Sunday, March 1st, 2009
Neko Case covers Neil Young
WikipediaI remember soliciting suggestions for Polaris Prize nominations back in 2006 and having more than a few people declare that Neko Case’s Fox Confessor Brings The Flood was their favourite Canadian release of the year. And it’d have been a slam dunk if only Neko Case was Canadian.
It’s understandable that people assume that the Virginian (the name of her first record wasn’t picked randomly, people) had Canuck roots – she moved to Vancouver for college and played in a number of local bands, most conspicuously as drummer in Maow. And she’s part of one of the most successful Canadian bands going – The New Pornographers – and her first backing band was The Sadies, with whom she still collaborates frequently. No, the girl is American through and through but Canada does love her so.
And the feeling is mutual – in 2001 she released the tour-only EP Canadian Amp, half of which consisted of covers of Canadian artists and one of whom was Neil Young. Now Young is one of the most oft-covered artists Canada has ever produced but Case selected a track that hasn’t been done to death – “Dreamin’ Man” from 1992’s Harvest Moon, a song which finds Neil at his simplest and loveliest – and she more than does it justice.
Case will release her new album Middle Cyclone this week and is touring to support, though both Toronto shows April 17 and 18 at Trinity-St Paul’s are sold out. Young also has a new album out on
March 31 April 7, the automotive bailout-themed concept album Fork In The Road, and considering that its rush-release has pushed the Archives set on the back burner, it may be safe to say that this could be the least-anticipated Neil Young record ever. Those cities on his April Canadian tour may be right to be nervous about what they’re going to get. No one wants to say Greendale but they’re thinking it.
MP3: Neko Case – “Dreamin’ Man”
Video: Neil Young – “Dreamin’ Man” (live)