R. Stevie Moore + Ariel Pink 8/30/11

Monday’s double-header showcasing R. Stevie Moore and Ariel Pink’s recent musical affair also featured local kaleidoscopic pop wizard Kelley Stoltz for the second night of a two-part “secret” show. The Makeout Room was in rare form, as the crowd – large, yet manageable – packed themselves in and eagerly awaited what we all expected to be a very special experience. It was, indeed!

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With his first tour ever and an upcoming documentary this year, R. Stevie Moore is finally getting the exposure and respect that he’s earned. If it’s not for his monumental library of bedroom-recorded works that span almost five decades, then it’s for paving the way for DIY and lo-fi recording artists like Ariel Pink, and more recently Puro Instinct among others.

After a great set form Stoltz and his band, Moore took to the stage holding a half empty (or half full?) bottle of red wine and changed clothes, seemingly oblivious to his gawking fans. His fashion theme for the night being ‘paisley’ he slipped on a bright blue pair of pajama pants and an orange button-up, both appropriately adorned in those little psychedelic teardrops.

Moore, backed by members of the band Tropical Ooze, played for close to an hour and mostly stuck to his rockin’ oeuvre with a few of his electro-pop numbers peppered throughout. The song “Irony” always stands out, as well as the number about a lobster that “kicks tarter sauce” (which may or may not be a reference to Kickstarter, the web-based fundraising vehicle Moore used to release his last album Advanced, launch a world tour, and stave off homelessness.)

After an Intermission with instructions to “drink more,” Moore left the stage for the next act. For music that was never, until fairly recently, intended to be performed live, Ariel Pink and his band Haunted Graffiti sound just as good (albeit different, tighter) as the recorded material. However I can only really speak for the second night.

According to his bandmate, guitarist Joe Kennedy, Ariel Pink’s first night at the Makeout Room was apparently not as successful as the second because Pink was not allowed access to the mixer. For this reason, Monday night’s show was close to being cancelled until the club acquiesced to some sound engineering changes. Wise decision!

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti also played for quite awhile, performing selections from all corners of his discography, including personal favorite “Flying Circles” from 2006’s House Arrest. For the encore the band was joined onstage by friend, recent collaborator, and co-headliner R. Stevie Moore for a set that ended on a high note with a heavier and less warbly version of “Round and Round,” one of the poppier songs off of the 2010 release Before Today.