Today marks the release of Mac Demarco’s Rock & Roll Night Club on revered NYC label Captured Tracks, and although Jim already covered it long before it was “Pitchfork validated,” I feel that I need to reiterate: for the occasion, and for my own personal relief and closure.
In a post I made back in July, I talked the logistics of Makeout Videotape, about how the high art that I considered it to be was ever contrasted by the band’s extreme silliness, and how I thought that because of this, they were inadvertently trumping themselves. However, I sort-of half missed something. I was right about the fact that it’s hard for someone like Mac, with a captivating, yet extreme stage persona, to win the hearts of unacquainted listeners. Yet, when the listener takes the plunge knowing more-or-less what to expect, they are most likely going to like it, get into it, buy the record, and become a fan. This is true even with something like Rock & Roll Night Club, a release that was ACTUALLY an inside-joke intended for friends’ enjoyment, and the most overt expression of Mac’s humor to date (as opposed to the Makeout Videotape releases, where the music itself is usually sincere.)
Last December, when Mac released Makeout Videotape’s debut full length record, Ying Yang, I listened to it, and then again, and then again and again and again (I cannot believe how many times I listened to it, you almost forgot you were listening to someone you had as a musical peer since you were 16 years old–crazy Mac–just some other kid in Edmonton playing R&R and not giving a shit. I didn’t really think, or care much at the time when Mac first left Edmonton for Vancouver, but he sure did became a powerhouse in his time away.) All year, after countless listens, observations of the album’s plentiful pleasures and lo-fi nuance, I kept on thinking to myself, Makeout Videotape is the hidden gem of music today if there is one. Ying Yang was of all things, underrated. The fact that there was no label, there was no wax, no hype, no BNM, it all bothered me.
That’s where Captured Tracks, Pitchfork, and whoever else is going to help push him into the upper echelons of “indie rock” come into the picture. Rock & Roll Night Club is by far not Mac’s greatest work to date, but that is not at all to say that is without merit. For what it is, it is perfectly realized, and with all the attention surrounding it these days, it surely will not miss the boat. Ironically, Ying Yang is still a masterpiece and still a back burner, and R&R NC is again, a joke, but now that Mac has the big guys behind him, his next great work will not go unnoticed.
I can’t say how happy I am, it all just says to me that although it isn’t always instantaneous, if something is great, it will be discovered. There will always be those who believe, some of them have the means to spread the word (and the word this time is “blue-jeans.”) Oh and also, CALLLLLLLLED IT!