Blogs The Green Room Mark McCloughan

Hi everyone. My name is Mark McCloughan and I'll be the Performing Arts Intern this summer here at the Walker. I'm currently a rising senior at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. I study theater but am interested in all types of performance, which makes the Walker a great place to be! I'm looking forward to Rock the Garden, working on Momentum, and helping the wonderful performing arts team prep for next season.

Top of the (Avant) Pops

Hello Walker friends, I’d like to introduce myself.  My name is Mark McCloughan and I’m working as an Intern in Performing Arts forthe Summer.  While the summer may seem like a rather quiet time here at the Walker, with only a few events on the calendar(Momentum and Music and Movies in the Park), we’re already […]

Hello Walker friends,

I’d like to introduce myself.  My name is Mark McCloughan and I’m working as an Intern in Performing Arts forthe Summer.  While the summer may seem like a rather quiet time here at the Walker, with only a few events on the calendar(Momentum and Music and Movies in the Park), we’re already busily anticipating next season. 

One of the events I’m looking forward to next season is Micachu and the Shapes.  Playing at the Cedar Cultural Center on September 23, this concert is guaranteed to be fascinating.  One of my jobs so far has been to research press for promotional purposes, so I’ve been reading a lot of stories about this band recently.  There seem to be a few major trends that music journalists and bloggers are picking up on.  The first:

OH MAN SHE PLAYS A VACUUM

Photo by jystewart

Some bloggers and critics (meaning there’s a mention in every single article you will read about this band) have picked up on the face that one of the tracks on Jewellery, the band’s debut album, prominently features the sound of a dying vacuum cleaner.  While my research neither confirms nor denies whether or not this rare and delicate instrument will make an appearance at this show, Micachu’s art-school pedigree means that this show probably won’t feature a traditional guitar-drums-voice setup.  This brings us to the second point about the band many critics have picked up on:

micachu2

Photo by kmeron

Mica Levi (Micachu’s real name) has been called an art school prodigy by some (meaning all) critics.  While this isn’t uncommon for an up-and-coming experimental pop musician, Mica’s rather ridiculous list of accomplishments definitely earn her the prodigy label.  Born in 1987, at the ripe old age of 22 she has nonetheless managed to do the following:

  • graduate
  • release a pair of well-recieved singles
  • release a critically acclaimed debut album produced by Matthew Herbert, the famous electronic musician whose current project is a record made entirely from sounds sampled during the lifetime of a single pig (more information at This is a Pig, where Herbert will be chronicling the project)
  • compose an orchestral piece for the London Symphony Orchestra
  • Tour widely

Levi is remarkably humble about her accomplishments, and in most interviews I’ve read with her she seems to be almost giddy at the fact that she is receiving worldwide acclaim for playing a vacuum cleaner (among other things).  Putting aside my extreme jealousy and violent sense of underachievment, I must say that I am happy for her.  Really, I am.  Aren’t you?

If you only see one avant-pop concert by a band of 22-year-old art school wunderkinds this season, see this one.  You can find more information about the show at the Walker’s Calendar.

If you want a taste of what you’ll hear at the show, you can listen to some of the band’s songs at their myspace - Golden Phone is my personal favorite.