Mac DeMarco Public Assembly, Brooklyn, NY, October 19
Published Oct 22, 2012Montreal's Mac DeMarco might have recently linked up with Captured Tracks to release 2, but don't confuse him with the clean-cut, summery fare that label's known for. Not that he doesn't play yacht rock — he does. (DeMarco's scrappier days in Makeout Videotape are long gone, and so is the disturbed, ghost-throated creep-pop of his debut 12-inch Rock and Roll Night Club.) But DeMarco truly separates himself from the pastel-clad masses when witnessed live. More literally than you'd think, too.
DeMarco and his crew of Montrealers outfitted themselves in dirty, oversized shirts, frayed crew necks and ill-fitting jeans — in other words, they resembled Scope-guzzling hobos. It's the delicious irony at the centre of his music: His perfect pop songs are exactly the type of music that shithead scab-pickers shouldn't be playing.
Yet it's all part of DeMarco's charm. For every cheesy live rock trope they used — sloppily timed high-kicks or naming each band member prior to individual solos — they rarely ever convinced the crowd that they're genuine rock stars. They spit beer into each other's mouths. DeMarco fills gaps between songs with deep-voiced, mock-radio host narration. And, quite surprisingly, DeMarco's amateur approach earned him ever-growing crowds at CMJ. It was part juvenile, part delinquent and every part worthwhile.