Tag Archives: Neko Case

MY TOTAL 13

Happy holidays to y’all!

Once the few family Xmas commitments successfully finished, it’s time I start focusing on closing this 2013. I’m gonna start with the easiest part, which is the list of my 13 favorite album releases.

I reckon this year has been marked by harder sounds and styles compared to the last years. Somehow it seems that my current mood is also looking for more energy in music. Truth is that, as usual, there are many albums I haven’t listened to yet and perhaps with the passing of time the list would change, but right now these are the albums I’ve been enjoying most this strange 2013.

13. VALIENT THORR: OUR OWN MASTERS

vt

Rage and pure energy, Valient Himself and his guys nailed it once again with this album. Lyrics with message, so to speak, wrapped in exploding riffs and superfast speed. Very happy I could attend another of their burning shows last month.

12. SUN & SAIL CLUB: MANNEQUIN

ssc

This is the project of Scott Thomas Reeder, Kyuss former bass player, Bob Balch and Scott Reeder (the drummer) of Fu Manchu. Vocoder robotic voice melodies can prevent some people from loving this album which is a masterpiece of powerful riffs, intense bass lines and kickin’ ass drums. Respect for the veterans!

11. TOUCHÉ AMORÉ: IS SURVIVED BY

touche amore

Post-hardcore bands are not within my usual range of music, however some of them manage to step into my universe from time to time. This time was Touché Amoré, recommended by my dear friend (and mentor) Jordi, personally and through the magazine. Confessional lyrics, lots of yelling, weird writing, but with an overwhelming intensity.

10. MONSTER MAGNET: LAST PATROL

last patrol

The return of Dave Wyndorf and his gang to the fields of psicodelia. I had the chance to interview the leader for Rockzone magazine and thanks to his explanations and remarks I could enjoy the album even more. As a whole, as a journey, some sort of confession of experience and release of emotions. There are great songs such as ‘Paradise’ or ‘The Duke (of Supernature)’ of ‘I Live Behind The Clouds’. A great comeback superior to their previous releases. Can’t wait to see their show in February.

9. NEKO CASE: THE WORSE THINGS GET, THE HARDER I FIGHT, THE HARDER I FIGHT , THE MORE I LOVE YOU

neko case

This is the hardest album of the artist and the most confessional. She leaves the story telling aside and focuses on expressing what’s she’s going through, marked by the loss of important members of her family, and a state of depression she eventually underwent to for some time. it is Neko, the woman, the human being here, you can feel closer to her, identified with some of her songs. ‘Man’, ‘Nearly Midnight, Honolulu’, ‘Calling Cards’ are thrilling.

8. ORANGE GOBLIN: A EULOGY FOR THE FANS

eulogy

This live album is the celebration of the success achieved with their last and most solid up to date studio album A Eulogy For The Damned. The only BUT I find here is that sound doesn’t capture their performance 100%, but still it’s a good document to confirm that not only their at their best moment but also that the Brits are a live band.

7. AMERICAN SHARKS

american sharks

This crazy trio from Texas blew my mind with their single ‘Overdrive’ and reached my thrashy side with their debut album. Every time I have a dj session I play one of their songs. Energy and fun, sometimes they remind me of Gluecifer for some reason. Wish I can see them playing in Spain in 2014.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2013/09/19/the-power-of-a-single/

6. DANNY & THE CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD: STAY TRUE

danny

I feel ashamed for not having written about this wonderful album already, because it deserves a special attention and I don’t think many people are aware of this wonderful work. I couldn’t find the proper time or the mood to write about it as a week album, however I’ve been constantly listening to them when looking for a realm of peace and relax. Danny and the Champs leave the Bruce Springsteen formula so present in Hearts & Arrows and focus on more rooted sounds.

5. MICHAEL MONROE: HORNS & HALOS

hh

The blonde Finnish is a God of some kind. every time he releases a new album everybody’s expections end up completely fulfilled. This time I was a bit afraid of the change from Ginger Wildheart to Dregen of Backyard Babies as the main guitar and writer, but the result has been very positive, in fact Horns & Halos is superior to Dregen’s first solo album which has left me completely indifferent and not interested at all. Listening to any Monroe’s album means feeling  something inside you unsettled, which at the end of the day you realize it’s the need for partying crying for good times. I don’t understand the reckless energy of the singer, and I don’t care. I just take it as it comes and enjoy the most of it.

4. RED FANG: WHALES AND LEECHES

whales and leeches

No need to comment much about this album after what I wrote. It’s brutal and can’t stop listening to it. I really needed this badass music in my life. Exactly one month remaining for their show in Barcelona. I know it’s gonna be insane.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2013/11/10/album-of-week-45-whales-and-leeches/

3. HEY! HELLO!

heyhello

Ginger is a sort of Kind midas in music, but fortunately every project he starts is worth listening and the results are usually great. This time teaming up with Victoria Liedtke, he’s surprised the fans with more partying and very fresh tunes, and perhaps it’s been the key to retake and resuscitate his main son, The Wildhearts.

Hey! Hello! will open for The Wildhearts in April and I’ll be at The Electric Ballroom to tell you about it. it’s gonna be awesome, probably one of the best 2014 shows.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2013/08/29/album-of-week-32-hey-hello/

2. CLUTCH: EARTH ROCKER

earth rocker

Clutch has been the greatest discovery of this year. They’ve become a complete reference and have also awaken the spirit of the fan which was a bit in stagnation. Earth Rocker came demolishing and I devoured it with devoted passion. The impact of the self titled single on my was one of the most intense I remember in the last years. It left me breathless, and when I recovered I had the full album which was an injection of energy I really needed. I also relate the album to many personal highlights this year, among others writing for Rockzone magazine and coming back to the company I had been fired from last year.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2013/03/19/album-of-weeks-10-11-earth-rocker/

1. QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE: …LIKE A CLOCKWORK

Well, after not so much thinking I’ve finally reached the conclusion that Like a Clockwork is my favorite album of the year.

like

It was an instant crush since the very beginning and has been settling throughout these months. When I first listened to the album I compared the experience as dating someone you idolize, therefore now I could regard my relationship with the album as a consolidated. Yeah, we’re a couple, we can flirt with others but at the end of the day it will be Like a Clockwork the one I’ll always choose.

Josh Homme has improved not only his singing but also his writing, and his evolution, very criticized by many of his fans in Kyuss, is fascinating from my point of view. Probably ‘The Vampyre of Time and Memory’ is my favorite song of the year, but I love the whole album and regard it as an indivisible unit.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2013/05/17/like-a-clockwork/

THE NEKO CASE SUNDAY

I think perfect days are kind of utopia, although I must admit there are certain days everything flows so smooth and in such a good vibe, perfection seems to be round the corner. Last Sunday was one of those days. It was wonderful.

I woke up quite early considering I had gone to sleep at 5am after my Company Xmas dinner party (also a very funny event). Luckily there was no trace of hangover, and I remark luckily because I had a very important task to do which required some effort and focus. I had been so busy last days I hadn’t had enough time to get the interview well prepared since Thursday evening when I was confirmed I had an appointment with Neko Case on Sunday afternoon before her show at Apolo.

neko2

I had also scheduled a meeting with my friend Jaume for vermouth at 2pm, but perhaps due to pressure and excitement, I had to cancel our date because I was experiencing one of these block moments and a bit of panic thinking I was going to fail. You know, I had the same feeling as when I used to have exams. As soon as I cancelled the pressure was gone and settled the questions for the interview in less than an hour.

Why was I so nervous? Neko was my first face-to-face interview victim, and she’s a woman I respect and admire not only in the musical sense but also for her personal side. I’d never done that before, I had to buy a voice recorder at the last minute and I wanted to submit intelligent and interesting questions. I’ve realized being a fan is good on one hand because it helps to know the artist better identifying the kind of questions to be asked, and also because in terms of research you already know part of the info and/or know what to look for. On the other hand being a fan means that you got an added silent pressure which consists of staying cool in front of that person you admire so much, ask the right questions and behave in a way that person feels comfortable enough as to reply all the questions in detail.

I met her at 5pm as arranged and first thing that surprised me was how tall and thin she was, and how expressive was gesturing and putting faces. Because the band was starting the sound check, Neko wanted to find a quiet place for the interview, but didn’t like the dressing room much appropriated nor comfortable, so we ended in the roof of Apolo, open air, during sunset, with our coats on making confessions to each other. She was relaxed, not in a hurry, and there was nobody near, so we weren’t bothered at all.

neko1

During some parts of our conversation I felt so identified with her you couldn’t believe it. at the end of the day we belong to different countries and environments, but we are both women, music passionate, and she’s only 6 years older than me. There was a point I ended the interview because I could be talking to her for hours. It was wonderful to know the personal side of the artist you’ve been following for so long time and realize she’s a human being you enjoys, suffers, struggles and moves on in the same way as you can do.  When we said goodbye, Neko gave me a tender hug, thanked me for my thoughtful questions and congratulated me for my first interview. I was thrilled and moved. For real.

The show was so wonderful. The double melodies share with Kelly Hogan, the band, her voice, the lyrics…all the people I knew who attended the show were as delighted as I was, and the only complaint, if we had to complain, would be that we needed an extra half an hour more. Leaving that aside, listening to ‘This Tornado Loves You’, ‘Hold On’, ‘Man’ or ‘Calling Cards’  was something magic. I loved the girly chat on stage between Neko and Kelly, and their complicity. Wonderful!

After the show my friend Joaquin and I met a very nice girl who had just come from Bristol on her own to attend the show. I hope she eventually stops by and we can keep in touch. It’s great to know people as passionate with music as me, which are capable of taking a flight for staying in a city for 20 hours just to attend a show.

neko3

Thus Sunday was the Neko Sunday, with the brainstorming to prepare the interview, half an hour talking to her, and to close the circle the beautiful show. It wasn’t 100% perfect, but when I went to sleep I did it with a big smile in my face, invaded by a wave of happiness.

ROCKIN’ AMONG HIPSTERS

I touched bottom last week. I was really frustrated and decided to express it here looking for some kind of relief. And it worked. A bit.

Life is a landslide of emotions, one day you’re deep in shit, the day after you feel on top of the world. More or less this is what happened to me last week. The main reason for that had to do with a pop oriented festival held in Barcelona named Primavera Sound.

Primavera Sound

A pop festival? Well, I’d say it’s THE pop festival, a huge one, and probably the most important and established in Spain.

Few months ago I purchased the ticket for just one day, Thursday, because my favorite ginger girl, Neko Case, was confirmed. Ticket was quite expensive, but since this festival is huge, I knew there were more bands worth attending. Also, I had fresh in my memory last year, when I enjoyed The Afghan Whigs’ performance, and the later party night.

Unfortunately for my friend Tani, and luckily for me, she couldn’t attend the festival, and she didn’t find any buyer for her Friday ticket, thus instead of wasting it, she handed it over me in the last minute. This meant two days at the festival in a row. Very attractive, but dangerous, as it was impossible for me to ask for a day off, and I had to work on Friday positive hangover.

My NJ soul mate, Andrea, was spending an intended Wednesday night at The Hellhouse, prior to the fest, but as you can imagine, together we are unstoppable, thus the party weekend started that evening.

Tuesday and Wednesday I was moaning, stressed and tired, but once my personal cheerleader  knocked on my door, all the bullshit was left at the corner of my mind, and I started doing what I’m best at, which is having fun.

As this festival is full of hipsters, trendsetters, fashion victims and a great bunch of assholes who think they are beyond good and evil, Andrea found the most definite complement for us, THE sunglasses, also with the aim of competing against another friend who always wears terrific ones.

nj power

Thursday was the day I was most interested in: Neko Case, Dinosaur Jr, Bob Mould and Hot Snakes.  I was also feeling curious about Tame Impala, which were quite experimental and their proposal was interesting.

After having a beer at Rockzone magazine booth and greet some acquaintances. I went straight to see Neko. My ginger looked a bit disoriented, as if she wasn’t able to catch up with the atmosphere at the festival, and the weird audience, in daylight. Truth is that she looked quite abandoned, with a messy appearance. Hippier than ever  I reckon. Her hair wasn’t even dyed and you could see her grey hair, completely untamed. She was wearing a hoodie and I don’t think she was even wearing make-up at all. The whole  scene was too weird but still her performance was a gift and a huge pleasure for my ears, as her voice sounded perfect, solid and beautiful. At the end of the day this is what I wanted: 50 wonderful minutes of Neko.

neko case primavera sound

Neko was confused, the band took their time to tune instruments after every song, so the rhythm was not so intense, but at least we could hear This Tornado Loves You, Hold on Hold on, I Wish I Was The Moon, People Got a Lotta Nerve  or Red Tide, and she introduced a new song from her upcoming work.

Once my main target was accomplished, the evening became a party. The peak of the night was the show offered by Hot Snakes. I danced like craze and had so much fun, I’m still proud of myself I was responsible enough as to force myself to take a cab back home, thinking Friday could be an awful day if I stayed partying.

Friday was meant to be more relaxing and less interesting. The Breeders playing their famous album Last Splash was a bit disappointing, however The Jesus & Mary Chain were a great surprise after the terrible performance I had witnessed almost 20 years ago at another festival. Blur were lots of fun, and well, remarking I was wasted, Titus Andronicus and King Tuff were the upper I needed to gather strength to close the festival at 7AM dancing electronic music as if there was no tomorrow. A threesome spontaneous party was meant to happen at The Hellhouse, but unfortunately we didn’t reach the breaking point, so as hard to believe as it might sound, two girls and one handsome guy just slept in my bed and nothing happened (:FACEPALM!).

i want beer

On Saturday the festival went on without me. When analyzing the whole experience, it was so great, thinking of fun, great people, excellent shows and unforgettable stamps in my mind, I’m positive I’ll attend the whole festival, book some days off during and after the event, and enjoy one of the most powerful musical options in town every year.

As for the people I met there, I just can say you’re AWESOME!

ALBUMS OF WEEK 49 – BLACK LOVE / BLACKLISTED

During the 5 days I spent in Madrid, these two albums were essential during this winter break spare time. I’m unable to decide which one to choose as the album of the week, thus both of them must be referred to as the soundtrack of week 49.

THE AFGHAN WHIGS – BLACK LOVE

I started being in the mood for The Afghan Whigs a week before and all a sudden the announcement that the band members were joining back, emphasized the nonstop listening and the purchase of those almost forgotten album.

Not sure right now whether I explained my personal experience with the band led by Greg Dulli. I might repeat myself this time but I think it’s necessary to talk about it.

The Afghan Whigs used to be praised by the press in the 90’s, specially by the rock magazine I’ve been buying since I was 16, Popular 1 Rock.

When living in London I had the opportunity of attending one of their shows, in 1998, but it was a complete disappointment. On one hand I didn’t understand by Dulli was so respected when he was constantly singing out of tune. It was like I couldn’t get into the show, plus, with all due respect, it seemed like a gay party, full of homo couples not paying much attention to the show but chatting, kissing and cuddling. I felt quite out of the scene, not belonging to such atmosphere, and the songs didn’t catch me either. Thus I forgot about them for many years. It was my ex who reintroduced me to the band, and since then I really dig.

Black Love is a very dark album, apparently inspired by an attempt by Dulli to this work became the soundtrack of a film noir project he was developing, which never saw the public light. This is what I’ve always heard, I don’t really know, but it’s true it seems like following a kind of plot or pattern. You have to listen to the whole album.

The first 7 songs of the album are reckless and outstanding: My Enemy, Blame, etc. Step into the Light, Honky’s Ladder… these tracks really kick ass. However at this point the level and rhythm of the album decrease quite much, making this final stage a bit less bearable. It’s like all the action is concentrated on the first part, and the rest misses the emotion and intensity.

This reunion is something that really pleases me, and probably if attending the local festival they’re playing at in May 2012, I will come to terms with this band once and for all.

NEKO CASE – BLACKLISTED

It’s curious Neko Case’s third album is also marked by a very dark tone. My mood wasn’t so dark, but it’s true I was after something atmospheric and Blacklisted really was an option.

This was her third album, recorded after moving from Seattle. Seems that she was fed up with the city, reckoning it was a tough one. The cover picture shows a her lying on the road, right by an opened van with a Seattle plate, full of furniture and personal belongings.

Country is quite rooted in the style, classic instruments such as banjos and pedal steels are present in the compositions, but it’s different. Blacklisted is dark, intense and deep.

I’ve always thought Neko’s voice is unique. Beautiful, strong and powerful, a delicacy difficult to explain, her style is elegant and very personal, has something sexy and attractive too. Being completely subjective, I’d say she’s currently my favorite female singer.

Perharps this cut belonging to this album I’m talking about, might reflect what I find hard to explain. I’m in love with Neko Case

DEEP RED BELLS