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« Review: Twin Shadow and Glasser @ Lincoln Hall 11/13 Ticket Giveaway: Ariel Pink, Os Mutantes @ Metro, 11/19 »

Review Mon Nov 15 2010

Afterthoughts on The Blow at Empty Bottle, 11/13

Do I look like a pop star, Khaela Maricich asks, posing with a chin up, a back arched, a leg forward. She flips her new long hair over her shoulder. She is on stage all by herself, like, she just gets up there without a band or anything--just Melissa Dyne running the music offstage--and the performance is entirely minimalistic yet engaging. Do I look like a world famous lesbian, Khaela asks. To signal a comeback, Khaela throws up flame arms in one of her anecdotes between songs. I wish I had a capture of her repeating this gesture. It's great. She is great.

Khaela Maricich faces a blow of indoor wind and hot light.

The narrative told by The Blow on Saturday night is a love story, as always it is about love, and when you listen to songs about love being a fortress and couples making a pair of parentheses and Khaela dedicating a brand new song to her girlfriend in the back of the room somewhere, what else can you in the audience feel but this impatience to fall in love, if you are not already experiencing it at the moment.

Ever since the release of Paper Television (K Recs) in 2006, we have not heard too much from The Blow, but since then, Khaela has been looking and leaping. She has moved to New York and let her hair grow out and she met up with real celebrities, specifically this one person who is famous for her public displays of disaster and for her relationship with a woman, which has all been featured on the covers of national magazines (Khaela leaves her unnamed).

Part of Saturday night's sold-out show included not only songs from Paper Television, but also songs from a project that she had been working on, songs that were supposed to come out on this particular celebrity's album that is not actually going to come out at all anymore. The new material, upon first impression, is similar to the gold dance pop of the last album but with more aim toward writing and performing and understanding the image and reality of a mainstream feminine star who possesses a sense of self-destruction as well as a pair of size 8 ½ killer stud boots with high heels.

While previous releases by The Blow have been an exploration of Khaela's own love (I think), the new songs she performed were like imaginations of similar emotions in this different role, if that makes sense. She tries to explain it when she calls herself a "spaz" in relation to the celebrity being "normal" and while each might be able to identify with the other, it is the public that views each of them in distinct ways ("spaz" and "normal") thus the public will respond to each differently, like in terms of accepting queerness, I think. The project, then, for The Blow, was to literally walk in someone else's shoes/boots and see what it is like to wear high heels and shave your arm pits and hire a coach to take her dancing in front of the bathroom mirror to the next level. She wore the boots for one song then switched back to her grey moccasins.

I like what she said in this interview with the Chicago Tribune: "When I am alone up there, I feel like I can have a private conversation with the audience, and that is the feeling that I like best."

A private conversation with the audience, yes. Chicago is a a bit rowdy, though, she said. I think she had to tell people to stop talking so that she could talk. A lot of her remarks the other night seemed assertive. In the beginning of the set, she had to pause a song to wonder aloud whether or not anyone in the crowd thinks they can "have" her because of how she dances or something, and she was like, No. I like that. She concluded the night with "Come on Petunia."

Every little thing she does is magic.

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A / November 15, 2010 10:59 PM

Good job with the review.

Thank you Vicky Lim.

GB store

Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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