Sat Nov 18 2017

9:00 PM

Empty Bottle

1035 N. Western Ave. Chicago, IL 60622

$15.00

Ages 21+

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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.

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.

ZIGTEBRA is a spooky, sparkling lo-fi dream pop duo out of Chicago. They just completed an underground American tour through September. For all of 2017, they're creating one new song and music video every month. Get acquainted before the big show on Saturday. 

(Brooklyn Vegan) (NPR Music) (Stereogum)

Empty Bottle, Inc.
The Blow, EMA, Zigtebra

  • The Blow

    The Blow

    Music

    The Blow is an electronic duo comprised of Khaela Maricich and Melissa Dyne. A shape shifting entity, The Blow has been many different things over time and is 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 The Blow ever has, with both members playing instruments together onstage. Maricich plays keyboards and Dyne controls a wizard's rig of modular synthesizers and sampling hardware. Together they produce sounds in tandem, passing the frequencies back and forth between them before sending them out through the sound system. In the The Blow's current series of shows, titled "Unplugged," Maricich and Dyne perform 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.

  • EMA

    EMA

    Pop

    Having teased us with a new track ‘Satellites’ last month, released to rave reviews and scored Pitchfork’s Best New Music who said “The most bracing thing yet from an artist already more bracing than most”, EMA returns with her highly anticipated second album The Future’s Void, released on 7 April via City Slang.

    Erika M. Anderson first graced the limelight under the guise of EMA in May 2011, when the brilliantly scuffed debut album Past Life Martyred Saints was released to a multitude of acclaim. After having spent time in the California underground fronting the genre-defying cult duo Gowns with Ezra Buchla, Past Life Martyred Saints offered a deeper glimpse into the world of EMA. An absorbing and ambitious masterpiece that revealed a unique and feed-backed noisy guitar style, a skill for visceral songwriting and a DIY recording ethos, it showcased a distinctive sonic signature that sounded like nothing else around.

    If Past Life Martyred Saints was an inward exploration of human relationships and their toll, The Future’s Void catapults them out into space, both thematically and musically. The album meditates on universal themes of how we interact with the wider world and how that interaction is increasingly modified by technology. Through collaboration with Leif Shackelford on production duties, the sound of this record reflects these themes and instead of using electronics to create a polished, airless environment, Anderson’s techno-future thrashes strongly between harsh tones and paranoia, to beautiful colour bursts and mellow guitar strums.

    Lyrically, Anderson tries to answer the question so often put to her during the last round of press and interviews: “How does it feel?” to be pushed through a media vortex and back. The answer is of course, complicated. On ‘3Jane’ she seems plaintive and introspective, with lyrics about visuals and consent that are even more poignant in the age of posted YouTube assaults, bullied teen suicides and revenge porn. On ‘Neuromancer’, an electronic punk rant with analog synths and machine drums, she rages, and explores the implications of building an online database of all your pictures and information. “It’s basically an AI (artificial intelligence)” she says. And it’s not just those in the media spotlight who have them, it’s all of us.

    This is where Anderson has always excelled, in taking the chaos and angst of the modern age and making it relatable. While sonically The Future’s Void is a big step up and out, lyrically it’s in a similar vein to Past Life Martyred Saints, with EMA herself laying bare, cracking sly jokes, and making the nuances of her story seem like ours as well.

    “I realised that we were all kind of building these AIs, whether intentionally or not, and how the data we post online is parsed by programs that see patterns in our behaviour that we fail to see ourselves; how and where and what we eat, status reports that reveal our moods, our shopping habits, who we date and who we stalk, where and how we spend our money. Literally, they know more than you do about the things that you do. And that’s just the data we give up willingly, to say nothing of what is taken surreptitiously.”

    The opening track “Satellites” was written before the current NSA scandal and hints at a more nostalgic paranoia, in drawing current parallels to the dream of the former Soviet “satellite” countries, where “everyone has equal access but is also under constant surveillance”. Musically the track hints at a further emboldened EMA, without forgoing the industrial-noise and glorious fuzz of her solo debut and previous work with Gowns. Opening with a wall of hiss, scree and galloping piano motif, ‘Satellites’ bursts into a flame of feedback and bass to provide one her best tracks to date, as well as introducing analog modular synths into the mix.

    As well as EMA pulls off these topical and outspoken tracks, she’s still got a knack for a classic pop tune as heard on the likes of ‘So Blonde’, with its hooky grunge riff and playful lyrics about “generic and specific cool blonde kids, maybe you knew one in high school or college or at a party at 5am in your 20s”. Similarly, the catchy ‘When She Comes’, a nostalgic paean about a teenage Riot Grrl friendship. Along with ‘Dead Celebrity’, these tracks are at odds with the more abrasive and electronic likes of ‘Solace’ and ‘Cthulu’, the latter climaxing with a Gary Numan ‘Are Friends Electric’ style breakdown that sounds like nothing Erika has produced before. Despite moving towards electronic sounds, the machines are mostly played live and they often possess a DIY ‘first take best take’ aesthetic that rails against the carefully constructed and glistening sheen of the digital age. This punk spirit maintains a spontaneity that is all too often lost.

    “This record is the sound of resistance to digital commodification” Erika explains. “I naturally gravitate towards hooks and melodies and in some ways, the structure of these songs is the poppiest yet. The harshness and production strikes a balance with that so they don’t sound like they could be on adverts.”

    So, The Future’s Void means the future IS void? Or the void that belongs to the future? According to Anderson, both work.

    Either way, The Future’s Void is a record that seeks to deal with the fact that certain ideas that once seemed futuristic are now the norm, while also trying to sidestep a lot of the musical tropes that come along with exploring technology. It straddles the ugly and animalistic, the pretty and civilised, the digital and the analog and the past and the present, resulting in a timeless and yet timely piece of work. And like any great punk record, it questions social convention and rebels against the status quo.

    EMA continues to evoke a unique and ambitious sound that saw her rightfully recognised as one of the most singular artists to emerge in 2011, and is likely to send her back into the public consciousness once again in 2014.

  • Zigtebra

    Zigtebra

    Pop

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limit 6 per person
General Admission

$15.00

Delivery Method

Will Call

Terms & Conditions

This event is 21 and over. Any Ticket holder unable to present valid identification indicating that they are at least 21 years of age will not be admitted to this event, and will not be eligible for a refund.

Make sure to bring a valid ID

Empty Bottle, Inc.


The Blow, EMA, Zigtebra

Sat Nov 18 2017 9:00 PM

Empty Bottle Chicago IL
The Blow, EMA, Zigtebra

$15.00 Ages 21+

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.

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.

ZIGTEBRA is a spooky, sparkling lo-fi dream pop duo out of Chicago. They just completed an underground American tour through September. For all of 2017, they're creating one new song and music video every month. Get acquainted before the big show on Saturday. 

(Brooklyn Vegan) (NPR Music) (Stereogum)

Please correct the information below.

Select ticket quantity.

Complete the security check.

Select Ticket(s)

Ages 21+
limit 6 per person
General Admission
$15.00

Delivery Method

Will Call

Terms & Conditions

This event is 21 and over. Any Ticket holder unable to present valid identification indicating that they are at least 21 years of age will not be admitted to this event, and will not be eligible for a refund.

Make sure to bring a valid ID