The Bowery Ballroom
Nite Jewel

Nite Jewel

Mac DeMarco, Sophia Knapp

Tue, April 24, 2012

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

The Bowery Ballroom

New York, NY

$13 advance / $15 day of show

This event is 18 and over

Nite Jewel
Nite Jewel
California native Ramona Gonzalez first began her transcendent minimalist dance-pop escapades in the privacy of her own home in Los Angeles. With the aid of her multitrack cassette recorder and whatever keyboards, drum machines, and other instruments that were available to her, she very quickly developed her own unique sound and began performing live in the L.A. area under the moniker Nite Jewel.

Later teaming up with Cole M. Greif-Neill (formerly of Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti), the Nite Jewel act became four piece live act, touring alongside the likes of Little Dragon, DaM FunK, and James Blake. The Nite Jewel sound has been likened to that of a warped, lo-fi version of Late-80’s Freestyle Electro sensation Debbie Deb and has also found appeal among not just the ‘indie rock’ & ‘experimental’ crowd but also among avid listeners of hip hop, funk, disco, & soul. While very fond of these aforementioned genres and artists, Nite Jewel gathers much of her inspiration from the likes of L.A. Free Music Society’s experimentalist Tom Recchion, obscure UK new age electro-acoustic duo Woo, and the sublime ambient electronic music of groups like Germany’s Cluster and Italy’s Sensations Fix. Nite Jewel never hesitates, however, to cite 90’s R&B pop groups such as TLC & SWV as influences who left an indelible mark on her music sensibilities as a teenager.

In 2009, Nite Jewel self-released her debut album Good Evening, recorded with the assistance of longtime collaborator Cole M. Greif-Neill. Good Evening was met with critical acclaim and was taste-making record store Other Music’s fourth top-seller of 2009.

In summer of 2010, Nite Jewel received critical acclaim for a remix of Caribou’s “Odessa” and of “Die Slow” by noise rock band HEALTH.

In August 2010, Nite Jewel released a six song EP in August 2010 entitled Am I Real?, in collaboration with Cole M. Greif-Neill and Daniel and Andrew Aged from Teen Inc..

Nite Jewel signed to Secretly Canadian in June 2011.

Nite Jewel is currently collaborating with DaM-FunK, among others, and working on her second album set for release in the winter of 2012.

Over the past few years, LA’ s Nite Jewel has honed its pop-funk craft across releases from Italians Do It Better, Mexican Summer and LA’s own Gloriette Records. In that time, her airy but often distant voice has found new gravitas and charisma. Meanwhile, the synth lines have gotten more agile and the bass pops tighter and tighter. The stuttered 80s synth R&B melodies unfold into one another here in ways both giddy and deceivingly nonchalant. This maturation and evolution will all come to a head in early 2012 when Secretly Canadian will release Nite Jewel’s proper full-length follow up to her brilliant 2008 LP, Good Evening.
Mac DeMarco
Mac DeMarco
Before you ancients out there turn your heads and scoff at the premise of a twenty-something rock-and-roll goofball calling himself an old-anything, consider this: said perpetrator, he who answers to the name Mac DeMarco, has spent the better part of his time thus far writing, recording, and releasing an album of his own music pretty much every calendar flip, and pretty much on his own. The fresh meat you’re now feasting on, This Old Dog, makes for his fifth in just over half a decade—bringing the total to 3 LPs and 2 EPs. According to the DMV, MacBriare Samuel Lanyon DeMarco is 26. But in working-dog years, ol’ Mac here could easily qualify for social security. To stay gold, turns out all he needed was some new tricks.

Though used to and pretty happy with that annual grind, it was a little space—in time, location, and method—that inspired DeMarco while making the record. Moving from his isolated Queens home to a house in Los Angeles helped give the somewhat transient Canada-native a broader base, and a few more months on his calendar to create did their job as well. Arriving in California with a grip of demos he’d written in New York, he realized after a few months of setting up his new shop—complete with a few new toys—that the gap was giving him perspective (insert tooth joke here).

“This one was spaced out,” DeMarco says. “I demoed a full album, and as I was moving to the West Coast I thought I’d get to finishing it quickly. But then I realized that moving to a new city and starting a new life takes time. And it was weird, because usually I just write, record, and put it out; no problem. But this time, I wrote them and they sat. When that happens, you really get to know the songs. It was a different vibe.”

DeMarco wrote some demos for This Old Dog on an acoustic guitar, an unusual yet eye-opening method for him. “The majority of this album is acoustic guitar, synthesizer, some drum machine, and one song is electric guitar. So this is a new endeavor for me.”

And from the outset, from the pops and clicks of the CR-78 and acoustic strums on the album-opening “My Old Man,” the synth-drenched beauty of the second track, “This Old Dog,” and that ironic recurring word itself, it’s clear that DeMarco’s bag is filled with new tricks indeed. This Old Dog is rooted more in a synth-base than any of his previous releases, but he is careful not to let that tactic overshadow the other instruments and overall “unplugged” mood of the work. In fact, DeMarco recognizes that he might share more than just a geographical flight-path with a certain Canadian-cum-Californian songwriter.

“I think what I was trying to do is make Harvest with synthesizers,” he laughs. “But I don’t think I even came close to the mark—something else entirely came out. This is my acoustic album, but it’s not really an acoustic album at all. That’s just what it feels like, mostly. I’m Italian, so I guess this is an Italian rock record.”

Speaking of roots, while it’s known that DeMarco’s family history is complicated at best, the songs here may be the closest glimpse into his personal life and relationships with his kin he’s ever allowed. But then again, they may not be. Only one thing is certain: the titular mutt, naturally, is DeMarco himself, and as he brings us into his world, he makes sure it’s from his own hard-earned vantage point and measured post.

“This record has a lot to do with my family and my life right now and the way I’m feeling and stuff,” he says. “One of the main goals for this record was trying to make sure I retained some kind of realness. That’s the bottom line. Being in any sort of spotlight can be jarring, especially when you’re not preoccupied with touring and you’re just sitting in your house writing songs. But wherever my bedroom is, the records are gonna be whatever is happening in there. I could be in Alaska and I’m sure it wouldn’t change things much.”

Despite the changes considered during the creation of This Old Dog, Mac DeMarco’s mid-twenties masterpiece, it’s clear that the engine that motors him is in no danger of slowing down.

“As long as I feel real then there’s nothing else that matters,” he says. “Making these albums is just something that I have to do, and so I do it.”

This Old Dog is out now on Captured Tracks.
Sophia Knapp
Sophia Knapp
Venue Information:
The Bowery Ballroom
6 Delancey St
New York, NY, 10002
http://www.boweryballroom.com/