Sunday, October 4, 2009

Micachu And The Shapes at Le Poisson Rouge 10/3/2009

It’s rare that I get into a band that is doing something out of the ordinary. While I like to pride myself on having a rather eclectic taste in music, anything outside of normal is not something I will fall in love with immediately (it took me a long while to get into Animal Collective). I blame my father who believes that one guitar and a voice is the most perfect sound one can produce. Most of the time he is right. But why limit yourself to one flavor when there are a myriad of others begging to be sampled?

This is why I was surprised that I liked Micachu and the Shapes when I first heard them. Micachu and the Shapes is a three-piece band led by Mica Levi a 21-year-old music composition student from Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. She plays her own construction: the “chug,” a modified guitar played with a hammer action and she is also known to use unconventional objects in her quest for original sounds, such as glass bottles and most intriguing: a vacuum cleaner. The Shapes consist of Marc Pell on percussion and Raisa Khan on keys/electronics. I came across their video for “Turn Me Well” on the blogs because Bjork (someone whose music has yet to capture me) had posted it on their website. The sounds were new and experimental, but there was a melody and a groove to the song that shone through the noise and made me listen to more of her stuff. “Turn Me Well” remains my favorite tune, but I found others gems like “Golden Phone,” “Curly Teeth,” and “Floor” all songs from the album Jewellery.

So I figured this band would occupy an obscure section of my iPod, one that I would eventually forget about once I updated my current playlists until the blogs reminded me of them again. But only a few weeks after my initial listen I randomly entered a bunch of contests sponsored by by emailing them and begging them for guest list spots at several NYC-area shows, including M.A.T.H.E.S.’s show on October 3rd at Le Poisson Rouge. I didn’t think much of it again until I received the email early last week letting me know that I would be on the list for the show. That’s smart twittering. Still waiting to hear about La Roux. (Too greedy?)

From the first notes of the set, my allegiance to the band doubled in strength. Their music is more approachable in a live setting. It’s more raw and coarse and these kids can get pretty loud. Overly produced vocals are replaced with Levi’s natural, heavily-accented growl and the percussive electronic blips and bleeps are overshadowed by an ambient wall of sound that evokes emotion you just can’t get from listening to mp3s on your Mac Book. Levi, Pell, and Khan further prove my opinion that seeing/hearing music live will build the bridge to a new band/sound that originally you might not have considered in a million years. So go see as many shows as you can (especially if you can get on the list, thanks musicslut)!

P.S. They didn’t play “Turn Me Well” which disappointed me! 2 weeks ago the YYYs didn’t play "Runaway" (which isn’t my favorite song of theirs but it is one that I was looking forward to hearing). I haven’t had much luck with setlists lately.

P.S.x2 This was my first trip to LPR and I have to say it was a nice change from the gritty music halls I usually frequent. Points for the clean, well-maintained venue and courteous, classy crowd.