Despite its carnivalesque reputation, what stands out more than anything in Las Vegas is just how repressed everyone is. Walk along the floor of a casino at 8am, and you see hundreds of people parked in front of slot machines, smoking cigarettes or drinking gin and tonics, the sums on their credit cards slowly but surely climbing.
I always wanted Ariel Pink’s music to do more for me. The initial allure was mostly there but ultimately I never found he was able to do much with it. His best albums never left me more than lukewarm. I’m not just saying that because he’s now being (reasonably) treated as persona non-grata since he and John Maus were spotted at last week’s putsch, or because of his pathetic interview on Tucker Carlson. Pink has had credible allegations of abuse swirling around him for years, and he’s never really bothered refuting his scummy statements on race and gender. It hasn’t been easy to take him seriously for a while now.