Best shows to see: The Blow, Chris Thile | Bleader

Best shows to see: The Blow, Chris Thile


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The Blow
  • The Blow
Tonight is one of those nights I wish I could replicate myself so I could attend several different shows—there's the Weeknd at Chicago Theatre, Bill Callahan at Alhambra Palace, Fuck Buttons at Subterranean, and Steven Lugerner at Skylark.

It's a tough to pick just one of those shows to check out, but on the bright side, this isn't the only night this week that offers more than one great concert to see. Tomorrow night you can check out Fiona Apple at Bank of America Theatre, Watain at Bottom Lounge, Earl Sweatshirt at Metro, or Big Dipper and Baathhaus at Schubas. On Wednesday there's Options at Township and Flatbush Zombies at Reggie's Rock Club.

There are plenty of more shows in the days ahead. Soundboard has a full list of what's going on, and below are the shows a couple of our critics recommend for the next few days.

Mon 10/14: The Blow at Lincoln Hall

"Olympia's Khaela Maricich founded the Blow during the massive bloom of indie electro-pop more than a decade ago, and unlike most of her contemporaries, she wasn't ashamed to borrow sounds and ideas from mainstream pop—most of which she ran through the aesthetic and philosophical filters of the Pacific Northwest's famously radical punk scene," writes Miles Raymer. He argues that the Blow's "True Affection" and "Jet Ski Accidents," which Maricich made with YACHT's Jona Bechtolt, are among some of the best indie-rock songs from the last decade. "Since then an entire cohort of young female artists—Grimes and Lorde are good examples—have made their names orchestrating evocative collisions of mainstream pop and avant-garde electronic music. So it seems like a good time for Maricich to release the Blow's self-titled fourth LP, out last week on Kanine. Though it was recorded with a new partner (Melissa Dyne) in a new home city (Brooklyn), it still flips all the right switches."

Tue 10/15: Chris Thile at Pick-Staiger Hall, Northwestern University Campus

"Mandolinist Chris Thile established his virtuosity as a bluegrass picker in the 90s—as a teenager he was a founding member of Nickel Creek—and ever since then he's grown in technical skill and stylistic ambition," writes Peter Margasak. These days Thile fronts bluegrass outfit Punch Brothers and he recently released a solo album called Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, Vol. 1 (Nonesuch), which is made up of Bach violin compositions Thile transcribed to perform on the mandolin. "The click of pick on strings and the quick decay of notes combine to suggest the sound of a harpsichord, but close listening makes it obvious that Thile is using an instrument not designed for this sort of music. Though this album won't go down in history as one the definitive Bach readings, it's far more than a curiosity, and Thile brings an affecting tenderness to some of the thorniest passages."

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