Mac DeMarco welcomes Andy with a Burt Bacharach cover

The sultry Mac DeMarco decided to introduce his new guitarist to the world with a Burt Bacharach cover. He plays along with a drum machine in a slowed-down version of '60s pop croon "This Guy's in Love With You" (listen to the original performed by Herb Alpert here). You know the guitarist's name is Andy, because, well it's pretty much always onscreen.

If you're going to watch any of the video, let it be at 1:24.

Mac's old guitarist Peter Sagar is doing his thing as HOMESHAKE. Listen to "Making a Fool of You" here, and catch the band during POP Montreal at the Arbutus Records showcase September 19.

Andy and his mustache have a message of positivity for all of us. In the middle of the video he gives a little monologue to the camera:

"I want to let everyone in the world to know that they're beautiful, and that they're a genius, and everyone's body is gorgeous as hell," he says.

I don't really understand Mac's fame (this video was posted today and already has 18,000 views), but it's probably better to not worry about it.

Mac DeMarco is playing the Rialto Theatre November 5.

The Polaris Shortlist (a.k.a. the Canadian party playlist)

The 10 contenders for the Polaris music prize were announced today, and it would make a damn good party playlist of Canadiana. Here's hoping the prize goes to an artist that could use the exposure (or at least not to Arcade Fire again). I'm rooting for Tanya Tagaq and Jessy Lanza. 

Here's the full list:

Arcade Fire - Reflektor
Basia Bulat - Tall Tall Shadow
Mac DeMarco - Salad Days
Drake - Nothing Was the Same
Jessy Lanza - Pull My Hair Back
Owen Pallett - In Conflict
Shad - Flying Colours
Tanya Tagaq - Animism
Timber Timbre - Hot Dreams
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan - UZU

Polaris 2014 long list revealed

The Polaris Music Prize has revealed the 40 artists voted onto its long list, including PUP (called it), Chad VanGaalen (KBT interview with Chad from last month here), master of the ambient Tim Hecker, Viceroy-loving Mac DeMarco, Toronto synth-loving DIANA, East Coast indie duo Cousins and a hell of a lot of other Canadian talent. Two projects from former Wolf Parade members also listed: Moonface and Frog Eyes. Basia Bulat, whose name has seemed to be in every #Polaris2014 tweet for months, performed at the announcement ceremony in Calgary, as part of the city's Sled Island music festival. She made the short list for 2008's Oh My Darling.

Toronto's Odonis Odonis made the list too. Look here for an interview with those guys ahead of their Montreal show on June 27.

It's a pretty great list. The only way it can make me angry is if Arcade Fire wins again. Or maybe Drake.  The short list, narrowing the contenders down to 10, will be announced on July 15.

Here's the full list:

Arcade Fire - Reflektor
AroarA - In the Pines
Austra - Olympia
Philippe B - Ornithologie, la nuit
BADBADNOTGOOD - III
Basia Bulat - Tall Tall Shadow
Chromeo - White Women
Cousins - The Halls of Wickwire
Cowboy Junkies / Various - The Kennedy Suite
The Darcys - Warring
Dead Obies - Montréal $ud
Mac DeMarco - Salad Days
DIANA - Perpetual Surrender
Drake - Nothing Was the Same
Freedom Writers - NOW
Fresh Snow - I
Frog Eyes - Carey's Cold Spring
Gorguts - Colored Sands
Tim Hecker - Virgins
Jimmy Hunt - Maladie d'amour
Jessy Lanza - Pull My Hair Back
Kalle Mattson - Someday, the Moon Will Be Gold
Moonface - Julia with Blue Jeans On
Mounties - Thrash Rock Legacy
Odonis Odonis - Hard Boiled Soft Boiled
Owen Pallett - In Conflict
Pink Mountaintops - Get Back
PUP - PUP
The Sadies - Internal Sounds
Shad - Flying Colours
Shooting Guns - Brotherhood of the Ram
Solids - Blame Confusion
Rae Spoon - My Prairie Home
The Strumbellas - We Still Move on Dance Floors
Tanya Tagaq - Animism
Thus Owls - Turning Rocks
Timber Timbre - Hot Dreams
Chad VanGaalen - Shrink Dust
Bry Webb - Free Will
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan - UZU

Mac DeMarco is the feel-good hit of the summer

It wasn't until I saw hundreds of college kids in the South go apeshit over him that it sunk in what a sensation Mac DeMarco's slacker surf rockhas become. But with buzz from Pitchfork and even the fucking Guardian, he's captured our attention with his simple bedroom-fi tunes. It's looking like this will be the summer of Mac.

It's just weird that there's so much buzz around someone so laid back. Mac's the loveable shithead, looking like Wayne from Wayne's World onstage, bobbing his head with a permanent smirk. Maybe it has something to do with his style being (by no fault of his own) an easy fit to the vomit-inducing term that is normcore. But it probably has more to do with just how likeable he is.

When Mac played for students at Tulane University in New Orleans last week, at least 100 lined up to take pictures with him (while Caddywhompus played through a killer set of their own). They gleefully cheered when he announced the name of each song before playing it.

They took to the new stuff off Salad Days just as well as "I'm a Man" and "Freaking Out the Neighborhood." But Salad Days is a really flat record, the songs are just there until they aren't. He sets up some nice grooves (see: "Chamber of Reflection"), but there's little about his sound signalling that he'd be the new hipster buzz band.

But he's getting there, already on a first-name basis with the Tulane and Loyola crowd. They all just name-drop "Mac," and everyone knows who you're talking about. And even if I don't understand how it happened, it's pretty gratifying to see it happen to someone who spits in the face of posing and posture. It's all coming as one great surprise to Mac too, who joked that the last time he was in New Orleans he played to five people.

These students, some 1,500 miles from Montreal, weren’t just casually interested in Mac. They were drinking him up like it's going out of style. But he isn't. Though it'll be some feat to maintain this level of hype once summer's through.