Andrew and Ben are back in the city after running around the country with the buzzed up psych-rock slayers Tame Impala. I caught the Aussies’ NYC debut at Coco 66 in Greenpoint Wednesday night, where it was apparent that a) Tame Impala should be seen live (they played two sold-out shows at Pianos last night, and tonight’s gig at Glasslands will make it two Tame shows for me this week) and b) Andrew’s become quite the friend/fan, jumping up onstage to play bass with them during a wandering set-closing jam-session for shits and giggs. The next night, VanWyngarden played a stage not much bigger but infinitely brighter and infinitely less shit giggly, taking to Jimmy Fallon’s 30 Rock studio for a pair of tracks off Congratulations along with a third track you may have heard before. First up it’s “It’s Working,” the Stereolab-gone-Zombies shifter that’s one of the high points of a record that’s made me a bigger MGMT fan. After a commercial break it was the LP-closing “Congratulations.” Both were performed well — better than the Coachella set I saw — though neither will find much resonance in the headbanded ears molded by the globe-conquering synth-pop that made these Wesleyan kids the stars they once satirized. Still, they’re not too far beyond it to file Jónsi from Sigur Rós’s favorite MGMT song “Time To Pretend” as a web exclusive for Jimmy (meaning, Andrew can say “fuck with the stars” without fucking with the FCC).
Time to pretend: