You know how sometimes you discover a great, great band and nobody else knows about them and you revel in your discovery and then suddenly everyone knows about them and you’re like, wait, they’re MINE? I used to feel that way about the Canadian band New Pornographers, but I’ve gotten over it. Now I’m just glad they’re still making consistently great music.
I like them best when Neko Case is with them, but that’s not a common occurrence. So I was thrilled to see her in this new live performance video of “All the Things That Go to Make Heaven and Earth” from the Challengers album.
Shake that tambourine, Neko! But I don’t mean to ignore Kathryn Calder — she rocks too. The whole band does, and their sound remains unique. AOLmusic has several other performances of songs from Challengers, as well as an interview with the band.
But allow me to further sing the praises of Neko Case.
She has one of the clearest voices I’ve ever heard. If water could sing, it would sound like her. I saw her in concert last year, and she seemed superhuman: She never sang even slightly off-key, never made a strange choice of phrasing, never took any kind of misstep. It was either the best or second-best concert I saw last year — I can’t decide between Neko and Amy Winehouse (flawless vs. raw; who can decide?).
And the song of hers that always moves me, often to the point of tears for my misspent youth, is “Deep Red Bells.” Here’s a live performance of that one.
That song is from my favorite Neko solo album, Blacklisted.
I also love Furnace Room Lullaby, which is technically a Neko Case and her Boyfriends album.
I came across something kind of weird while I was looking for videos for this post. Apparently Neko was recently on (well, her voice was on, and she was on in cartoon form) Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
Wow. Trippy. Case is also slated to voice a character (but not sing a song) in the pilot for Cheyenne Cinnamon and the Fantabulous Unicorn of Sugartown Candy Fudge, which is a new offering from Aqua Teen Hunger Force co-creator Dave Willis. She has so many skills!
Meanwhile, I think I’ll just put on Blacklisted and enjoy that lucid, soaring voice.