Music Hall of Williamsburg
Beach Fossils

Beach Fossils

Mac DeMarco, Hoop Dreams, DIIV

Fri, March 2, 2012

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Music Hall of Williamsburg

Brooklyn, NY

$15

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This event is 18 and over

Beach Fossils
Beach Fossils
The long-awaited return of Brooklyn’s Beach Fossils, Somersault showcases a band in bloom. Charting into new musical territory with a refined songwriting style, it’s an album that captures flashes of life in New York grounded in personal experience.

The band’s self-titled 2010 debut established a sound that was both minimal and enveloping. With Somersault, the group’s first release since 2013’s Clash the Truth, Beach Fossils have channeled years of experimentation into expansion and reinvention. Augmented with more complex instrumentation, including string arrangements, piano, harpsichord, flute, and sax, the new songs offer multi-layered pop guided by sharp, poignant, and honest lyrics.

As the band’s first release on Dustin Payseur’s new label Bayonet Records, which he co-owns with wife Kate Garcia—the group made the most of their newfound independence, investing ample time in expanding its range both musically and lyrically. While Payseur handled the bulk of the songwriting duties in the past, Somersault is a true collaboration between the founding member and bandmates, Jack Doyle Smith and Tommy Davidson. The new songs speak to a more fluid, eclectic sound, filled with lush compositions formed by studio experiments and sam-pling of the band’s own recordings.

Orchestral pop gem “Saint Ivy” shines with plucked strings, buoyant basslines and a propulsive, wayward, guitar. “Tangerine,” a driving, tightly wound melody, rushes forward and briefly leaves the ground due to the gossamer guest vocals of Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell. The effervescent “Rise,” which hinges on the spoken word of Gavin Mays (Cities Aviv) discussing a failed rela-tionship, hangs, like many recent breakups, in a sense of suspension. The cloudy, wistful “Soci-al Jetlag,” bustling with samples of crowded streets, features the type of candid, off-the-cuff lyr-ics that make the entire effort immediately illuminating.

Recorded at multiple studios across New York City, a cabin in upstate New York, and even Los Angeles (including the home studio of Jonathan Rado of Foxygen, who helped engineer part of the album), Somersault turns the newfound chemistry between the trio into a sonic tapestry. Due to the variety of sessions and recording locations, the album was a Frankenstein-like series of reworking and reimagining songs. As the group pieced together different parts in a cycle of creation and cooption, and built out more elaborate songs track by track, the process became more reminiscent of a record created via sampling and arranging than one built by simply grind-ing out riffs. The long-simmering album, filled with breezy music both melancholic and uplifting, sees the band channeling their voices and honing their craft.

Flowing between shimmering compositions and immersive soundscapes, Somersault evokes the laid-back mood of a warm, breezy city night, the air crackling with humidity and excitement. These songs pulse and pull, capturing a blend of promise and heartache. It’s beautiful and lay-ered, a refined, sweeping creation that threads together numerous styles, textures, and themes into a refreshing, singular vision.
Mac DeMarco
Mac DeMarco
Before you ancients out there turn your heads and scoff at the premise of a twenty-something rock-and-roll goofball calling himself an old-anything, consider this: said perpetrator, he who answers to the name Mac DeMarco, has spent the better part of his time thus far writing, recording, and releasing an album of his own music pretty much every calendar flip, and pretty much on his own. The fresh meat you’re now feasting on, This Old Dog, makes for his fifth in just over half a decade—bringing the total to 3 LPs and 2 EPs. According to the DMV, MacBriare Samuel Lanyon DeMarco is 26. But in working-dog years, ol’ Mac here could easily qualify for social security. To stay gold, turns out all he needed was some new tricks.

Though used to and pretty happy with that annual grind, it was a little space—in time, location, and method—that inspired DeMarco while making the record. Moving from his isolated Queens home to a house in Los Angeles helped give the somewhat transient Canada-native a broader base, and a few more months on his calendar to create did their job as well. Arriving in California with a grip of demos he’d written in New York, he realized after a few months of setting up his new shop—complete with a few new toys—that the gap was giving him perspective (insert tooth joke here).

“This one was spaced out,” DeMarco says. “I demoed a full album, and as I was moving to the West Coast I thought I’d get to finishing it quickly. But then I realized that moving to a new city and starting a new life takes time. And it was weird, because usually I just write, record, and put it out; no problem. But this time, I wrote them and they sat. When that happens, you really get to know the songs. It was a different vibe.”

DeMarco wrote some demos for This Old Dog on an acoustic guitar, an unusual yet eye-opening method for him. “The majority of this album is acoustic guitar, synthesizer, some drum machine, and one song is electric guitar. So this is a new endeavor for me.”

And from the outset, from the pops and clicks of the CR-78 and acoustic strums on the album-opening “My Old Man,” the synth-drenched beauty of the second track, “This Old Dog,” and that ironic recurring word itself, it’s clear that DeMarco’s bag is filled with new tricks indeed. This Old Dog is rooted more in a synth-base than any of his previous releases, but he is careful not to let that tactic overshadow the other instruments and overall “unplugged” mood of the work. In fact, DeMarco recognizes that he might share more than just a geographical flight-path with a certain Canadian-cum-Californian songwriter.

“I think what I was trying to do is make Harvest with synthesizers,” he laughs. “But I don’t think I even came close to the mark—something else entirely came out. This is my acoustic album, but it’s not really an acoustic album at all. That’s just what it feels like, mostly. I’m Italian, so I guess this is an Italian rock record.”

Speaking of roots, while it’s known that DeMarco’s family history is complicated at best, the songs here may be the closest glimpse into his personal life and relationships with his kin he’s ever allowed. But then again, they may not be. Only one thing is certain: the titular mutt, naturally, is DeMarco himself, and as he brings us into his world, he makes sure it’s from his own hard-earned vantage point and measured post.

“This record has a lot to do with my family and my life right now and the way I’m feeling and stuff,” he says. “One of the main goals for this record was trying to make sure I retained some kind of realness. That’s the bottom line. Being in any sort of spotlight can be jarring, especially when you’re not preoccupied with touring and you’re just sitting in your house writing songs. But wherever my bedroom is, the records are gonna be whatever is happening in there. I could be in Alaska and I’m sure it wouldn’t change things much.”

Despite the changes considered during the creation of This Old Dog, Mac DeMarco’s mid-twenties masterpiece, it’s clear that the engine that motors him is in no danger of slowing down.

“As long as I feel real then there’s nothing else that matters,” he says. “Making these albums is just something that I have to do, and so I do it.”

This Old Dog is out now on Captured Tracks.
Hoop Dreams
Hoop Dreams
Hoop Dreams have managed to make an unlikely thing occur: A second C/T signing from Blacksburg, VA. Mining similar influences as their contemporaries, the young sextet bring an emotive and exciting sense of urgency to the table that only anticipates what should be a great debut LP.

"There are relatively few labels left whose logo can be considered a true stamp of approval, but for many people Captured Tracks is one of those. Hoop Dreams fit perfectly into their roster; a band from Virginia that sound like they could be from Manchester, they make clattering, slightly neurotic pop songs in the vein of a deconstructed Cure." -The Line of Best Fit (Song of the Day)
DIIV
DIIV
DIIV is the nom-de-plume of Z. Cole Smith, musical provocateur and front-man of an atmospheric and autumnally-charged new Brooklyn four-piece.

Recently inked to the uber-reliable Captured Tracks imprint, DIIV created instant vibrations in the blog-world with their impressionistic debut Sometime; finding it’s way onto the esteemed pages of Pitchfork and Altered Zones a mere matter of weeks after the group’s formation.

Enlisting the aid of NYC indie-scene-luminary, Devin Ruben Perez, former Smith Westerns drummer Colby Hewitt, and Mr. Smith’s childhood friend Andrew Bailey, DIIV craft a sound that is at once familial and frost-bitten. Indebted to classic kraut, dreamy Creation-records psychedelia, and the primitive-crunch of late-80’s Seattle, the band walk a divisive yet perfectly fused patch of classic-underground influence.

One part THC and two parts MDMA; the first offering from DIIV chemically fuses the reminiscent with the half-remembered building a musical world out of old-air and new breeze. These are songs that remind us of love in all it’s earthly perfections and perversions.

A lot of DIIV’s magnetism was birthed in the process Mr. Smith went through to discover these initial compositions. After returning from a US tour with Beach Fossils, Cole made a bold creative choice, settling into the window-facing corner of a painter’s studio in Bushwick, sans running water, holing up to craft his music.

In this AC-less wooden room, throughout the thick of the summer, Cole surrounded himself with cassettes and LP’s, the likes of Lucinda Williams, Arthur Russell, Faust, Nirvana, and Jandek; writings of N. Scott Momaday, James Welsh, Hart Crane, Marianne Moore, and James Baldwin; and dreams of aliens, affection, spirits, and the distant natural world (as he imagined it from his window facing the Morgan L train).

The resulting music is as cavernous as it is enveloping, asking you to get lost in it’s tangles in an era that demands your attention be focused into 140 characters.
Venue Information:
Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 North 6th St
Brooklyn, NY, 11211
http://www.musichallofwilliamsburg.com/