Goldwasser playing keyboards in Denver, Colorado, in 2008.
|Birth name||Benjamin Nicholas Hunter Goldwasser|
December 17, 1982 |
Mishawaka, Indiana, U.S.
|Genres||Neo-psychedelia, new wave, synthpop, art rock|
|Instruments||Vocals, keyboard, synthesizer, guitar, drums, percussion, omnichord, organ, lute, computer|
|Labels||Columbia Records, Red Ink Records (an imprint of Columbia Records), Cantora Records|
Benjamin Nicholas "Ben" Hunter Goldwasser (born December 17, 1982) is a lyricist and musician in the psychedelic rock band MGMT, for which he primarily plays keyboards and sings. In 2009, his song "Electric Feel" (co-written with bandmate Andrew VanWyngarden), remixed by Justice, won a Grammy Award in the Grammy Award for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical category. In 2010, his band was nominated for a Grammy as Best New Artist and Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
Life and career
Goldwasser was born in Mishawaka, Indiana, and was raised in Westport, New York. He is Jewish, and the son of Rachel Hunter and David Goldwasser. When he was 11 years old, he saw Adrian Belew live in concert, and met guitarist Rob Fetters backstage. He began piano lessons with his grandmother and mother, played in his high school's jazz band, and attended a "rock and roll camp" in Montpelier, Vermont. One of his musical influences in high school was the electronic protopunk band Suicide.
Goldwasser met Andrew VanWyngarden, the other half of MGMT, in his freshman year at Wesleyan University. Goldwasser was studying Music at the time. While in college, he was a member of the Eclectic Society, a college fraternity. He helped run the fraternity's music venue (a room in the house). Goldwasser, already a keyboardist, took experimental music classes from composer Ron Kuivila with VanWyngarden which exposed them to progressive musical ideas. They made their debut as MGMT at a party in a college dormitory (playing the theme to the motion picture Ghostbusters over and over for hours). The duo would email one another and sign the emails "The MGMT" as a way of satirizing corporate culture. They chose this email signature line as the name of their new band.
After graduating from college in 2005, Goldwasser and VanWyngarden moved to New York City, experimenting with music and building a band. They immediately went on tour, starting out in Montreal. But no record deal came, and the band was on hiatus by 2006. Goldwasser began working on a farm and was intending to move to California when the duo was signed by Columbia Records. The band's 2008 release for the label, Oracular Spectacular, was a major success. However, the band's sudden success, Goldwasser says, put a serious strain on his friendship with VanWyngarden for a time. The band released its second album, Congratulations, in April 2010 to generally positive reviews.
- "What's News." Burlington Free Press. February 10, 2009.
- Sisario, Ben. "Grammys' Weight Is Now Measured In Face Time." New York Times. January 29, 2010; Peerless, Beth. "Neo-Psychedelic/Alternative Pop Band MGMT Plays Santa Cruz on May 29." Monterey County Herald. April 22, 2010.
- Couch, Rachel. "MGMT Brings the Quirks on 'Oracular'." Daily Cavalier. January 31, 2008.
- Pollak, Sally. "A Spectacular Show." Burlington Free Press. April 12, 2008.
- Lester, Paul (March 20, 2008). "The hippies whp are hip". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
- Davis, Hays. "On Time With MGMT." Richmond Times Dispatch. July 26, 2008.
- Perry, Jonathan. "Year of the Brats." Boston Globe. February 8, 2008.
- Powell, Austin. "MGMT, Yeasayer." Houston Press. January 17, 2008.
- Black, Cristina. "The Wesleyan Mafia: MGMT, Boy Crisis, Amazing Baby." Village Voice. August 4, 2009.
- Lanham, Tom. "MGMT Gets Down to Business at Bottom of the Hill." Inside Bay Area. January 25, 2008.
- Danton, Eric R. "Ambitious, Ambiguous Duo." Hartford Courant. January 3, 2008.
- Donahue, Michael. "Messin' With People's Heads." The Commercial Appeal. January 11, 2008.
- Gottlieb, Jed. "MGMT Training." Boston Herald. February 7, 2008.
- Caballero, Martin. "MGMT's Free Online Offer Worthy of 'Congratulations'." Boston Herald. March 25, 2010.
- Evan Haga (August 12, 2010). "MGMT summons the '60s". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
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