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Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti On 'World Cafe: Next'

Ariel Rosenberg (stage name Ariel Pink) has been making songs since he was 10, but he picked up the pace in high school: Since 1996, he's recorded more than 500 songs on piles of cassette tapes. He's not picky when it comes to his influences: Michael Jackson, Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan and Gothic rock acts such as Christian Death and Bauhaus have all found their way into his hard-to-describe recordings.

Starting in 2000, Ariel Pink began to make a name for himself as a pop-surrealist eccentric worthy of a cult following. He had something of a lucky break in 2003 when he was introduced to Animal Collective, handed the band a demo and was quickly signed as the first artist on AC's new label, Paw Tracks. Ariel Pink slowly cultivated his reputation with reissues on the label, his "Haunted Graffiti" series and live performances with the band of the same name.

Ariel Pink's latest release came out last month, and could be called his mainstream debut. (He recently signed to 4AD, gaining labelmates such as The National.) Before Today is already being called a breakout album, and not only because it's his biggest venture in hi-fi or his first album with a band. The record's nostalgic twists and turns help him blend genres with utter sincerity, and the result takes Ariel Pink's sonic quirks and places them in the form of accessible songs.

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