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POP IS CHANGING.
AND MICA LEVI IS HELPING IT GROW. A musical prodigy at 22, Mica Levi studied composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and even composed a piece for the London Philharmonic. As the central songwriter of Micachu and the Shapes, she’s also one of the freshest and most innovative voices in underground music. Her music embodies elements of dozens of various styles, from the experimental to the accessible. Naturally she’s picked up dozens of different tags, but she herself claims something far simpler: “It’s pop music, definitely.” says Mica, although deconstructed pop music might be more accurate. For live shows, Mica is joined on stage by Raisa Khan on keys and electronics and Marc on drums. Using guitars with no effects aside from distortion, drums without toms, synths and one keyboard, they simplify the sound by limiting the instruments. Mica is fond of making her own sounds as well; on her debut Jewellry broken bottles add an emphasis on percussion, and a vacuum cleaner is used as a voice modulation tool. Most notable however is the instrument she invented and named after herself, the Chu. Responsible for a good chunk of the strummy, discordant guitar sound that characterizes the group’s instrumentals, the Chu is a small guitar with an added bass string and a broad pedal for one of the strings that allows her to greatly shift the pitch. Micachu is one of those bands that will instantly become “your band”. The kind you hear and you know that this will become one of your favorite groups, with music that you truly identify with. There is no pretence, no artily created nothings; they tell no lies. Their music is not about the future, it’s not about the past, it’s about the moment we are in. Beyond their musical merits, that’s the beauty of this band: the celebration of here and now.
PREACHER & THE KNIFE
excepter: a six-person psychedelic/noise/improv group from Brooklyn. Their music is the equivalent of taking Auyasca in some machine graveyard for monstrous, droning electronics. We cornered John Fell Ryan, his wife/bandmate LaLa and their baby son in Union Square and demanded more information.
John: I started making music by myself, and then started DJing with Dan Hougland, we were DJing a weekly gig, spinning house, rock, disco, whatever, and we started replacing our records with human beings. If someone actually came to our shows, they would end up in the band. I don’t think there was a preconceived goal, other than to make music. Making music with electronics was a goal, maybe. And multiple layers of vocals. Vocals are a big part of Excepter. The first record, the first couple songs are basically a capella.
LaLa: I’m a classically trained musician, and I was doing my own weird trio band. It just seemed logical to join Excepter. I didn’t join right away, there’s an initiation period. As someone who’s not going to be playing an electronic instrument, and is going to be interpreting the music in other ways, it’s really intimidating. The first time I played with them, I waited until the middle, then I jumped onstage with my bass clarinet, and I played for like forty-five minutes, and then I just left the stage. Now I’m more comfortable, and I think that’s a big part of the band, to just stand there and let the audience vibe out and let your bandmates make music, and just listen to what they’re doing and try to collaborate with them.
DRACULA TOURS. SUMMER VAMPIRE VACATION TO TRANSYLVANIAJULY 9-16 BRING YOUR RAY-BANS.
TEL: (203) 795-4737 HTTP://WWW.DRACTOURS.COM
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