EMA + The Blow / Zigtebra
Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 9:00 PM CST
Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL
21 years and over
EMA has teasued us with a new track "Down and Out," off her latest album, Exile In The Outer Ring, which will be released by City Slang on August 25. ERIKA M ANDERSON, the stage name of EMA, continues to evoke a unique and ambitious sound that saw her recognized as one of the most singular artists to emerge in the early 10s, first with 2011 release Past Life Martyred Saints and 2014’s prophetic The Future’s Void. Now, she returns, with a portrait of The Outer Ring: A pitch-black world of dark night highways, American flags hung over basement windows, jails and revival meetings and casinos and rage. In a year dominated by white working-class alienation and anger, EMA – a Midwesterner who never lost her thousand-yard stare – has delivered an album that renders Middle American poverty and resentment with frightening realism and deep empathy. She continues to question social convention and rebels against the status quo in a fury of electro-shock punk therapy. Tonight's co-headlining show with Brooklyn duo THE BLOW sees two boundary pushing artists returning to our stage for the first time in years, both on the heels of excellent new albums that are sure to catapult them back into the public consciousness in 2017.
THE BLOW is a shape-shifting electronic duo comprised of Khaela Maricich and Melissa Dyne. They've been many different things over time and are sometimes multiple things at once, but is at its heart always one simple thing which is a qualilty of intimacy made tangible, most frequently in the form of a pop song. The current line up of THE BLOW looks a lot like a band, or as much like a band as they ever have, with both members playing instruments together onstage. More recently, the duo has been playing a series of shows, titled "Unplugged," with Maricich and Dyne performing songs from the extended Blow catalog simmered down to their vital elements. Halos of sonic ambience hover around each cluster of lyrics and melody like auras illuminating the essential qualities of each song. The shows are meditations on the amorphous material of THE BLOW's songs as well as on the experience of listening itself; they are spaces for the performers to tune into the minutiae of each other's shifting spheres of focus, responding in time as the sounds build between them, noting and responding as well to the audience's quality of listening, synthesizing these waves of electricity and attention into feedback loops of delicately reverberating energy.