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When Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti lurched out of a Hollywood basement in 2004, he was painting his face, spraying glitter, slapping his ass, singing like he had a mouth full of marshmallows, recording like he kept his microphone in a fishtank, and crackling like he found his cassette tapes in a mud puddle. Completely trounced by critics at the time, no one knew he was actually writing the secret blueprint for indie rock, circa 2010. Pink predated the whole mushy/nostalgic/dreamy/no-fi/blessed-out/washed-out chillwave aesthetic by a good five years—and had an Animal Collective co-sign to boot! He didn’t exactly invent being a tape-damaged weirdo (traces of R. Stevie Moore, Gary Wilson, and Syd Barrett are alive and well), but his first album in three years is dropping into blogland like a Meat Puppets album in the middle of Nirvana season. Good for him, since he’s definitely got the nostalgia thing down better than any of his children—”Round and Round” sounds like Stevie Wonder’s “My Cherie Amour” run through a distortion pedal; “Can’t Hear My Eyes” is pure yacht rock; and “Bright Lit Blue Skies” is some killer lite-FM trip coming via distant car radio. All of a sudden, this dude is selling out shows, and tonight is no exception.
Tue., May 4, 9:30 p.m., 2010