Ariel Pink @ Mercury Lounge, NYC 5/4/10

Before Ariel Rosenberg (decidedly Pink in these photos by Ryan Muir) and his Haunted Graffiti took Mercury Lounge’s sweltering stage last night, an AP vet set expectations for a newcomer lured to the sold-out venue by the unending charms of his forthcoming LP Before Today (out 6/8 via 4AD), saying Haunted Graffiti sets ranged from “sublime, to sublimey shitty.” The days of the shambling shitshow are behind Ariel, though, if last night’s  one-off tour-teaser’s any indication. (It may or may not be: last night the band was joined among others by a bassist who nailed his R&B runs, and Cryptacize/ex-Deerhoof dude Chris Cohen on guitar. Chris’s further commitments to the project are unknown at the moment, though Ariel would do well to have them be very committed.) There were folks holding signs on Houston St. looking for extra tickets, “one more song” chants when the set proper ended. From an album recreation standpoint it was impressive if imperfect; no San Jose choir, Ariel complained, not enough bass he complained again. But Before Today’s best bits (“Round And Round,” “Bright Lit Blue Skies,” “Butt-House Blondes,” most every other track) were greeted like long-loved staples. A one-more-song chant broke out at the end, which Ariel agreed to somewhat contemptuously (“It’s hot, we don’t know any more songs, but fine let’s do this and then I get to go to bed.”) The crowd, for their part, were gladly held in contempt. Ariel’s murkier early work’s come round (and round) as the touchpoint for the “chillwave” movement, and though this record flips the script somewhat, it’s poised to be a Merriweather-like coronation for the guy. The swing of shows will be their sold-out afterparty: a little loose and unhinged and full of stories for folks the next day.

In June Ariel’s off to Europe before working through the States with Pearl Harbor and Magic Kids. Dates below, as is video of last night’s “Bright Lit Blue Skies” and AP doing “Round And Round” live for Viva Radio. And please enjoy Ryan’s photos of the night, including those of the opener, the charming Mr. R. Stevie Moore.

Here’s “Round And Round” for Viva Radio:

To go:

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – “Round And Round”

Round and round they go:

06/08 – Paris, France @ Point Emphere
06/10 – Brighton, UK @ Freebutt
06/11 – Bristol @ The Fleece
06/12 – Nottingham @ Spiky Van Dykes
06/13 – Glasgow @ Captain’s Rest
06/14 – Leeds @ Brudenell Social Club
06/15 – London @ The Scala
06/17 – Antwerp @ Pekfabrick
06/18 – Amsterdam @ De Nieuwe Anita
07/09 – Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex#
07/10 – San Francisco, CA @ Bimbo’s#
07/12 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir#
07/13 – Seattle, WA @ Neumo’s#
07/14 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore#
07/16 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge#
07/17 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird#
07/19 – Minneapolis, MN @ Entry#
07/20 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall#
07/21 – Detroit, MI @ Pike Room#
07/22 – Toronto, ONT @ Mod Club#
07/23 – Montreal, PQ @ La Sala Rosa#
07/24 -New York, NY @ The Fillmore Irving Plaza#
07/25 – Boston, MA @ Middle East#
07/27 – Philadelphia, PA @ JB’s#
07/28 – Washington, DC @ Rock N Roll Hotel#
07/29 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506#
07/20 – Atlanta, GA @ Earl#
07/31 – Birmingham, AL @ Bottle Tree#
08/02 – Denton, TX @ Hailey’s#
08/03 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk#
08/05 – Tucson, AZ @ Plush#
08/06 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah#
08/07 – Costa Mesa, CA @ Detroit Bar#
* = w/ R. Stevie Moore
# = w/ Pearl Harbor & Magic Kids