Ariel Pink makes Vancouver tour stop at The Venue October 20th
Ariel Pink, creator of kaleidoscopic pop soundscapes, has released his newest album, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson. This is Pink’s first solo album since the surreal bombardment of pom pom (2014). The style here is more intimate, trailing our narrator as he ruminates his way up and down the length of the Sunset Strip. Dedicated to Bobby Jameson tracks the rise and fall of its namesake, a Los Angeles musician who circled stardom, mixing with the Beach Boys and the Monkees in the early 60’s before sinking into obscurity and addiction. “Pronounced dead twice from drug over doses,” Bobby Jameson resurfaced after 35 reclusive years in a series of YouTube rants and an online blog, railing against an industry that had written him off while continuing to profit off his work.
Raised in Beverly Hills, and himself no stranger to transformations, Ariel Pink is the right artist to revive the legacy of the once “Mayor of the Sunset Strip.” The opening track, “Time to Meet Your God”, sees Bobby Jameson “reborn into life out of death,” says Pink, reflecting on the album. “From there, he [Jameson] seesaws his way between the innocent love and the rock-solid edifice of childhood-worn trauma that together constitute his lifelong initiation into the realm of artifice and theatrical disposability.”
With tracks sporting titles like “Bubblegum Dreams,” it’s easy to expect a party and overlook the depth of this pop. But does pop have to be vapid? Here, Pink specializes in giving swagger to myth while real details slip around like a suspect in a long coat. Dedicated to Bobby Jameson contains both cartoon voices and authentic feeling cloaked in a hazy-fade as if it were playing through the radio of a rebuilt Cadillac.
Bobby Jameson mixed with the stars of the 60’s. Then, as now, the music industry was happy to flog anthems of protest and love so long as they turned a profit. Bobby Jameson spent many of his final years seeking compensation for his art. Ariel Pink’s latest album is an authentic homage to Jameson and portrayal L.A., a town where art and marketing, fake and genuine fade in and out.
“There wasn’t one person in that whole town that I told where I was going before I left,” wrote Bobby Jameson in his last blog post.