Music made for the middle children

Turn off Davy Jones and give Ariel Pinks groovy new album a listen

Keri Carlson

Scene 1: Set in the Brady girlsí bedroom. Marcia and Cindy sit on their beds listening to Marciaís Davy Jones record. Suddenly, Jan runs into the room.

JAN: Sisters, you have to hear this record I just bought. Itís this guy Ariel Pink and he recorded this album all by himself on 8-track. Itís amazing!

MARCIA: I donít know, Jan. Weíre listening to Davy right now. Maybe later, OK?

JAN: No, now!

Jan removes the Davy album and sets Ariel Pinkís ìHouse Arrest” on the pink record player. The song ìHardcore Pops Are Fun” begins with a fuzzy, jangly guitar and Arielís vocals, drenched in reverb sing, ìPop music is good / It sounds like it should.”

MARCIA: Ummm, Jan? Did you leave this record out in the sun? It sounds warped.

JAN: No, Marcia, thatís the way itís supposed to sound.

MARCIA: Maybe itís the needle, I think itís skipping now.

JAN: No, seriously Marcia, this is what heís going for ó isnít it genius?!?! Heís making pop music by destroying it.

CINDY: This is making my head spin.

Cindy begins to pulling at her pigtails.

MARCIA: See Jan? Nobody likes your music.

JAN: But canít you hear elements of The Monkees, The Byrds and Brian Wilson? Heís making the music you love, Marcia, only unraveling its perfection and revealing a darker truth. Itís the same sunny Californian AM radio pop we hear every day except Ariel acknowledges us! The ones who donít fit into the perfect Hollywood movie of a life! The middle children Ö Ariel makes music for the middle children!

MARCIA: This is like getting hit in the face with a football all over again.

The next song, ìInteresting Results,” starts with a fast dance beat and an incessant tambourine. Cindy begins to jump on her bed, shouting along with Ariel, ìIím not gonna try. Iím not gonna try anymore.”

MARCIA: Cindy! Youíre scaring me!

Cindyís jumping shakes the floor so much that it skips the record ahead to the woozy track ìGetting High in the Morning,” which is not fast enough for Cindy to jump along to. She sits back down on the bed.

JAN: Oh yeah, this is my jam.

Jan fishes through her sock drawer for her hidden stash. Upon finding it, she proceeds to light up.

MARCIA: Jan, what are you doing? What is that?

JAN: Relax, Marcia. This just makes the music sound more amazing. Cindy, want a hit?

CINDY: No, Iím bored with this. Iím going to make cookies with Kitty Karry-All.

Cindy leaves the room just as Greg pops his head in.

GREG: Hey, whatís happening?

MARCIA: Weíre listening to Janís stupid record.

GREG: Well, itís certainly no Davy Jones. Iím going surfing. Want to come along?

MARCIA: Groovy, letís go! Have fun being a geek, Jan.

Greg and Marcia laugh and exchange high-fives. Jan does not say anything but smiles and blows a puff of smoke into the air. She leans back on her bed and nods her head along to ìThe People Iím Not.”

End scene.