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Home » &, 6 - Spring 08, Featured, Featured Articles, MUSIC, Music Reviews, NEWS

ANTI-CONFORMITY – Neko Case

Submitted by on 22 Feb 2009 – 6:55 PM Comments

Three artists unafraid to make noise on their own terms. All under one label: ANTI- .

Intended to be a home for recording artists with a punk sensibility that isn´t necessarily punk, ANTI- Records (a division of punk-label Epitaph) plays host to a seriously stellar collection of artists intent on making music on their own terms. Here, Movmnt invites you to get to know three legendary artists releasing vital material through ANTI- right now: Marianne Faithfull, Tom Waits, and Neko Case.

With a voice that rivals Patsy Cline’s and songs where haunting Lynchian landscapes play host to a bevy of characters who may or may not bring you harm, Neko Case has succeeded in creating her own strange little world of country-noir. Headstrong from the get-go, Case’s well-fabled history found her running away from home at age 15, playing drums for a host of punk bands, and eventually releasing her debut album, The Virginian, in 1997. And then there was the incident where she took her shirt off onstage at the Grand Ole Opry and got herself banned, an action she later attributed to heatstroke. We have since seen a wealth of material from Case, whether it be her own or music recorded with indie power-pop group The New Pornographers, whom Neko sings with.

Case signed on with ANTI- in 2004 to release her first live album, The Tigers Have Spoken, which was recorded in Toronto with longtime collaborators The Sadie’s. Comprised of mostly covers ranging from Loretta Lynn (“Rated X”) to Buffy Sainte-Marie (“Soulful Shade of Blue”), Tigers showcases Neko’s breadth as a performer and also boasts her dynamic live-vocal prowess. But her biggest success was to come two years later, with the release of her most recent album, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood. Hailed as a masterwork upon its arrival, Fox Confessor weaves rich Ukrainian folk imagery with atypical song structures and intricate harmonic layers, while still imbuing her signature country-noir sound throughout each of the songs. Self-described as “North American fairy tales with animal imagery,” FoxConfessor went on to top nearly every critic’s year-end list of best albums of 2006, and was even named NPR’s second best album of the year.

And now more good news for fans new and old; ANTI- has re-released two of Cases older albums, 2000’s Furnace Room Lullaby and 2002’s Blacklisted as well as Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (now with a bonus disc) to make a somewhat complete collection via one label.

Bruce Scott

nekocase.com