Neko Case

Thursday June 12, 2008 @ 08:52 PM (UTC)

One of the reasons I like iTunes, despite its habit of freezing if it encounters an ogg vorbis file, is the data it collects on how often I’ve played a song, and the convenient opportunity to rate songs so that my favorites pop up in the ‘My Top Rated’ smart playlist. Accordingly, I try to remember to rate songs when I notice they aren’t rated yet. The other day I noticed a few songs weren’t rated on Neko Case’s Blacklisted. So as I listened, I rated them all. Then I realized I had not rated a single song on that album below four stars. The entire album makes the cut for ‘My Top Rated’.

I must admit, I only have two albums by Neko Case, Blacklisted and Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, although I sincerely wonder why I haven’t tracked down the others, and checked out her work with Canadian bands. Neko Case is a singer/songwriter from Washington. She has a voice that can operate on levels from ‘smoky’ to ‘pure’, and quite possibly inhabit both extremes at once. She has impressive power, a good range, and a beautiful, distinctive timbre. If I had to have someone else’s voice instead of my own, I would choose Neko Case.

Her songs tend towards a lush, filled-in sound marked with big echoing Hazlewood-Eddy style guitar work. I see her most often described as alt-country, but there are obvious soul influences in her work as well as the folksy and blue-grass elements you might expect. I love the sense of space in her songs, the way her voice and her guitar just expand like the air over the badlands. There’s a real Westernness to her music that, for me, is independent of the ‘country’ touches. There’s a menace and beauty that coexist in many of her lyrics and songs. In my ear this evokes the intersection between the world of humans and the natural world, the way forces co-mingle in the big empty places between our cities.

Neko Case’s music is smart, beautiful and haunting. If you haven’t given her a listen yet, why are you sittin’ here reading me?



When shall you post a sample of your singing? I know you are marvelous and will make me very jealous, but I’m getting better about that, honestly.

Just because I prefer having my own unique pipes to other people’s doesn’t mean those pipes rival theirs! Heh. At present I have no intentions of posting songs on the interneb, although that is partially because I had no idea anyone wanted ‘em.

I have had requests for audio readings of stories. I’m pondering that; the easiest way would be to do it for pre-existing fodder and serials, because I am not sure what the legal/rights issues are for such performances, should they be of stories one wishes to publish later, or has published already, or what have you. I have thought about bugging a more established writer who I know posts audio files about these logistical questions.

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