Music Hall of Williamsburg

Captured Tracks CMJ Showcase


Mac DeMarco, Thieves Like Us, Dignan Porch

Thu, October 18, 2012

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Music Hall of Williamsburg

Brooklyn, NY

$13 advance / $15 day of show

This event is 18 and over

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.
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.
Thieves Like Us
Thieves Like Us
After three albums and two EPs, THIEVES LIKES US, despite being sonically and ethnically uncategorizable, have finally found the comforts of home on Captured Tracks. Last year's Your Love Runs Still Ep found the group honing in on their niche. With the addition of Martine Duverglas, Anna De Marco and Dani Imhoff the multilingual bunch released their 4th and finest long player yet this spring, "Bleed Bleed Bleed." Purveying ominous lyrical imagery and their special blend of electro-pop the migratory clan set their sights upon uncharted territory: "With all the bad news in the world we just couldn't write about break-ups anymore." Citing economic peril, over-militarization and technology as some of the albums cheerier themes, we're certain Thieves Like Us possess just enough world perspective to unify us all in dancing to the bad news.
Dignan Porch
From Tooting, South London, Dignan Porch are brothers Joe and Sam Walsh plus close friends Ben Goodwin, Hayley Akins and Stephen Keane.

The band started as Joe's home recording project, with Joe constructing his 'warped fuzz-drenched sing-alongs'* on a basic Tascam 8-track. The music was a collage of ideas and layered melodies, touching on noise-pop, psychedelic garage rock and melancholic folk. These recordings became Dignan Porch's first LP 'Tendrils' released by Brooklyn-based independent label Captured Tracks in 2010.

*The Agit Reader

"'Tendrils' is bursting with coolness and melodies to kill or die for." — Rough Trade
By end of 2010 the live band was in full swing, touring with Times New Viking, playing the independent festival circuit and many one-off gigs with the likes of Lovvers, Yuck, The Intelligence, Smith Westerns and Ty Segall.

Live reviews

"London five-piece, centered around the two Walsh brothers Joe and Sam, play a variant of fuzz-infused lo-fi punk that gives many of their contemporaries a serious run for the money, hence the reason why Captured Tracks got the band signed up before anyone else." — Drowned in Sound
"Dignan Porch's psychedelic garage rock travels back to the 1980s and beyond. Touching on the hollow crunch of The Wake, they make an absorbing racket. The songs race from short garage blasts to keyboard-led zombie ballads that wade through a cosmic marsh of guitars and vocals." — The Fly
For their 2011 12" EP 'Deluded', Dignan Porch stepped into a studio with the full band, plus Henry Withers from Lovvers working the desk. Four tracks recorded in the studio and a further four tracks home-recorded by Joe, having now honed his skills somewhat. 'Deluded' was released again by Captured Tracks.

"Dignan Porch just make it sound effortless. Well, it is effortless for them. It's real. It's a pure crystallised idea, boiled down to something very simple. With this kind of slackness percolating through every skewed vision, Joe Walsh and the gang manage to capture a truly thrilling ride without letting up on the honesty." —The Line of Best Fit
For their recently completed LP, expected to hit the shelves on 24 July 2012, Dignan Porch have recorded live on to reel-to-reel tape with minimal overdubs, taking another step towards honing their sound while maintaining their DIY ethic.

"Equal parts psych-pop and pastoral folk, Tendrils is a record that does a whole lot with only a little, as Dignan Porch craft a hazy aesthetic without ever leaning too heavily on the hallmarks of lo-fi. Each song is its own tight, unique composition, and the vocals move from striking gang-shouts to banshee wailing to isolated keening without ever losing the thread." — Pop Matters
"It's a surprise to me that they haven't managed to catch more people's ears playing this kind of slack-jawed, noise rock, similar in vein to Times New Viking. It's especially surprising as their songs are often much better than the aforementioned band. Perhaps it's the attitude they evoke that falls on deaf ears, sometimes it's so laid back as to be almost non-existent. Certainly the production is affected in this way. Yet to me it finds a long ancestry in British psychedelia, similar to Syd Barrett's dryness or that special raw quality in Television Personalities. Often the best moments are when the noise and the clutter fade away and you are left with this uncertain haze, perhaps just the beat and a fuzzed out guitar, that seems to refract all this massive sadness hidden underneath the skin of everything and expose it to the brilliant daylight." — The Line Of Best Fit
Venue Information:
Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 North 6th St
Brooklyn, NY, 11249