Video: Micachu At SXSW Mica Levi fronts the wildly playful and inventive British rock band Micachu and the Shapes. Normally, the group plugs in, turns up the volume and plays as a trio. But for this video performance at the South by Southwest music festival and conference, Levi plays by herself, with just a child-sized acoustic guitar. Watch how she stretches the limits of six nylon strings and a magic marker.
NPR logo Video: Micachu At SXSW

Video: Micachu At SXSW

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It was an early morning in Austin when we caught up with Micachu and the Shapes singer Mica Levi. Maybe it's the hairdo, maybe it's the look of SXSW-induced exhaustion, but she looked like she'd just rolled out of bed. Micachu, as Levi is known, is classically trained and a student of composition, but you wouldn't know that from what you're about to see and hear.

Levi came to meet us at the Driskill Hotel in downtown Austin. She thought she was going to do an interview. Producer Robin Hilton and I came armed with our video gear and mics and thought we were doing a video shoot of a performance with her band The Shapes. You see, I'd fallen for her music and her album Jewellery just before arriving in Austin, and was very curious how she'd pull off her cut-up, collage-style music live. As it turns out, we didn't get to see the full band, but Levi was very accommodating. She got her child-sized acoustic guitar, changed out of her T-shirt, grabbed a magic marker, and made music that was admittedly a bit hard to digest at 10 in the morning. But without a doubt, it put a big smile on my face.