A longtime friend, fan, collaborator, and “honorary member” of Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti collective, the Minnesota-bred Maus is a student of music theory and philosophy currently juggling doctoral work in the latter with his own solo career. Those two purviews collide in his own work, though, Maus using a primitive keyboard palette to construct iridescent, experimental pop songs that — in addition to evoking classical music’s titans — also function as treatises on a variety of existential quandaries. Also of note: his startling live presentation, a thoughtful combination between karaoke and performance art that’s impossible to forget.
Avey Tare: He’s a really interesting dude. I met him on tour with Ariel when we toured with them in 2006, I think. It’s hard to put a finger on it. I guess it’s the dark…it has a fantasy quality to it. It’s hard to put into words. That lighthearted side that should seem dark as well.