KEVIN MICKA performs as ANIMAL HOSPITAL, and also performs in the band NEPTUNE. He lives in Jamaica Plain, and headed up one of the coolest shows of the year when the Animal Hospital Ensemble performed his “Memory” @ Mass Art.

Kevin Micka Top Ten List of 2011:

Dan Shea asked if I was interested in putting together a top ten list for 2011. I thought I would give it a try and found it took quite a bit of thought and time. Not because there were so many things to choose from but the lack of it really. I can probably connect this primarily to my age and diminished motivation for going out and seeing new things. Time is precious and there is not enough time in the day to get all the things that are important to me done. That being said, I often forget how important and inspiring it can be to get out there and be exposed to something new. I thank all my friends for helping get me out of the house and or listening to new stuff through 2011. Inspiration still exists and I am lucky to be reminded of that.

Jon Mueller Typecast – 2.2011

I have thoroughly enjoyed many of the mix tape / podcasts I have heard coming from the awesome community of friends connected to Type Records.
Successfully living like a hermit in my own world does not really encourage searching out new music so I am always siked when i find a new typecast to check out while I am holed up working at home. Jon Mueller’s curations are some of my favorites. This one is of his favorite composers.



Kilter (Norton/Newton), Benny Nelson, Arkm Foam at the Whitehaus 3.10.2011

It was freezing out with modest attendance but a real nice, friendly, intimate atmosphere. If I didn’t know everyone when I walked in, I definitely did by the time I left. Arkm Foam, who performs as Peace, Loving, played a great experimental acoustic set that night. For what it’s worth, I always appreciate the sincere lack of pretension in his performance. A sense of humor is crucial to me in life and in this realm of creative expression.


Benny broke up the 3 performances by playing a very minimal synthesizer based piece that was great in this setting. The shift in pitch, and timbre was deliberately subtle and engaged the audience in a way that contrasted very well with the other performers.

Kilter was wonderful to watch as well as to hear. Steve Norton and Curt Newton had such a great energy between them. I really appreciated how Curt utilized everything within his reach in such a tasteful way with a great “why the hell not hit my cymbals with this blanket” attitude. I was really glad I stuck around to see them that night.



Skull Defekts- Live at Great Scott 4.4.2011, “Peer Amid’ + “2013 – 3012”

Neptune played a show with the Skull Defekts and Zomes last spring. The current line up has been fronted by Daniel Higgs. They honestly put on one of the best live rock shows I have seen in years. Such great energy and sincerity coming at you from the stage. Really inspiring.

They also released two amazing records this year,
“Peer Amid” + “2013-3012”




RYOJI IKEDA – the transfinite – summer 2011

I went to NY this past summer to play a show and hang out for a few days with my brother and Katharine and see some stuff. Thanks to a friend’s recommendation we ended up at the Park Avenue Armory to see Ryoji Ikeda’s installation and it was awesome. We spent a good hour there just taking it all in. It was a truly happy moment for me.
Watch this video to get a sense of what it was like.


Radian – Live at Great Scott 7.2011

Mark Pearson and I opened a show for Radian this past year at Great Scott along with Xela/John Twells and Eli Keszler. It was great to see how they worked out there compositions live with such nuance.
Here is video with excerpts from a similar set:


Man Forever – Live at Union Pool 11.5.2011

Neptune also played a show in Brooklyn with Man Forever in November along with RAFT (Pat from These Are Powers) and Dan Friel (of Parts and Labor). Man Forever revolves around the ideas of Jon Colpitts aka Kid Millions of Oneida and a rotating cast of between 4 and 10+ other musicians. Every time I have seen them it has been different but always trance inducing in such a wonderfully textural way. It has always made me smile.
This video is from a similar set earlier in the year:


Clams Casino “Instrumentals”

Type Records puts out great stuff and this stuck out to me as rare treat in my minimal experience with hip hop (my favorite hip hop record still being “The Low End Theory” by A Tribe Called Quest) and electronic music (is that still a valid genre description?). The first 2 songs on here are really great.



Mike Weis – “Loop Current – Raft” on Barge Recordings 9.2011

Mike plays in the band Zelienople (http://typerecords.com/releases/give-it-up) and is one of my all time favorite drummers to watch and listen to. His dynamic control, ability to listen, and his sense of tone and texture gives me faith in music and humanity. His first solo recording was released this past year on Barge Recordings.


Organizing and performing a weekend of shows with 31 friends in The Animal Hospital Ensemble. 12.2011

I know this sounds weird to mention my own thing but the whole experience was so unique for me that it would be impossible for me not to think back on 2011 without it constantly appearing in my mind. The whole process was intense but always gratifying and gave me such a great sense of appreciation for so many great friends in Boston. I rarely ask so much from so many people, and I am still so deeply touched by everyone’s dedication and enthusiasm. It is something I will never, ever forget.


Xela “Exorcism” 12.2011

The evolution of the sound and classification of John Twell’s Xela has been a long and varied one that I only became aware of late into it’s life. This final release reminds me very much of my introduction to John’s music and what I initially enjoyed the most about it. Perfect for this time of year.


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