by Mike Breen
• The first time I saw Neko Case was a complete accident. I
was in Chicago around the most recent turn of the century and went to
see Indie Rock singer/songwriter Edith Frost at the small (but popular)
club Lounge Ax and Case and her “Boyfriends,” as her backing band was
then called (really Canadian Roots rockers The Sadies), opened the show
with a great set. Though I’d heard of Case, seeing her live was
revelatory — the singer/songwriter (also part of Canadian Pop collective
The New Pornographers) has one of the most soulful, mesmerizing voices
in music today and, once I’d heard it, I was hooked for life. Case’s
transcendent pipes are only comparable to legends like Patsy Cline
(though Jenny Lewis has made quite the solo career aping Case).
Working in a folksy musical realm (though not tethered to
any specific style), Case has yet to release a bad album, though her
latest for Anti- Records, the recent The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You,
has received mixed reviews (likely more indicative of a press corps
bored with her astonishing consistency than the actual album itself,
which is excellent). I’ve seen Case numerous times since that happy
accident in Chicago — including dates at Chicago’s Metro and at
Newport’s Southgate House — and I’ve never left in any other state
Case comes back to the Cincinnati area tonight for a show
at downtown’s Taft Theatre (her largest local appearance yet) with
special guest and fellow red-headed singer/songwriter Karen Elson.
Tickets are still available for $35 at the door.
Check out Jason Gargano's feature story on Case from this
week's CityBeat. Here's the "lyric video" for The Worse Things Get track
"Night Still Comes."
• Over the past two decades, Built to Spill has become a legendary cult band, remaining a solid concert draw across the nation and
releasing some of the most brilliant guitar-driven Indie Rock albums of
the ’90s and ’00s. Led by singer/guitarist Doug Martsch, BtS formed in
Boise, Idaho, in the early ’90s, and worked with a lot of Pacific
Northwest musical institutions on its way up. In 1995, as the major
labels were winding down their signing frenzy in the wake of Nirvana's
huge success (signing seemingly every band even loosely associated with
the words "Seattle" or "Grunge"), Built to Spill inked with Warner
Brothers Records, which has released six stellar albums by the band
since 1997, including the crew's masterful debut for the label, Perfect
From Now On, and 2009's There is No Enemy, the group's most recent album.
Like label mates The Flaming Lips, BtS has been the rare
band that has sold consistently enough to remain signed to a major label
for well over a decade thanks to the consistent quality of its work,
heavy touring and an incredibly dedicated following. It's refreshing to
see a big-time label stay so loyal to a group that will probably never
sell a million copies and even more probably won't ever have a big hit
single. (Despite rumors, BtS is not breaking up; a new album is in the
works and expected by the end of 2014.)
Built to Spill performs tonight at Newport, Ky.'s
Southgate House Revival with guests Slam Dunk and Genders. Showtime is
8:30 p.m. and tickets are $25 at the door.
Singer/songwriter Neko Case offers a rare personal glimpse on her latest album
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Singer/songwriter Neko Case offers a rare personal glimpse on her latest album, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You.