So when I saw him at Fitzgeralds, Diva Dompe (you know, from blackblack? It's ok, I didn't either, but she's just as good as any of those L.A. bands, which no longer surprises me) came out wearing this floral jumpsuit thing that was pretty damn cool looking. But then when R-real came out he was wearing the thing and it was far cooler than anything Diva did.
I have this new computer (which is either a Decemberween or birthday present, can't remember which) and it got to me blank with a few games. Now, I've had to start fresh about... four or fives times by now, with my original E and C drives still holed up (although this new, stable computer is where it will go) at my dad's house and very little connectivity between the (now) three desktops, my laptop, and my mom's laptop on the count of that I don't trust removable hard drives anymore.
It is in these times when I have truly begun to appreciate a well seeded torrent. See, not only do I not have the balls to risk everything to back up one folder, but I also don't really have the time or resources o dig through my absurd cd collection (and thank you Vinyl, by the way, because I was actually beginning to get tired of all these increasingly fragile parts, and with USB turntables I don't even need the damned things anymore. Plus, bands that don't produce vinyl records make a bold statement about how they don't want my money!) to rip stuff, because I can't do just one thing, I have to get everything.
Torrents allow me to get the WHOLE damn body of work without spending half an hour in a cold sweat hoping that my drive doesn't crap out and I loose everything (this is, by the way, all the fault of a mac. If they were just normal fucking computers then my drive wouldn't bother me anymore, and I'd just get a terabyte thing and be done with it) or digging through boxes to re-find a cd I already ripped so that I could safely ignore the shattered jewel cases and mismatched sleeves.
Plus, it's a great feeling when, after spending so much time tracking down all the music, neatly ripping and organizing the music in a fashion that makes sense for that individual artist (as they all have different ways), and meticulously going through the files and making sure the name and file info all sync up, that I never have to do that again. Plus, there's always going to be stuff I missed, and I'm never spending another fucking dime on NIN after that bullshit trainwreck he went through called "sobriety." Of course, Trent really doesn't care nowadays and even leaks his own stuff, so there's that. Perhaps thats why the post-fragile (yeah, because I never really HEARD the Fragile before, so I didn't really get it back then, but now I realize it was him slowly wasting away in a cocaine-ish way, meaning a great theme plus Trent's already insatiable addiction to workahol equals an awesome double album that I had overlooked because I thought "starfuckers" sounded a little TOO marilyn manson-y, even though now I sort of like it) stuff sucks so bad, because it's free anyways!
The irony of this, of course, was that I actually bought both With Teeth (Sunspots and You Know What You Are? are good, Home rules, and some of the remixes are grade A, of course all I got with the album were those first two tracks and alot of guitar-driven non-industrial bulshit) AND Year Zerlao (which is easily forgiven, since the concept involved a giant monster and was really cool, although realizing what With Teeth was actually supposed to be about [because it didn't "click" for me then, but now it's almost too obvious] is cooler in concept than ANOTHER dystopian future ruled by neo-cons, even without the presence, and Year Zero only has "the Warning," which is only good because it's the presence... okay the song really is pretty good but I wouldn't have given it a chance otherwise) but never really knew about or bought Ghosts I-IV, which is easily the best thing he's ever done, before going right back into the suck-zone with The Slip, whose title seems to be a pun.
bauhaus might be a bit of a problem, as before the ONLY TRACK I didn't have throughout the entirety of everything they ever recorded was "Shows" from the 1978 tape that came with "Behind the Mask" which was only released in a couple thousand copies from Metropolis, and I don't think they're going to re-issue it soon, if ever. I even had spirit in the sky, and all the other crap from the 1978 tape. And you better believe I got Crackle, Gotham, and Go Away White. The torrents for them I'm seeing are nowhere near as asinine about completeness as I was as a crazy goth teenager that, really, didn't listen to other things. Much as I now grow tired of all of that music which has been rendered obsolete by Ariel Pink, being everything else.
So there's a very good Ariel Pink torrent out there that really helped me get a grip on his whole catalogue, despite being a little bare bones for my current needs. See, it doesn't have "Gettin' High in the Morning" (which turns out is about crystal meth). Also other stuff.
The problem is that only a few of it's mistakes can be corrected with the widely available stuff (HG 1, 2, faux 3, 4, 5, 6 (which I don't have on CD, so I'm missing a track here that, for some damn reason I can't find anywhere), 8, 9, and 10, added pizzaz and other things that you can physically get without TOO much trouble aren't counted here, but you can trust that I'm not starting out empty handed, that's for damn sure.) Most of the things that are screwy is like,YAS DuDette, where "Stevie Storm" is that plus like eight other songs, so that if I wanted to hear "Shower Me With Lipstick" I have to FF>> like it's a damn CaSette! And it's just awkward to me how FF>> gets a vinyl release while Scared Famous languishes in it's "well, at least I have Politely Declined" CD form. Which, of course, I bought specifically for that song, and didn't realize at the time what a bunk deal it was.
Most of that has been remedied nowadays, and with my USB turntable even Added Pizzaz can join in on the fun. Plus, Papermache, a version of Scared Famous (incorrectly labeled FF+) that's more complete, but not entirely, Underground with Function and I Love Her Still (like the 8-track I bought), the complete YAS DuDette, and something called "Welcome 2 Our World" are floating around on the net, so that's good news, although I won't be happy until I have absolutely everything.
For those of you wondering what was up with that whole "Haunted Graffiti" thing, it turns out it isn't as cryptic as you would believe. It was a numbering system invented around 1998 for Underground for Ariel to keep track of stuff, and not necessarily anyone else. Because this is also roughly the times when the band formed (Gary War, John Maus, and Tim Koh), it was also used as a name for this group of backers, all of whom were doing other things as well, which seemed like a good idea to seperate Ariel Pink from the "band" asthetic which didn't technically apply to the recordings.
Of course, there are always exceptions, and I still haven't gotten over not being able to see the "real" haunted graffiti. Not that I don't like Aaron and Kenny or anything, it's just... like seeing bauhaus play with a couple of guys you've never heard of playing in place of Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins.
And this thing about it being a planned group of 10 releases? Not so much. According to Ariel, Before Today can be considered 10 if you want to, but really, because it is so different from everything before it, it should be counted as 1 in... I guess just how many 4AD albums they have. This prompts the question "Well then what the hell was HG#9?" To me this seemed obvious, as the only thing it could really be is Odds + Sods (Vol. 1), and this was later confirmed. So we have the base 8 where somehow the idea that there was 10 got out, a bunch of loosely catalogued singles and EPs from the time between getting signed and touring with Paw Tracks and losing Gary and John during which many stuff is culled from the past as well as perhaps things that are new (and really, it's hard to tell, he could have gotten by without writing a single new song for 6 years, but I seriously doubt he did that, given how prolific he is) culminating in a new release of back-logged stuff that seems new to everyone who doesn't live in L.A. Then some wierd, in-studio non-lo-fi (what do you even call that?) singles, and finally another album, which doubles as the end of the HG series and beginning of... something else.
To reiterate, if you want Haunted Graffiti to go to 10, then they are:
1. Underground (1998)
2. The Doldrums (2000)
3. Scared Famous (2002)
4. FF>> (2002)
5. House Arrest (2002)
6. Lover Boy (2002)
7. Holy Shit! EP (2003) - Does this mean Stranded at Two Harbors is an HG? Probably not.
8. Worn Copy (2003)
9. Oddities Sodomies Vol. 1 (2008)
10. Before Today (2008)
Ariel Rosenberg's Thrash & Burn: Pre can count as 0, as it's the only real "album" that predates the HG thing and has a (formerly) attainable release. As I said, Papermache/Attention!/Hum It In The Streets is out there, and in a configuration that contains "Track 16," the most mysterious Ariel Pink recording of all time by my count, and the reason he never gets to say "lo-fi wan't a choice" to me. But, for a more inclusive list, let's take a look at the early stuff as dictated by R. Stevie Moore himself:
1996 The Nile Ran pt. 1-11
1996-1998 "Various Gorilla" rehearsals + performances (with a bunch of guys I don't recognize. Not sure what this is supposed to mean)
1996 Kids on Drugs (cassette, RSM makes an important note that this "includes just like peter schilling," which I suppose is a song of note in his early career. Could this be the mysterious "Track 16?" Don't bet on it.
1996 Kraftwerk/Expirements (I'm guessing it's more of his early WS-esque sampling-to-it's-natural-conclusion nonsense plus some wacky cool shit like Rain or Equus, but not those songs, mind you)
1997 Death Dorm 1-4 (compilation, so don't worry about this one)
1997 tape 1 (first new for '97, if we are to assume the list is complete, which it isn't)
1997 Equus 1 & 3 (here we go, I know what this is. could be versions, much longer, or just the name and is missing the track called "Equus")
1997 Master 1 & 2 (related to Equus?)
1997 BIANCA LIVE/DEMOES (ariel in a glam-punk band, apparently they left for NY and ariel didn't follow.
1998 Hum It In The Streets/Paper Mache (thouroughly not a mystery anymore)
1998 Ariel Rosenberg's Thrash n' Burn + Pre (note here the "&" is an "n'" and the colon becomes a plus sign. This is called a compilation on RSM's site, so I'm guessing the tracks are identical to the HEM release, meaning I don't know where each song actually comes from, so I could potentially have all of "tape 1" and just not know it)
1998 Gorilla Live 1 + Solo CD (Gorilla must have been a loose collection of people playing, roughly, as a group, sort of like Psycho Mental Terrorists, or PMT, or whatever name they decided to use that week. Here begins a series of releases from them... I guess?)
1998 Unreleased Gorilla tape (then why is it here?)
1998 GORILLA 2 CD
1998 Appleasians Vaults (another group of releases this time refering to "Appleasians." Could it be another band Ariel was in? I don't know, but it was clearly a unified concept sometime in early-to-mid 1998)
1998 Appleasians Greatest Hits CD (all they have is the vaults and a best of? Where is this coming from?)
1998 Appleasians LIVE / The Birth of Haunted Graffiti DEMOES CD (this is intriguing. Is Applesasians the fore-runner of what would become the Haunted Graffiti? Was HG originally a project under the Appleasians name? Was Appleasians an unrelated concept that failed to take off because Ariel left to pursue said haunted graffiti? If so, is there a parallel universe where APPLEASIANS, and not APHG, have rendered all past and future attempts at music obsolete? Many questions remain unanswered)
1998 Haunted Graffiti - Cemetaries/Railrods first album CD (C/R is called "crash crash on the drummer" on subsequent releases. This is interesting because it is the first in a group of releases named after well known APHG songs. As an album, this is likely a stripped down version of Underground)
1999 Haunted Graffiti - Underground Double CD (17 tracks can fit onto one CD, so I'm wondering what the other junk is. Judging from the rest f the list, Phantasm and Young Pilot Astray may show up, and in fact the addendum to the Doldrums CD, called Vital Pink, may be around this group and showed up there in case Underground never saw print from paw tracks, hence "Vital Pink.")
1999 Haunted Graffiti - Spires in the Snow EP CD (can't be anything surprising here)
1999 Haunted Graffiti - Phantasm EP (or here)
1999 Haunted Graffiti - Young Pilot Astray + Phantasm EP CD (again, nothing new)
1999 Haunted Graffiti - The Doldrums Sessions CD (the idea of Ariel Pink sitting around in a studio saying stuff like "that take was good, let's hear that back" while sitting around a sound booth and listening intently is hilarious to me, although one must assume he did this for Before Today)
2000 Haunted Graffiti - The Doldrums CD (and now we have entered fully modern APHG territory)
2000 STEVIEPINK - Ariel Pink + R. Stevie Moore (this one is listed as an upcoming CD, but the only real evidence we have of this genuine collab happening is, well, Stevie Pink. That showed up later, alongside RSM's Brain, on Scared Famous, and then after that on either Papergutz or YAS DuDette. So this thing may not even be a thing)
2000 Ariel Pink w/ Rebecca Lynn Excuse Live VIDEO (not even sure how to interpret this)
2000 Ariel Pink - Safeguards from Home (Thanx Mama, I'm Dead) VIDEO (so, uh, SfH shows up later on Odds + Sods, I don't why in the hell... just forget it)
2000 Mother of God + Orange S*NS - LIVE (I have no clue, but since APHG was in full swing by this time, I'm not sure it will ever become a concern, and it seems to me as if this was a one-off gig of some conglomerate L.A. bands that then dissapeared to time)
We also have "Welcome 2 Our World," most of which I've never heard of before, but happens to have alot of tracks listed as a tracklist for a version of YAS DuDette (like hold your breath and wait and nighttime is great). There is an extended list on the wikipedia page (ironic as they usual omit information) but this is merely things that are track-down-able at there original release dates, like the other HG#'s and the other junk.
I've also got something called papergutz (which is... I don't know) and an "untitled CD-R" which has Omen and a shit load of stuff with no name that I haven't heard on ANYTHING else, and some of it is purposefully hi-fi (like New Trumets sort of is, and some even in the style of the enigmatic "track 16")
Now, after Paw Tracks, the genuinely obtainable Ariel Pink begins to show up, this was:
2004 The Doldrums (Paw Tracks, CD)
2005 Worn Copy (Paw Tracks, CD)
2006 House Arrest (Paw Tracks, CD)
2006 Lover Boy (CD on... Ballbearings something? My LP is by Cooler Cat, and that's all I know, but the CD has an extra live track called "You Are My Angel" that I've never seen or heard anywhere else, so it's kinda important)
2006 Ariel Rosenberg's Thrash & Burn: Pre (Human Ear Music's direct reissue of an old compilation of even older stuff. You NEED this, so HEM's... dissolving has become a pretty big pain in the ass for me)
2006 Stranded at Two Harbors (the Holy Shit! album)
2007 Underground (this version omits Function and I Love Her Still... unlike the 8-track)
2007 Scared Famous/FF>> (by HEM, CD, called the "West Coast Tour Edition," it is a hodge-podge mix of material from both albums, omitting much of the best songs. And while FF>> has since been saved by a Vinyl release (from what I can only assume is Cooler Cats), SF still languishes, although Privacy, Deathcrush 99, Birds in My Tree, and Shedon'tknow-Whattodowithherself are out there if you look)
2008 Oddities Sodomies Vol. 1
2010 Before Today (4AD LP & CD)
After this started up, a number of various releases showed up at shows, and it's pretty much common custom to snatch anything you don't recognize, because you won't find it later.
Pedestrian Pop Hits - A joke? See, because it's one really long track that is anything but a pedestrian pop hit. Very cool, find it if you can. If you give up it's in the torrent, and due to it's length it would need to appear on it's own, so don't expect to see it pop up again soon.
Ariel Friedman EP - All of the songs here seem to be new, and only Facts of Destiny and Ariel (Friedman) show up on anything else. Which is a shame, because Choose to Loose rules the schools.
Gates of Zion/Ghosts - an Australian tour goody. Gates of Zion is obviously new for this record, and the Ghosts track seems to be cleaned up, it may be a new recording or simply tweaked, it's hard to tell. If you don't live in australia and don't have a time machine, no worries, both tracks are on youtube. "Gates," by the by, is fantastic and simply needs to be put on something a little more accesible than an Australian-only tour exclusive.
Witchunt Suite for WWIII - the closest Ariel is ever going to get to social commentary, and some of the coolest shit he's ever done. This masterpiece, in two parts totalling about 20 minutes, have a habit of popping up in different places, including some of the iterations of YAS DuDette, under a couple of different names. There's a good chance you can get these, if not actually being put on an album (they are not, unfortunately, on Odds + Sods).
My Molly EP - Really important. My Molly is out now on the vinyl FF>>, The Bottom is on Odds + Sods, both and gox2 are on YAS DuDette, but Rock Play appears no where else. This is a crime, because My Molly is pretty much the perfect song. You will end up with these if you're doing it right, but it's something to keep you're finger on.
YAS DuDette - this is extremely important, and a more or less "full" version is out there, so get it. YAS was a our only deal, and I'm not sure what the full tracklist is, but there is one I've found from a blog or something that pretty much includes... everything. This thing is just begging for a rerelease as "Oddities Sodomies Vol. 2." Are you listening, Ariel? You need to do this one right.
Live at Pacific Palace Aids - a real thing, but I know next to nothing about it.
Can't Hear My Eyes/Evolution's a Lie - The first clue that something was up for me, because, as I have stated, I don't live in Australia. That's cool though, because Gates is more properly "HG9" era than Before Today era. This was a genuine new song with a genuine re-recording b-side. I don't understand why "Revolution" became "Evolution," especially considering it makes him look like a crazy person from uneducated eyes, but the title reverted to it's original form for the album (and what might be a re-re-recording)
Round and Round/Mistaken Wedding - It was a mistake not to put the b-side, which has it's own video, on the album. Whatever, I'm not buying a single for one song, so your loss.
Cooler Cat 7" - This one is a little less ignorable, though. It has Flashback (which does not appear on Before Today), Reminisces (which does), Rama Ya (which is the first recording released of a song the band is heard rehearsing in a video from 2007 or so, but is not on BT), and Phantasma (a longer name for a re-recording that does not show up on BT, but was already on Odds + Sods, so big deal). This one is pretty important, and there are apparently still some out there? I can't order shit online so I wouldn't know, but there is still alot of interest in it at least.
Grandes Exitos - isn't it just like Ariel to make a best of... and then turn it into a "you had to be there" tour only fiasco? Well, this is one I can safely not give a shit about. I'm more worried about...
Kind of Kind/RSM's Brain - Not only is this the second best (My Molly was a kick ass idea) idea for a APHG single, but it's only the B-SIDE of a song that I'VE NEVER EVEN HEARD!!! This one is driving me insane, because I had the chance to see him in 2009, but it fell apart when I couldn't get a fucking ride to Hailey's. Total Bullshit, man. And now it's like it never even existed! Look, if Gates of fucking Zion can find it's way to youtube, why the hell can't Kind of Kind, which is COMPLETELY NEW!!!
It just pisses me off, is all.
There is undoubtedly more crap too, but thinking about it gives me a headache.