performance :: ariel pink

last night i went to knitting factory to check out the ariel pink show. i was set for a do or die night, i've never seen him live, but have heard horror stories of his live performance at tonic last year, from friends. but i love ariel's records so much, i just had to see it for myself. maybe he'd try to redeem himself? ariel started his set basically just singing karaoke and playing air keyboard to his songs on his 4 track. popping in tapes for every song. his cartoony stage shy presence and scruffy look, enhance the impressions he leaves from his albums. totally lives up to the trashy silence of the lambs drag persona he paints in his 'wait for kate' video. the live performance was flawed, but i wasn't searching for a rock show, any performance with too much prerecorded material is typically a failed media for presentation. i was more just wanting to put a face to the music. i was thrilled to hear some songs i've never heard before.

rusty santos started off the night. really enjoyed his set. he played fx vocals and guitar over his boss sampler, with a drummer accompaning. his stage presence immediately takes over, tantrum-fit-squirming and jumping to his recordings. for me, some of his songs had a xiu xiu air to it for a sec, and later some animal collective flavored antics, him being part of that sound, his credits include contributing on production to alot of animal collective and ariel pink material. some of it was really melodically beautiful and noisy.

ariel pink is foremost a recording songwriter genius, not a performance artist; that's where his fans suffer. everyone dreams of him organizing a full rehearsed live band to perform his orchestrations. but if ariel's car gets impounded because can't even pay his parking tickets as in 'house arrest,' i don't come to the show with any expectation other then a loosely thrown together set. maybe if emily dickinson was put on stage and read her poetry to us, it wouldn't resonate. its best form, only as mental media? exceptor joined the stage for an overhaul sound experiment. nothing really errupted from their improv that caught my ear, but it was fun to people watch. they bring some random fruit on stage for every set i've seen so far. that's deep. overall i was really glad to see this show and glad to just put the myth for myself to rest. no doubt in my mind ariel's a musical genius. i'll always love his albums. the show just confirmed that it was the garbage monster who's been singing all those timeless lo-fi artless pop/motown/80's/70's/can't-put-my-finger-on-it songs to me. i recorded it on my md, but unfortunately it's all distorted. since hi-fi never was part of ariel's aesthetic, the poor recording probably just lends to the effect:

:: night time is great
:: let's build a campfire there
:: she's my girlfriend

:: ariel pink online mp3's ::
:: jules lost his jewels
:: helen
:: wait for kate


At 6:33 PM, Blogger The Dicksonian Institute said...

You're totally right; what do those fans expect to hear, the CDs? Perhaps they should stay at home by the Hi-Fi then.

BTW, the second live track you have there is 'Let's Build a Campfire There'.

I'll get me anorak.....

At 8:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

of all ariels nyc performas- this solo performance was by far the finest. I loved the sound of ariel digging through cassetes between songs. wonder wear he got that shirt?

At 5:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where can I get a copy of those dead linked live tunes? Would you be able to post a link on Ariel's myspace page?


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