Mac DeMarco – Rock And Roll Night Club (Captured Tracks)
By Scott Creney
Like James Ferraro, like a less psychotic Tonetta, Mac DeMarco specializes in a fuzzy, video game type of lo-fi that feels like a series of plastic sporks being shoved into your hairpiece. It’s impossible to take seriously; it’s impossible to forget. As art, it’s clumsy, haphazard bordering on pathetic. As entertainment, it’s glorious and free. And at its best, it exposes most of today’s music for the dull, pedantic, uninspiring mess it actually is.
Even as it looks backward, it belongs to an artistic neighborhood of the 21st Century where nothing has any value at all. And better that than one more frenetic ego demanding we tell them how special they are. Forget post-modern, Mac Demarco’s music is nearly post-meaning. Certainty is the province of fools. Even when he sings “I’m a man”, he doesn’t sound all that certain about it. He’s swallowed the stories of J.T. Leroy, subsequent scandal and all and regurgitated them as a distorted mirror made out of candy that may or may not have been assembled out of maple syrup and glue.
At times it reminds me of (very) early Ween, in its vocal manipulations, its layers of irony. If you can’t be great, you can at least be interesting. He sings of clichés that don’t even exist (just what the fuck is a rock and roll nightclub, anyway?). The album is interspersed from fake DJ interruptions for fake radio stations. It’s silly, absurd, charming and wonderful. He sings about Michael Jackson and blue jeans. Only in America.
It’s easy to picture Mac DeMarco holed up in a southern California apartment, smoking endless packs of generic cigarettes, collecting disability checks, watching Maury Povich and waiting for the sun to burn everything down. None of this is probably true, but truth as we have known it no longer exists.
Anyway, there are worse ways to spend a summer.