ARIEL PINK at the Mod Club. Thur, July 22. Rating: N
Ariel Pink went to great lengths to be a provocateur onstage at the Mod Club on Thursday. He came off more like a saboteur.
The L.A. weirdo and NOW cover subject tried to be funny, but he just came off creepy. He tried to be arty, but just came off adolescent. And that wasn't limited to just his between-song banter.
Pink destroyed nearly all the tunes off his superb new album, Before Today, with his mostly lame hijinx.
At first, it was amusing. Taking off his belt and lashing it around, improvising on-the-fly, the occasional scream, a comical amount of reverb on the microphone, constantly fiddling with his hair. The first time he took off his pants was funny, I guess.
But that whole shtick quickly grew tiresome, devolving into one very messy concert. Pranks like sneezing into the mic during songs are inexcusable.
His current hit, and my vote for song of the summer, Round And Round, was absolutely shambolic. He led his band through loop-de-loops, and, as good as they played, they weren't able to follow. It sounded more like a rehearsal.
The last time I saw Pink, I was thrilled with him. He was, as I wrote, jagged and unpredictable in the best way possible. (I also compared him to Heath Ledger's Joker, which I still think holds true.)
This time, the unpredictable part of his set was not his music, but how far he would go to ruin it.[rssbreak]