On behalf of Indie Music Machine, I would like to officially welcome myself into the fold. The newest, dysfunctional cog in said machine, I hope to express my love of music in a fresh format (fresh for me at least, being a first time blogger). Hopefully I can provide some of you with some new ear candy along the way.
As I’m sure it is for many of you, my musical journey is a windy one, often experienced with eyes closed. Around every bend is another undiscovered area of the musical landscape. Lately that road has taken me to the sweet sounds of soul, jazz and R&B, highlighted by the likes of Raphael Saadiq, Aretha Franklin, Dr. John and D’Angelo. A lot of it being very full music with large bands fronted by powerful or unique vocals, and backed by horns, keys, strings etc. The way each piece is crafted to meld into a rich, full sound gets me every time. But in the end, I’m a sucker for vocals that slap you upside the head, be it via power, grit or smoothness.
No matter which stretch of the musical brick road I find myself stuck on, however, I always seem to eventually stumble upon someone who reminds me of how simple melodies and instrument setups are enough to produce truly enjoyable music. This time, that person is Mac Demarco. The man whose light, funky guitar riffs played over soft vocals famously contradicts his live show raunchiness. Playing self described “jizz jazz”, Mac supplies riff driven soft rock tunes filled with plenty of bouncy slides and bends on his beat up old electric guitar (which he apparently purchased for a whopping 30 bucks).
My first introduction to Mac Demarco was his second album (at least under his current pseudonym, as he has previously put out recordings under the name “Makeout Videotape”). The aptly named “2”, released in October 2012 on Captured Tracks, is chalk full of short and sweet tunes with pleasing melodies reminiscent of a slowed down version of fellow west coast Canadians Yukon Blonde. His vocals, sometimes half spoken/half sung in the style of Lou Reed, recount such stories as a love affair with a cigarette brand or of the best meth cook in town (a seemingly far cry from the positive vibes his guitar constantly emits). With subtle psychedelic/surf rock overtones helping me welcome the crisp spring air, I found myself instantly hooked.
Playing live with a basic 2 guitars, bass and drums setup, Mac and his band are known for trying to break through the audience’s protective shell to create a more loose, enjoyable vibe. It is their tactics in doing so that make for a unique live experience. Dick jokes, nudity, projected videos of him and his friends goofing around and whatever other lewd acts pop into his head while in the moment are just a few tools used to woo an audience. Perhaps his behavior is best summed up by this excerpt from an interview on thestoolpigeon.co.uk :
“One show, I was hanging from the rafters in Vancouver and stuck my thumb up my ass, then put it in my mouth. That was pretty gross. Then another show, I wasn’t even supposed to be playing; I just rolled up with my iPod and started singing karaoke version of my songs. All of a sudden, my clothes came off, everyone’s pouring beer on me and I stuck drumsticks up my ass.”
But don’t worry folks, listening to Mac Demarco’s music is a lot better than a stick in the ass (unless you’re into that kind of thing of course). Check out the link below for a studio set of 3 pain-free tunes. Enjoy!
All the best,