A blog about music from Canada and beyond.

Long reads, short reads and bite-size bits.
Nicholas Jennings

Music Review: Neko Case - Truckdriver Gladiator Mule

Music Review: Neko Case - Truckdriver Gladiator Mule
Neko Case’s extraordinary journey from punk drummer and country torch singer to avant pop icon is well documented in this box set, which gathers her entire discography of eight titles on remastered vinyl and includes an 80-page book of photography. The collection features the American-born, Canadian-bred musician’s 1997 solo debut The Virginian, on vinyl for the first time, and her excellent 2004 live album The Tigers Have Spoken, recorded with Toronto’s The Sadies. There are a wealth of inspired covers, including the Everly Brot...
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Nicholas Jennings

Neko Case - Black Listed

Neko Case - Black ListedEverything alt-country’s torchiest singer touches turns to gold, from her charming Corn Sisters duo with Carolyn Mark and her membership in power-pop’s wondrous New Pornographers to her own captivating solo albums. Although born in Virginia, Case spent her formative musical years in Vancouver, which makes her at least an honorary Canuck. And it means we can call her latest one of the best Canadian albums of the year, full of spooky ballads and beguiling waltzes sung in a voice that could melt glaciers.
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Nicholas Jennings

Neko Case - Middle Cyclone

Neko Case - Middle CycloneThe new album cover depicts her wielding a sword on the hood of a muscle car. What does it represent? Maybe Neko’s personal battle against mediocrity. The Virginian-born honorary Canadian (she cut her musical teeth in Vancouver’s indie scene) never settles for easy formulas. Here, the gifted singer delivers songs about tornadoes, birds and other wildlife. There’s even a chorus of crickets on the album’s closing track. Quirky, yes, but Neko is that rare breed of artist whose beguiling sound must be heard to be believed. February 2009
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Nicholas Jennings

Cover Story: Neko Case - The Singer & the Song

Cover Story: Neko Case - The Singer & the Song
For years, Neko Case has been hailed as a siren, a honky-tonk angel with a stunning contralto described variously as “eerie,” “luscious,” “transcendent” and “the purest voice to emerge from the independent music scene in more than a decade.” But with her fourth studio album, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, Case has been winning high praise for another talent: songwriting. And the accolades for her songs are every bit as wide-ranging as those for her vocals. One critic even used four very different adjectives in a single sentence—“uplifting,” “m...
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Nicholas Jennings

Feature Article: Neko Case - The Saloon Side of Country

Feature Article: Neko Case - The Saloon Side of Country
There’s a gulf in country music as wide as the Grand Canyon. On one side is a shopping mall, full of cowboy hats, sequins and schlocky songs with a well-polished sheen. On the other is a saloon, with soaring voices, twanging guitars and songs gutsy enough to shake the shingles loose. Neko Case resides on the saloon side of country. Over the course of three impassioned studio albums and countless tours of rowdy barrooms, Case has blazed a trail across North America that left fans awestruck and critics breathlessly drawing comparisons to Patsy Cl...
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