Review: Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – “Mature Themes”

By Kevin Wells

Who is the new Ariel Pink EP for? Scratch that. Who is the new Ariel Pink? On song after song on Mature Themes, he plays one character or another, sometimes inhabiting, without any apparent credit, other songwriters’ personae entirely, as on “Symphony of the Nymph”, where he dresses up and impersonates Of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes for the verse, and Joe Walsh for the chorus. In actuality he’s become the poor man’s Badly Drawn Boy, a competent manager of his sound and a desperate, craven, trendfucking dilettante when it comes to the music’s philosophy… realizing that his genre currently mandates a certain fussy idiocy–defenders would claim the offbeat tradition of Zappa the way unfunny comedians invoke Andy Kaufman’s “anti-comedy”–Pink is operating as a politician.
Yes, he deigns to blow the dog-whistle his fans so badly want to hear–more Casios, more ProTools masturbation–while also making sure to give each track enough of a hook to qualify for some commercials. Don’t flatter yourself, kids … your dad is definitely Pink’s target audience now, so long as your dad is under forty and enjoys being pandered to. Case in point: the final burst of Pink’s personality disorder, excuse me I mean his new album, is a sentimental ballad named “Baby” that’s sung kind of like Smokey Robinson, played a bit like Cat Power’s “Greatest” band, and which features the head-scratching refrain, “Baby, you’re so baby”. I can see Pink now in concert, contorting the melody into something jagged and upsetting, pretending as if the studio version was not a direct bid for some of that sweet GAP airplay.

The standout song is the title track, naturally, a winsome, winning Joe Jackson rip; more appropriate would be the sub-Miss Piggy disco turd “Pink Slime”.


Free Download From Saint Motel!

Los Angeles four-piece Saint Motel, whom you New Yorkers may have seen with Ariel Pink at Rock & Roll Circus at the beginning of the year, are premiering a new song, “Puzzle Pieces.” And to make the announcement special, they’re giving it away for free on their website, Listen to the song below:

Saint Motel will be in Austin next week for South by South West, so catch them if you can!

Here are their SXSW dates:

March 16 – SXSW  @ Lustre Pearl (with The Silent Comedy, Leslie & the Badgers, Writer, Ume, American Royalty, & Little Hurricane)

March 16 – SXSW @  Lipstick 24 (with Neon Trees,The Stone Foxes, Baby Baby, & more)

March 18 – SXSW @ Annie’s West (with She Wants Revenge & more)

March 19 – SXSW Official Showcase @ Emo’s Main Stage (with Neon Trees, Limousines,American Fangs, and Greek Fire)


2011 Pitchfork Festival Tickets On Sale NOW

Taking place from July 15th to 17th, Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago will feature such premier names as Animal Collective, Fleet Foxes, Deerhunter, OFWGKTA, and Yuck. Single-day passes are3 going for $45 each and all-weekend passes for $110.

Buy tickets at and check out the lineup (so far) below. Be sure to get tickets soon as last year they sold out in five days.

Animal Collective
James Blake
Das Racist

Fleet Foxes
The Dismemberment Plan
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
Sun Airway

TV on the Radio
Cut Copy

Pitchfork Music Festival Announces Dates

It magically became March without giving people enough time to take notice and summer already seems palpable.  What does that mean? FESTIVALS.  The music industry is definitely embracing the cash cow that is the summer indie music festival — Coachella has evolved (devolved?) into a clusterfuck with Sasquatch!, Bonnaroo, Outside Lands and Lollapalooza in tow.  So many choices, such expensive tickets, increasingly questionable headliners…

Well, at least you know what to expect from the Pitchfork Music Festival, going down July 15-17 at Union Park in Chicago.  They haven’t announced the lineup yet, but browse their “Best New Music” page to get a general idea.

Best Coast, Destroyer, Girls, Joanna Newsom, The Radio Dept., Wavves, OFF!, Smith Westerns, Cut Copy, Das Racist, Walkmen, Curren$y, Ariel Pink, Flying Lotus, Tame Impala, Robyn, and James Blake will most likely all be there; throw in some classic post-punk acts like Mission of Burma, Gang of Four, and Wire and you have the initial lineup for the most predictable festival on the circuit.  But the best part is, this mock lineup fucking delivers. And tickets are only $45 for single-day passes and $110 for three-day passes.  Throw in delicious food from local eateries, a full record store, and various local art, clothes, and trinkets for a well-rounded Chicago experience.  Tickets go on sale this Friday, so if this all sounds appealing, schedule! transfer funds! make travel plans!