The Blow at the 400 Bar, 7/22/11


The Blow -- the music, voice, and body of Khaela Maricich, with lighting/sound collaborator and girlfriend Melissa Dyne -- gave the audience at the 400 Bar something resembling a rambling lesson on how exactly to be. How to be a good dancer, how to be a holistically-oriented person, how to be a pop star, but mostly: how to let go.

[jump] A comedy act, a monologue, a song, a dance; there's no one thing the Blow is doing up there except making a chaotic, perfectly-executed point. Beginning the show with a finger tap and an a capella, Maricich began an hour-long adventure, alone onstage with Dyne's support from the sound board, which saw the artist talk about writing a gay anthem for Lindsay Lohan, that song's eventual rejection, how best to find the Blow on Pandora ("plug in the Knife"), self-power via fictional life coach, muse on how lucky Johnny Cash is to be dead, and, principally, dance with the most adorable, sugar-high abandon a person could ever hope to see.

The dancing is crucial. Maricich is already laying a prim version of her soul bare with the music, all of them skeletal, twee, and effortlessly engaging pop songs about love and not having it, but her dancing... it's just nothing to fuck with. Pure encouraging abandon and slinky heck-yeah, intense eye contact, real and faux and everything in-between sex appeal. This is the part about letting go; while the Blow's music is pointed directly at love both big and small and the mechanics of desire, her dancing is possibly the most pure expression -- out of an hour's worth of carefully arranged false starts and whispered admissions -- that Maricich employs. It doesn't hurt to have an amazingly expressive face while doing so, and using that face to make this face: :O

The theoretical road that The Blow leads you down is a curvy one -- as much an inquiry into the cogs and gears of pop stardom as it is a music show as it is a comedy show, quips and stories interwoven densely and quickly, leaving attendants with a spritz of deep-thought and a heaping helping of joyful obliviousness.

Critic's bias: Partial to preternaturally confident dancers.

The crowd: Hot.

Overheard: "LINDSAY LOHAN!"

Random notebook dump: "Hey Andrew!" "Oh hey! That band sure was horrible, right?" "They're my friends actually... I like them a lot." "Oof, well I didn't like them at all." [Exeut right, slinkily.]

Set list:

"Hey Boy"

"Make It Up"


"Come On Petunia"

"Our Love Is A Ship"

"True Affection"

[Note: Incomplete and, in the case of The Blow's performances, misleading]

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