“We discovered that it was OK to have a little high-brow as long you have a lot of low-brow. That’s entertainment value. The one thing you want to avoid is the middle brow, because the whole world is frigging middle brow at the moment.”
– Jon Langford
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Look What the Middle Cyclone Dragged In
Welcome to all Neko Case all the time week! So it goes like this, right after work I head off to Borders to get the CD as I like the actual physical thing not just a download and there's usually cool art with Case releases (no, not just the pictures of her, silly), plus I'm one of those people who reads all the small print credits. I want it so bad I barely even think about stopping in for a beer at Hollister Brewing right next door. I mean, that's devotion. And so I walk into Borders and at the new releases stand there's even a poster for Middle Cyclone so I'm all psyched but somehow there aren't any copies of the disc there. So I go to where Case is alphabetically and while her back catalog is surprisingly well represented, no Middle Cyclone. I finally manage to flag down someone working there, which isn't easy as I'm guessing they aren't hiring as many people (since, of course, the one thing they can offer over web-purchasing is insta-real-person-customer service, so of course they cut that competitive advantage as they slowly go out of business--makes sense to me), and she tells me it didn't come in. I do not strangle this woman, or even leave in a huff, but more a daze. Get in my car. Start to leave the lovely box mall parking lot, but then remember--the CD is supposed to be on sale at Starbucks, and this mall has one (only one, I can hear you ask?). So I park again, wander into the Starbucks where I can tell they sense I'm a Peet's man and an intruder but sure enough the CD is there. So I buy it and no coffee and the young barrista chirps, "We have lots of good music, like the new U2 CD!" and I want to tell her I was reviewing U2 records before her parents even met but I'm happy with Neko now so just nod and back out of the store.
It's mighty good.
For your enjoyment, here she is with Kelly Hogan and Paul Rigby doing "People Got a Lotta Nerve" on the wonderful QTV from Canada:
And here Jian Ghomeshi of the great voice interviews her pretty well--much better than an ABC podcast YouTube clip you can watch that kicks off with the guy asking, "At what age did you realize that you had a force of nature in your chest?" Although in that one she does admit, "I have a hard time being simple," when asked about her writing, so we are alike in at least one way. As for this clip, don't miss the very end when she offers her George W. Bush impersonation.
George markets only for the forces of good for a living. He has a paid hobby that involves eating, drinking, and writing, things he’d do for free, which is almost what he’s doing it for. In a previous life he taught mostly illiterate and generally ungrateful college students how to write. He has been a body guard for Jodie Foster, a walk-on dancer with French avant garde troupe Maguy Marin, a film programmer, a judge at an Iron Chef style competition, a political activist, a textbook author, a bassist in a band, a two-time league winning fantasy baseball manager, a union local president, a pr flack helping run a red carpet at an Angelina Jolie event, a janitor, a chauffeur to folks from TC Boyle to Andrei Codrescu, a delivery man to Plato's Retreat, a reluctant writer of a non-snarky intro for Colin Powell, a radio DJ, a corn detassler, an escort van driver, a rock journalist, a lab assistant for a company that made everything from mouthwash to super skin lubricant, and even, once, a poet. His biggest brush with fame was when Julie Christie fondled his tie, a tie George Lopez belittled to 1000 people minutes later. The best thing about him is his wife. His dogs aren't bad, either.