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Preview: Ariel Pink

Noah Bonaparte Pais on the June 15 show at Tipitina's

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Ariel "Pink" Rosenberg is a genius and a fraud. His Haunted Graffiti live shows are an unmissable spectacle and an unwatchable debacle. His latest album, Mature Themes (4AD), the zenith and nadir of his illustrious, anonymous recording career, is the best and the worst record of the year. It's been hailed and hurled at; various people have called it addictive and nauseating, invigorating and infuriating, shiny and swampy, visionary and proudly hideous, vital and several species of awful. Its 13 tracks are of a modern vintage, lowbrow gone hi-fi. Squares go round and round. H-bombs fall on G-spots. Schnitzels do the boogie and nymphos get a symphony. Soft rock rocks hard. Plots twist: In the opening minute, "Kinski Assassin" kills off a minor character in a major key. "Only In My Dreams" pops up in out-of-print comics' thought bubbles. "Driftwood" drifts into wide-open basses. Nothing lasts forever; "Nostradamus & Me" tries. "Baby" becomes an adjective ("You're so ..."). Shebops shebop. Fade to pink. Purple Pilgrims and Kirin J. Callinan open. Tickets $15. — Noah Bonaparte Pais

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