Does anyone remember the old Tower Records in Manhattan on 4th St near NYU’s campus? It was across the corner from Other Music, who outlived them! Last year, No Longer Empty filled the space with an art exhibit called “Never Can Say Goodbye” and hosted a few events, including a music panel during Social Media Week 2010. The day after the panel, one of my favorite new artists, Animal Hospital played a few tracks from his full length, “Memory” released in 2009 on Barge .
Kevin Micka is a pretty humble musician, surprised to see a fan like me gushing about the cathartic effect his seeping guitar drones and reverberating electronics create. When he started his set with “Late Summertime”, the looped and delayed chords certainly set the tone of something thicker than ethereal ambience. Cycling keyboard whirs gave the effect of UFO cruise ships passing through the Badlands National Park, all while a man and his guitar are happy in solitude.
Since no alien attacks were made, Kevin opened up to “A Safe Place” with the loop of a horse trot in slow gallop. Happier, melodic guitar phrases get added into the stew of echoes, and the journey is accented by lazer-like synth snippets as if there are flashes of heat lightning beyond the horizon. If there’s a big spaceship above this man, his horse, and his guitar, he’s rolling with the bright flashing lights too.
Micka seemed to reached the highest point of the “table mountain” during his last track of the set, “Memory”. Strongly plucked bass notes in slow rhythm accompanied by echoing vocal cries were matched with building synth washes that intensified together. This close encounter didn’t present a sense of panic but more of a union of two kinds of spirits. Micka is no ordinary hipster cowboy.
For his next New York journey, Animal Hospital will be playing at Zebulon Cafe in Brooklyn, Feb 27th with Bird Names and Key Demo. He’s got a whole new set of new songs to take you into the flashing, glowing sunset.