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Neko Richelle Case (/ˈnk ˈks/;[2] born September 8, 1970)[3] is an American singer-songwriter, best known for her solo career and her contributions as a member of the Canadian indie rock group The New Pornographers.

Neko Case
Neko Case - Forecastle Fest 2012 (cropped).jpg
Case performs at the 2012 Forecastle Festival in Louisville, Kentucky.
Background information
Birth nameNeko Richelle Case[1]
Born (1970-09-08) September 8, 1970 (age 49)
Alexandria, Virginia, U.S.
OriginTacoma, Washington, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • percussion
  • piano
  • guitar
  • tenor guitar
Years active1994–present
Labels
Associated acts
WebsiteNekoCase.com

Early lifeEdit

Case, born in Alexandria, Virginia, is the daughter of Diana Mary Dubbs and James Bamford Case.[4] Case's paternal family surname was originally Shevchenko.[5] Her father, a Vietnam veteran serving in the United States Air Force[6] was based in Virginia when she was born. Case's parents, who were teenagers when they had her, were of Ukrainian ancestry.[3] Her parents divorced when Case began school.[3]

Case's family traveled around while she was young. Her stepfather is an archaeologist. She has lived in Western Massachusetts, Vermont, Oregon and Washington,[3] though she considers Tacoma, Washington to be her hometown. Case now resides in Vermont.

Case left home at 15. At 18 years of age, she worked as a drummer for the Del Logs and the Propanes, playing in venues including a punk club called the Community World Theater.[3] She attended the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver, leaving a few credits short of a BFA in 1998.[7]

Music careerEdit

VancouverEdit

In 1994, Case moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, to attend the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. While attending school she played drums in several local bands, including the Del Logs, the Propanes, the Weasels, Cub (which featured I Am Spoonbender's Robynn Iwata), and Maow. All of these bands were local punk groups except for Cub and The Weasels, which Case described as a "country music supergroup".[citation needed]

"A lot of women wanted to play music because they were inspired, because it was an incredibly good time for music in the Northwest. There was a lot of clubs, a lot of bands, a lot of people coming through, a lot of all-ages stuff—it was a very exciting time to live there."[6]

In 1998, Case left without finishing her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, which meant the loss of her student visa eligibility. She left Canada for Seattle, Washington. Before going, Case recorded vocals for a few songs that ended up on Mass Romantic, The New Pornographers' first album. Her lead vocals on songs like "Letter from an Occupant" are straightforward, full-volume power-pop performances, entirely shedding any country elements. Released on November 28, 2000, Mass Romantic became a surprise success. Although the band was originally conceived as a side project for its members, The New Pornographers remain a prominent presence in the indie rock world, having released its seventh album Whiteout Conditions on April 7, 2017.

In addition to recording with The New Pornographers, Case frequently collaborates with other Canadian musicians, including The Sadies and Carolyn Mark, and has recorded material by several noted Canadian songwriters, in particular on her 2001 EP Canadian Amp. As a result, she is also considered a significant figure in Canadian music—both CBC Radio 3 and the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada have referred to Case as an "honourary Canadian".[8] In 2018 Case performed at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival.[9]

SeattleEdit

Case fully embraced country music on her 1997 album, The Virginian. The album contained original compositions as well as covers of songs by Ernest Tubb, Loretta Lynn and the 1974 Queen song "Misfire".[10] When the album was released, critics compared Case to honky-tonk singers like Lynn and Patsy Cline, and to rockabilly pioneer Wanda Jackson, particularly in her vocal timbre.[citation needed]

On February 22, 2000, Case released her second solo album, Furnace Room Lullaby. The album introduced the "country noir" elements that have defined Case's subsequent solo career. That tone was evident even from the cover photo, featuring Case sprawled out corpse-like on a concrete floor. On the album itself, her vocal style moves away from outright honky-tonk but retains her twang, garnering comparisons to musicians such as Cline, Lynn, Hazel Dickens, Tanya Tucker, and Dolly Parton.[citation needed] The title track was included on the soundtrack to Sam Raimi's film The Gift,[citation needed] and "Porchlight" was featured on the soundtrack to The Slaughter Rule.

Case sometimes tours with Canadian singer and songwriter Carolyn Mark as The Corn Sisters.[11] One of their performances, at Seattle's Hattie's Hat restaurant in Ballard, was recorded and released as an album, The Other Women, on November 28, 2000.[11]

ChicagoEdit

In October 1999, around the time Furnace Room Lullaby was released, Case left Seattle[6] for Chicago because she felt that Seattle was no longer hospitable to its local artists.[12]

Case's first work in Chicago was an eight-song EP that she recorded in her kitchen. Canadian Amp, her first recording without Her Boyfriends, was released on her own Lady Pilot label in 2001. She wrote two of the tracks, with the remaining six being covers, including Neil Young's "Dreaming Man" and Hank Williams' "Alone and Forsaken". Four of the covers were written by Canadian artists. The EP was initially available only at Case's live shows and directly from Mint Records' website, but it eventually saw wider release.[13]

Case recorded her third full-length album, Blacklisted, in Tucson, Arizona. Her first album credited to Case alone, without Her Boyfriends, it was released on August 20, 2002. Some believe the title Blacklisted alludes to Case being banned for life from the Grand Ole Opry because she took her shirt off during a performance on August 4, 2001 at one of their outdoors "Opry Plaza" concerts,[14][15] though Case herself has denied this.[16] Asked about the incident in 2004, Case said "I had heatstroke. People would love it to be a 'fuck you' punk thing. But it was actually a physical ailment thing."[17]

Most of the album's fourteen songs are originals; the exceptions being covers of "Running Out of Fools", previously a hit for Aretha Franklin, and "Look for Me (I'll Be Around)" previously performed by Sarah Vaughan. Blacklisted finds Case even deeper in a "country noir" mood, and was described by critics as lush, bleak, and atmospheric. Case cited filmmaker David Lynch, composer Angelo Badalamenti, and Neil Young's soundtrack to the film Dead Man as influences.[18]

I hope I can comfort people a bit—maybe show people that making music is fun and accessible to them as well. I'm not out to become Faith Hill, I never want to play an arena, and I never want to be on the MTV Video Music Awards, much less make a video with me in it. I would like to reach a larger audience and see the state of music change in favor of musicians and music fans in my lifetime. I care very much about that.[19]

In April 2003, Case was voted the "Sexiest Babe of Indie Rock" in a Playboy.com internet poll, receiving 32% of the vote. Playboy asked her to pose nude for the magazine, but she declined their offer. She told Entertainment Weekly that

I didn't want to be the girl who posed in Playboy and then—by the way—made some music. I would be really fucking irritated if after a show somebody came up to me and handed me some naked picture of myself and wanted me to sign it instead of my CD.[20]

In later interviews, she declined to discuss the survey at all.

Further music projectsEdit

Neko Case & Her BoyfriendsEdit

Case recorded and toured for several years as Neko Case & Her Boyfriends before performing solely under her name. She primarily performs her own material, but also performs and has recorded cover versions of songs by artists such as My Morning Jacket, Harry Nilsson, Loretta Lynn, Tom Waits, Nick Lowe, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Scott Walker, Randy Newman, Queen, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Sparks and Hank Williams. Albums released included The Virginian and Furnace Room Lullaby.

New PornographersEdit

The New Pornographers' second album, Electric Version, was released on May 6, 2003. Case sang lead on even more of the songs on this album, and toured with the group again.[citation needed]

Twin Cinema, the New Pornographers' third album, was released on August 23, 2005, with Case again providing vocals on several tracks. In addition to providing backing vocals on several songs, Case performs lead vocals on two ballads, "The Bones of an Idol" and "These Are the Fables". She opted out of most subsequent touring duties with the band; however, her parts were taken over by Kathryn Calder.[citation needed]

On Challengers, released on August 21, 2007, Case contributes lead vocals to the title song as well as "Go Places", in addition to her backing vocals on the other tracks.[citation needed]

The 2010 album Together features Case as lead vocalist on "Crash Years" and "My Shepherd."[21]

The 2014 album Brill Bruisers features Case as lead vocalist on "Champions of Red Wine" and "Marching Orders."

The 2017 album Whiteout Conditions features Case as lead vocalist on "Play Money" and "This is the World of the Theater."

SoloEdit

BlacklistedEdit

Blacklisted was released on Bloodshot Records in 2002. It included original material, as well as covers of songs originally by Aretha Franklin and Sarah Vaughan.

Live from Austin, TXEdit

2003's Live from Austin, TX was an album of live recordings made for the "Austin City Limits" television series.

The Tigers Have SpokenEdit

In April 2004, Case played several shows with longtime collaborators The Sadies in Chicago and Toronto. These shows were recorded and released as a live album, The Tigers Have Spoken, by Anti Records in October 2004.[22]

Fox Confessor Brings the FloodEdit

Fox Confessor Brings the Flood was released on March 7, 2006. The album was recorded primarily in Tucson, over the course of two years as Case worked on the live The Tigers Have Spoken and continued to play with The New Pornographers. Critics hailed the record not only for Case's trademark vocals but also her use of stark imagery and non-standard song structures. Fox Confessor Brings the Flood wound up on many "Best of 2006" lists, such as No.1 on the Amazon.com music editors' picks and No. 2 on NPR's All Songs Considered. The album debuted at No. 54 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. It contains Case's most autobiographical song, "Hold On, Hold On". Case said: "the song is actually about me. It's not metaphorical about other people. It's not little pieces of my life made into a story about someone else or someone fictitious."[23]

"Hold On, Hold On" has since been covered by Marianne Faithfull on her 2009 album Easy Come, Easy Go.[24]

"Hold On, Hold On" was used over an episode of The Killing (U.S. TV series) (Season 1 Episode 6) before the final credits.

"John Saw That Number" was used in the snowboarding movie "City. Park City".

Middle CycloneEdit

Case's next album, Middle Cyclone, was released on March 3, 2009. In advance of a U.S. and European tour, Case appeared as a musical guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Later in 2009 she also appeared on Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Amazon.com rated Middle Cyclone the number one album of 2009.[25] Middle Cyclone debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard charts in its first week of release, making it Case's first album ever to reach the top ten in the United States.

At the time of its release, no other record from an independent record company had debuted at a higher position in 2009.[26] She toured extensively to promote Middle Cyclone with dates in North America, Europe, and Australia, as well as a performance at Lollapalooza 2009 in Grant Park, Chicago.

The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love YouEdit

In June 2013, Case announced a new album, The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You, which was released on September 3.[27]

Hell-OnEdit

In early March, 2018, Case released a teaser for an album titled Hell-On, her first solo work in almost five years. The teaser featured Case lying down singing a song of the same name while snakes move around her.

The album was released on June 1, 2018.

Truckdriver, Gladiator, MuleEdit

On November 13, 2015, Case released a compilation vinyl box set containing eight of her solo albums. The set contains her first six studio albums, including the first vinyl pressing of The Virginian, as well as a live album.[28]

case/lang/veirsEdit

In 2016, Neko Case, k.d. lang, and Laura Veirs announced the case/lang/veirs project, with an album released in June 2016.[29]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Case was honored as the Female Artist of the Year at the PLUG Independent Music Awards on February 2, 2006.[30]

Case's album, Middle Cyclone, was nominated for Best Contemporary Folk Album and Best Recording Package (with Kathleen Judge) at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards in 2010.[31]

In 2014, The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You was nominated for Best Alternative Music Album at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards.[32]

Notable appearancesEdit

TelevisionEdit

Case has appeared on Season 29 (2003–04) and 39 (2013–14) of Austin City Limits.[33]

Case voiced the character of Chrysanthemum in the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "Sirens" (aired 27 January 2008).[citation needed]

Case also voiced the character of Cheyenne Cinnamon in Aqua Teen Hunger Force co-creator Dave Willis's Cheyenne Cinnamon and the Fantabulous Unicorn of Sugar Town Candy Fudge.

On March 3, 2010 Case appeared as a guest on the Australian music quiz show Spicks and Specks. Her team, led by Alan Brough, won 18–16. At the end of the show she sang a cover of Heart's "Magic Man", backed by Kelly Hogan and Paul Rigby.[34]

Case appeared on Season Two of Spectacle: Elvis Costello with....

In July 2011, "I Wish I Was The Moon" was featured in the fourth season of HBO show True Blood's sixth episode of the same name.

On September 3, 2013, Case appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon performing "Man" and "Night Still Comes" from her album "The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You".

On February 6, 2014, she was a panelist on the Comedy Central show @midnight.

RadioEdit

Neko Case has appeared on NPR's weekly news quiz show, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, as a guest on July 11, 2009[35] and as a panellist on September 6, 2013.[36] and again on December 12, 2015.[37]

On May 10, 2013, Case appeared as a guest on American Public Media's variety show "Wits" where she ended the program with a rendition of Iron Maiden's "Number of the Beast". On February 7, 2014, Case appeared again as a guest on "Wits", this time alongside Andy Richter, where she finished the program with a rendition of the Bee Gees' "Nights on Broadway".

In December 2015, Case appeared on BBC Radio 4's "Woman's Hour" where she talked about her career and performed her single "I'll Be Around". [38]

DiscographyEdit

CubEdit

MaowEdit

As special guestEdit

Neko CaseEdit

Studio albumsEdit

Year Album Chart positions
US
[40]
US Indie
[41]
AUS
[42]
BEL
(FL)

[43]
CAN
[44]
IRL
[45]
NED
[46]
SPA
[47]
SWI
[48]
UK
[49]
1997 The Virginian (with Her Boyfriends)
2000 Furnace Room Lullaby (with Her Boyfriends)
2002 Blacklisted 31
2006 Fox Confessor Brings the Flood 54 4
2009 Middle Cyclone 3 1 5 114
2013 The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You 12 1 115 8 99 63
2018 Hell-On[50] 31 4 88
"—" denotes album that did not chart or was not released

Live albumsEdit

Year Album Chart positions
US
Heat

[51]
US Indie
[41]
2004 The Tigers Have Spoken 14 19
2007 Live from Austin, TX 22
"—" denotes album that did not chart or was not released

Extended playsEdit

case/lang/veirsEdit

The Corn SistersEdit

The New PornographersEdit

The SadiesEdit

  • Make Your Bed/Gunspeak/Little Sadie (7") (US: Bloodshot Records, 1998)
  • Car Songs My '63 / Highway 145 (by Whiskeytown) (Split 7") (US: Bloodshot Records BS 037, 1998)

Other contributionsEdit

VideographyEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Neko R Case, United States Public Records Index". FamilySearch. 251287385 (record number): Intellectual Reserve, Inc. November 15, 2007. Retrieved February 23, 2014. unverified that middle name is Richelle, though online consensus indicates birthname is Neko Richelle Case
  2. ^ Thigpen, David E. (April 16, 2000). "Blows Against The Empire". Time Magazine. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e Doole, Kerry (March 2009). "Features > Timeline > March 2009: Neko Case". Exclaim! Magazine. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  4. ^ "Neko Richelle CASE (b. 8 Sep 1970)". Robert E Shaddy Family History. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  5. ^ Berick, Michael (February 7, 2005). "Department of Amazing Coincidences: Neko's Gripping Tale". Entertainment Weekly (806). Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c Matos, Michaelangelo. "Neko Case: Thrice All American" (Online music magazine). Perfect Sound Forever. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  7. ^ Francois Marchand, "The miseducation of Neko Case", The Vancouver Sun, April 8, 2015. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  8. ^ "Neko Case: Honourary Canadian, Proud SOCAN Member By Jim Kelly, for www.socan.ca". Web.archive.org. January 19, 2003. Archived from the original on January 19, 2003. Retrieved August 11, 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  9. ^ "41st Vancouver Folk Music Festival still true to tradition, still young at heart". July 14, 2018 , Vancouver Weekly, Paul Hecht and Elmira Kuznetsova
  10. ^ Francesca Peppiatt (February 19, 2004). Country Music's Most WantedTM. Potomac Books, Inc. pp. 190–. ISBN 978-1-61234-241-2.
  11. ^ a b Tom Holliston, "The Corn Sisters" Archived March 1, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. CBC Music. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
  12. ^ Scanlon, Tom (June 15, 2000). "Living | Country singer Neko Case is movin' on | Seattle Times Newspaper". Community.seattletimes.nwsource.com. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  13. ^ "Canadian Amp". Billboard.com. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  14. ^ "Neko Case - Biography". rollingstone.com. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  15. ^ Cooper, Leonie (March 13, 2009). "The banned played on". The Guardian. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
  16. ^ "Neko Case's Country Lust: Neko Case : Rolling Stone". Web.archive.org. October 15, 2002. Archived from the original on May 5, 2009. Retrieved August 11, 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  17. ^ [1][dead link]
  18. ^ Matos, Michaelangelo (October 14, 2002). "Neko Case: Thrice All American". Perfect Sound Forever. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
  19. ^ "Neko Noir by Julianne Shepherd - Seattle Music - The Stranger, Seattle's Only Newspaper". Thestranger.com. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  20. ^ Valby, Karen (June 6, 2003). "Gloves Off". EW.com. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  21. ^ "Together Credits". AllMusic.
  22. ^ "Neko Case". Nicholasjennings.com. August 17, 2009. Archived from the original on September 22, 2013. Retrieved September 2, 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  23. ^ Ryan, Kyle. "Neko Case | Interview". The A.V. Club. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
  24. ^ "Easy Come, Easy Go track listing". allmusic.com. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
  25. ^ "Amazon says Neko Case put out the best album in 2009". Brooklynvegan.com. November 6, 2009. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
  26. ^ Huntington, Tom (April 10, 2009). "Neko Case Retreats to Vermont". Times Argus. Archived from the original on July 15, 2009. Retrieved June 10, 2009. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  27. ^ Eakin, Marah (June 11, 2013). "Neko Case announces new record due out Sept. 3, just three days before she plays A.V. Fest". The A.V. Club.
  28. ^ Timothy Monger. "Truckdriver Gladiator Mule". Allmusic. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  29. ^ Jazz Monroe. "Neko Case, k.d. lang, and Laura Veirs Team for New Album case/lang/veirs, Share Track, Plot Tour". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
  30. ^ "New Neko Case album - Middle Cyclone - out in March". Brookynvegan.com. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  31. ^ "Complete List of Nominees for the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards". eonline.com. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  32. ^ "The 56th Annual Grammy Awards: The Nominees". ABC News. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  33. ^ "Austin City Limits - Anthology". acltv.com. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  34. ^ "Spicks and Specks Unseen Bits - Neko performs Magic Man, Ep 6, 2010". ABC TV, Youtube. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
  35. ^ "Show Info: 2009-07-11 | Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! Stats and Show Details". Wwdt.me. July 11, 2009. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  36. ^ "Show Info: 2013-09-07 | Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! Stats and Show Details". Wwdt.me. September 7, 2013. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  37. ^ "Show Info: 2015-12-12; Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! Stats and Show Details". Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  38. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - Woman's Hour, Gloria Steinem; Tina Fey; Neko Case". Bbc.co.uk. December 19, 2015. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  39. ^ "Cub". BandToBand.com. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  40. ^ Chart positions:
  41. ^ a b Chart positions:
  42. ^ "australian-charts.com". australian-charts.com. Retrieved January 23, 2015. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  43. ^ "Neko Case albums (Flanders)". Ultratop. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
  44. ^ Chart positions:
  45. ^ Steffen Hung. "Discography Neko Case". irishcharts.com. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  46. ^ "Neko Case MegaCharts" (in Dutch). MegaCharts / Dutchcharts. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  47. ^ "DISCOGRAPHY Neko Case". spanishcharts.com. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  48. ^ "NEKO CASE IN DER SCHWEIZER HITPARADE". Hit Parade. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
  49. ^ Peaks in UK:
  50. ^ Arcand, Rob (March 4, 2018). "Neko Case Teases New Music, Announces Tour". Spin. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  51. ^ "Neko Album & Song Charts - Heatseekers Albums". Billboard.com. Retrieved January 4, 2016.
  52. ^ Calamar, Gary (June 24, 2011). "KCRW Exclusive: Neko Case + Nick Cave Duet on She's Not There for True Blood". KCRW Music Blog. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  53. ^ "The Hunger Games (Songs from District 12 and Beyond) Various Artists". iTunes Music. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  54. ^ "Stephen King, John Mellencamp & T Bone Burnett's Supernatural musical featuring Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow, Kris Kristofferson & more. In stores June 4th, 2013". Ghost Brothers of Darkland County. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  55. ^ "Desire Lines – Camera Obscura | Credits". AllMusic. June 3, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  56. ^ "Blog Archive " New Album "Warp & Weft", Track Premiere on NPR". Laura Veirs. May 28, 2013. Archived from the original on August 29, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  57. ^ , Paste Magazine, Song Premiere: Neko Case, Kelly Hogan – "These Aren't The Droids",Dacey Orr, June 2, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  58. ^ Tribbey, Ralph (March 19, 2016). "DVD & Blu-Ray Release Report: Filmmaker Gorman Bechard's A Dog Named Gucci To Make Its DVD Debut On Apr. 19". DVD & Blu-Ray Release Report. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  59. ^ "Calexico Team With Neko Case for "Tapping on the Line" Live Video - Pitchfork". Pitchfork.com. Retrieved November 1, 2018.

External linksEdit