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LIVE

Deerhunter / Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti

by Shawn Despres

Organized by concert promoter Contrarede, 4AD Evening will unite three of the more prominent acts from the renowned, long-running 4AD imprint’s current roster — Blonde Redhead, Deerhunter and Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti — for Osaka and Tokyo shows.

Although it’s a mouth- watering bill for fans of American indie rock, those without tickets should stop drooling because both gigs have already sold out. However, the bands are also playing separate headlining concerts while in Japan, allowing disappointed folks without 4AD Evening passes the opportunity to still catch them.

New York art-rockers turned dream pop trio, Blonde Redhead may have a hometown advantage thanks to Japanese frontwoman Kazu Makino, but the 4AD tour’s real musical treats are Atlanta’s Deerhunter and Los Angeles’ Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. Both issued excellent efforts in 2010, and were lauded in many tastemakers’ yearend “best of” rankings. And while Deerhunter’s hazy hybrid of garage pop and shoegaze on “Halcyon Digest” placed slightly higher than Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti’s “Before Today” in esteemed publications such as NME and Mojo Magazine, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti edged their labelmates to capture song-of-the-year honors from website Pitchfork with their “Round and Round” cut.

Wonderfully retro, “Round and Round” is a mix of textured psychedelic- and 1980s-inspired pop sounds and is one of the many quality offerings on “Before Today.” Originally a solo artist, Ariel Rosenberg’s earlier Ariel Pink creations were homemade affairs. “Before Today” was recorded in a proper studio with a backing band and a producer. A definite adjustment, Rosenberg reportedly quit his own group once while making the disc. Band relations seem to have improved and playing with others has strengthened Rosenberg’s live skills. Sometimes booed for his sloppy solo shows, with the expanded Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti his performances are more balanced, entertaining affairs resulting in much more positive concert reports.

Deerhunter play Jan. 21 at Club Quattro in Nagoya (7 p.m.; ¥4,000 in advance; [052] 264-8211). Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti perform Jan. 25 at O-Nest in Tokyo (7 p.m.; ¥3,200 in advance; [03] 3462-4420). Blonde Redhead play Jan. 27 at Fever in Tokyo (7 p.m.; ¥3,200 in advance; [03] 6304-7899). For more information, visit www.contrarede.com.