Hey there Nerdist community! My name is Matt, and I make up the other half of the Sound Advice with my fellow music nerd, Becca. For the past couple of weeks, I have lived vicariously through Becca’s music posts and interjected when absolutely necessary –by which I mean I tried to get Taylor Swifts number (see Becca’s last post) Sure, its cool if Becca gushes about Bon Iver and S. Carey, but its creepy if I try and solicit a number via the internet…But I digress
This week I will have the pleasure of discussing Neko Case and the musical evolution of one of the most prominent women on the vanguard of alternative country.
Since her start in 1993, Case has established herself as nomad of sorts. Her disinterest in remaining in one geographic location (she has called Virginia, Vancouver, Tacoma, Seattle, and Chicago home at some point) for very long is indicative of her musical curiosity. But that is not to call Case fickle; her raw musical talent and diligence as both a solo artist and band member are more the result of versatility than ADD.
From the Nashville Skyline stylings of 1997’s of The Virginian, when Case was still performing with Her Boyfriends (they were her backing band, not a Mormon love congregation) to her indie folk contributions on The New Pornographer’s newest album, Together, Case has certainly earned the adjectives prolific and dynamic. Besides, if she were half the “Man-eater” she claimed to be, she would not have been asked to perform with The New Pornographers, Maow, and The Corn Sisters throughout the past decade.
While her solo brand of “country noir” folk-rock focuses more on her transfixing lyrics and vocal prowess, her tenure with The New Pornographers could be considered more instrumentally collaborative. In either project Case does a superior job of making simple sounds visceral and complex. On her latest solo album, Middle Cyclone, Case was able to capture a brooding tone with only a few instruments on each track: she knows the exact ingredients to make each song barely escape from seething over the edge. No doubt it was this thriving solo career and full time membership to her Canadian supergroup (it seems like every Canadian band is a supergroup) that earned her the Female Artist of the Year at the Plug Independent Music Awards in 2006.
So make sure you keep you eyes and ears poised, because its not always certain in what configuration you will be able to catch Neko Case’s electric live show. She has been at Lollapalooza for two consecutive years, performing solo, with The New Pornographers, and with The Dodos as a surprise guest. Actually, Becca was backstage at that Dodos concert and caught a sneaky fan picture of Neko from behind –who’s creepy now? Keep on chooglin’ Neko Case, the world of country needs you now more than ever… sorry Taylor Swift (feel free to leave those digits)
Image: Neko Case