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Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti

Ariel Pink’s new release, Before Today, is widely seen as his commercial breakthrough. It also contains a droning song called “Menopause Man” in which Pink bellows, “Rape me, castrate me, make me gay!” So, let’s just say that whatever commercial success Pink enjoys with Before Today is probably going to be limited. In fact, “Menopause Man” is relatively straightforward. The rest of the album sounds more like “Private Eyes”-era Hall & Oates having a drug-fueled nervous breakdown.

Born Ariel Rosenberg, Pink has been creating strange, lo-fi home-recorded music in Los Angeles since the ’90s, the heyday of that kind of thing. But he went virtually unknown until 2004, when Animal Collective released his album The Doldrums on their Paw Tracks label. That album started a lively debate among critics and listeners who were unsure if they were hearing the work of an eccentric genius or an art-school graduate who had convinced pretentious indie fans that his crappy music was legitimate outsider art created by a mentally ill person. It also launched a long series of reissues of Pink’s earlier home recordings, which only made the debate harder to resolve. And then, in June, Before Today came out on 4AD Records — a label better known for the lush sound of the Cocteau Twins and, more recently, Bon Iver and St. Vincent. Pink has risen to this standard, to some extent. For the first time, he has a real backup band — and they’re pretty good.

So, score one for the “faker” camp — Pink can sound (sort of) like a pro when he wants to. But he’s still the kind of guy who sings “Menopause Man.” The debate rages on.

Past Event

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti and Dam Funk

  • Friday, August 6, 2010, 8:30 p.m.
  • Irenic, 3090 Polk Avenue, San Diego
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Ariel Pink’s new release, Before Today, is widely seen as his commercial breakthrough. It also contains a droning song called “Menopause Man” in which Pink bellows, “Rape me, castrate me, make me gay!” So, let’s just say that whatever commercial success Pink enjoys with Before Today is probably going to be limited. In fact, “Menopause Man” is relatively straightforward. The rest of the album sounds more like “Private Eyes”-era Hall & Oates having a drug-fueled nervous breakdown.

Born Ariel Rosenberg, Pink has been creating strange, lo-fi home-recorded music in Los Angeles since the ’90s, the heyday of that kind of thing. But he went virtually unknown until 2004, when Animal Collective released his album The Doldrums on their Paw Tracks label. That album started a lively debate among critics and listeners who were unsure if they were hearing the work of an eccentric genius or an art-school graduate who had convinced pretentious indie fans that his crappy music was legitimate outsider art created by a mentally ill person. It also launched a long series of reissues of Pink’s earlier home recordings, which only made the debate harder to resolve. And then, in June, Before Today came out on 4AD Records — a label better known for the lush sound of the Cocteau Twins and, more recently, Bon Iver and St. Vincent. Pink has risen to this standard, to some extent. For the first time, he has a real backup band — and they’re pretty good.

So, score one for the “faker” camp — Pink can sound (sort of) like a pro when he wants to. But he’s still the kind of guy who sings “Menopause Man.” The debate rages on.

Past Event

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti and Dam Funk

  • Friday, August 6, 2010, 8:30 p.m.
  • Irenic, 3090 Polk Avenue, San Diego
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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