If you’re a fan of Mac DeMarco, or if you read music blogs, you probably noticed that on his latest effort Another One, he gives his actual Far Rockaway home address and invites fans to stop by for coffee. Well, Far Rockaway is only about an hour and a half drive from where I live, so a friend and I decided to take a trip in early August, just before the album was released, to try to meet DeMarco on his home turf before the masses got hold of the information. We baked cookies for him, kind of as a joke, but also kind of not.
We pulled up to the house around 5:30 PM. As I put the car into park, someone emerged from the house. It was one of Mac’s housemates. He approached the car. I rolled down my window.
“Are you here to see Mac?”
“He’s not here, but you should go to Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn. He’s playing a secret show tonight in about… 4 hours.”
I turned to my friend. I didn’t want to drive into Brooklyn. I turned back to Mac’s housemate.
“I don’t think I want to drive into Brooklyn right now. Thanks for letting us know though. We made him these cookies, so I guess I can just give them to you to give to him.”
I handed him the white box with COOKIES! written in Sharpie across the top. He told us that if we didn’t want to drive all the way home right then, the beach was just down the block. I thanked him and he returned to the house. I put the car in gear and started heading toward the beach. Then, a day that had begun with a series of doctor’s appointments and meetings became a day I will never forget.
Another one of Mac’s housemates came running out of the house, waving his arms and yelling, motioning for me to stop. I rolled down the window. He asked if I could drive a few people to the train. We said ‘sure, no problem,’ as the train was only a few blocks away.
Now headed in the general direction of Brooklyn, my friend and I started deliberating on whether we should go to Mac’s show or not. His housemates had said they could definitely get us in and that we’d get to meet and hang with Mac at the venue. After thinking about it for a few minutes, I decided I had nothing to lose after all, and we set our plans.
We quickly got comfortable with the three complete strangers in the back seat of my car, the conversation turned from small talk into discussion of social pressures and, with my friend and I having just completed our freshman year of college, what it’s like to be surrounded by people with whom you don’t relate at all.
When we approached the venue, we were greeted by and introduced to Mac by his housemates. Mac was wearing a shirt with the Nirvana block-letter logo along the front and the song title I Hate Myself And I Want To Die printed across the back. Mac was extremely kind and relaxed, asking what had brought us to his house on a Tuesday afternoon. In between fans interrupting to take pictures, my friend and I spoke to Mac and his friends for a while on the street in front of Baby’s All Right, where he texted his booking agent to make sure we were on the guest list and would have no problem getting in.
Eventually, we all headed into the venue for secret album release show that had only been formally announced, and immediately sold out, an hour before. We watched Mac and his band play Another One, in full, with fan favorites between the new tracks, as well as a impressive rendition of Steely Dan’s Reelin’ In The Years.
As expected, for the show’s finale, DeMarco jumped off the barely-elevated stage on top of the crowd, where he quickly found himself hanging from the light fixture and walking his feet up the ceiling in the very, very small venue.
Walking out of the overpacked Baby’s, we ran into Mac again, standing on the street smoking a cigarette. We thanked him and shook his hand and took the above photo. Thinking back on that day, I realize how crazy of an idea it was to follow the instructions hidden in the last seconds of a record to a house on the tip of New York in hopes of ringing the doorbell and meeting someone with whom our only relationship is through music. I also realize how amazing it is for someone like Mac DeMarco to hide these instructions at the end of a highly anticipated release, seemingly never considering the possible cons, thinking only of the pros and believing in what makes him happy.
Stream Another One on Spotify: