Mohawk

Wearing a large, white T-shirt, red sneakers and navy slacks, Mac DeMarco looked more like a boarding school runaway than a rockstar on stage at The Mohawk. But that, along with a nondescript baseball hat, is what the newly crowned king of indie rock was wearing when he played to a soldout crowd Sunday night.

One of the last times DeMarco was in Austin, he was cursing the city and its festivals at one of his many South By Southwest shows in 2013. He still has some of his old reckless abandon but has since released his third album, Salad Days, and started to grow from a young, gap-toothed rock ’n roll bad boy into a confident, indie rock hero.

Standing in dirty red shoes before a crowd packed with fans who still aren’t allowed to drink beer, DeMarco played a set with songs taken mostly from Salad Days, along with a few older tracks and an almost mesmerizing cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game.”

The crowd on the floor of the venue was rowdy. Crowd surfers flipped above the outstretched hands of a hundred teenagers and a steadily growing mosh pit made the ground level of The Mohawk feel more like a water park wave pool than a club. DeMarco’s music and stage presence isn’t necessarily hardcore — misbehavior just follows the Canadian musician wherever he goes. 

DeMarco’s entire performance was solid, entertaining and energetic, but there were two peak moments during his set. 

The first came when DeMarco leapt from the stage with a smug grin on his face, falling confidently into a crowd of people he knows would never let him fall. The crowd passed him all over the venue for over five minutes. In the spirit of fairness, DeMarco even climbed to the top levels of The Mohawk, where fans carried him around.

The second moment came during the band’s encore, which included a cover of “Wicked Game.” Bassist Pierce McGarry started the song off, but DeMarco took over to sing a verse in some sort of indiscernible gibberish. He then demanded that the entire crowd kneel down on the ground — which they did — and “calm the fuck down” while he sang another chorus. 

DeMarco has come a long way since last year’s round of SXSW shows. He’s selling out venues and receiving high praise for Salad Days. The question on his fans’ minds is whether the album title serves as a sentimental goodbye to younger, more reckless days, or a self-realization that these could be DeMarco’s salad days.

DeMarco stayed on stage for a while after the show ended, signing autographs, taking selfies on peoples’ phones and even receiving a kiss from one particularly enthusiastic fan. He spoke with the people who carried him through the venue he filled Sunday night, a newly crowned king receiving his loyal audience.

Newcomer garage rockers Growl and funk-dance favorite Sip Sip will be performing together at The Mohawk on Dec. 10 to benefit Attendance Records, a local nonprofit music education group. The Daily Texan spoke with Alexandra Cohen, Growl keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist and UT alumna, and Adrian Audain, Sip Sip drummer and UT social work sophomore, about new releases, partying and the importance of music education.

Daily Texan: What genre(s) are your bands?

Adrian Audain: Sip Sip is a dance-party band, I suppose, lots of horns and lots of people. There are 12 to 14 people usually.

Alexandra Cohen: Growl is mainly pop, I’d say, with like a surf slash garage-y vibe. It’s on a song-by-song basis. Garage-y in that its fast and loud and sometimes sloppy. Pop-y in that Santi’s [Dietche, vocals and guitar] vocals and lyrics are like surf-y.

Audain: Yeah, he writes catchy tunes.

DT: Why are you called Sip Sip and Growl?

Audain: At first we were going to be called the Summertime Band. Sip Sip though, uh I don’t know, Nick [Gregg, vocalist] came up with it. It kind of just works and fits. We were going to be this band that wore hats with googley eyes and flowers, like floral gowns, and be a backing band for a rap group.

Cohen: Our name was already chosen when I jumped on. I think it was really just like, OK, they sat down and thought of names and were like, “Oh, ‘Growl,’ that sounds cool,” and there weren’t any other bands called Growl so it worked.


DT: How do you write music?

Audain: Um, it’s pretty random mostly. I feel like Nick and Cody [Wilson, synth] bring a lot of interesting stuff to the table.

Cohen: We have a lot of jams that we hope turn into songs but we never remember them. We’ll always really get into playing something and be like, “That would be such an awesome song!” and then like 30 seconds later we’re like, “Wait … what were we playing?” 

DT: Are you working on any material right now?

Cohen: We’ve recorded six songs for our upcoming EP, which will be out in February. Once we have it out we’ll slow down on how many shows we play. We’re in the process of developing a really concrete style. You can tell that we’re still definitely trying to find a sound for ourselves.

Audain: We’re going to try and record hopefully this month, actually.


DT: What’s up with this show [Dec. 10]?

Cohen: It’s Growl, Sip Sip, Boyfryndz and Shivery Shakes at The Mohawk with a $5 suggested donation. Doors are at 8 and music starts at 9. It’s a benefit for an organization called Attendance Records, which is a student-run record label for public school students. Basically the mission is to go into classrooms for a year and work with high-school students from disadvantaged backgrounds and foster creativity. They bring in local artists, writers and musicians to get them writing, drawing and thinking creatively. We’ve all heard about cuts to arts funding in public schools and this is kind of a program that says, “You can chase after these things on your own, you can think creatively.” The show is going to be a tacky sweater show, there’s going to be fun Christmas activities like arm-wrestling Santa.

DT: Will Sip Sip be covering “Call Me Maybe” again?

Audain: No, not this one, I feel like that’s going to have to be for special occasions, especially considering we don’t even really know the song.

Cohen: Yeah, just for birthday parties.

Audain: And bat mitzvahs, weddings.

Cohen: You’ll be my wedding band.

Printed on Tuesday, December 4, 2012 as: Benefit show features new, local bands 

Experimental synthpop band Cold Cave, including lead singer and songwriter Wesley Eisold, will be performing at Fun Fun Fun Fest on Saturday a

Tricks may not carry over to this weekend, but treats certainly will — at least for those who have Fun Fun Fun Fest wristbands. This is the first year the festival provides a selection of aftershows available to festival goers for free.

FFF Nites is a new concept that we are excited about. We wanted to not only host festival acts, but to add new acts, make it affordable and change the way Austin looks at how festival aftershows can be done,” said FFF founder Graham Williams, according to the festival’s website.

Below are our top acts for the FFF Nites.

Thursday at The Mohawk
Doors open at 7:30

TY SEGALL
The San Francisco-based alternative garage-rock musician and songwriter is the main attraction of the evening. For fans of Sic Alps and Thee Oh Sees, Segall’s psychedelic reverb will surely get heads banging. Joining Segall, The Coathangers and The Young will also play on the outside stage. Both bands are among the artists who are scheduled to play aftershows but are not part of the festival lineup.

Friday at The Mohawk
Doors open at 9:30

GLASS CANDY
Electronic disco beat lovers will be regaled by Ida No’s vocals and Johnny Jewel’s guitar and synth.

COLD CAVE
The lead singer of the experimental dark-wave group, Wesley Eisold, has a voice comparable to Ian Curtis, and the Joy Division influence is certainly audible.

Both bands will perform at the indoor stage.

BIG FREEDIA
Big Freedia will take the outdoor stage for those who want to get their “bounce rap” on and witness a hoard of booty-shakers. Freedia’s backup dancers never fail to entertain with their unique form of movement.

Saturday at Empire Automotive
Doors open at 9:30

NEON INDIAN
Alan Palomo will go back to his musical roots, band members not included, through a catchy electro-pop DJ set.

PURITY RING
Corin Roddick’s project is for audiences who cherish a mellowed-out, dreamy aesthetic like that of Painted Palms and Galapagos.

MEMORYHOUSE
Keeping the chillwave vibe, the downstep melody and surreal lyrics of the two-member band is similar to Beach House.

Sunday at Red 7
Doors open at 9:30

DOM
The sounds of psychedelic distortion, created last year, are the highlight of the last night of aftershow. The upbeat energy is the perfect pick-me-up for the Sunday aftershows.

The aftershows will allow for a more intimate environment, as opposed to the open space at Auditorium Shores, the festival venue. “FFF Nites” is an addition to enhance the Fun Fun Fun experience and allow for the musical festivities to ensue until its last call in Austin’s downtown bars.

“FFF Nites” will take place at venues on and off Red River Street, aside from those already mentioned, including Beerland, ND, Beauty Bar and Club De Ville. Festival goers can only get into aftershows for the day that corresponds to the wristbands they hold.