You know that thread about bandnames that you instinctively dismiss... also that album cover with the fox kiss is repulsive imo, too soon for furrie irony i guess? seeing all the love he is getting here i will give it a shot, I like some of the youtubes upthread, though i really can't get by the wobbly tape fx on some.
― dsb, Tuesday, 8 June 2010 05:29 (2 years ago) Permalink
I agree with some karl's post that some of the appeal of Ariel Pink's music is the "burrowing into self-awareness and irony until you come back around to sincerity."
I also agree that difference between his previous records and this has something to do with indie lo-fi production. Elements of the lo-fi production and weird song structure are still there on this new record, though. As someone mentioned above, the music still sounds "melted", and the production (maybe with the exception of Round and Round) still doesn't read as particularly high-value, at least not on good speakers.
I disagree, however, about the effect of the changes in his music, at least for me. While listening to songs of the previous incarnation, the underwater production and muffled lyrics made it feel possible for me to ignore the ironic distance and imagine the innocence and naivety and unselfconscouness of the music itself. I could project my own feelings/memories/fantasies onto it. With this newest record, with him working this particular sound to make it as effective as possible, he seems more of a japester, and the irony and thinness of the recording are more jarring. It's a little offputting to me.
As jokey as his song concepts and some of the lyrics are, I appreciate the ambiguity of the music and the slightly dark lyrics, so he hasn't completely lost me. The complex structure of the songs is fantastic.
To respond to Evan, Round and Round has a great chorus, yes, but I love how I'm never quite sure when it's going to come again, and the way he alters the instrumentation that accompanies it each time, ending with the bass dropped out for a good chunk. In addition, that one song (like several others) has so many components, interludes, and false starts that it takes a lot of listening to absorb. I wish he would evolve further on the sound of that song.
― Dan S, Tuesday, 8 June 2010 05:56 (2 years ago) Permalink
it sounds like he's not as lonely anymore, which is nice for him.
― no fear, Tuesday, 8 June 2010 06:27 (2 years ago) Permalink
the intensity of feeling that comes from loneliness is tempered though
― no fear, Tuesday, 8 June 2010 06:28 (2 years ago) Permalink
and something on here i haven't focused on yet sounded like the alan parsons project?― Daniel, Esq.
― Daniel, Esq.
― the other is a black gay gentleman from Los Angeles (contenderizer), Tuesday, 8 June 2010 06:38 (2 years ago) Permalink
i basically never get that DFW irony-coming-full-circle-to-sincerity thing from AP. though i accept that his enthusiasm for cheezy 70s/80s pop is legit, there's always this massive sense of ironic distance, and it has nothing to do with how clean or dirty the sound is. that's not a complaint on any level, as i genuinely love a lot of what he's done so far, and the new record is great, easily his best yet. his stuff is funny and smart, the tunes are often quite strong, and sincerity seems overrated in the 1st place.
― the other is a black gay gentleman from Los Angeles (contenderizer), Tuesday, 8 June 2010 07:05 (2 years ago) Permalink
could you please define where the ironic distance is? if it's not from the music, what is it from?
― no fear, Tuesday, 8 June 2010 08:43 (2 years ago) Permalink
I agree with Contenderizer. He's always loved soft-rock, blue eyed soul etc and the lo-fi sound was simply down to technical limitations. It's others that have projected the ironic distance on to it, as if they can only listen to this off-limits music if it's filtered through lo-fi haze. One of the things Ariel Pink - and people like Gary War, James Ferraro and Daniel Lopatin - nails is the sheer oddness of so much soft-rock and early 80s MTV fodder. You've got all these prog journeymen like Alan Parsons trying to make pop songs, while retaining some of their proggy interest in texture, extended song structure etc. Add in brand spanking new digital technology that they haven't quite got the hang of yet and the result is some kind of avant-AOR. The demented humour in Ariel Pink's music shouldn't be mistaken for irony either.
― Count Palmiro Vicarion (Stew), Tuesday, 8 June 2010 09:51 (2 years ago) Permalink
well, that isn't quite what i meant. my point was that one can feel a sincere affection for something yet still remain ironically distanced from it in expressing that affection. lots of people do this with their guilty pleasures. i mean, i don't doubt the sincerity of AP's affection for the music he's referencing and creating, but his entire presentation (lyrics, attitude, persona, production) is extremely arch. and no one makes and releases records that sound like worn copy & the doldrums without wanting them to sound that way. it's a mistake to pretend that his aesthetics haven't been the product of real choices all along, especially given how central they are to his artistic identity. after all, it's not like he's suddenly stripped away all the "melted" noise to reveal the pure pop underneath. the sound is still pretty bleary and warped.
my point was that AP's positioning relative to his inspirations strongly reminds me of the "ironic" embrace of sludgy 70s rock that emerged among post-hc bands in the 80s. the superficial sarcasm and irony = a defense mechanism cloaking and permitting the expression of a deeper, unironic affection. the distancing helps establish a context, admitting that this music is not of the now, and thus enhancing its otherness and nostalgic power.
― the other is a black gay gentleman from Los Angeles (contenderizer), Tuesday, 8 June 2010 10:22 (2 years ago) Permalink
it's sort of like ducktails. there's nothing insincere or particularly ironic about mondanile's music, but calling your band "ducktails" tends to put an box around everything you do. it's a way of saying, "look, i'm a giant dork. i not only grew up loving this dorky awesome crap, i still love it enough to name my band after it. and i know that you're a giant dork, too, and that you loved and still love the same shit, so you should totally join my gang."
ariel pink's doing something similarly self-effacing, but in a way that's fully integrated with the music he makes. it's proud, but very aware of its geekiness - sincere in its love, but preemptively obfuscatory about where it's really coming from.
― the other is a black gay gentleman from Los Angeles (contenderizer), Tuesday, 8 June 2010 10:37 (2 years ago) Permalink
Ok, I see your point about defence mechanisms. I don't really believe in guilty pleasures - I don't really care about what's cool anymore - but I suppose when I do share my love of, say, Yes or McCartney II with others, I do tend to point to the charming oddness of the music, as well as its melodic qualities. It's not defensive as such. I think with a lot of soft-rock, prog and blue eyed soul there's a certain transgressive thrill in embracing its sheer glutinous, oversaturated glory, particularly if you've come from a hairshirt wearing indie background where such things are frowned on.You're quite right about wanting the records to sound that way - I was only really referring to the lo-fi recording quality, not the overall sound. One of the best things about the new album is that all the flange, phase, reverb and echo effects that gave the early albums that wonderful melted quality are still there. It's just the tape hiss that's missing.
― Count Palmiro Vicarion (Stew), Tuesday, 8 June 2010 11:42 (2 years ago) Permalink
It's pretty catchy, but just not as warped. There's no equivalent to "MANKIND IS A NAZI" 10 minute freakouts or "Life In LA" languishing or "Credit" boomboxery or "Drummer" hypnosis. It's really just good inventive pop.
― village idiot (dog latin), Tuesday, 8 June 2010 16:15 (2 years ago) Permalink
What do you all think of this music video I'm working on for "Round and Round"? I'm thinking that I need to get rid of a bunch of the cheesy effects and maybe tighten up some edits but otherwise I'm pretty happy with it. Constructive criticism would be awesome:
― no turkey unless it's a club sandwich (polyphonic), Sunday, 13 June 2010 19:02 (2 years ago) Permalink
that is very apt, feels very right for the end of my weekend. some suitably hypnotic synchronizing, the effects feel right at points and a little arbitrary at others. but I think this is correct.
― ogmor, Sunday, 13 June 2010 22:23 (2 years ago) Permalink
some moments of that video are so deeply hilarious. i don't like the effect at 1:21 but i'm all about the one that immediately precedes it. great job, dude.
― teflon donk (samosa gibreel), Sunday, 13 June 2010 22:39 (2 years ago) Permalink
Great vid. As with Samosa, I'm not into the 1.21 effect but could see more of the one you use before it, with the blurring circles and the eighties effect at 0.34 is sweet. I'm no expert but the best bits to me are when the lyrics match the vid - i.e. answering the phone and the click of the camera starting the beat; could do with more matching of the dance sequences to the music tempo? I dunno. I'll watch again, the footage is from Perfect right?
― mmmm, Sunday, 13 June 2010 23:01 (2 years ago) Permalink
The moments where the actors gaze just past the camera are great; 0.26, 0.28 and 2.10 etc..
― mmmm, Sunday, 13 June 2010 23:03 (2 years ago) Permalink
Yeah, it's all from "Perfect."
I hate the effect at 1:21 but don't really know what else to do with it. That segment was really a struggle in general.
Thanks for the advice, y'all! Maybe I can do some fine tuning...
― no turkey unless it's a club sandwich (polyphonic), Monday, 14 June 2010 02:59 (2 years ago) Permalink
really love this, great little pop album
― ciderpress, Monday, 14 June 2010 03:32 (2 years ago) Permalink
1:21 is the worst part of the song, too.
― Evan, Monday, 14 June 2010 03:33 (2 years ago) Permalink
The little "break down" part seems kind of lazy to me too. I really like the hook though!
― Evan, Monday, 14 June 2010 03:35 (2 years ago) Permalink
Its not often ILM threads convince me to check bands out (no offence to anyone intended) but something had me intrigued here, and so I got a copy of "Before Today" and I'm loving it! I dont even know WHY! Its so... what is this?
― property-disrespecting Moroccan handjob (Trayce), Monday, 14 June 2010 03:37 (2 years ago) Permalink
I got rid of the effect at 1:21 and also another one later on based on the advice. There is so much I could do but laziness is setting in and crippling me. Anyway, the version upthread is disabled, so here's the working one for future comers:
― no turkey unless it's a club sandwich (polyphonic), Monday, 14 June 2010 06:04 (2 years ago) Permalink
"Round and Round" sounds like "Fergus Sings the Blues" by Deacon Blue. After such knowledge, what forgiveness?
― Neil Willett, Monday, 14 June 2010 20:26 (2 years ago) Permalink
can't believe that movie was made in 1985. looks very '70s
great video! especially like the headshaking and pixellation moments
the chorus of round and round sounds a little like fergus sings the blues, maybe
― Dan S, Monday, 14 June 2010 21:37 (2 years ago) Permalink
"Round and Round" sounds like "Fergus Sings the Blues" by Deacon Blue. After such knowledge, what forgiveness?"
I dont hear it.
― oscar, Monday, 14 June 2010 21:51 (2 years ago) Permalink
The bit where Ricky Ross sings "`Cause I look In the mirror" etc etc leading up to the question "can this white man sing the blues"
Is the tell-tale heart buried beneath the surface of "Round and Round"
― Neil Willett, Monday, 14 June 2010 22:26 (2 years ago) Permalink
I think Fright Night is the best song on the album. I would be interested to hear the Before Today demos if there are any. I thought the prereleased "Can't Hear My Eyes" was better than the version that made it onto the album. There are also a couple songs here that were on Oddities and Sodomies in a rougher, more Ariel Pink form.
― PublicRadio, Tuesday, 15 June 2010 01:16 (2 years ago) Permalink
Damn, that Jamie Lee was a looker in the day!
― henry s, Tuesday, 15 June 2010 01:33 (2 years ago) Permalink
it's hard to watch that clip and not do the dance moves in your seat. very well-timed.
― Armand Van Helden Vocal Remix (Spinspin Sugah), Tuesday, 15 June 2010 01:38 (2 years ago) Permalink
Is it just me or has the music been slowed down a bit?
― skip, Tuesday, 15 June 2010 01:47 (2 years ago) Permalink
Great job on the video BTW.
― skip, Tuesday, 15 June 2010 01:48 (2 years ago) Permalink
Yeah I like the 80s new wavey sound of Fright Night. I like "Menopause Man" as well, even if the lyrics are a little disconcerting!
― property-disrespecting Moroccan handjob (Trayce), Tuesday, 15 June 2010 02:09 (2 years ago) Permalink
I don't think so, but if so it was not intentional. Thanks for the kind words!
― no turkey unless it's a club sandwich (polyphonic), Tuesday, 15 June 2010 04:50 (2 years ago) Permalink
is perfect as awesome as it looks?
― plax (ico), Tuesday, 15 June 2010 17:14 (2 years ago) Permalink
Everyone in the 80s was just way too enthusiastically cheesy and embarrassing.
― Evan, Tuesday, 15 June 2010 17:37 (2 years ago) Permalink
"Perfect" is incredibly dull for long stretches, but has some good moments.
― no turkey unless it's a club sandwich (polyphonic), Tuesday, 15 June 2010 17:38 (2 years ago) Permalink
The clothes and hairstyles have changed, but everything still is.
― Adam Bruneau, Tuesday, 15 June 2010 18:08 (2 years ago) Permalink
it looks kindof woozy and dreamy
― plax (ico), Tuesday, 15 June 2010 19:05 (2 years ago) Permalink
I will join the others in proclaiming my love for your video. Very nice!
― henry s, Wednesday, 16 June 2010 02:03 (2 years ago) Permalink
hes kinda weird live. funny, but sort of like he was just fucking around for a good portion of it. also it seemed like 75% of the show was just one hard rocker after another, not much of the 'life in la' sort of stuff. he seemed to get a bit more serious when he did one song which i dunno, sounded like the doors or something, so for the 3 or so songs after that, it got a little more earnest, but then it ended (he did a few encores though). not sure if it was the scala or what, but i thought someone like him would have better sound, or try to go for a more distinct live setup. seemed a bit muddy overall.
― truffle-flavoured french fry (titchyschneiderMk2), Wednesday, 16 June 2010 09:57 (2 years ago) Permalink
also he didnt do credit, which he could easily have done instead of yet another affectionately piss takey scuzzy rocker, so he loses points.
― truffle-flavoured french fry (titchyschneiderMk2), Wednesday, 16 June 2010 10:16 (2 years ago) Permalink
He was absolutely brilliant in Glasgow. Set did tend to lean towards the faster, power-poppy stuff - Getting High In the Morning was awesome - but we did get For Kate I Wait. Hardcore Pops and Flashback for the encore: totally rockin' and hella catchy. He really seemed to be enjoying himself, but he definitely wasn't fucking around. A great frontman, with a great band. And no issues with the sound at all. It was really sharp and defined.
― Count Palmiro Vicarion (Stew), Wednesday, 16 June 2010 12:50 (2 years ago) Permalink
it could just be me being grumpy of course. anyway by fucking around i just mean he was kinda goofing around a bit. but i suppose thats just him.
― truffle-flavoured french fry (titchyschneiderMk2), Wednesday, 16 June 2010 14:55 (2 years ago) Permalink
Pink IS goofy. Listen to his songs, the silly voices, the high pitched parts, etc.!
Only time I ever saw him he did half his set with a local band (everywhere he went he met up with a local band who learned 3 or 4 tracks that day) and then half playing his 4-track and mixing the tracks live and singing along karaoke style to it. If the same band that's playing on the album is playing these shows I'd imagine it should be pretty rockin'!
― Adam Bruneau, Wednesday, 16 June 2010 14:59 (2 years ago) Permalink
This is the first Ariel Pink record I have listened to more than about 3 times, and the first I've actually bought. Listening tonight on a proper stereo it sounds wonderful. I like karl's thoughts above.
To join in - "Round and Round" reminds me immediately of blue eyed soul era Wet Wet Wet. Sweet little mystery indeed.
― kraudive, Wednesday, 16 June 2010 22:13 (2 years ago) Permalink
this album is my favourite album this year, along with janelle monaes. so many highpoints.
― truffle-flavoured french fry (titchyschneiderMk2), Wednesday, 16 June 2010 22:24 (2 years ago) Permalink
so my first bit of investigation into his back catalogue led me to the My Molly EP in which he does a really spot on Morrissey impression on "This Night Has Opened My Eyes", pretty funny. i don't think i'll be returning to the EP much, though the songs are good; the extremely lo-fi recording quality just pricks my ears in a very unpleasant way.
― karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Saturday, 19 June 2010 18:14 (2 years ago) Permalink
i find it hard to listen to the old stuff now ive heard the new album.
― titchy (titchyschneiderMk2), Saturday, 19 June 2010 21:24 (2 years ago) Permalink
saw Real Estate cover My Molly when I saw em live, highlight of the set
― dmr, Saturday, 19 June 2010 22:57 (2 years ago) Permalink