Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (2008) seems to be the one that sold most people on Neko Case. Since then, she has emerged as something like the female equivalent of Tom Waits: an unapologetically idiosyncratic songwriter and record-maker who, like Tom, can appear as a deep roots torchbearer or as a mad pop avant-gardist, depending on your vantagepoint. Like Waits’, her songs are vivid, acutely imagistic and overarchingly mythic. Her melodic acumen is pretty much unerring, and the production and arrangements of her records are always arrestingly original and deep: little worlds from which you emerge, a little changed.
She is a giant, but one you don’t always think of because of, because she stands so far afield. “Well, yeah, of course, and Neko Case.” 2018’s poppy and weird and wonderful Hell-On is her first new collection since 2013, not counting her somewhat-underwhelming supergroup collaboration with k. d. lang and Laura Viers, and it is an absolute fully realized treat that seems to get better as it goes – but that is only because we have been conditioned to expect albums to slack off.
The Bardavon presents Neko Case on Friday, September 21 at 8 p.m. Ticket prices range between $40 and $50 and are available at the Bardavon box office at 35 Market Street in Poughkeepsie, (845) 473-2072, the UPAC box office at 601 Broadway in Kingston, (845) 339-6088, or online at www.bardavon.org.
Opening the show will be Thao of The Get Down Stay Down. Case has partnered with PLUS1 so that $1 from every ticket will go to Peer Solutions’ youth programs, designed to prevent harm before it begins. For more information, visit www.peersolutions.org.
Neko Case in concert, Friday, Sept. 21, 8 p.m. $40-$50, Bardavon, Poughkeepsie; (845) 473-2072, www.bardavon.org