i should admit now that i'm a late-comer to the incredible neko case. i heard a few early songs that didn't really knock me over the head, and i stopped paying attention.
however, when her new album (fox confessor brings the flood) came out, and i heard the song "hold on, hold on" on KEXP (when i could still stream audio at work), i was completely smitten. i bought the whole album, and i couldn't take it out of my stereo for two months straight. even now, i keep coming back to it.
if you're not familiar with her, check out some of her music and videos here. technically, she's classified as alternative-country, which i guess is an accurate enough label, but i would sure stress the alt part. her lyrics are strange and full of twisted stories, and while the music certainly has its roots in country traditions, they're thick and rich, often mournful and raw. additionally, she's also the crazy female backing vocalist for the canadian collective called the new pornographers, who i would also highly recommend, although she rarely tours with them.
because of my initial disinterest, i missed her first show at the Pabst theater in milaukee, which i'm so fond of after the amazing sam beam concert earlier this year. i'm sure it was my complete loss. so, when i heard that she was coming to madison this time to play the Barrymore, i couldn't wait to get tickets. and i was justly rewarded.
the entire show gave me chills. on her albums, she has such a huge voice, and i wondered if it would be as strong and heart-wrenching in person. it was. i was even more blown away by her backing vocalist, kelly hogan, who is the perfect complement to neko case. i wish they would have gone un-miked for a song, because i bet they could have filled the theater. while she played all her songs pretty close to the album versions, they were still haunting and powerful.
so, my apologies to neko case for not falling in love with her music sooner. she has certainly become one of my favourites, and i'm sure her albums will stay in my elite rotation for many years to come. i promise that what i lacked in initial interest, i will make up for in my future dedication.