A verifiable “scene” has congregated in Los Angeles around what is now the well-worn term of “slacker rock.” The king of this musical cohort is Mac DeMarco, who after making a brief stint in Far Rockaway, Queens, has relocated once again to Los Angeles, California. Lucas T. Nathan, under the music alias of Jerry Paper, has also made a return to his native California after making his name in New York City.
This feeling of community permeated the Tuesday night crowd at the Echo, where the Mild High Club was headlining. To round out the line-up was Jerry Paper himself, and the jovial musical stylings of Free Weed, a group that has, along with the Mild High Club, stayed centered in Los Angeles during these immigrations.
Mild High Club’s sophomore album reveals a significant maturation of musical influences and ideas, which surely can be (at least in part) attributed to the interconnectedness of this community of mostly white artists whose artistry has developed apace with one another.
Jerry Paper, an act in which Lucas T. Nathan performed solo in a colorful kimono with synthesizer in tow, has also undergone metamorphosis. Nathan enlisted hip-hop/jazz fusion wunderkinder BadBadNotGood to record the studio album “Toon Time Raw!” which narrates the everyday lives of fictional cartoon characters. Nathan now dons a tight turtleneck and sunglasses which give him the look of a bird-faced lounge singer.
Mild High Club’s garments have changed as well. Alex Brettin, the director behind Mild High Club, who once wore very “slack rock” (sorry) attire, now sports a detective’s overcoat, in reference to the concept behind their latest album Skiptracing. Skiptracing refers to the act of locating a person, which is used by various professionals, including detectives, lawyers, private investigator’s etc.
Some self-discovery has been underway as well. At the end of the evening, Brettin called up all the acts of evening to the stage for one last jam session. Beside this obvious display of community onstage were the peripheral figures in the crowd. Here is Kiera McNally, DJ and longtime partner of Mac DeMarco. Here is Michael Collins, the songwriter involved with many countless projects including Silk Rhodes, Salvia Plath, and his latest project Drugdealer. Here is all of it, in Los Angeles.
AUSTIN ROGERS, DJ
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