Τετάρτη, 13 Μαΐου 2009

the most important musician in the world [?]


ένα υπερενθουσιώδες, σχεδόν ερωτικό [και αποκλειστικό] κείμενο του john maus για τον ariel pink [ή πιο σωστά, που επιχειρεί να εξηγήσει γιατί ο ariel pink είναι ο κάτι σαν τους νέους beatles, τους sex pistols ή τους nirvana]...
I feel a bit like Nietzsche’s madman speaking with you about Ariel Pink. It seems I ‘have come too early’ as well. It seems ‘this tremendous event is still on its way, still wandering; it has not yet reached the ears of men.’
How else am I to consider the fact that our (musical) situation goes on mostly the same as it did before Ariel was represented within it? Indeed, it has been over five years since the vulgar machinery of (musical) representation and distribution provided Ariel a humble place amidst the otherwise garbage it celebrates unendingly, and in this five years, from the perspective of this machinery, nothing really substantial has changed. For example, music critics and journalists continue their descriptions, descriptions that serve only the State, as if there were something else than Ariel. Radio stations, and so on, when they play Ariel, do so only in between the usual, as if Ariel belongs, or is somehow exchangeable. Consumers continue, and year after year, making their lists, lists of the best record albums, the best songs, and so on. Sometimes they even include Ariel on these lists, as if he does destroy any and every context, especially a list that would appropriate him to some end. We can compare all of this with the remarkable transformations that usually accompany such events as Ariel: Presley in ’54, the Beatles in ’64, the Sex Pistols in ’77, Jackson in ’82, Nirvana in ’91, and so on. In each case, the fuss on the part of the vulgar machinery was worthy of the truth it was attempting to foreclose.
With respect to punk rock, Ariel Pink is the most important musician in the world. He is the most important musician in the world because he alone continues to wrest the infinite over the particular that characterizes the whole procedure of punk rock from Elvis Presley, through the Beatles, the Sex Pistols, et al. I have written about this elsewhere and have no desire to repeat that exercise here, save to say, I am of the conviction that nothing in punk rock music right now matters more than what Ariel Pink has done and is doing.
The music of Ariel Pink—every time it is its own world, and it is a world all the more special because, even in it its radical novelty, it remembers something. It is always impossible to speak about the truly singular, as anything that gives way easily to words is probably not singular at all. That being said, what makes Ariel’s music so great is always just beyond language. Here, I am tempted to foolishly draw a parallel with his biography. The person of Ariel is, in many ways, one of the most tragic figures I have ever met. To give any more detail than this would be to make a work of these tragedies, and that would be inexcusable. However, I can say there is profound melancholy about him, a melancholy he has not only earned, but of which he is also embarrassed, so that he would never flaunt it. This sadness runs deeper in him than it does in most, a sensitivity to the suffering and the joy of the entire world. Although he will hate me for telling it, I’ve seen him shiver from this sensitivity; I’ve heard his voice crack as he held back tears. Ariel’s music is often as a voice holding back tears, the breaking voice of one who needs so badly to cry but will not, and what matters most about his music, what makes it so significant, is precisely those tears that never come. Yes, there is anger too, and often he will make a funny joke, or do a funny voice, but just around the corner, there is always this profound awareness of what it means to be in the world right now, an unspeakable and inaccessible melancholy at this world’s strangeness. It is hard not to love this, whenever you see it, because it is quite a tender and beautiful thing. One has to resist, sometimes, holding the man, or crying for him.
You are thinking I have said nothing. But ask yourself, how often, if ever, do you really meet someone who fits this description? Perhaps you are answering “all the time, everywhere,” and so I must continue.
The next thing I might consider is his generosity. Since the moment he was able, Ariel has dedicated nearly every resource at his disposal to give, and often to his own detriment. If forced to chose between helping someone or coming-out stylish, he always helps, and so comes out the fool. Again, he will put on heirs, that life is boring, that nothing matters, and so on, but then why is the way he suggests these things always so exciting and so seemingly important? He claims that he does not try, that every time he picks up a pen he gets interesting results, but the only time I’ve ever seen him angry was precisely at indifference like this, that is, being indifferent to what one gives.
Forced to try to articulate the singular heartache about Ariel in a clearer way, I am reminded of that feeling I sometimes get about the loss of childhood, as at least for me, the adult world is just a little less wonderful, so that I sometimes find myself sadly missing childhood. This is a very peculiar form of longing, especially for us, that is, in this situation, twenty years is the difference between worlds, so that everything we were surrounded by—every sound, every image, every character, every tool, etc.—is now irrevocably gone from us. “That’s life,” you say, “get over it.” Believe me, I would, but the sadness at this fact I see about Ariel is particular in that it seems to suggest I have another option than “getting over it,” that part of what is so sad about this loss is that there could be another way than “getting over it” that we are all refusing to pursue. What would it mean to re-member those sounds, those images, those characters, and so on, so that they were never merely an arbitrary moment of the spectacular machinery that prescribes us, or a superficial manifestation of fashion at a given time, but also our eternal truths, echoing across history and culture? Bear witness to the possibility in that. The way our songs sounded, our movies looked and felt, our heroes behaved—these need not be entirely relegated to the junk pile of used up luxury commodities. Again, here is something singular about Ariel, instead of merely commenting on our situation and so being completely reducible to it, he opens another possibility.
Ariel’s tenderness has something childishly gentle about it, the way his hands move across a page, his over enthusiastic bearing, and so on. I remember once, he came running up to me, “Hey John” “Yes?” “Man, did you know that tape worms have eyes” “No?” “Yeah, they’ve got eyes, and one big tooth!” Now, that may seem like nothing more than a stupid story, a story I’m only recounting with pretension to wit, and so on, but the singularity of his disbelief at this abject accident of nature, with all of its childish wonder, truly escapes description. Wonder, who does wonder better than Ariel Pink? I dare anyone to answer this. By “doing wonder,” I mean registering a new, or singular, way of experiencing it for all eternity, as Ariel has. The sixth, or “F” section of the song “Haunted Graffiti,” for example, gives us a new way of experiencing wonder, Ariel’s way. The entirety of my life, of human life, of the Earth, of the entire Universe, is brought-forth here, is witnessed from a singular perspective.
Nearly everything else that exists today is garbage compared to Ariel Pink. It exists as nothing more than the shit and ash through which he pierces a hole. Ariel isn’t seen, and this is what he shows us. I’ve seen him not being seen, sitting on a hill, waiting for someone who never came. “Ah, but none of us are really seen,” you say. To which I answer, “Yes, but very few of us can ever really betray that about ourselves and so, in a sense, be seen.” The person of Ariel does exactly this, just as his music. Ariel would, of course, hate this letter, he is after all, infinitely more subtle than all of this.
Normally, I find parallels between biography and work detestable, but perhaps I am excused here to the extent that these descriptions of Ariel weren’t meant to explain his music, but rather only to get at its singularity through the metaphor of his person. What we have then, is a singularly melancholic music that is generous to a fault. At times, it pretends that it is bored or cynical, but it always does this in an exciting and meaningful way, so that it contradicts itself. There is a singularly utopic dimension to this music. This dimension gives another possibility (of experiencing wonder, the mystery of childhood) than those to which we would otherwise be limited.
Perhaps the reason the vulgar machinery of (musical) representation hasn’t made such a fuss over Ariel as it has over similarly significant musicians of the past is, if it failed to put his radicalism entirely to work, if it failed, in any way, to take Ariel up completely into itself, it, and the world of which it is a part, would be entirely ruined. [john maus].
ο ariel pink εμφανίζεται με την μπάντα του στην επόμενη lifo night στην τεχνόπολη στο γκάζι στις 12 το βράδυ [ακριβώς], μαζί με τους fulgeance, zomby, mike slott και one night stands.
με ελεύθερη είσοδο.