Revisiting Mac Miller’s Faces – a mixtape ahead of its time

Mac Miller’s 2014 opus isn’t available to stream, but it sure is worth the download on DatPiff.

Six years after its release, Faces is still Mac Miller’s pièce de résistance. The 2014 mixtape came out during an interim period between Miller’s tenure with Rostrum Records and his subsequent signing with Warner Records. Following his sophomore album, Watching Movies with the Sound Off, Miller was making music at lightspeed. His projects, You, Delusional Thomas and Faces are a fraction of the projects that Mac released after 2012’s Macadelic. Miller was not shy about his work ethic as he proclaimed on his track, “Malibu,” “I’m recordin’ like I’ll die tomorrow.”

Having ditched Rostrum Records, Miller showcased his freedom by fleshing out his Larry Fisherman alter ego, producing 14 out of 24 tracks on the project himself. As mentioned by Miller over the course of his career, most of the songs on this tape segue from one into the next in an attempt to leave the project as a start-to-finish listening experience. Using production play and sample cuts from movies, classic jazz and famous writers alike, the tape draws from a variety of sources of inspiration. Faces features a variety of guest appearances, most notably Thundercat, Earl Sweatshirt, and Vince Staples.

Faces has no shortage of dark, funny, and borderline terrifying lyrics. On some tracks Mac is singing his own praises, other tracks see him joking around with his friends, on “What Do You Do” he’s alluding to his own demise (“A drug habit like Philip Hoffman will probably put me in a coffin.”). This tape has no shortage of drug references, whether it’s PCP, LSD, or referring to cocaine as “the same shit that got Whitney,” Faces is an unadulterated view into Miller’s drug infested lifestyle at the time. His bars don’t sugar coat any of it, making this tape some of Mac’s most candid and soul-bearing work.

At the midway point in the album, Mac presents a trio of songs named after celebrations, “Happy Birthday,” “Wedding” and “Funeral.” Each one segueing into the next, the trio tells three separate tales of introspection going from an upbeat yet depressing birthday party, to a failed love story, ending with “Funeral,” where Miller admits, “Doin’ drugs is just a war with boredom but they sure to get me.”

The closing track, “Grande Finale” serves as the conclusion to the tape’s winding road of cocaine-induced delirium and wide range of sonic experimentation. The closing track sheds some closure as Miller admits his habits could kill him, as they eventually did. In an interview with Billboard, Miller admitted that “‘Grand Finale’ was supposed to be the last song I made on earth.”

From top to bottom, Faces is a complete body of work that takes listeners on a journey narrated by Miller. Coming in at a lengthy 86 minutes, this project isn’t necessarily the type of album you’d sit down and listen to start-to-finish, but the road that Miller navigates with Faces has something for everyone to appreciate. Whether it’s the snappy back and forth with Vince Staples on “Rain” or the psychedelic trip that is “Colors and Shapes,” this tape covers a variety of bases and still finds a way to be some of Mac’s best work lyrically and production-wise.

Student Life

Wedding on a diet: getting married during COVID-19

When the pandemic strips milestones to the bone

Oct. 3rd, 2:30 p.m.: Six people are standing in room 2.17 of Quebec’s courthouse. The first is a court clerk, the second and the third stand before the first, the fourth and fifth are witnesses and the last is a member of the audience. The occasion: my wedding.

I have never really been the type of person to spend time with my head in the clouds about what my wedding would look like, but I certainly never pictured it like this.

If anything, I thought the guest count would be beyond one. Even though I haven’t been bathing in wedding fantasies since my childhood, when my partner proposed to me on New Year’s Eve, we knew we had a big party to plan.

Fast-forward to March. It seemed to us like we already had it all: a large expanse of land in Rimouski lent to us for free, a lake, space to camp and nearby accommodation, many talented artist friends to set the mood with music and decorations, family members to serve  as amazing cooks, near limitless access to alcohol, and many, many cherished guests. Set for Aug. 15, 2020, our celebration was going to be a banger.

Then came the big, the bad, the-still-ongoing COVID-19.

April 10: The Legault government announces that all public events are to be cancelled until Aug. 31. On the Facebook event for our wedding, our guests are notified that the celebration is pushed to 2021, or at least until it becomes safe to party again.

We decided that in the meantime, we would still get the legal ceremony done. In response to COVID-19, Quebec’s courthouse allowed for a total of only seven guests in addition to the two mandatory witnesses. This was just enough to accommodate the core of our families, except for my brother and his girlfriend who have been avoiding all human contact since the pandemic hit.

Instead of a proper honeymoon, my partner and I planned for a week of relaxing celebration in Mont-Tremblant with some of the family that had attended the wedding. For the time being, it was the least we could do to underline the milestone.

In late September, as the second wave hit, our nine guests withdrew themselves from the wedding, one by one. Coming from out of town, entering Montreal which was turning into a red zone represented a risk they were not willing to take, even to witness our union before law in-person. Only via Zoom would they join the ceremony.

Sept. 27: Following a difficult phone call with my mother concerning Montreal’s official red zoning, my partner and I decided to forego our stay in Mont-Tremblant for the safety of our family.

Less than a week from our wedding, we were stripped of our guests, our “honeymoon’’ and our witnesses.

Even though we knew a big celebration would eventually come, and that our relationship would survive these relatively soft hardships, a hollow feeling of despair started to creep up on me. Sure, we would find new witnesses fairly easily. Sure we would get married. Sure, we would still have a good time drinking champagne. But, there was a but.

Thursday, Oct. 1: My phone buzzes. Bota Bota, the famous travelling ferry spa in the Old Port of Montreal, is on the line: they are informing me that my reservation for Saturday will be refunded due to their baths needing to be closed, following Legault’s latest announcements. As such, my latest attempt at making a celebration out of my marriage got thrown out the window. Out on a long walk to breathe it out, I took a break to sit on the sidewalk and let my tears flow.

But, at least we have each other. That is what weddings are about, right?

Friday, Oct. 2, 10 p.m.: My partner and I are writing our Goldschläger-induced vows when, all of a sudden, his computer screen lights up. Familiar faces are all over it. Confused but only for a short time, I soon recognize that what I have before me is a surprise bachelor/bachelorette Zoom party — and what will become a nasty hangover on my wedding day.

Saturday, Oct. 3: My husband and I are on the rooftop of the hotel, spending the night drinking prosecco with the witnesses and an extra friend.

Although I could count the number of people present on one hand, I was tremendously grateful for all the little things we had been able to do to celebrate. It was as though the Draconian diet on which our celebration was put on made for every little bit of time spent in good company the most savoury bite of my existence.

I can only imagine the blast of flavours that will bring the big wedding celebration, whenever that may be.


Photo by Christine Beaudoin

Student Life

Dearly beloved, the wedding season is upon us

Press photo

In 2009, Madeleine Kojakian, founder of Maddy K Wedding and Events Atelier, created Bridal Boudoir Affair. When it first began, the event looked more like a pop-up shop. Flash forward to 2013 and we find ourselves at the Hyatt Regency where all the city’s most elite vendors are gathered in one location, set-up and ready for brides and grooms to sample and choose for their big day.

“I didn’t plan it at all. It all happened so quickly and by complete fluke,” said Kojakian.

The wedding planner graduated in business from Concordia University and started working for Ocean Drive Magazine. They had an annual publication on wedding planner profiles and when she tried to find one, she realized that Montreal didn’t have any particularly reputable ones.

“There was no market for it. I saw an opportunity and seized it,” she said.

In 2003, Kojakian launched Maddy K, a wedding planning business like no other. Since she had been in the media industry, she had some key contacts, but through her talent and perseverance, her company kept growing.

“I work very closely with my vendors. I get dozens of emails a day from start-up businesses. I work with the ones that are unique and bring something different to the table,” she said.

Everyone needs a little inspiration, some drive – for Kojakian, it’s her job.

“I love what I do as a whole. From the designers to the marketing, I love it all, which inspires me every day.”

When it comes down to it, this wedding planner inspires herself. She loves what she does and it is reflected in her work. Bridal Boudoir Affair was the most exciting, lavish and enchanting event that I have ever been to.

Press photo

The event kicked off with a brilliant fashion show that was put together by none other than Melissa Matos and Andrew Ly of TRUSST. Galleria Della Sposa showcased its beautiful gowns designed by Jenny Packham, Marchesa, Monique Lhuillier, Oscar de la Renta and Reem Acra.

Each dress surpassed the next. Colours ranged from blush pink to ivory, varying in style from A-line to mermaid, from low-cut to backless – Galleria Della Sposa made sure to cater to every bride’s needs.

Allison McGill, editor-in-chief of Wedding Bells, explained that the it colour for the season is emerald green. Brides everywhere are accessorizing in this bright tone. Wedding invitations, bridesmaid dresses, ties, flowers, jewelry; a pop of this colour will be found in every trendy wedding.

Avanti Spa had their make-up artists on the scene, providing the brides-to-be with a fresh, fabulous and flawless look. Ally Zwonok Beauty brought their organic spray-tan booth, giving everyone a sun-kissed glow. Tres Chic Styling showcased some of their glamourous gowns and dressed hostesses Natasha Gargiulo from Virgin Radio and ET Canada, and DJ Abeille Gélinas. 

Luluthia had a gorgeous set up of their flowers in an array of bright colours.

Since the wedding season is right around the corner, the number one thing to remember when planning your own wedding is not to make rash decisions because of lack of time. “Don’t fall for that, make an educated decision and don’t look back,” says Kojakian.

Although it may be tempting, once you’ve found your dress, don’t start flipping through magazines hoping to find something better. Trust your taste. After all, it is your taste that got you to the altar in the first place!

Whether you’re the bride-to-be, in the wedding party or a hopeless romantic, Bridal Boudoir Affair is the place to be for something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.


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