Airbnb sponsored a handful of RSVP-only parties this week in Los Angeles. Today was the last hurrah for the San Francisco-based brand’s promotional party series. The evening’s events included a YACHT concert at The Viper Room (still in progress at the time of printing, and going strong) and an avant-garde show performed by Ariel Pink.

Ariel Pink’s show and the accompanying attractions took place at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The night had a darkly ironic twist to it, aided by the pop-up house designed in part by James Franco and Emily Henderson:

Pop-up house curated by James Franco for Airbnb’s Hello LA campaign / Photo by Rachel Knight

No doubt inspired by the fact that Airbnb literally rents out bedrooms, the structure was focused around a bedroom aesthetic. Perhaps the most-talked-about element of the piece was a “YOLO” poster affixed to one of walls:

YOLO Detail, James Franco pop-up house at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery / Photo by Rachel Knight
James Franco pop-up house at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery: “YOLO” detail / Photo by Rachel Knight

“It’s a trite hashtag right now, but we’re trying to use it ironically, since we’re at the cemetery,” Henderson told the LA Times. “It’s kind of creepy and totally awesome.”

The concert, entitled “Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti & The Seven Gates Of Hell,” was a delightfully morbid romp into the darkest corners of cinema and literature. A reel of original video art was spliced with horror footage ranging from Fay Wray screaming in King Kong (1933) to several nearly-forgotten cult classics back to disturb enraptured concert-goers.

Pink walked the line between the fantastical and the grimly realistic. There was a certain campy humor to the announcement that the night would be policed by Hell’s Angels– not the motorcycle gang, but literal demons. Those looking for a legitimate thrill just before Halloween month were still left to squirm with the knowledge that Hell’s Angels really did provide security for a concert once, at grave cost.

The show appears to have been influenced by a certain literary classic. A live narrative guided the audience through several levels of Hell, not unlike the journey described in Dante Alighieri’s Inferno. Widely regarded as one of the greatest works in the Western canon, the 14th-century epic poem depicts Hell as encompassing nine layers of torturous realms. The title of the performance appears to be a nod to an urban legend set in Hellam Township, Pennsylvania.

Pink’s storytelling was masterful, and the music and interactive elements were top-notch. It’s almost sad that Airbnb’s string of events is over. See you at Fashion Week!

Ariel Pink’s “Haunted Graffiti” on Twitter

Rachel Knight on Twitter


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