|The Worse Things Get, The Harder... (September 3, 2013)|
Neko Case — The Worse Things Get, The Harder... (September 3, 2013)
≡°≡ Post–arrival Feminist majoring in Humanism. I try to make things that make people feel good. Indie roots rocker with a lovelorn country sweetness to her interpretations and, later, her talented songwriting.
≡°≡ “TRUCKDRIVER, GLADIATOR, MULE” IS THE COMPLETE NEKO CASE COLLECTION ON VINYLBorn: September 8, 1970 in Alexandria, Virginia, United States
Location: Alexandria, Virginia ~ Vancouver ~ Seattle ~ Chicago ~ Tucson, Arizona
Origin: Tacoma, Washington, United States
Genres: Indie rock, noire/alternative country, folk–rock, americana
OTHERS: Carolyn Mark, Patsy Cline, Catherine Irwin, Woven Hand, Calexico
Occupations: Musician, songwriter
Instruments: Vocals, percussion, piano, guitar
Album release: September 3, 2013
Record Label: Anti
01 Wild Creatures 2:39
02 Night Still Comes 3:47
03 Man 3:27
04 I’m From Nowhere 3:01
05 Bracing For Sunday 2:17
06 Nearly Midnight, Honolulu 2:34
07 Calling Cards 2:36
08 City Swan 4:04
09 Afraid 2:20
10 Local Girl 2:34
11 Where Did I Leave That Fire? 3:27
12 Ragtime 5:14
13 Madonna Of The Wasps 3:48
14 Magpie To The Morning 2:59
15 Yon Ferrets Return 1:16
Producer: Tucker Martine
•• All songs written by Neko Case, except where noted.
•• Neko Case / Paul Rigby 3, 4, 7, 8, 12
•• Nico 9
•• Robyn Hitchcock 13
•• Neko Case / A.C. Newman 15
•• Neko Case — vocals, backing vocals, guitar, tambourine, jingle bells
•• Kelly Hogan — backing vocals
•• Jon Rauhouse — electric guitar, pedal steel guitar, acoustic guitar, banjo
•• Paul Rigby — electric guitar, acoustic guitar, 12–string guitar
•• Tom V. Ray — bass
•• Rachael Flotard — backing vocals
•• Bo Koster — piano, organ, Mellotron, bass organ, synths, keyboards, Melodeon, Wurlitzer, clavinet, vibraphone
•• Kurt Dahle — drums
•• Steve Berlin — MIDI saxophone, baritone saxophone, flute
•• Joey Burns — cello, baritone guitar, bass
•• A.C. Newman — backing vocals
•• Jim James — backing vocals on "Night Still Comes"
•• M. Ward — electric guitar on "Night Still Comes", "Man" and "Local Girl", vocals on "Madonna of the Wasps"
•• Tracyanne Campbell — vocals on "Nearly Midnight, Honolulu"
•• Horn Section on "Calling Cards" and "Ragtime": Jacob Venezeula and Martin Wenk, trumpets, Jon Rauhouse, trombone on "Ragtime"
•• Carl Broemel — electric guitar solo on "City Swans" and autoharp on "Afraid"
•• Marc Ribot — piano on "Afraid"
•• Tom Hagerman — violin and viola on "Local Girl"
•• Craig Schmaucher — chimes on "Local Girl"
•• Chris Schultz — sonar samples on "Where Did I Leave That Fire?"Description:
≡°≡ Her first album in over four years, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You is Neko Case's most precise, urgent record to date; marked by a melodic immediacy, a loving embrace of the big rock gesture, and a lyrical frankness. The perfect culmination of Neko's trajectory so far, the pop, folk and country influences, the fluid craft of her band, and that soaring voice, blended seamlessly into the album her fans have been waiting for.
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger; Score: ****½
≡°≡ The cover photo for 2009's Middle Cyclone found indie rock civil defense siren Neko Case warning the masses of potentially deadly weather from atop the hood of a 1967 Mercury Cougar. It was a striking image, and one that perfectly captured both the album's quiet might and her distinctive Patsy Cline–meets–Rosie the Riveter allure. Once again barefoot and wielding a samurai sword, Case squares off against a trio of serpents on the front jacket of 2013's like–minded, yet decidedly more adventurous The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, a 12–track horn of plenty that taunts, comforts, bruises, and empowers, and like all of her previous offerings, rewards repeated spins with a multitude of riches. Her most vulnerable and permeable collection of songs to date, it's not quite Neko Case unchained, but it's certainly as emotionally raw as it is willfully enigmatic, especially on quieter numbers like "Nearly Midnight, Honolulu," "I'm from Nowhere," and an airy, evocative cover of Nico's "Afraid," all three of which benefit from the barest of arrangements. That said, when Case decides to go big, she doesn’t skimp on the trimmings (guest spots are populated by the likes of M. Ward, Howe Gelb, Mudhoney's Steve Turner, and members of Calexico, Los Lobos, My Morning Jacket, Visqueen, and of course, the New Pornographers and longtime shadow Kelly Hogan), but her version of opulence is mired in great taste, which affords superb, midtempo offerings like "Night Still Comes, "Ragtime," and "Local Girl," straight–up dirt road rockers such as "City Swans," and the punk–infused, delightfully subversive single "Man" ("I'm a man, that's what you raised me to be/ I'm not your identity crisis/This was planned") the room they need to flex their considerable muscle while maintaining an air of warm, almost casual bombast that invokes names like Sandy Denny and Dusty Springfield. It's some of her most instantly gratifying work as well, perfectly encapsulating all of her personas, from the erudite, whiskey–shooting provocateur to the sweet and soulful, small town crooner who sounds like she was plucked from the pages of a novel set in the antebellum north. Case has proven time and again that she has the songwriting chops to match her earthy, superlative voice, but never with such authority. •• http://www.allmusic.com/
•• 2014 The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight... Top Independent Albums #1
•• 2013 The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight... The Billboard 200 #12
•• 2013 The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight... Top Independent Albums #1
•• 2013 The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight... Top Modern Rock/Alternative Albums #5
•• 2013 The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight... Top Rock Albums #5
•• 2013 Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight... The Billboard 200 #12
•• 2013 Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight... Top Canadian Albums #8
•• 2013 Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight... Top Digital Albums #13
•• 2013 Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight... Top Independent Albums #1
•• 2013 Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight... Top Modern Rock/Alternative Albums #5
•• 2013 Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight... Top Rock Albums #5
•• John Askew Engineer
•• Steve Berlin Flute, MIDI Sax, Sax (Baritone)
•• Kerri Borsuk Hair Stylist, Photo Assistance, Stylist
•• Carl Broemel Autoharp, Guitar (Electric), Soloist
•• Joey Burns Bass, Cello, Guitar (Baritone)
•• Tracyanne Campbell Vocals
•• Neko Case Art Direction, Artwork, Composer, Drawing, Executive Producer, Guitar, Mixing, Photography, Tambourine, Vocals, Vocals (Background)
•• Erin Collins Make–Up, Stylist
•• John Convertino Drums
•• Kurt Dahle Drums
•• Michael Finn Assistant Engineer
•• Rachel Flotard Vocals (Background)
•• Tom Hagerman Viola, Violin
•• Kelly Hogan Primary Artist, Vocals (Background)
•• Nate Homchick Construction
•• Jim James Vocals (Background)
•• Kathleen Judge Artwork
•• Bo Koster Clavinet, Keyboards, Mellotron, Melodeon, Organ, Piano, Synthesizer, Vibraphone, Wurlitzer
•• Amy Lombardi Photo Assistance
•• Tucker Martine Engineer, Mixing
•• Peter Moore Mastering
•• Darryl Neudorf Mixing
•• A.C. Newman Vocals (Background)
•• Christa Päffgen Composer
•• Phil Palazzolo Assistant Engineer
•• Donny Phillips Photo Assistance
•• Jon Rauhouse Banjo, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Pedal Steel, Trombone
•• Tom V. Ray Bass
•• Marc Ribot Piano
•• Paul Rigby Arranger, Composer, Guitar (12 String), Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric)
•• Chris Schultz Engineer
•• Craig Schumacher Chimes, Engineer
•• Kenny Siegal Engineer
•• Chris Testa Engineer
•• Steve Turner Guitar (Electric)
•• Jacob Valenzuela Trumpet
•• Austin Vesely Photo Assistance
•• Martin Wenk TrumpetA letter from Neko:
≡°≡ Have you ever wanted to be in a band? It doesn’t end up looking like you think it will; it’s WAY more strange and interesting than you can imagine. If you are looking for glamour, however, you’ve come to the wrong job. Glamour is for dicks anyway.
≡°≡ As far back as I can remember I wanted to be an artist. I thought I would end up a painter; I even went to art school. I never did a single, solitary painting. I did a lot of printmaking, photography and played in bands. I had played drums in bands since I was 17, and I toured with bands on the road from the time I was 23. Strangely enough I had no idea that this was a “job.” Music was, and is, my obsession, but I guess I couldn’t see the forest through the trees. I also didn’t feel worthy of calling myself a “musician.” It was just too sacred.
≡°≡ Ten years later I had to quit both of my jobs in Chicago because I was always on the road. It finally dawned on me; maybe I WAS a musician? But where were the trappings of success? You know: money? Fringey scarves and car services? My own recording studio? Regular meals? Heat?
≡°≡ The “rewards" were not to come in any length of time I could speculate, or at all in some cases, but it didn’t matter, because I had the people I loved. People of all stripes who have contributed in invaluable ways over the years, with skills too numerous to mention here, for I fear it would fall short of the tribute they deserve. Luckily, I still have these good people and I am so very grateful they can still stand me. But most of all, I am grateful that they were willing to be a part.
≡°≡ Being in a band isn't a race to an awards platform; it is a life, a great and complicated, messy, anxious, hilarious and home–made life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, ever. I gave up a lot of what makes people “normal", but it was always my choice. That is a victory in itself. This is a LONG story, which I will continue later, but for now, here are some images and music to take in and wonder about. I made all this for you and me. Without you, however, the circuit does not complete. Thank you for being here with me and making music.
Neko Case, New years. 2015. From a crooked farmhouse on a snowy day
|The Worse Things Get, The Harder... (September 3, 2013)|