Prior to the release of 2010's Before Today, any mention of Ariel Pink being a "pop genius" was laughable. Lo-fi doesn't even begin to describe his early records, which are dense to the point of being impenetrable. Before Today, though, exposed Ariel Pink to the world for what he really is: a chameleonic, stylistically fickle pop almanac, cut from the same cloth as an artist like Prince, and whose immense, effusive talent had been constricted up to that point by a self-imposed cassette-for-the-sake-of-it servitude. Ariel Pink's newest record, Mature Themes, is an exquisite follow-up and companion to Before Today, with pop-of-the-past-pillaging that ranges from the Byrds ("Only in My Dreams") to Zappa ("Schnitzel Boogie") and everyone in between. MORGAN TROPER
128 NE Russell, Portland, OR 97212
Hours: Ballroom open for events only, Cafe open: Tues-Sat 5 pm-"late"