NXNE Review: Mac DeMarco, June 14, The Garrison

What NXNE says: “Montreal-based Mac DeMarco – it seems – has the magic touch. His previous group Makeout Videotape – which played an epoch-defining 3am set at the Garrison last NXNE – had built up a solid reputation as fantastically sloppy live and sloppily fantastic on record before breaking up late last year. His new project, which was quickly signed to NYC’s tastemaking Captured Tracks label, is the real dangerously good deal.You could say there’s a unique beauty in the faux-rock star posing or the quasi-ironic lyrics – cf. “Baby’s Wearing Blue Jeans,” “One More Tear To Cry,” and “Rock and Roll Night Club” – but really it’s all just about his incredible songs. Caught up somewhere between Girls’ 60s influenced cry-for-help-indie, Ariel Pink’s weirdo-stoner-pop and the street level, glammed-up singer-songwriter tradition of Jonathan Richman and David Bowie, DeMarco’s tracks are svelte and sexy rock ‘n’ roll tinged with weight-of-the-Western-world-on-his-shoulders melancholy.”

 What PM says:  Playing an earlier set than their previous night’s much praised show at the Drake Underground, I figured this would be a better opportunity to beat the crowds and catch one of the festival’s more hyped bands. There was a smaller audience earlier in the evening but after being asked politely to “come closer,” the crowd moved forward and started to get into their unique form of lazy lo-fi blues rock. This doesn’t come across as well when you listen to their recorded material, but seeing them live they are much more loose, fun and way less dark. Stage antics abound: at one point Mac ended up on the ground noodling with his bassist and when the song was finished he commented that “I think I bit his penis tip too hard.” They remind me of what Thrush Hermit might have been like had they become frat boys and turned to drugs way back when. Of all the bands I’ve seen so far it was nice to see a band that didn’t take themselves so seriously. No gimmicks and no posing. Just play the music and have a good time doing it.

Posted on by Brent in Everything, North By Northeast