Indie pop duo performs at the Mill


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Her last album was about a breakup, and Khaela Maricich wanted to share her music with anybody who wanted to listen.

"It was really satisfying to barf out what was true about it," the 36-year-old said. "For better or worse, I have to say my thoughts aloud to feel like they exist."

Now, Maricich is on the road again, this time with her new girlfriend, Melissa Dyne. Together, they perform under the stage name the Blow.

The duo will perform in Iowa City for the first time at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Mill, 120 E. Burlington St.

Dyne, 36, said they are shaping electronic pop in an unconventional way by featuring the two indie-pop musicians working collaboratively "in space."

"I come from a physics background, so I kind of bastardize that in art," Dyne said. "Physics is very abstract, and so is art."

Dyne, who is offstage, works with the lights and frequency of sound, while Maricich commands the show at the front of the room.

She is the only one on stage and often introduces songs with a monologue to complete the story she's trying to tell. Though Maricich didn't dabble in music until she was 20, she said, she writes and sings about "things that feel true." Once operating under the name Get the Hell Out of the Way of the Volcano, the singer/songwriter has toured nationally and internationally with her brand of performance art.

Maricich, who also has an interest in sculpture and drawing, met Dyne at a performance-arts festival in Portland, Ore., in 2005.

"My favorite thing about [Maricich] is her improvisation," Dyne said. "I sometimes don't know what she's going to do. She can surprise me even though we've played together for a long time."

When they're not on the road, they are in New York working on different elements of the project.

Recently, they started speaking instead of singing to the public. In the spring, they started lecturing at art galleries and universities about their background and intentions with music.

Andre Perry, the booking agent for the Mill, said he has known about the Blow for several years because of its involvement with K Records.

"I think there will be a lot of people familiar with her music or at least have heard of it from a friend," he said.

And on its newer album, the Blow has returned with a much more positive record.

"I wanted to write songs for other people. I didn't want to do a record for myself," Maricich said. "I wanted to explore that."

Dynes said an ideal part of performing is the way she can communicate to Maricich while she's on stage.

"[Maricich] and I can be in conversation and understand each other's music," Dyne said. "I can show her something going on through the light."

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