PRAWN Sun 4/26 Analog Café

Mac DeMarco w/Dinner, Meth Teeth; Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside

All right, here goes: Mac DeMarco makes me feel conflicted and old. I've come to enjoy his sophomore record, last year's Salad Days, an undeniably fun admixture of modern indie jangle and '60s-pop serial plagiarism (the title track is literally "Picture Book" by the Kinks). But I fucking hate the effect he's had as a cultural signpost for the "chill generation," and his carefully forged, laughably transparent "indifferent average guy" persona, to which, for some reason, a giant portion of the music-listening community still seems susceptible—in spite of the fact that it's the most tired indie-guy put-on ever. (A famous dude desperately pretending he isn't famous is infinitely more pretentious than someone owning his fame. Give me a Paul Stanley over a Stephen Malkmus facsimile any day of the week). All that said... his music videos are pretty funny! And Salad Days is, at times, a genuinely great pop record, even if DeMarco will always just be the Billy Joel to Ariel Pink's Elton John. Also see My, What a Busy Week!


Prawn w/Frameworks, Lee Corey Oswald, Holy Tentacles; Analog Café, 720 SE Hawthorne

Massachusetts emo label Topshelf Records was arguably the frontrunner in the emo "revival" that caught the blogosphere by storm a couple of years ago. Virtually every twinkly, Kinsella-fetishizing outfit that gave the scene a name was a Topshelf band (The World Is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, Empire! Empire!, You Blew It!, Portland's own tragically defunct Duck. Little Brother, Duck!, just to name a few). In the last year and a half, the label has seemingly—and understandably—attempted to diversify, with pretty great results. They reissued Wild Ones' debut LP Keep It Safe and released Special Explosion's The Art of Mothering last year, two records that were pretty dissimilar from the label's preexisting oeuvre. Kingfisher, the 2014 LP from New Jersey's Prawn, is another such release, a grandiose indie pop/emo-lite record replete with bold orchestral flourishes; songs like "Scud Running" and "Thalassa" sound sort of like Arcade Fire if Win Butler had been reared on pop-punk. The group's latest effort is the Settled EP, a two-song extension of Kingfisher.