He Sits With Elders of the Gentle Race
What does it mean - what on earth does it mean - that a guy whose melodies are this beautifully formed has chosen not just to bury them but to soak their bodies in lye first, and to scrape their skins with bricks? At whom, or at what, shall we point fingers when this has come to pass: the guy writing (and releasing) the genuine-article 70s radio-pop pastiche would sooner die hungry than have you notice that he's better at it than any dozen faux-Californians? Word on the street is that his live shows are appalling; that's why I don't go them when he comes through town; this music is too good to sully with a bad night out. Why does he suck live? How has he remained pure as long as he has: how has no-one talked him into taking this remarkable music into a studio and doing them up proper-sound-quality style? Is this question related to "why does he suck live"? He seems to be releasing a lot of records; who's buying them? In an age when retro is the norm, how does this master of the form manage to hide his mastery in plain sight? If our world is starved for narrative, or rather is not starved but has adapted in such a way that it digests narrative so quickly that it is hungry for more mere seconds after it has finished with the one it had on its plate, how does a project so rich in narrative as is manage to remain somewhat hidden?
I have a theory; my theory is that it's all too much. I do not feel like spelling out my theory at this time. Ariel Pink has released another album, which claims to be a collection of random stuff dating back many years. No claim made by the person who makes stuff that sounds like this should be taken at face value, I think. The album is, typically of this artist, excellent. No matter who you are, I feel confident in saying that you probably won't like it. That can't be helped. As for me, I cannot get enough.
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