Ariel Pink says he was ‘Maced by a feminist’ on a bad date

Musician Ariel Pink
(Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times)

The experimental singer-songwriter Ariel Pink has never shied away from awkward topics (here’s a song about his cat getting neutered). But he may be regretting telling a tale of a date gone wrong on his recent visit to Alexi Wasser’s popular YouTube talk show “Alexi in Bed” (which first circulated on Stereogum)

“I got Maced by a feminist,” he said, staring straight at the camera. Thus begins a weirdly men’s-rights-inspired yarn about a night last year he jokingly deemed a “#hatecrime.”

Pink, a fixture on L.A.’s arty pop scene who came into some mainstream acclaim, is a volatile figure known for playing Coachella with his back to the crowd while smoking cigarettes, so this could all be a retrograde-gender-politics performance art prank.


But at face value, the pairing sounded tense -- she called him a “saggy Kurt Cobain,” he got bored when she “talked about her dad all night...I listened, whatever...if I don’t do it with them, they talk about their daddy.”

They went home together, but according to Pink things escalated when they left in pursuit of a breakfast smoothie. After some debate over who would pay -- “You know, women’s lib, all that kind of stuff, she makes her own money, she for her own lunch” -- the unnamed woman (who Pink says is in a popular band) turned a little hostile.

In Pink’s psychoanalysis, he thought she had believed, “‘I got a good one. I got a great Kurt Cobain wannabe and he’s respectful of women and I can shame him in public. This is just the guy I want’....So I let her shout at the top of her lungs at me for a long time, then I said something like, ‘Shut your mouth, little girl, respect your elders, and...get out of here.”

Her reaction (allegedly)? To spray him with Mace and key a curse word into his car.

Pink might not have gotten the sympathy he was hoping for. Wasser gave him some serious side-eye throughout the interview; artists and critics like Best Coast and Fader critic Julianne Escobedo Shepherd started an ad hoc online fan club for the woman, saying “I wanna shake her hand” and “How do I befriend the woman who maced Ariel Pink for being sexist?

If nothing else, it’s a lesson for all of us that you should A) just pay for the smoothie, it’s like $5, B) don’t recount your unflattering behavior in public forums, and C) never, ever go on dates with guys in bands.

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