Music & Clubs

Neko Case

ANIMAL INSTINCTS: Neko Case brings her unique alt-country sound to Mountain Winery Friday.

NEKO CASE IS alt-country's reigning poet laureate. Growing up in punk bands and even becoming an indie rock sensation as part of the New Pornographers now seems like it was all just prep for the dark and dramatic power she's brought to roots music over the last 10 years. Case's solo career as a singer-songwriter actually began long before that, on a parallel track with her rock-star path. The very idea of rock stardom, however, seemed to bore if not downright annoy her. She had both the looks and the voice to milk the New Pornographers' success for all it was worth, but instead she pulled herself as far out of the spotlight as she could get, choosing to develop her own sound. Her first stabs at country were rickety, coming off somewhat like one of the Jolie Holland indie types who seem to be almost ironically mimicking a popular notion of what country music should sound like. But her third album, Blacklisted, was like nothing anyone had heard before, a creepy dreamscape that put the alternative (as in, universe) in alt-country. Fox Confessor Brings the Flood blew Blacklisted's successes into almost mythological proportions: the sound was impossibly lush and sweeping, but as personal as a whisper in your ear, while the lyrics seemed to mean all the right things even though it was impossible to know exactly what they meant. It was 2009's Middle Cyclone that made her the people's poet, digging into the most elemental forces of Mother Nature to lay out the essential truths of human nature. If there's anyone who can't relate to "I'm an Animal," I haven't met them—and most likely wouldn't want to.

Mountain Winery

Friday, July 1

7:30pm; $35-$75.

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