Back in October of last year, MGMT recorded a session at Daytrotter. Their label sent me a press release about it a couple of days ago (it was officially posted on Jan. 3), but as usual, I get to it now, after its all over the ‘net. So for the fellow MGMT fans who keep up with this blog: Take a trip to the session via this linky.
It’s a great little 4-song set that you can download in the versatile format of mp3, or you can stream it with one click on Daytrotter’s website (downloading the mp3s calls for the installation of a program, FYI). The first three tracks are from their recent, genius album Congratulations. The tracks come across a bit raw, offering some insight into the value of the production of the album by Sonic Boom.
More interestingly, the fourth and final track is an apropo cover by lo-fi, new wave obscurities Cleaners From Venus. With this cover and after their tribute to Television Personalities’ Dan Treacy, not to mention their repeated cover of half of Magazine’s “Burst” on their last tour, MGMT continue to connect the dots to their roots in quirky, artsy pop rock.
Cleaners From Venus were among those many DIY acts of the British post-punk scene that popped up in the late 70s/early 80s. Often defined by a jangly guitar quality that pre-dated the “twee” label for bands like Belle and Sebastian. However, the band also had a surreal, loopy, almost psychedelic quality. No wonder the song sounds so good in the hands of MGMT.
The original song first appeared on 1982’s Midnight Cleaners. For more information on the album that first featured “Only a Shadow,” check out the thorough discogs entry on the cassette-only release of the source album. I’m sure MGMT have now given a boost to that album’s value on the secondary market.
I shall leave you with a YouTube stream of the original track backed by a second Cleaners From Venus song, “Krugerand Gladiators”: