It List: Monday
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti | Puro Instinct (Hailey's)
I did not spend too much time on the dirty boulevards of Santa Monica in the late 90's/early 00's so my introduction to Ariel Pink's did not come until the Tiger Paw re-issues and frankly I wasn't all that impressed. By this time I was already becoming frustrated with Animal Collective as they began to define the current state of "indie" music and I perceived Haunted Graffiti as just an extension of that self indulgent and in my opinion boring approach to pop music. I didn't want to give up on Ariel Pink because there were so many things I found unique about the music. The REALLY lo-fi production, existential junkie ramblings and Ariel's natural charisma all had me wishing that his work wasn't so hit or miss. For every gem in that early oeuvre there seems to be an equally stinky mess. I would still prefer to clean up after Haunted Graffiti's droppings than Animal Collective's any day.
The thing that really punched me in the face wasn't his performance last year at Hailey's where I wasn't expecting much and didn't get much. Instead it was the tour only compilation Grande Exitos, compiled by either himself or some very good friends, that helped solidify my near waning interest in his work. Track for track that compilation is an amazing collection of songs by an artist with a creative and innovative approach to pop music that his previous releases didn't quite articulate. Having all of those really strong songs in one place, easily digestible in one sitting got me excited again about what the future had to hold with his work. Critics who often reference, whether as a compliment or critique, the way the music sounds like "70's AM pop through the skewed vision of a mad genius" are missing what I see as the true appeal of his music. Where others hear retro-reconstruction, I see the future.
Before Today is one of my favorite releases so far this year and is in the exact direction I was hoping the music would go. The album is polished yet retains the bizarre naivete that made those earlier songs so strong. Here the songs are not only polished but constructed with in the parameters of a well put together album, which was the only logical next step for him to become/remain a truly prolific artist. Ariel's signing to 4AD and the fact that the album contains a couple re-worked cuts from his past (Evolution is a Lie, Beverly Kills, Can't Hear my Eyes) leads me to believe he has been receiving my telepathic career advise. As we have mentioned here previously the album also contains accompaniment from Added Pizzazz (Yells at Eels) which means that he is utilizing ideas from other weirdo musical communities to help perfect his own art as well. I am keeping my fingers crossed that mid set Ariel will stop the show to call up his boys from Pizzaz they will subsequently pull their instruments out of their incognito briefcases and rock out to an extended version of Hot Body Rub.
I would like to sponsor a tour named Frank's All Girl Summer Noise Pop review which will include tonight's opening artist Puro Instinct along with Best Coast and Dum Dum Girl's. We will travel the world playing mall food courts and county fairs. It will make millions I tell ya, millions! I know all these bands sounds equally redundant, disposable and derivative, but boy do I love all of it.
I would recommend arriving at Hailey's a little earlier than usual. My experience with Hailey's and bigger shows is that if you arrive after nine you will be waiting outside for at least a hour to get in, remember this isn't 90's night. It is hot as fuck outside, even once the sun goes down which the many fine folks that attended the Denton Animal Rescue benefit yesterday can attest to.
Miniature Tigers | The Spinto Band | Matthew and the Arrogant Sea (The Loft)
Dunes | True Widow | Bizzaro Kids (The Nightmare)