Neko Case talks to “Time Out” about her Princess Leia moment


As a baby boomer who tends to listen to NPR more than music radio, I often am grateful to for keeping me current about musicians that I might otherwise miss — especially the women. So, when ScribeGrrrl sang the praises of Neko Case, I paid attention.

Admittedly, the first Case song I listened to (with headphones at Borders) made me think she was a bit too “country” for me; but I will listen to any voice that stays squarely on pitch, so I kept listening. Pretty soon, I was trotting to the checkout counter with Blacklisted plus Challengers by The New Pornographers, which features Case. (True story: I was on a first date with a woman who opened my center console case and pulled out that CD. She said, “The New Pornographers?” I said, “They’re awesome, let me play it.” She wasn’t interested in the CD and suddenly was very tired and needed to go home. I am forever indebted to the band for that.)

When Trish told us last month that Neko’s new album, Middle Cyclone, had been released, I immediately went to iTunes for a preview. The title song tells the story of a tornado that falls in love with a person. How could I not download a recording that starts like that?

Middle Cyclone is great for walking or running or whatever you do to get moving. And all of the songs are just as unique as the first one. This weekend, Neko talked to Time Out New York about the album. (ScribeGrrrl tipped me off to the interview, of course.) Here are some highlights.

You look like a hell-for-leather Valkyrie on the cover. Pretty sure they don’t wear sports bras.

I don’t like getting my picture taken. And I thought, If I was an eight-year-old boy, what would I want to see on the cover of my record? If I was an eight-year-old boy, I’d want me to have a sword.

Did you have to claim it from a mountain temple or a slain foe or anything?

No. It’s just like that awesome moment on the Star Wars poster. Leia clinging to Luke’s leg. Just happens to be his sister.

So wrong.

Well, there’s nothing wrong with your sister cowering near you for protection, I guess. Although you want to see the ladies be a little tougher, like maybe she gets to have a f——g sword? So maybe that’s what I’m doing there. Maybe that’s my Princess Leia moment and I’m just like, f–k, finally.

She was a pretty tough lady.

She was super tough, but why doesn’t she get to hold a sword on the f—–g poster? She was actually more muscular than Mark Hamill.

Actually, I would have to quote the entire interview to include all of the awesome parts. So just read it here. You can also see her Wednesday night on Letterman and download Cyclone on her MySpace page.

Come on, don’t you love Neko as much as I do?

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