R. Stevie Moore
Ariel Pink’s Picks vol. 1 [12-inch; Personal Injury]

Given that this Bandcamp page for R. Stevie Moore has upwards of 300 releases you can listen to, we should all feel lucky to have an astute gentleman such as Ariel Pink to pick out some of the key tracks for us. There’s gotta be some kind of a trimmed primer to start with, although let’s be honest, with that many albums who the hell knows what all this guy was capable of putting down to tape since the 50’s(!). And he’s still making music. Lots of it. Nevertheless, this 2xLP collection of 17 hand-picked popsters could do just the trick if you don’t have the two-to-three lifetimes you’d need to check out the entire catalog and are willing to zone in on a specific period of his career. We’re focused on material released between 1973 and 1984 here, tracks that, as you might have guessed, double as explanations of Ariel Pink’s approach to music on the whole: that lo-fi, into-the-past-peering punk rock, slightly updating (i.e., having fun with/obliterating) the British invasion’s cheerful bally-hoo with more adventurous forms while clinging tight to the sweet harmonies and jangly bounce of something like the Beach Boys. Add to that a dollop of Moore’s uncanny sense of humor, the goofy self-deprecating commentary belted out in mousy falsettos to the tap of a solid backing band, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what you can expect with this one. But what you might not expect is just how genuine it all is, or the sweet sensitivity of some of the softer numbers, like the beautiful “The Winner,” tucked away on side 3. Not even 30 seconds into this record and it’s apparent how criminally insane it is that R. Stevie Moore is still the mysterious outsider he remains to be in 2015 (I only became aware of his existence within the last 12 months, if that’s any indication) — why, after all this time, and especially after having produced the decade of music this excellent release paraphrases for us, is this guy not a fucking millionaire? Or, maybe he is? Your guess is as good as mine.

Cerberus

Cerberus seeks to document the spate of home recorders and backyard labels pressing limited-run LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and objet d’art with unique packaging and unknown sound. We love everything about the overlooked or unappreciated. If you feel you fit such a category, email us here.

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