Friday, September 6, 2013

the blow : 'putting together and taking apart' a new record and performance at tba:13

The Blow’s Khaela Maricich and Melissa Dyne. Photo by Kyle Dean Reinford.
"We go hand in hand into the blackness" is how Khaela Maricich describes The Blow's new self-titled record.

The hand she's holding is that of collaborator Melissa Dyne, who, for the first time, has expanded her role in her partner's project, taking their relationship to a new musical level. But even with this trusted collaborator by her side, Maricich still feels like the pair are leaping into an abyss—or at least completing the trajectory of their fall.

That leap started with The Blow's first album in seven years, which will be released on October 1st, and the performances that'll support this record will follow a yet-to-be-charted arc.

If making the album was an "abstract and complicated process"—"an odyssey of experimentation" and exploration "where we went out on a massive journey and went through a lot of other worldly adventures"—then we should be excited for the result because, as Maricich says, "we have returned with a crystallized object from the other dimension."

Returning with new ideas, sounds and sights to share and stories to tell, the pair will start mapping the rest of their expedition in a familiar place: PICA's annual Time-Based Art Festival. The former Portland residents, who now call NYC home, actually met at the festival in 2004 and feel privileged to be performing a piece entitled "We Put It Together So We Could Take It Apart," which, in appellation alone, suitably illustrates the evolving nature of their work, during a two-night stand at the Winningstad Theatre on September 15th and 16th.

The uncertainty of The Blow going "hand in hand into the blackness" certainly bodes well for us—the audience, listener, and concertgoer—as we bask in their inventive, narrative-based performance-electro-pop.

And even though there's the uncertainty of a new collaboration and material, The Blow will demonstrate that they thrive in this exploratory environment, starting at TBA:13 before kicking off a nationwide club tour in October that will revisit Portland at the Doug Fir on Sunday, October 20th.

For now, Khaela Maricich took some time to answer a few questions about The Blow's return to Portland and their TBA performance, her collaboration with Dyne, and the new record—which OMN will explore in more depth after it's October release.

Listen to The Blow's second single from the upcoming self-titled album:

The last time you played Portland was in early 2011. It'd been a while—like two and half years—since the last time you'd played Portland prior to that, in 2008. Now, another two and half years down the line, you're back! So, welcome home, I guess… does it still feel like a homecoming?

Yeah, our last show in Portland was in early 2011, and strangely, it seems to us like it wasn't very long ago. But I guess two years is enough time to create two entire human beings (in succession, by the same reproductive system), so that's actually a pretty long time. Yes, coming back to Portland totally feels like a homecoming. The air is so fresh and you can get beer and pizza in a movie theater, and we've really missed that.

This return to Portland must be special for The Blow, especially considering that you and your partner and collaborator, Melissa Dyne, first met at TBA in 2004. Tell us what you have planned for your back-to-back TBA 2013 performances.

The TBA performance is definitely special for us. PICA have kind of been like extended family. Melissa's sister worked there for a long time back in its early days, and they've been supportive to both of us for a long time. Performing at the Winningstad is the chance to do something unique because it's like a lovely little nest of a theater. It's sort of the opportunity to make an "unplugged" performance, since there is a sense of space and reflectiveness there, which is distinct from the amped up vibe of a sweaty music club. We are looking forward to revealing ourselves in the delicate environment there.

Read the rest on OMN.

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