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
“As I’m getting older, chip up on my shoulder…” is the opening line from Mac DeMarco’s second full-length LP Salad Days, the follow up to 2012’s lauded Mac DeMarco 2. Amongst that familiar croon and lilting guitar, that initial line from the title track sets the tone for an LP of a maturing singer/songwriter/producer. Someone strangely self-aware of the positives and negatives of their current situation at the ripe old age of 24.

Written and recorded around a relentless touring schedule, Salad Days gives the listener a very personal insight into what it’s all about to be Mac amidst the craziness of a rising career in a very public format. The lead single, “Passing Out Pieces,” set to huge overdriven organ chords, contains lines like “…never been reluctant to share, passing out pieces of me…” Clearly, this isn’t the same record that breezily gave us “Dreamin” and “Ode to Viceroy,” but the result of what comes from their success. “Chamber of Reflection,” a track featuring icy synth stabs and soulful crooning, wouldn’t be out of place on a fantasy Shuggie Otis and Prince collaboration. Standout tracks like these show Mac’s widening sound, whether insights into future directions or even just welcome one-off forays into new territory.

Still, this is musically, lyrically and melodically good old Mac DeMarco, through and through. The crisp John Lennon/Phil Spector era homegrown lush production that could have come off Geoff Emerick’s mixing board in 1972 with that peculiar Mac touch that’s completely right now is still present. “Brother,” a complete future classic, is Mac at his most soulful and easygoing but with that distinct weirdness and bite that can only come from Mr. DeMarco. “Treat Her Better” is rife with Mac-isms, heavily chorused slinky lead guitar, swooning vocal melodies, effortless chords that come along only after years of effort, and the other elements seriously lacking in independent music: sentiment and heartfelt sincerity.

We’re only in Part 2 1/2 (one EP and two LP’s in) of Mac’s career. As you read this and as you hear the album on April Fool’s Day of this year, he’ll probably be on tour, or preparing for one… or maybe already writing new music. A relentless work ethic is something to be admired in today’s indie music scene, but when it’s of the quality Mac is giving us time and time again, it starts to turn from admiration to awe.
Sophia Knapp
Sophia Knapp
Venue Information:
The Bowery Ballroom
6 Delancey St
New York, NY, 10002
http://www.boweryballroom.com/