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Neko Case 

With Trailer Bride and B.J. O'Malley. Wednesday, September 25, at the Beachland Ballroom.

Neko Case
  • Neko Case

Every so often in a Neko Case song, her voice rings out so full of dimension, you'd think it had a body of its own. Such a moment occurs on the chorus of "Deep Red Bells," from Case's third solo album, Black Listed: She pulls the words "deep" and "bells" from her very blood, and it's utterly transfixing. These experiences alone render Neko Case unmissable live -- like PJ Harvey, her voice is made for the concert stage, where she transmits every nuance of ache and beauty directly to the audience, unmediated by electronics.

But if you're as yet unconvinced -- if you're the kind of person who doesn't occasionally mourn the fact that Janis died before you got to see her ripping into "Piece of My Heart" -- well, then, you might be interested in the fact that Neko Case's songs are as powerful as her pipes. Her solo material (as opposed to the power pop she tackles with sometime-band the New Pornographers) triangulates alt-country, classic rock, and Tom Waits-ish noir influences; the best description might be "highway gothic." And Black Listed is her most accomplished work yet. People! What does it take to convince you? You sat through a season of American Idol -- now see the real thing, dammit.

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