Reviewer Chrissy Wilmes mentioned Ariel Pink's Vintage Vinyl in-store performance in her Flaming Lips review -- but of course, over the weekend video surfaced. Here's one in which Pink curses out an audience member for heckling (a gesture that may or may not have been planned):
Writer Mike Appelstein was there and contributed the following thoughts:
In-store performances can be unpredictable experiences. Some artists treat them like miniature versions of their regular shows (like Camera Obscura, who played a stellar VV set before their Off Broadway show last year). Others take the opportunity to try something different - a few cover versions, some extra bantering with the crowd. In Ariel Pink's case, he acted as if his handlers had just woken him up and told about his in-store obligation.
He walked through the aisles and onto the small in-store stage area - sans Haunted Graffiti or instruments of any kinds - and admitted that he didn't understand why he was there. Then he mumbled his way through three or four songs a capella, switching up voices from Prince falsetto to deranged muttering. He filled in the guitar solos vocally and even attempted a whistling solo. He would do this until he got embarrassed again, and then trailed off. In between songs he staged a fake argument with an audience member, cursing up a storm before looking around and seeing the young children in the audience. After about ten minutes he left, leaving most of us shaking our heads. If Ariel Pink's purpose was to keep the mystique intact in spite of his high-profile 4AD album and Flaming Lips tour opening slot...well, mission accomplished.
Here's another bit of the "performance." Yikes.