Spring Arts Guide 2013

Mac DeMarco March 5 at DC9

The past few years have seen a glut of bands rising to popularity on a wave of twinkling guitars and breezy melodies. Among these blissed-out masses, Mac DeMarco stands out like a bit of rough among diamonds. Though the Canadian musician’s relaxed sound echoes Real Estate, his thematic stomping ground is home to more dive bars than well-manicured lawns.

It’s all part of a genre DeMarco likes to call “jizz jazz,” an approach to indie rock that drags pretty songs into sleazy places. He fashionably steeps his two recent LPs, Rock and Roll Nightclub and 2, in lilting reverb and plucky guitar lines, but tosses in a lascivious croon and slightly sinister preoccupations. Where his contemporaries sing about idyllic bike rides and the simple pleasure of sunny days, DeMarco’s tunes focus more on the joys of smoking cheap cigarettes and scamming on girls in tight denim. Still, his knack for crafting seductive melodies and inventive, jangly hooks makes the odes to underachieving some of the catchiest stuff you’ll hear all year.

Still just a bedheaded youngster at 22, the Montrealer has already earned a reputation for putting on an unruly live show—a reputation surely bolstered by a stint touring with rowdy celebration-rockers Japandroids. Taking the stage with a $30 dollar guitar and a toothy mug fit for a Mad magazine cover, DeMarco punctuates his sets with bawdy antics and bizarre humor that suit his outsized musical personality. Despite all his records’ salacious affections, there’s no apparent reason to doubt his sincerity. With Naomi Punk and Calvin Love. 7:30 p.m. $12.

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