I remember the first time I saw Tim Koh on stage with Ariel Pink; he was this towering guitar wizard of hair that you couldn’t pull your eyes away from. He’s currently relocated to Europe, and now it seems he’s got his now solo album coming on the horizon courtesy of O’ Genesis Recordings. His creativity and musicianship is obvious in the song’s first minute, but then he settles into this propulsive vibe that seems to course through the song’s entirety. There’s a lyrical reference to his stomach ulcer, which resulted in emergency hospitalization while on tour in 2018, so perhaps this album’s been a long time coming. Whatever happens, a debut solo record from Tim is going to be something really special.
Lists are arbitrary and burdensome, but why not join the fun everyone else is having? We gathered our lists, separate lists for all of us, then combined them into one that had 50 albums. What you get here are the four writers/contributors of ATH, giving you their meaningless opinions on what we thought was the jam in 2017. It’s alphabetical, and we put the initials next to it so you could track down your enemy!
First of all, you can’t plan the weather, but you can plan for it. It was frrrreaky cold. I was sporting my fluffy socks, gloves, the wind proof jacket and the X-Men scarf (thanks, Beth). The suffering was worth it as once again, the fest proved to be a fantastic place to have a camera.
The Sunday gallery from Day for Night features Nothing, S U R V I V E, Ariel Pink, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, Matmos, Lightning Bolts, Liars, Night Drive, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Little Dragon and Butthole Surfers. Wow.
Please click through…
While Ariel Pink has been making waves in the media for comments made about one thing or another these days, its always important that we go back to the music that the artist is making. For Ariel Pink, that is this latest solo effort, Pom Pom. The album cover is plain and pink, with the album title scrawled on it in a carefree manner—you’re first introduction to the mix of whimsy and dementedly dark aspects that battle for your attention through the whole album.
Though some of the tracks that are the embodiment of pure fancy and whim are hilarious and entertaining, it’s difficult to imagine them being enjoyable in a live setting—and yes there is the divide between the live and recorded material that an artist creates, but it says something when I’m more focused on the ridiculous nature of a track then the music itself. “Jell-o,” besides the bits of shredding guitar solo provides an example of the absurd becoming banal. At this point in the record we’ve already been a bit beaten over the head with it, the constant undercurrent of mumbling voices in the background, the production making some numbers sound like they belong out of a children’s television program from the 90’s and so here is where the absurdly whimsical elements become so prevalent that they’re normalized and redundant.
It’s not all this way on Pom Pom—on the contrary, there’s some good numbers that held my attention with their balance. “Lipstick” is a glossy number of swirling darkness that easily stands out amidst the rest of the tracks. 80’s synths hollowly pipe and simmer through the number, creating a groove that begs to be got down to, and then Ariel Pink comes in on the vocals, singing through his lower register as he gives out some exposition for the little story within he is about to craft. This song isn’t entirely devoid of the shenanigans that are all over this album, but they are introduced in a controlled form, the ridiculous high pitched backing vocals fit right in with the fantastical world that Pink creates instead of simply being thrust at you. Same goes with following track “Not Enough Violence:” Ariel Pink is at home in the darkness of weird, but seems to flounder around in those numbers where its supposed to be the main event.
At the end of the lengthy, dare I say too lengthy, album, I have to say I’m honestly on board with only about half of the tracks on Pom Pom, the other half of which are burdened a little too heavily with elements of whimsy that don’t contribute really to the music. There are some great tracks on the album that break the confines of genre, but there are moments that have my finger poised to skip when Ariel Pink goes too far and it detracts from the sound. Though maybe I just don’t get it and this hour long mix is the perfect balance of fun and serious for you.
Despite his ability to ruffle the feathers of Ariel Pink, the dude still has a way of making tunes that fascinate me. This new single, “Black Ballerina,” has an interesting musical angle. Part of it reminds me of AP’s traditional work, though other parts seem to blend the smooth skills from Of Montreal with something you’d expect to hear Ian Dury release, and for all intents and purposes, I’m totally okay with that. I think the beats pretty solid, and I like the oddity that comes with any Pink touch. His new record, Pom Pom, will be available from 4AD on November 18th.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/14-Black-Ballerina.mp3]
To a certain degree, it’s hard to completely take the work of ONWE seriously. There’s a silliness and oddity to his work (and personality if you believe the press); it puts the group in the same vein as Mac DeMarco and Ariel Pink if you ask me (I know you didn’t). Still, you put absurdities to the side, and you have this great piece of pop music that’s being built by the three piece. Guitars curl in and out of the tune, keyboard spikes burst in and melody swirls around the “goo goo ga ga love” chorus. This is definitely something that piques are interest as we look forward to an official release from the band in early 2015.
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Ariel Pink has a nice tour bus. Austin’s home base for Graffiti that will Haunt you is The Mohawk.
Mr. Round and Round brought along two acts to keep you guessing. Purple Pilgrims is a trippy psych duo still taking the edges off while Kirin J. Callinan takes a crap ton of effects pedals to craft layered and fairly aggressive tones.
Click through for pics, y’all…
Here is a little bonus coverage from a very busy Friday night for the Austin scene. I wasn’t able to stay for much of Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti at The Mohawk last Friday. APHG had a new sound guy for this early date on the tour. It was hot. It was quirky.
Click Read More, please.
Man, it’s that crazy time again, and it’s only going to keep coming as we move into the fall concert season. There’s tons of acts all over town that you’ll need to get out and see, so here’s my spotlight of all the best traveling AND local bands in town Friday night:
Here’s some tracks by Ariel Pink and Pujol to get you in the mood! See you out on the town Friday night.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/04-Only-In-My-Dreams.mp3] [audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/pujol-providence_2012-05-23-102357-4137-0-0-0.128.mp3]
Even some of the greatest albums tote around some pretty terrible artwork that can be confusing and quite often disturbing. I’ve rounded up a handful of the worst covers from 2010 that made their way to distribution despite their appearance.