There are many ways to win the affection of your readers. Confessing to them that you're a fool is not one of them.
Wait, did I say "fool"? That's not harsh enough.
Because not only am I a fool, I'm also an easily manipulated, anxious-to-be-deceived, tapioca-brained boob. Once, when I was still living in Tennessee, I gave $20 to a pitiable man who claimed his somehow-still-running car had just run out of gas, even though everything about him--his lack of front teeth, a craggy face as dry as an old riverbed, a faint smell of ammonia--screamed DESPERATE METH ADDICT.
So that's me: a fool. Which explains why for the past 12 hours or so--a time period that began when I walked out of Khaela Maricich's, aka The Blow's, show last night at the Crocodile and ended five seconds ago when a Google search returned this review from last July--I was under the impression that tabloid conquistadora Lindsay Lohan had a shelved comeback album that, no joke, sounded pretty good.
Of course, after reading the first paragraph of this New York Times review, I've now been made fully aware of the depths of my gullibility.
To make it clear from the beginning, Khaela Maricich is not working on songs for Lindsay Lohan's comeback album, has not been, and, barring a fantastical turn of events in which myth is given flesh -- and in which Ms. Lohan, savagely calculating, is bestowed with a special-achievement Oscar for her recent life performance as a faded cautionary tale -- will not be.
So let's back up for a second. Maricich is the tall drink of water who, along with Yacht's Jona Bechtolt, used to record under the name The Blow. The Maricich and Bechtolt duo made 16-bit, lo-fi earworms like "Parentheses," which has been playing on a loop inside my head since its release on 2006's Paper Television, The Blow's last album.
God, what a horrible video. Anyway, that's The Blow. Or that's who The Blow used to be. What The Blow is now is performance art.
As the review snippet above alluded to, Maricich's show posits the question What would come of a collaboration between a minor indie success and the world's most closely studied train wreck? The answer, as so always happens with Maricich, is "catchy pop songs."
After opening with an a cappella number followed by the flirty "Hey Boy," Maricich told the packed crowd that she'd just spent the past few months (years? I can't remember) working on a celebrity record. Which celebrity? She wouldn't say, although it soon became obvious.
"She very publicly had a girlfriend," teased Maricich in an intro to the song "Make It Up." "I wrote the theme song to their love story. This is just the demo."
What did that demo sound like? Thanks to the miracle that is the Internet (Praise Bandwith!), I can show you. (While also showing you what a noticeably skinnier and longer-locked Maricich wore at last night's show.)
Whoa. Jumping into "Make It Up" mid-song and for only 24 seconds makes it sound MUCH more annoying than it really is. I promise you: It wasn't that annoying. (Or annoying at all. Unlike the [insert standard misanthropic concert reviewer's gripe about the people nearby who wouldn't stop making out/screaming in his ear/doing that mouth-whistle thing].)
That video may not recreate the concertgoing experience. But it does bring up something that every The Blow review since time immemorial has touched on: Maricich's "awkward" dancing.
I put awkward in quotes because that's how everyone else describes it. DON'T LISTEN TO THESE PEOPLE. Yes, Maricich's dancing is the sort you'd "do in front of friends because they won't judge you for it." But since when has just-between-friends dancing been anything other than sexy? Especially when the friend dancer in question is a lithe, beautiful woman with an equally beautiful voice? Step your game up, merchants of "awkward." Life is all about finding that woman who doesn't care what she looks like when she's just dancing with her friends. You're missing out.
Not everything about Maricich's show was pretty dancing. If you generally avoid performance art because you don't want to pay $13 to watch someone hand-comb their hair on stage for five minutes (even if that someone is a pretty woman) or stand motionless in front of a blinking light, then Maricich's part monologue, part fake-confessional, part dance-pop show might not be for you. And the less said about opener Sonny Smith the better.
(OK, just a little about Sonny Smith. Lou Reed doing beach pop is fine, kind of enjoyable even. Wearing a Christmas sweater on stage in February: fine as well. But if your between-song banter is so stunted and mannered it confuses your drummer and makes you sound like Jeff Goldblum on Ambien, then don't be surprised if people start hollering "Christ, when is this guy going to get off the stage?" as one audience member did last night.)
Maricich's girlfriend Melissa Dyne designs the lights--among other flourishes--that, depending on your tolerance of one-woman-showiness, either distract or add to the overall experience. And as we've established, Maricich is a cutie whose sexual orientation also informs a lot of her work. (There's a reason why, when she went hunting for a pop star to channel, Maricich chose the one whose same-sex relationship has made for so much headline fodder.)
Maricich even made light of how she didn't look the role of the lesbian sex symbol, which, judging by the catcalls last night, she very much is. She said a friend told her how savvy it was that she'd both lost weight and grown her hair out after coming out of the closet, presumably because those two appearance modifiers run counter to the look of a stereotypical lesbian. She also said something like "Pop stars are the top triangle on a very large gay pyramid," which is neither here nor there, but just an entertaining observation about the entertainment industry.
She also performed a shimmying, purposefully interrupted-then-restarted version of "Parentheses." Which, as far as I'm concerned, made up for every second spent watching her hand-comb.