777 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 - Map
Ariel Pink

(((folkYEAH!))) Presents A Four Night Residency with

Ariel Pink

John Maus

Sat, October 14, 2017

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

The Chapel

San Francisco, CA

$29.75 adv / $31.75 door

Sold Out

This event is all ages

Everyone who purchases a ticket to one of these shows will receive a digital version of Ariel Pink’s new album Dedicated to Bobby Jameson upon release of the album in September 2017!

 

Ariel Pink
Ariel Pink
Los Angeles’s prodigal songwriting son Ariel Pink shares his eleventh studio album, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson, September 15.

The album’s title makes a direct and heartfelt reference to a real-life L.A. musician, long presumed dead, who resurfaced online in 2007 after 35 reclusive years to pen his autobiography and tragic life story in a series of blogs and YouTube tirades. “His book and life resonated with me to such a degree,” Pink states, “that I felt a need to dedicate my latest record to him.”

Dedicated to Bobby Jameson begins at the end and ends at the beginning. “We follow the protagonist through a battery of tests and milestones, the first of which sees him reborn into life out of death,” Pink explains, referencing the opening track “Time To Meet Your God.” “From there, he seesaws his way between the innocent love and the rocksolid edifice of childhood-worn trauma that together constitute his lifelong initiation into the realm of artifice and theatrical disposability.”

Building upon his singular vision of pop songcraft, established by such seminal records as The Doldrums, Worn Copy, House Arrest, Loverboy, Before Today, Mature Themes, and pom pom, Pink revisits themes that have haunted his sonic cinemascapes since the late 1990s: mismanaged dreams, west coast mythologies, itinerant criminals, haunted boulevards, Hollywood legends, the impermanence of romance, bubblegum artifice, movie stardom, childhood terror, acceptance of self, and narcissism projected through a celluloid filter of controversion.

Raised in Beverly Hills, Ariel Pink (born Ariel Marcus Rosenberg) started out as a visual artist before becoming a recording artist in the late ‘90s while attending Cal Arts. Between 1996 and 2004, he honed his craft writing, performing, recording, and producing a body of work that was experimental, impressionistic, and improvisational— often creating melodic accompaniments and percussive elements with his voice, as opposed to traditional drums or drum machines.

In 2003, Pink attracted the attention of Animal Collective’s Paw Tracks label, earning his home recordings a small and devoted fan base through a series of limited edition reissues. Drawing upon a list of long-forgotten iconoclasts and trailblazers like the Shaggs, the Cure, the Velvet Underground, Destroy All Monsters, the Godz, Cabaret Voltaire, and R. Stevie Moore, Pink set himself to the task of redefining the musical lexicon for himself and others. “This mission,” he says, “remains mine to this day.”

Though critically misunderstood at the time, Pink’s lo-fi recordings wielded an enormous influence with insiders and outsiders, earning him the unsolicited distinction as “the godfather of chillwave” and the face of the emergent genre of Hypnagogic Pop. Upon signing to the landmark record label 4AD in 2009, Pink’s fortunes with critics began to reverse, and his resulting first single, “Round and Round,” was named the #1 Record of 2010 by Pitchfork.

Since that period, Pink’s influence has grown, even as he and his work have waxed and waned within the popular political conversation. His music, in its earnest genre drag, continues to polarize. His embrace of the dark edges of human folly and despair is juxtaposed with superficial joy, touching on aspects normally avoided in pop music like sarcasm, suspicion, nihilism, self-loathing, and denial. These shadows of the self make their brighter counterparts—love, desire, nostalgia, dreams, acceptance, and epiphany—all the more transcendent, striking deep chords of emotion with fans. In his frenzied portrayals of humanity’s baseness and beauty, Ariel Pink spins pathos into paradise.

Standout tracks from Dedicated to Bobby Jameson include “Feels Like Heaven,” a lovelorn insta-classic paying tribute to the promise of romance, “Another Weekend,” which encapsulates the lingering euphoria of a regrettable weekend over the edge, “Dedicated to Bobby Jameson,” a rah-rah psych romp paying homage to L.A.’s punk history, and “Time to Live,” an ironic anti-suicide anthem that promotes survival as a form of resistance before devolving into a grungy, “Video Killed the Radio Star”-style breakdown that supposes life and death as being more or less the same fate and embraces the immortal anarchy of a rock song as an alternative to the prison of reality.

Alternately contained and sprawling, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson is a shimmering pop odyssey that represents more astonishing peaks and menacing valleys in the career of a man who, through sheer originality and nerve, has become an American rock and roll institution. The album marks his first full-length release with the Brooklyn-based independent label Mexican Summer.
John Maus
John Maus
John Maus is a truly enigmatic musician. Broadly cut from the synth pop cloth, he’s fashioned the frosty minimalism of its fabric into a cloak of infinite meaning, genuine grace and absurdist humor over the course of three defining albums since 2006. His music is a highly mutable affair, whilst often described as retro-futurist on behalf of the 80’s drum machines and synth sounds employed, John’s music is more personal than the nostalgic re-tread implied. There’s a cinematic quality to his songs, with pathos conjured through propelling bass-lines, trailing arpeggios and of course his deeply resonant vocal. Moroder helped map out the territory but Maus is more interested in seeking cadence through his love of Renaissance polyphony and the experimentation behind post punk. It’s an amalgamation of musical ideas as radical as its intent.

Maus is a ‘man out of time’ trying to make sense of the inhumanity of our world through his mobilisation of the language of punk rock. His aim is true as he reaches for the seemingly impossible. It’s a want to emerge as part of greater multiplicity, to appear, to become, to connect that powers his songs and the man himself.

It’s now been six years since the widely lauded album We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves (2011) appeared like a thunderbolt of maniacal energy and turned everyone’s heads. Now regarded an experimental pop classic, Pitiless Censors was a huge breakthrough for Maus as a recognised artist and led to a vast reappraisal of his past work. Debut album Songs (2006) and the masterful follow up Love Is Real (2007) sounded better than ever the second time round for this groundswell of new followers. After touring Pitiless Censors around the world and pulling together a collection of rarities and unreleased tracks, Maus then returned to academic pursuits. In 2014, he was awarded a doctorate in Political Philosophy for his dissertation on communication and control. Shortly thereafter, he began building his own modular synthesizer, etching the printed circuit boards, soldering components, and assembling panels, until he had an instrument that matched his vision. With this prodigious task completed Maus turned his hand back to song writing and began work on what is now his fourth album proper Screen Memories.

Screen Memories was written, recorded, and engineered by Maus over the last few years in his home in Minnesota, known genially as the Funny Farm. It’s a solitary place situated in the corn plains of rural American Midwest. The landscape is as majestic as it is austere and inevitably some of the sub-zero winter temperatures creep into the songs as do the buzzing wasps of summer.

Screen Memories unfolds like a pageant, with its variety of songs tendering sunshine and shadow throughout. “The Combine” leads the procession with an apocalyptic stateliness all of its own. Clusters of chords dart between the solid rhythm track and artfully chimed bells. “It’s going to dust us all to nothing, man” intones Maus assuredly, “I see the combine coming”. Tracks like “Sensitive Recollections” and “Walls of Silence” overflow with the elegiac splendor we’ve become accustomed too from Maus’ previous work, at once mournful, yet full of redemption. Whilst “Find Out” is a persistent thrill ride of guitar histrionics and instructive demands amidst the sputtering drum machines. “Over Phantom” channels a similar perpetual energy with its hyperactive shifts of harmony and grand flourishes of swirling echo. “I am a phantom over the battlefield” booms Maus miles above the vast acres of dazzling bright melody. Many of John’s lyrics adopt this Spartan approach, yet their reiteration throughout the song bears up with their meaning shifting through repetition. “Teenage Witch” and “Pets” deploy a similar tactic, the latter teaming up one of John’s most droll lyrics with a colossal bass figure integrally linked to the song as a whole by way of forgotten thematic devices such as augmentation, stretto, and inversion. The lyrics at the end of the track underscore the album’s eschatological bent, “standing between time and its end.” “Decide Decide” finds Maus in dreamier climes, its arrangement of drums and exquisitely eddying keyboard lines tumble evocatively into huge oceans of ambience. Comparably quixotic synth-drifts come to the fore on “Edge Of Forever” too, the song sounding as if it was beamed in from a distant celestial sphere. “Touchdown” meanwhile is a great example of how Maus builds apprehension within his songs, it’s a primed and focused anthem, all scintillating keys and monumental beat. The tension only breaks once for a decidedly ebullient interlude with Maus echoing commands to “forward drive across the line!” That same feeling of your heart-racing away from you is also present in the taut track “The People Are Missing” (the only condition upon which any real politics can be founded), which captures some of the intensity and passion of John’s frenzied live performances.

“Bombs Away” draws the album to a close. The track sounds like a chase becoming a hunt and was co-written by Matt Fishbeck and Ariel Pink (whom Maus used to play with in Haunted Graffiti). Through the whole album Maus has an undeniable talent in grasping the mettle of each song, reaching within and building up a sincere core, before teasing out the edges in acknowledgement to the very ridiculousness of its existence. Rather than creating these songs through an enjoyment of the process Maus considers himself more in the role of someone discovering them buried just beneath the surface. Perhaps the songs presented here are the ones that mask his real intentions, Freud pressing record and turning the TV channel to snow. All we can be certain of now though is that John Maus is back and he sounds gloriously alive. The triumph of the human is upon us and all the false gods and bad jokes will be the first to fall.
Venue Information:
The Chapel
777 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA, 94110
http://www.thechapelsf.com