Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Case File #8: "Prison Girls"

Neko Case
"Prison Girls"
Middle Cyclone

The need to know: On the cover of 2009's Middle Cyclone, that's Neko perched atop a muscle car, bearing a sword. And, yes, she really is that much of a bad ass. As both a part-time front woman for The New Pornographers and solo tour de force, it's Neko's powerful vocals that make her recordings so unforgettable. More than just a serious set of pipes, though, she's also one hell of a songwriter. Often crafting dark portraits of believable characters in her distinct country noir flavor, her albums have consistently provided some of the best alt country this side of Wilco. 

Why it's worthy: An ominous, dreamlike trance, "Prison Girls" threads hopelessly dark imagery with swoon-worthy "Ohs" for a tapestry as rich and inescapable as its narrator's predicament.  Vivid, haunting tableaus juxtapose the song's stunning, poetic cry of "I love your long shadows and gunpowder eyes"--a phrase I could hear Neko sing for hours on end (and I sometimes do).

Quotable lyric: "I love your long shadows and your gunpowder eyes"

Where you've heard it: Neko gets to play guest programmer tonight on TCM, where she'll be playing four of her favorite classic flicks. Unrelated, but still good to know. (Thanks A.V. Club!)

Get obsessed:

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