Ariel Pink, Jack Name, Jimmy Whispers | Thalia Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Ariel Pink, Jack Name, Jimmy Whispers 

When: Tue., Feb. 17, 8:30 p.m. 2015
Price: $22-$32
As Ariel Pink’s music sounds glossier and better produced, his persona only grows more outrageous. Ariel sings forlornly about schnitzel and nymphomania on 2012’s brilliant Mature Themes, an album about adulthood and heartache masquerading as songs about schnitzel and nymphos (and a genius way of acknowledging that crippling immaturity gets in the way of meaningful relationships). But on last year’s Pom Pom (4AD), he forgoes the concision and partnership politics of Mature Themes entirely and full-on embraces the most ridiculous and childish aspects of his music and personality. A nearly 80-minute smorgasbord of Zappa-style genre jumping, spazzed-out goofiness, and over-the-top male chauvinism, Pom Pom is at once Ariel’s grandest statement and his most explicit provocation of both his fans and detractors. It’s also too long. Two-thirds of the album are unbelievable, but there are also songs like “Dinosaur Carebears” and “Sexual Athletics,” in which Ariel’s silliness lapses into shtick. I’ve seen him a half-dozen times, and his performances vacillate between epiphanic rock shows and complete meltdowns. Either way, you’ll get your money’s worth. —Tal Rosenberg
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