Are there things you didn't think you liked because you thought it was something else? It happens to me a lot with music where I might just misconstrue a band's style because I hate the name. Now I'm drawing a blank on copious examples. No matter.
At least a month ago now I was seeing a flurry of Ariel Pink mentions, a person whose name has existed peripherally for some time and who I incorrectly assumed was a mid-2000s freak folkish sort like Devendra Banhart, someone I always ignored because it didn't appeal on a gut level.
Something in a tweet or Facebook post made me click, though, and brought me to this new non-lo-fi video, which was not at all what I expected. I'm in love with this video, and I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that I've become borderline obsessed with Ariel Pink, a fixation that would probably only be acceptable if one were a 20-year-old Coachella girl.
Like, what's his deal? He's kind of palsied and shrimpy and that hair is so horrible (especially with the bangs) and yet somehow it's kind of compelling, a hotness that didn't really gel for me until I realized he was on my side of 35, not that 36 is old but kind of too old to be your worst hipster nightmare.
(I was scrambling to think of any fringy non-young female performers who are allowed to be beauty fuck-ups and only Peaches comes to mind, maybe Ladyfag, though she's not a musician, maybe I'm just reacting to some Jewish, Canadian thing?)
It would be easy to dismiss him if you only saw his 20s (the only time in life a pervstache can still possibly be pulled off) even though I do love this nutso Kate Bush production from 2004.
There's something to be said for persisting in this, whatever this is. There must be some kernel of self-awareness? As per a recent New Yorker profile: "I’ve been the next big thing for, like, ten years now,” Pink said. He wore an unbuttoned plaid shirt over a plunging V-neck, with splotches of red nail polish on both thumbs. “I feel really old.”
I may also be reacting positively to some level of un-PC-ness (I've started wondering if the sudden new wave of political correctness isn't the byproduct of the '90s nostalgia that's bubbling up in all corners of pop culture, whether consciously or not). He says things that come off homophobic and misogynistic, and he also strikes me as the Crispin Glover type that is essentially LA at the core and dates younger and pornier and clueless in ways that may be contrived or may be the product of not-smartness. I couldn't help but notice that his ladyfriend of sorts describes herself as an "adult retard" in her Twitter bio.
My favorite YouTube comment, though is this:
"Ariel looks like a grown up sex-changed Kiernan Shipka."
Favorite because Kiernan Shipka is one of the few young female actresses that I find attractive. Maybe I'm just really hot for Kiernan Shipka?
So, I start to post this and then start watching a video and then another and then I'm not sure what I even think anymore and then a week goes by and then I question myself (and I start reading things that I'm drawn to because I've been questioning my attraction to beta males lately but only understand 75% of because of all the British-ness/pretentiousness) and then it starts all over again.
In reality, I do not have anything to talk about or say to people like Ariel Pink, and frankly, they are annoying because I have to be straighto potato and work for a living and they don't. I'm too uptight and regimented and care what others think. You know, like I recently said how a coworker informed me a superior marveled at how "buttoned-up" I am when I'm so not. Maybe I have finally embodied the concept of fake it till you make it when it's only a survival instinct because I do not have charm, talent or looks to fall back on.
So, I don't think Ariel and I would get along right now–but in another six years we might. Let the record stand.