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Neko Case on Necco Wafers
July 15, 2009 2:40 PM   Subscribe

Amusing NPR interview with Ms. Case From the NPR show "Not My Job", a rambling and entertaining interview with alt-country, loud singing, red-haired songstress Neko Case. On an unrelated note, I know she's American, but we Canucks like to claim her as our own, what with her Canadian Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and her collaborations with Canadian bands.
posted by dbarefoot (46 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Does someone at NPR have a special relationship with Neko Case's label or promoters? I remember when her last album came out, and there was a lot of promotion through NPR for it. Not snarking, honestly — just curious.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:42 PM on July 15, 2009


I've only ever heard mention of Neko Case once in a non-NPR context, when she was on David Letterman. I've heard her mentioned 8-10 times on NPR. I can't decide how I feel about that. I loooove her music and am glad I got turned on to her, but it probably reflects how much NPR is geered towards people with attitudes like mine. Anyway, thanks for the interview.
posted by bluejayk at 2:49 PM on July 15, 2009


I think, like Jenny Lewis, she just fits with their demographic really well.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:49 PM on July 15, 2009


Note: the show is Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. The segment is called Not My Job.

I thought it was one of the most delightful Not My Job segments ever.
posted by The Deej at 2:50 PM on July 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


I listened to the podcast of this episode yesterday, and then told my boyfriend I would leave him for her if given the chance. She's charming!
posted by amarynth at 2:51 PM on July 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't this is a bad thing: her music is good, it's nice she can get played somewhere. She's not going to get much airplay on the local "mega-alternative-rock-100.9!1!1!' station still blasting Rage against the Machine 15 years later, and they're sure as hell never going to play her on Mega Nashville Shitty Country 103.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:51 PM on July 15, 2009


I love "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me"--and Neko Case was one of the best "Not My Job" people they've ever had. The whole Civil War bit just gets better and better and better.
posted by yoink at 2:59 PM on July 15, 2009


Damn she's charming! I pretty much enjoy any interview I hear or read with her - this one is no exception.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 3:03 PM on July 15, 2009


I had heard the name Neko Case before, but hadn't paid any attention to her until I listened to this episode of "Wait, Wait...." So funny and charming! I looked up her music and downloaded "Blacklisted" right away, and I love it. She's a wonder.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 3:05 PM on July 15, 2009


> I thought it was one of the most delightful Not My Job segments ever.

The best Not My Job segment ever: Paula Deen. This is unambiguous and cannot be contested. The title is now retired.
posted by ardgedee at 3:13 PM on July 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


Does someone at NPR have a special relationship with Neko Case's label or promoters? I remember when her last album came out, and there was a lot of promotion through NPR for it.

I think it's more that her label knows that's where a lot of her listeners are, and so they make an effort to promote her there. If you listen to mainstream radio, you'll know that whenever Beyonce comes out with a new album, there are Beyonce spots galore. Neko Case is the Beyonce of NPR.

Going to see her in concert in 2 weeks for my birthday! Can't wait!
posted by bluefly at 3:14 PM on July 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


IMO, the best "Not My Job" segment was when they quizzed Carrie Fisher about SDI.
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:20 PM on July 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think, like Jenny Lewis, she just fits with their demographic really well.
I'm not sure about that. I think she fits a demographic they'd like to snag. They've got a lot of fifty and sixty-something listeners. They're interested in appealing to those people's twenty and thirty-something equivalents. They're trying to pitch their cultural coverage a bit younger, in an attempt to be relevent to younger listeners. A lot of the time it doesn't work, but I think that's what they're trying to do.
posted by craichead at 3:22 PM on July 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you thought this interview was charming, you really need to do yourself a favor and go to one of Neko Case's live shows. She's one of the best stage banterers out there. It's ilke an alt-country lounge act. And I mean that in a good way. Especially because she'll bounce off of her Ed McMahon/Andy Richter, back up vocalist Kelly Hogan (who also does her own stuff when not supporting Miss Case). I still will shake my head and laugh because I'll randomly remember their exchange during a show at Webster Hall that started off on Neko Case commenting on the weird decor of the place and how it seems like a joint fit for a prog rock band, only to have it turn into a rambling back and forth about starting their own backup band with only a flute and a Steinberger bass...and they'd call themselves Merkin Donut. Of course, it also doesn't hurt to hear Neko's supernaturally awesome pipes in person either.

Random tidbit: Neko and Kelly voiced the sirens on that "Sirens" episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. That's just awesome to me even though I wince whenever that episode is on because it's one of the more physically painful to think about next to the tree one where they rip Carl's skin off for paper. Man, that show makes me feel physically uncomfortable a lot.
posted by kkokkodalk at 3:22 PM on July 15, 2009


The best Not My Job segment ever: Paula Deen. This is unambiguous and cannot be contested. The title is now retired.

This is the absolute truth.
posted by hecho de la basura at 3:23 PM on July 15, 2009


Paula Deen was great, as was Carrie Fisher, I'd hate to pick a best between them.
posted by yoink at 3:23 PM on July 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Whoops, by "backup band" I mean "prog rock band" in the previous statement.
posted by kkokkodalk at 3:23 PM on July 15, 2009


Dammit. I missed her recent performance here in SLC. I totally would have waited to see her after the show.
posted by effwerd at 3:23 PM on July 15, 2009


Cheers to NPR for making the mp3 downloadable.
posted by acro at 3:25 PM on July 15, 2009


Neko Case is great but who likes to claim what as what? We do? New to me.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:28 PM on July 15, 2009


I don't understand how her story about not having men line up to throw themselves at her after shows can possibly be true.
posted by weston at 4:03 PM on July 15, 2009


While Paula Deen was great, I didn't hear her doing an 10-minute impromptu riff on Ken Burns and Neco Wafers that was frankly wittier than most of the panelists.
posted by Diablevert at 4:39 PM on July 15, 2009


The best Not My Job segment ever: Paula Deen. This is unambiguous and cannot be contested.

My favorite is still Muppeteer Kevin Clash and Elmo.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:54 PM on July 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Neko is claimed variously by at least Canada (Vancouver, mostly), Washington State, Chicago, and I think Tucson. Strangely, she seems to have been hiding out in Vermont a lot these days. This article has some bio.
posted by Mid at 5:02 PM on July 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


That was hilarious! Thanks for posting this!

I listen to the podcasts religiously, but hadn't yet been able to hear this one.

I also loved Paula Deen's segment. I can't stand watching her on television, but that segment was hilarious. But my all time favorite is still Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald:
Peter Sagal: "So in fact, as we've seen on television and even on other things, working here in a veterinary hospital near Denver, you've dealt with some pretty bizarre animals. I mean, not just your dogs and cats but a lot of exotic creatures..."

Dr. Kevin Fitgerald: "Well, sadly, for better or for worse, the animals go in fads. You know, last year, hedgehogs and sugargliders, ten years ago pot-bellied pigs and right now it's spiders. Hobo spiders, wolf spiders, giant tarantulas and being veterinarians we're not supposed to be afraid of any animals and I'm afraid of spiders! They creep me out! The way they move. They've got hair and saliva. That's wrong! A bug shouldn't have hair on it!

So this guy comes and he's got this plastic shoebox and this giant spider and he goes:

"Be Really Careful. He Got Out A Year Ago And Bit My Roommate In The Face and He Had to Have His Head Drained!"

And I was like aaaah! I was like, 'Get a Phonebook!" You know, that's not a practice builder, dropping a phone book on your patients. Even I know that. So I read where it takes one second to be nice and two seconds to be mean so we should be nice to each other and so I said, "Sir, what's wrong with him?" and he said

"Well, He's Just Not Himself."

"Not his perky spider spider self? Called in late for work?"

"No. He Hasn't Eaten In Several Weeks And Yesterday His Leg Fell Off."

I'm trying to think of something learned to tell this guy and get him outta there. So I say "It's been my experience sir, that when the leg falls off, they're obviously ill."

It sounded good, right? And I remembered that the Museum of Natural History in City Park has old Dr. Licht over there, the spider expert, so I say go see Dr. Licht, he's gonna help you.

About an hour later, the phone rings and it's Licht and he goes,

"Dr. Fitzgerald, Dr. Licht."

"Heyyyy..."

He goes: "Did you send Mr. Montgomery over here with this big-ass spider?"

"Uh... yeah...."

"Did you tell him that in your opinion 'when the leg falls off, they're obviously ill'?"

"uh..."

"Well, if you had taken time to examine him, you'd noticed that he was in fact, dead!"
:)
posted by zarq at 5:06 PM on July 15, 2009 [8 favorites]


My vote is for the NMJ episode with Tom Hanks.
posted by Hypnotic Chick at 5:10 PM on July 15, 2009


Whoops, apologies on the name of the show. As a Canadian, I only ever hear NPR in podcast form, and I'm not a regular listener to "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me".
posted by dbarefoot at 5:34 PM on July 15, 2009


lordy, there have been some great ones. i laughed hardest at the Hanks, but I gotta admit that Neko was pretty sharp with those Ken Burns bits.

As for "favorite things learned on NMJ", the fact that Dr. Ruth Westheimer was an Israeli Army sniper is close to the top of my list.
posted by lodurr at 5:35 PM on July 15, 2009


I also loved the bit in the Carrie Fisher one where she said that Alec Guiness once gave Mark Hamill 20 pounds to go away.
posted by lodurr at 5:40 PM on July 15, 2009


Caught this one on the radio. It's SO worth listening to (and I still have no idea who Neko is.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:12 PM on July 15, 2009


The Neko Case NMJ was excellent, beating out my until-recently-favorite with Harry Shearer. They didn't do their research and picked a topic that Harry knew _everything_ about.
posted by dr. fresh at 6:17 PM on July 15, 2009


weston: I don't understand how her story about not having men line up to throw themselves at her after shows can possibly be true.
I know, right! But then, I haven't lined up to throw myself at her mostly because I suspected I'd never get anywhere near her in the throngs.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 6:45 PM on July 15, 2009


Neko is claimed variously by at least Canada (Vancouver, mostly), Washington State, Chicago, and I think Tucson. Strangely, she seems to have been hiding out in Vermont a lot these days. This article has some bio.

Virginia, too. (How can you leave out Virginia? She titled an album "The Virginian.")
posted by desuetude at 7:36 PM on July 15, 2009


When I heard the bit about how lonely it is to be Neko after shows, I wanted to IM her with pointless anecdotes. Seriously, I have been to countless shows by her in Seattle and yes, never once did I attempt to speak with her. I am a married person and get my fear on when near Ms. Case.

Neko! Call me!
posted by mwhybark at 7:47 PM on July 15, 2009


Neko is my favorite so far, but some of the guests they get on NMJ for WaitWait would surprise you. Relatedly, Neko Case was on RocKwiz this week, which is also enjoyable (and streamable).
posted by jamuraa at 8:13 PM on July 15, 2009


Good lord I love her.
posted by littlerobothead at 8:33 PM on July 15, 2009


They didn't do their research and picked a topic that Harry knew _everything_ about.

When they had Kevin Smith on, they asked about a book he had just read.
posted by kmz at 9:02 PM on July 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


The best part of that episode of WWDTM was Paula Poundstone talking shit about Michael Jackson being a pedophile. Awkward.
posted by item at 10:03 PM on July 15, 2009


"but we Canucks like to claim her as our own"

We own her. Step away from the border and thus your claim. We will and definitely use harsher language that you would be willing to use.

You have been politely warned.
posted by Johnny Hazard at 10:35 PM on July 15, 2009


39 comments without a "she's overrated." Pretty impressive. She may have been precisely calibrated for the Metafilter demographics.

I ain't going to stop this mash note, though. Middle Cyclone and Fox Confessor Brings the Flood are fucking awesome.
posted by Weebot at 12:06 AM on July 16, 2009


She's overrated. ;)

Actually, I don't mind some of the music and what I've heard of the New Pornographers' stuff is pretty catchy. I just don't like her voice...what with the "loud singing" and complete lack of dynamics and dimension. I saw her solo live once in Toronto and you'd think one person with an acoustic guitar could bring it down a notch, even for just a bar or two. Nope. 60 minutes of hollering notes at us.
posted by RockCorpse at 2:49 AM on July 16, 2009


My wife doesn't care for her too much. ("Too big.") (Though she likes Middle Cyclone well enough. The Voice is slightly less in evidence, or at least a little more reigned in, and the arrangements are quite pretty.)

I know one person who dislikes Neko, but she freely admits it's jealousy over the fact that Neko's career has gone so well. (Where by "well" what's meant is Neko gets to earn a decent living without having to sell out. Call it the Steve Earl test.) She doesn't much care for Patty Griffin, either.

As far as that Paula Poundstone bit goes, what sounded awkward to me was the audience response to her calling people out for not being willing to appreciate someone while he's still alive. Paula's often a long-setup type: Don't look for then real payoff in her first punchline.
posted by lodurr at 5:32 AM on July 16, 2009


I saw Case on her present tour. Her set seemed strangely perfunctory, but the banter and repartee (including some back-and-forth with her backup singer about who had the most obvious camel-toe) was worth the price of admission.
posted by Danf at 8:07 AM on July 16, 2009


The best part of that episode of WWDTM was Paula Poundstone talking shit about Michael Jackson being a pedophile.

I loved that Poundstone bit, but I really didn't think she was "talking shit about MJ being a pedophile" per se. That is, I believe her when she says that she doesn't know what MJ did and doesn't want to know. What she was talking about was the bizarre 180 that people did in the way they generally talked about Jackson. From "Wacko Jacko" to "St. Michael, our fallen angel" without any hint of cognitive dissonance.

I thought her line about Peter Sagal going to Paris Hilton's memorial service at Staples Center just hit the whole thing out of the park.
posted by yoink at 9:41 AM on July 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I just don't like her voice

Take that back right now!
posted by diogenes at 10:28 AM on July 16, 2009


Whenever I hear her singing, I think of marzipan. I don't normally have synesthetic associations to sounds, so there's something interesting going on there. I should probably keep this to myself if I ever find myself chatting with lonely Neko after show...
posted by diogenes at 10:36 AM on July 16, 2009


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