“Micachu and the Shapes, an English trio of music-school renegades . . . writes songs that are terse, choppy, swinging and startling. Calliope tones, synthesizer buzzes and blunt lyrics . . . jagged and abrasive but proudly feisty.” —New York Times
The Walker Art Center and Cedar Cultural Center present an evening with Micachu and the Shapes and opener Dessa on Wednesday, September 23, at 8 pm, at the Cedar Cultural Center located at 416 Cedar Avenue South in Minneapolis. The leader of Micachu and the Shapes is 22-year-old Mica Levi, a brilliant, stylesmashing Brit who writes sweetly disjointed pop and has composed for the London Philharmonic. To her ears, everything is fair game—streaming distorted loops, skiffle riffs, and grime beats through hooky hyperkinetic arrangements. Pitchfork calls the group “the freshest thing to come along so far in 2009.” Opening the concert in this all-standing, clublike setting is Dessa, who introduces a new band featuring electric guitar, acoustic bass, and violin. The spare, melodic arrangements offer a rare and intimate take on this spoken-word artist’s melancholy lyrics and the expert musicianship of some of Minneapolis’ finest players.
Despite her relative youth, Mica Levi is equally at home writing and producing stunning, experimental pop with the likes of Matthew Herbert, as well as MCing with friends in various grime collectives. Levi studied violin, viola, and composition at the Purcell School before being offered a scholarship to attend the Guildhall School of Music and Drama to study composition. At live shows she plays with her band the Shapes: a three-piece ensemble fronted by Levi (vocals, guitar, electronics, and Hoover), with Raisa Kahn (keys) and Marc Pell (drums). Armed with just her beat up, half-sized guitar and hidden beneath a mop of hair, Levi’s understated appearance belies her startling musical prowess.
Tickets to Micachu and the Shapes are $15 ($12 Walker members); $18 ($15) day of show and are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600.