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God / No God
Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser get a kick out of being irreverent pranksters. While studying music at Wesleyan University in Middleton, Connecticut, the pair formed the electronic-rock group MGMT (pronounced "management") and played at the college's notorious "clothing optional" dorm. The set list? The Ghost Busters theme song, performed ad nauseam.
But whenever VanWyngarden or Goldwasser weren't on a stage, the two wrote more-traditional songs together, with the aim of signing to a major label. "We were this unknown band, but we talked a lot about selling out as soon as possible," says VanWyngarden. Still, when Columbia Records came courting them last year, MGMT couldn't bring themselves to take the process seriously. "We were really sarcastic when we met them," VanWyngarden recalls. "They asked us for a list of dream producers, so we made one: Prince, Barack Obama, Nigel Godrich and 'Not Sheryl Crow.' "
Eventually MGMT settled on Flaming Lips producer Dave Fridmann for their debut, Oracular Spectacular.
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