By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
For Medulla, Björk hewed her beats out of Rahzel and Mike Patton's epiglottises, Manhattan Transfering them over in some sleek 15-odd studios. So why did the phlegmatic throats feel colder than pond scum in Reykjavík? And why does the metronomic spittle beatboxed by one-man band Ariel Pink and the Haunted Graffiti on eight-track feel so much warmer? Warmer than a casting director's Jacuzzi in the Hollywood Hills, warmer than a Spahn ranch skinny-dip with Squeaky Fromme, warmer than a teen runaway's Rohypnol drool puddleeach lip-smacked snare and spat-out break lures us deeper into the muggy smog and hot scuzz of The Doldrums. It's Pink's first non-CD Baby release, which is to say: He's coming up so you better get the party started.
With a Fisher Price fidelity that makes Bob Pollard sound more studio-hack exacting than Fagen-Becker, Pink pops phunny-pharm bottles like Brian Wilson and croons in a crusty bathrobe over wobbly tapes from Gary Wilson's long-lost Smile. When his castrato voice isn't shriveling Barry Gibb into Barry White ("Among Dreams"), Pink gets support from backup singers huffing Muppet-phetamines. It all numbs like gold-dust snot in the golden-throat glory days of FM radio, hawking up a stagnant swamp thing more hideous than Elton Jandek.
Ariel Pink plays Tonic November 20.