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Touring with Animal Collective, Micachu & The Shapes Should Open Plenty of Ears

August 13, 2012


Opening up for Animal Collective for their Fall 2012 tour, Micachu & The Shapes have every reason to be there. “Micachu is largely inspired by Harry Partch who famously used an array of customised and home made instruments. These included a xylophone made of light bulbs, a ‘Cloud Chamber’ made out of pyrex dishes that could not only be played musically but detect particles of ionizing radiation and a series of highly complicated 44 stringed instruments” (Rough Trade).

With their newest LP, Never, out now via Rough Trade, Micachu reminds me first and foremost of the Baltimore’s tUnE-yArDs, for their immense deliberation of noise and crafty skills in accompaniment, and then a slew of garage bands that’ve circulated throughout the years. It’s easy, one may assume, to put a finger on every track the three-some make. Take “Holiday” for example: a 1-2-3-2 synth riff flies around between Mica Levy (aka Micachu) and her gorgeous, highly distinct voice while a snare drum tuned too-sharp (not complaining) shimmers and shakes somewhere between keen and sensationalism. 

Self-produced, Never is a free-ranging blast of sound and home recordings that blend improvisation with heart-wrenching songwriting and instrumentation.

Most songs barely reachthree minutes, the longest “Nothing” – the thirteenth of fourteen tracks – at 4:56 is one of the loveliest I’ve heard all summer.

Debuting on July 17th on YouTube, each track of Never was released with a music video, which is really fun: quirky, somewhat rudimentary, videos shot cheaply with no intention of creating genius. Which is exactly why the album seems so appealing: at a time when lushness and overproduction for tracks – marketed and scanned through the dilapidated lasers of Facebook, Soundcloud, Spotify, et cetera – seems destined to be accompanied with a music video that feels more cinematic and trite than the newest trailer for another incredulous based-off-the-comic-book-super-hero-mega-movie, Micachu & The Shapes merely make hopeful, almost anti-art videos for each track (and ironically, too, if one were to really go into it).

Below is the video for “OK,” the first single off Never, and below that are the tour dates they’ll open up for Animal Collective.

WATCH: Micachu & The Shapes — “OK” (via YouTube)

Micachu And The Shapes – Tour Dates With Animal Collective
9/18 Seattle, WA – Paramount
9/19 Vancouver, BC – Malkin Bowl
9/20 Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom
9/21 Oakland, CA – Fox Theater
9/22 Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues
9/27 Dallas, TX – House of Blues
9/28 Austin, TX – Backyard
9/29 New Orleans, LA – House of Blues
9/30 Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle
10/2 Columbia, MD – Merriweather Post Pavilion
10/3 Philadelphia, PA – Mann Center
10/5 Brooklyn NY – Williamsburg Park

-Aaron Geer

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STREAM: Jens Lekman’s newest, “Erica America” off new album, I Know What Love Isn’t

June 7, 2012


Posted by Aaron Geer

According to Secretly Canadian, Sweden’s most visceral pop star, Jens Lekman, will release his first album since his delightful Night Falls Over Kortedala five years ago. Fittingly titled, I Know What Love Isn’t will be available in the States on September 4 via Secretly Canadian (Sept 3 UK/EU, Sept 3 on Service in Scandinavia). 

The first glimpse we’re given off I Know What Love Isn’t is “Erica America,” a pun-intended, joyous pop ensemble’d four minute tease to the rest of the album. As seen in the track list below, Lekman opens up I Know What Love Isn’t with “Every Little Hair Knows Your Name,” a track he debuted as a solo acoustic performance at Read and Shout in London sometime last year (watch performance here). According to Secretly Canadian, “Every Little Hair Knows Your Name” sets the stage for what’s to come: a simple melody picked out on an echoey upright piano, like a disused one you might find in a schoolroom or church,” so obviously Lekman intends to use an array of instruments instead of the slow yet illuminating guise of the performance in London.But for now, enjoy the first taste of what’s to be handed to us in the late summer/early fall, and stream “Erica America” below.

STREAM: Jens Lekman — “Erica America”

Track Listing:
Every Little Hair Knows Your Name
Erica America
Become Someone Else’s
Some Dandruff On Your Shoulder
She Just Don’t Want To Be With You Anymore
I Want A Pair Of Cowboy Boots
The World Moves On
The End Of The World Is Bigger Than Love
I Know What Love Isn’t
Every Little Hair Knows Your Name
07/28/12 – Castelbasso, IT – Soundlabs Festival
09/10/12 – Helsinki, FI – Tavastia
09/11/12 – Århus, DK – Train
09/12/12 – Copenhagen, DK – Vega
09/13/12 – Oslo, NO – Rockefeller
09/14/12 – Malmö, SE – KB
09/15/12 – Gothenburg, SE – Pustervik
09/17/12 – Stockholm, SE – Dramaten
09/19/12 – Manchester, UK – Ruby Lounge
09/20/12 – London, UK – Hackney Empire
09/21/12 – Brighton, UK – The Haunt
09/23/12 – Paris, FR – Gaité Lyrique
09/24/12 – Strasbourg, FR – La Laiterie
09/25/12 – Utrecht, NL – Tivoli de Helling
09/26/12 – Berlin, DE – Postbahnhof
Aaron Geer is the Founding Contributor to Phiendly. He works at a library and pretends to enjoy conversations about people’s dinners. He really couldn’t care less.
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STREAM: Here We Go Magic — “How Do I Know?” [w/ tour dates]

April 11, 2012


Here We Go Magic have released their second single off their newest LP, A Different Ship.

According to the Brooklyn five-piece’s record label, Secretly Canadian, “How Do I Know?” is the center piece of their third full-length.

Luke Temple is always at the forefront of any discussion on Here We Go Magic, but soon there has to (and will) be a large epiphany that besides the front-man’s eclectic guitar and sun-shine Paul Simon vocal abilities, bassist Jennifer Turner, drummer Peter Hale, and keyboardist Kristina Lieberson have just as much as an importance in the emergence of one of the most elaborate psychedelacoustic bands since The Shins’ released Oh, Inverted World.

On “How Do I Know” Turner & Hale never stagnate, brimming with sheer will while Lieberson teams up with Michael Blotch, electric guitar to float around Temple’s bright acoustic and courageous vocals.All together, the track to be released as a 7″ featuring an outtake fromA Different Ship’s recordings as the b-side, “How Do I Know” contains layers upon layers of coalesced fine-tuning.

Here We Go Magic will go on tour to showcase A Different Ship, where they will touch the corners of the United States, as well as playing such events as George WA’s Sasquatch Festival, London’s Field Day Festival, Manchester, TN’s Bonnarroo, and Bilbao, Spain’s BBK Live Festival.  The closest they’ll be to West Michigan is in Chicago at the Empty Bottle on Thursday, May 17. A Different Ship is in stores May 8 and is available for pre-order with an instant digital download here.

  / STREAM / Here We Go Magic — “How Do I Know?”

04/22/12 – North Palm Springs, CA – Desert Days Festival
04/26/12 – New York, NY – Knitting Factory w/Glass Ghost
05/04/12 – Brighton, UK – Green Door Store
05/05/12 – London, UK – The Sebright Arms
05/06/12 – Manchester, UK – The Deaf Institute
05/12/12 – Charlottesville, VA – The Southern
05/14/12 – Washington, D.C. – Black Cat
05/15/12 – Pittsburgh, PA – Brillobox*
05/16/12 – Bloomington, IN – The Bishop*
05/17/12 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle BUY TICKETS
05/18/12 – Milwaukee, WI – Stonefly Brewery*
05/19/12 – Minneapolis, MN – 400 Bar*
05/21/12 – Denver, CO – Hi Dive*
05/22/12 – Aspen, CO – Belly Up*
05/23/12 – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge*
05/24/12 – Boise, ID – The Linen Building*
05/25/12 – Portland, OR – Bunk Bar*
05/27/12 – George, WA – Sasquatch Festival
06/02/12 – London, UK – Field Day Festival
06/04/12 – Newcastle, UK – Evolution Festival
06/10/12 – Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo Music Festival
06/12/12 – San Francisco, CA – The Independent
06/14/12 – San Diego, CA – Soda Bar
06/15/12 – Los Angeles, CA – The Echo
06/16/12 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom
06/18/12 – Dallas, TX – Sons of Hermann Hall
06/19/12 – Austin, TX – The Parish
07/05/12 – Liège, BE – Les Ardentes Festival
07/13/12 – Bilbao, ES – BBK Live Festival
07/14/12 – Oeiras, PT – Optimus Live

Posted by Aaron Geer

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