Think of your sweetest, most tragic romance. Got it? Now start putting music to it. Probably you have The Cure somewhere in there and maybe a song by The Knife or Portishead and something hard like PJ Harvey. But what happens when one woman can give you the entirety of your relationship in a song, in a show?
This is exactly what Khaela Maricich of The Blow did last Friday at the Blender Theater in Manhattan. Not only did she sing most of her album Paper Television, but she gave a 12 step program for how to deal with love, heartbreak, loneliness and that burning desire to have something that you can’t—or more, someone who won’t have you.
The first step was to yell at an inanimate object, like a plastic bottle. She sang, “Hey Boy” in which the chorus repeats, “Hey Boy. Why you didn’t call me?” Maricich molded the bottle and went from desperate wanting to sad rejection with songs “Babay (Eat A Critter, Feel Its Wrath)” and “Hock It.” Each song was accompanied by a robot-like dance and the audience never felt the absence of other band members. The tunes were electronic and chaotic, but the words clever and straight to the heart.
At one point Maricich began to sing about the hopeful side of love with her songs, “Pardon Me” and “Parentheses.” She finished up with a story bout picking up a girl and being distraught that she had been dismissed. Then, in a hopeful leap, she sang the response, “True Affection” which repeats the idea of “you were out of my league…” There are few shows that leave you wanting more, Maricich exhausted most of her songs and by the end there wasn’t anything left to give, just the feeling of having gotten over some horrible heartache and optimistic about the future. –Linnea Covington