memes will be debuted at places like Perez Hilton, Gawker, and the Huffington Post?
Will MGMT’s album be more commercially successful than Vampire Weekend’s?
Is MGMT the power house band of 2k10?
Will ‘Congratulations’ be a terrible album?
Are album art blurbs the most ‘low level’ blurbs in the music blogosphere?

Back to the top of the page