Friday, April 19, 2013

Artist of the Day: Joey DeMarco

I first saw Joey DeMarco play with his band Roseanne at a show he threw at his Richmond Home. “He’s like folk rock,” my friend told me. Well, sort of. Much of DeMarco’s recorded solo material is laced with glisteny chords, slow tempos and unrequited love, but such a broad term hardly does justice to the band’s thunderous, tight live show - sappier numbers are interspersed with rambling jams and insistent foot-stompers, along with enough energy and liveliness to carry the whole crowd. I had a chance to browse through Joey’s extensive record collection between sets, something that always offers a nice window into the mind of a songwriter. Plenty of garage rock of the Ty Segall variety, slews of Bowie, My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, even a copy of Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica. Maybe Rock & Roll eclecticism is a better way to describe the man’s aesthetic.

But a studied eye in indie music never makes an artist. I’ve seen DeMarco several times since, usually playing alone as Teenage Mysticism, and it’s clear that the power of his thematically fragile, earnest work comes from the aura he exudes. When the audience applauds louder and louder (and they always do), you can watch the joy spread across his face and a little giggle slips out. It’s like he doesn’t even know that what he’s doing blows most acts his size away.

DeMarco’s Teenage Mysticism project is signed to the Epiphysis Foundation, the same excellent label home to MacGregor George, who I’ve covered here before, and his most recent album, Dead Channels, released last year is available on bandcamp to stream or purchase for $5. Do it so you can say you bought his album before he blew up.



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