BY NOW, YOU'VE HOPEFULLY familiarized yourself with the Blow's Paper Television, if not other choice nuggets from the local duo's back catalog. Last year, Paper Television got bananas attention from publications like the New York Times, Pitchfork, and Elle Girl, as well as fans across the country who fell in love with Khaela Maricich's intelligent lyrics and Jona Bechtolt's deeply layered, syncopated laptop beats. This weekend, the Blow returns to Portland for their first headlining gig in months along with handpicked guests Tara Jane O'Neil and YACHT (Bechtolt's solo gig). Because of the Blow's insane touring schedule, we were never able to get together for a proper interview, but here are some of the questions that ran through my head as I listened to Paper Television nonstop for the past week:
Since we last spoke, you've become totally famous. Or, at least, you've gained a much wider audience with all the critical praise that Paper Television received. Do more people know the words to your songs at shows now, and is that weird?
The opening notes of "True Affection" always make me want to break out into "Laffy Taffy" by D4L. Was this intentional?
Imagine a sliding scale where "1" is horrified and "10" is delighted. Where were your emotions on this scale when the New York Times said that you were two women?
At some Blow shows—the ones where it's just Khaela and no Jona—the onstage banter can become somewhat confusing and awkward. Not Cat Power-style, but more like Cat Power's better-adjusted younger sister. Does any of this stem from your (Khaela's) background in performance art? Are you intentionally toeing the line of vulnerability and openness, or does it just get really awkward onstage by yourself?
Speaking of, is this show just going to be a Khaela solo deal, or do we get the full Blow Blues Extravaganza?
Jona—I couldn't really tell: Who dropped the marching band drumline into the dope beats first? You or Big Boi on that song from the Idlewild soundtrack?
Wasn't there talk of a Paper Television remix album? Is that still in the works?
Every time I see you guys, Khaela's hair is shorter and Jona's hair is longer. I like where this is going. (More of a comment than a question.)
I was looking at your upcoming tour dates, and saw that you're playing at both a Unitarian church and at the Andy Warhol Museum soon. Do you think this is somehow fitting? (Open-minded spirituality and peace messages vs. slick popism?)
Jona—most dudes would be content to make insane laptop beats for one band of the Blow's stature. What do you get from your solo work as YACHT that keeps you working on both projects?
On the Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer," I always figured that the character starts singing in French because his confession ("Ce que j'ai fait, ce soir la") was too much for his rational brain to process in his native tongue. Why did you start singing in French to the young girl upstairs in "Bonjour Jeune Fille"?
Do people ever get confused about the name of your band and offer you cocaine?