You probably know Mac’s face, although you may not know who he is. You’ve undoubtedly seen an ad for his concert since there’s a larger-than-life photo of him on a billboard along the northbound U.S. Highway 101 safety corridor outside of Eureka.
It shows Mac Demarco, a 20-something dude in a hoodie with a gap-toothed grin, and tells us he has a show in the Sapphire Palace at the Blue Lake Casino today, May 15.
Mac popped up in my Facebook feed last week, a post from Happy, an Australian music mag I follow, with a link to his latest YouTubeage. They explain, “Mac DeMarco has shared a new video for [the song] On The Square,the latest taste from his upcoming album Here Comes The Cowboy. We’re not sure what on earth’s going on in this video, but it’s great.”
I don’t know what’s going on either, but the strangeness features Mac in formal dress with a pig mask and a Cthulhu mask building a white brick wall. The music is what I’d called mellow alt. rock, others call it “slacker rock,” Mac prefers “jizz jazz.”
The new album was just released on Mac’s record label called simply Mac’s Record Label. He recorded it with vintage Japanese synthesizers and beat-up guitars in an apartment studio called Jizz Jazz Studios.
There’s a very local angle to all this: Mac’s successful career is intimately interconnected with former Eurekan Michelle Cable of Panache Booking. Michelle is currently located in L.A. but she founded Panache in 1998 in Eureka, starting off with a zine. (I wrote some stuff for her.)
As they note in a company bio, “Panache has existed as many different entities in the music industry since then. We originated as a music zine, born out of the pure love of discovering bands that both inspired and shook your soul. Eventually Panache evolved into a North American booking agency when we started organizing tours for bands nationwide.
“After existing as an agency for over a decade, Panache expanded into music management to help our uniquely talented artists find the guidance they needed to develop their art into sustainable, healthy, long-lasting careers.”
They’ve been handling the successful Ty Segall since in 2012; Mac DeMarco joined their roster in 2013. There’s much more to her story, a move to NYC, a bad crash, recovery, etc. before coming home to California. They describe Panache as “a collective of independent minded music lovers who pride ourselves in thinking outside the box [as they] bridge the gap between DIY culture and commercial success while always keeping the artist’s best interest and integrity to heart.” (Mac and Panache are truly DIY personified.)
I’m sure this will be a cool show. Opening is Instagram phenom Melanie Faye who loves Jimi and rainbows. (She has 204K followers @melaniefaye.) Doors open at 8 p.m. Showtime is at 9 p.m. The concert is for ages 16-plus and they note, no chairs, “standing room only.”
In case you didn’t notice, it’s HSU’s graduation weekend. As part of the ongoing effort to make the Arcata Plaza a good family-friendly place for students to hang out, the Arcata Mainstreet folks and the Farmers Market are bringing music downtown. Friday, May 17, they have “world beat” music by JuDrum with Seed-N-Soil (plus a bounce house for the kids).
Then on Saturday, The Latin Peppers play for the market (10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) And later (5 p.m.) the cool jazzy James Zeller Trio provide a soundtrack as Trinity River Vineyards offers tastes to students (21-plus), plus parents, family and maybe you.
There’s a mega hip hop show at the Jam Friday night, May 17, with Fatbol and Redwood Roots presenting local rappers Nac One, Hiway 101 and Little Kid Lost backed by DJ Just One, Goldylocks and B. Swizlo, plus live art by Julia Finkelstein, and the out-of-town headliner The Gift of Gab of Blackalicious fame (formerly with Chief Xcel).
Born Timothy Parker in SoCal, GoG went to school at U.C. Davis, where he fell in with the Aggie college radio crowd, aka the Solesides crew, alongside DJ Shadow, Lyrics Born, and Lateef the Truthspeaker recording for Quannum Projects as the ’ 90s became the Aughts. At this point you can find his fine rhymes at patreon.com/giftofgab.
The next night, Saturday, May 18 it’s “Checkered Flags” time at HumBrews as the Arcata Soul Party Crew: DJ Red, #JAYMORG, Funky T Rex, King Maxwell and special guest, Drasar Monumental “cuttin’ a groove and makin’ moves for you and yours” for Soul Party 24, an “all vinyl recital, burnin’ rubber on the dancefloor.” As they say, “It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it.” So dance, dance, dance.
The local chamber choir A Company of Voices, now in its fifth year together, celebrates our glorious Spring with a concert Sunday, May 19 at Christ Episcopal Church (15th and H streets, Eureka) starting at 3 p.m.
‘They’ll be performing a variety of a cappella selections from three centuries, plus Mendelssohn’s song Cycle of Spring (Der erste Frűhlingstag), and Mozart’s Missa Brevis in G, accompanied by guest instrumentalists.
That hipster hangout the Miniplex (at Richard’s Goat) has a triple bill of alt. this and that of Monday, May 20, with Opossum Sun Trail (“trucker wannabees album release”) White Manna (“local space program dropouts”) and D3D (“California flight project meets Can”).
The Possums note, “We’re about to release some new music and hit the road in the next few weeks, stay tuned.” (They’re also playing at Stone Junction Saturday, May 18 before heading north to PDX etc.)
I actually got a secret link to the Strontium Highway album by the “cosmic american cinematic drone primitivists,” their follow-up to American Chemtrails and Death Raga Run-on Sentence, and since this is undoubtedly a run-on sentence, and I’m up to the end of my thousand word count, I’ll just say it sounds trippy. Check thehum.com for more.