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Neko Case @ Walt Disney Concert Hall, 11/16/07

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"It's so nice and quiet and beautiful in here... from here the lighting kinda looks like a Cylon from Battlestar Galactica." -- Neko Case, melting the heart of every geek in the house while taking in the mysterious angles and lighting inside the Frank Gehry-designed concert hall.

Neko Case closed out the first half of Walt Disney Concert Hall's 2007-08 Songbook Series last Friday to a rapt, grateful, near-sellout audience of about 2,000.

The charming Ms. Case has the uncanny ability to slip from witty, girl-next-door, whiskey-tinged banter between numbers directly into a crystal-clear, wide-ranging, from-somewhere-near-the-heavens singing voice and Friday was no exception. She seemed a bit tentative at first in such an imposing and quiet hall but after three songs she ditched her high-heels, untucked her blouse, and freewheeled through the rest of the set barefoot.

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Neko Case and her band, featuring vocalist Kelly Hogan and guitar/banjo/pedal steel guru Jon Rauhouse, rolled through a one-hour set (plus two sets of encores) spanning Case's solo recording career -- complete with its hints of edgy alt-country, torch-songstress belting, and nouveau desert rolling narratives. Yes, enough ridiculous quasi-genre classifications to put all typecasting to rest. Case, as one adoring fan yelled out, is "the real deal."

The entire show was simulcast on National Public Radio (check NPR's lovely new music site). You can listen to or download the entire show here; there's also a nice slideshow.

But first we'd like to share a couple tracks -- and our favorite banter -- with you right here.

"Hold On, Hold On" -- (Neko and Kelly's introduction dissects the glamor of the Lean Cuisine diet):





"Dirty Knife" -- (prefaced with an explanation of the song's Ukranian roots and the aforementioned "Cylon" remark):





photo by unsureshot via flickr.