Saturday, May 11, 2019

Mac DeMarco - Here Comes the Cowboy

I have a friend called Sean who was a barman at my local Rosie's in Newcastle and who I still see there as we're both still regulars. We share some things in terms of musical taste; Courtney, Rolling Blackouts, Beatles, Blur. We differ in some respects. He never succumbed to the charms of Wall of Voodoo's Mexican Radio when I put it on the jukebox again and again and again. Or appreciated it when I stuck Sister Ray on when I was at my drunkest. Meanwhile he's always trying to persuade me to play Foals, Tame Impala and Pond. I'm still not sure I'm inclined.

Then there's Mac DeMarco. Sean's a fan while I've always been a bit 'meh' on the subject. One of my immediate associations with DeMarco is when I went to see the altogether hipper Parquet Courts at the Wylam Brewery in Newcastle a couple of years ago. They were clearly very much 'too cool for school' in terms of their onstage banter and boy didn't they let you know exactly how cool they thought they were.  It was a bit trying frankly. Austin Brown, one of the band's guitarists and frontmen made an altogether snide remark at one point about DeMarco who was playing The Academy the same night. Essentially the underlying message of his remark was 'you made the right decision being here tonight rather than being there. You're part of the hip elite.'

So here I am on a Saturday morning giving DeMarco's new album Here Comes the Cowboy a listen. And I like it. I certainly like specific songs a whole lot. In the middle of the record DeMarco hits a winning streak with one great track after another recalling much of the early Seventies singer songwriting golden era. Particularly reminding me of Harry Nilsson, one of that period's most underrated artists, in terms of the languid charm they both share.

I'm less drawn by DeMarco's gapped toothed wackiness, which is perhaps why I haven't given him a fair listen up to now. There are a few songs on the record I wasn't particularly sold on on first listening but I'll be back to Here Comes the Cowboy so perhaps they'll win me around. This is a fine record. I imagine DeMarco doesn't give a fig about being dissed by Parquet Courts anyhow. Why on earth should he?

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