Neko Case @ Antones (11/24)

nekocase

Date 11/24/09
Location Antones
Doors 8pm
Tickets Sold Out!

The incredible Neko Case is making a stop in town just in time for Thanksgiving at Antones on Tuesday.  The show is also set up to benefit the local Austin Food Bank during these cold and trying times for the less fortunate.  Opening support is provided by Oh No Oh My.  Tickets are all sold out for this one so try your hand at craigs list or try to scalp the night of the show.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/neko-case-people-got-a-lotta-nerve.mp3]

Download: Neko Case – People Got a Lot of Nerve [MP3]

FT5: Album Covers of 2009 (So Far)

1120top5coverAt a time when we are all witnessing the CD’s imminent demise and the convenience of digital files running rampant, thankfully from an art perspective, a vinyl re-emergence is upon us. While sound quality is obviously seen as the most important reason why we are seeing audiophiles jumping back on the vinyl bandwagon, album artwork is also getting a much deserved close-up. With the vinyl album requiring more elaborate artwork packages, bands are re-thinking the overall aesthetic and producing some great work, which only enhances the overall music experience. 2009 has been a great year not only for the ears, but for the eyes as well and below are my picks for the Top 5 album covers from 2009 (so far). Honorable mentions go to Animal Collective’s cover for making me dizzy from staring at it too long and Neko Case for badass picture of the year. Obviously art is about as subjective as subjectivity can get, so give us some feedback. Who’s your number 1?
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Neko Case @ Stubbs (3/31)

nekocaseStubb’s has a great lineup on Tuesday featuring headliner Neko Case and beloved Austin band Shearwater opening.  Doors for this show are at 7:30 and tickets are on sale now for $20.  Neko Case is currently touring in support of her new album Middle Cyclone which features the single “Some People Got a Lot of Nerve”.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/neko-case-people-got-a-lotta-nerve.mp3]

Download: Neko Case – People Got a Lot of Nerve [MP3]

Neko Case – Middle Cyclone

nekoRating: ★★★★☆

From time to time, not very often, we bear witness to the amazing talent of an artist that we may not fully understand the impact and powerful force they have wielded upon us and music as a whole. Speaking not only of the present accomplishments they have made but also of the resonances that will be heard of their music to come. It always seems easy to speak greatly about an artist of this caliber in hindsight after they are gone and notice the scar they left on the medium, but to notice the force of the artist in their prime and sit back and admire them is harder to come by. Such is the case (no pun intended) with Neko Case.

With her latese effort entitled Middle Cyclone, Case builds her myth and casts spells upon the listener with every song. When Homer wrote the Odyssey and spoke of the Sirens, the voice he must have heard would’ve been of Neko Case. She commands attention with every word she sings and leaves the weak to the wayside. Opener, “This Tornado Loves You” spins into your heart doing just that. The opening mandolin strum with the rolling snare that follows makes for the perfect musical soundscape for Case’s vocal whirlwind. Lines such as “carved your name across three counties” and “their broken necks will lie in the ditch” tells of the search, destruction, and anger she has toward a lover and the demise of weak men she spits out in search of him.

“People Got A Lotta Nerve” is another girl power anthem that’s meaning works on many levels. All men have been hoping a song with this powerful of a chorus would never happen, but are forced to reckon with “I’m a man-man-man, man-man-man—eater!” JEEZUS! Did she have to go and do that?! Every time us guys are in a bar or at friends house and this song comes on, we are gonna have to swallow our pride for 2 1/2 minutes while you girls get too big for your britches and think you have some sort of dominant role over men. Pffft. (Babe, if you’re reading this, I cleaned the dishes and did the bathroom too.)

The middle section of the album is composed mostly of acoustic numbers that allow for the potency of Case’s vocals to take effect. Her vocal delivery is amplified by the stark imagery and subject matter of her lyrics. First and foremost an amazing vocalist, her lyrics take you further away by descriptive tales of  romance and love without being twee and silly. Murder, blood, and knives are common in her dark vocabulary as spiderwebs,  magpies and tornadoes are thrown into the mix for natural measure. A simple lullaby like, “Magpie to the Morning” can only be taken to such heights by the beauty of such inventiveness.

There are two covers on the album, Harry Nilsson’s “Don’t Forget Me” and Sparks“Never Turn Your Back On Mother Nature.” Both songs sound a bit strange for the album in terms of flow, but it seems they are songs held close to heart for Case with good intentions like “N.T.Y.B.O.M.N.” Case owns a 100 acre lot with a house in the lush greenery of Vermont which I’m sure contributes to the inspiration for covering this song. In fact, the nature surrounding the house has had such an impact that it yielded it’s own 30 minute track. The albums’ finale “Marais La Nuit,” was recorded outside of her house with the sounds of crickets and the nightlife bringing the record to a close.

New Music From Neko Case

Following the release of her critically acclaimed 2006 album Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, Neko Case is planning to put out another solo album later this year.  The new LP, entitled Middle Cyclone, is set for a March 3rd release date via the ANTI Record label.  We’ve got new single from the album “People Gotta A Lotta Nerve” ready to download now.  What’s your take on the new material?

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/people_got_a_lotta_nerve.mp3]

Download: Neko Case – People Gotta Lotta Nerve [MP3]

ACL Interviews: Stars

Amy Millan is a quite the busy lady. She sings for major Canadian bands Stars & Broken Social Scene, tours with both acts, and somehow found the time to put out a solo record. The Canadian songstress, currently on tour with Stars, answered a few questions for us before her band’s performance at last weekends ACL festival. Amy and I discuss why she won’t be doing a BSS Presents album, how Stars can win a Juno award and why MP3s are just as good as vinyl. Read about these topics and many more after the jump.

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