L.A. musician, composer, and producer Ariel Pink insists on several websites that his moniker is pronounced "R-Real." Initial exposure to Pink's cluttered, anarchic musical assemblages on various discs, vinyl, and tapes might prompt inquiries as to whether he is for real. At their heart, however, all Pink tracks are suffused with potent pop-rock melodies and sensibilities that seem culled from a broad swath of '60s through '80s nuggets. Apparent samples of the Beatles, Bowie, the Cure, and legions of others, aren't: It's AP himself as human jukebox. It sounds like he recorded them under the basement stairs, then tricked them up with fragmentation, eccentric bits of noise, bleeps, bloops, and fuzz, along with off-kilter shards that come his way via Zappa or Captain Beefheart. Quirky as all get-out, it's intriguing and even charming in the end, those undeniable hooks working their insidious magic. AP has toured solo with somewhat mixed results in the past. This time, on what has been dubbed his Thanks Mom I'm Dead tour, he has a band of L.A. scene vets in tow promising to play "clean and tight renditions" of the considerable AP songbook. 21+.
Fri., July 25, 9 p.m., 2008