Neko Case

Doc Roc Presents

Neko Case

Thao (of the Get Down Stay Down)

Sun Sep 09

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Cain's Ballroom

Tulsa, OK

$30 - $45

This event is all ages


Advance $30

Day of Show $32
Mezzanine (21+) $45

Neko Case has partnered with PLUS1 so that $1 from every ticket will go to Peer Solutions and support their positive youth leadership and development program designed to prevent harm before it begins and engage lifetime ambassadors of positive change.

There is a $2 fee that applies to each ticket purchased at the Cain's Box Office.

No re-entry! No smoking! No refunds!

Support acts are subject to change without notice!

Neko Case
Neko Case
Neko Case was playing and touring with bands for a decade before she realized it was her job.

"Music was, and is, my obsession, but I guess I couldnt see the forest through the trees," she writes from her farmhouse in Vermont, reflecting on early periods of touring with several bands so regularly that she had to quit every other job she had. "I also didnt feel worthy of calling myself a 'musician.' It was just too sacred."

Now more than 20 years into that calling, Neko Case is the consummate career artist--fearless and versatile, with a fierce work ethic and a constant drive to search deeper within herself for creative growth. Nowhere is that clearer than in Truckdriver, Gladiator, Mule, a stunning vinyl box set of Case's complete (so far) solo discography, available from Anti- on November 13.

All eight titles--The Virginian (1997), Furnace Room Lullaby (2000), Canadian Amp (2001), Blacklisted (2002), The Tigers Have Spoken (2004), Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (2006), Middle Cyclone (2009), and The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You (2013)-- are remastered from their original analog tape and made available on 180 gram black vinyl, some for the first time in years, or ever. The set also includes an 80-page, limited-edition, full-color book of photography, designed and curated by Case herself.

"The release of this set gives listeners an excuse to appreciate the scope of one of the most individual and passionate artists making music today," says Anti- label head Andy Kaulkin. "When you take it all in, Neko's journey from punk/country torchbearer to avant pop icon has been staggering. This box makes a strong case for her fierceness of vision, pristine musical craft, unflinching lyrics, and of courseThat voice!"

Born in 1970, and raised all over working-class Washington state, Case spent a turbulent childhood shuffling between divorced and uninterested parents, and often alone. This is one reason she is an ardent collaborator, working with a huge roster of Canadian and American artists throughout her career, and thriving as a member of indie-pop supergroup the New Pornographers and other projects alongside her solo work.

"I know there are people who are really good at performing solo," she once said in an interview. "Me, I just feel lonely. I hate it. I don't like to practice alone, either. It's about community for me. I think it's about not having a family as a kid. I just spent a lot of time being really, really, really alone. I just don't want to do that anymore."

Case began collecting her musical community shortly after leaving home at 15. Known now for her extraordinary voice and songwriting, Case started out behind a kit. By 17 she was playing drums for several local bands, and at 23 she moved to Vancouver for art school, where she drummed for emerging punk groups including Cub and Maow. Out of that punk foundation, however, grew Case's exploration of country. The Virginian, her 1997 solo debut released by Canadian label Mint and backed by the band referred to as Her Boyfriends, is a joyous collection of originals and covers, including Loretta Lynn's "Somebody Led Me Away" and the Everly Brothers' "Bowling Green."

Case relocated to Seattle after graduation and dug her roots deeper with 2000's Furnace Room Lullaby, an emotional set of originals ranging from murder ballads to poignant eulogies both figurative and literal. She moved again, this time to Chicago, and released 2001's beautifully home-recorded EP Canadian Amp, a cover-heavy tribute to Canadian songwriters and collaborators, spotlighting Case's talents as an interpretive vocalist in addition to a gifted songwriter. 2002's Blacklisted, recorded in Tucson, earned Case a new level of critical acclaim and a tour spot with Nick Cave for its dark, yearning compositions that unleashed an even greater power in her remarkable voice. While Blacklisted was Case's first solo album without Her Boyfriends, it, like all of her work, featured a diverse list of musicians including Joey Burns and John Convertino of Calexico, Howe Gelb of Giant Sand, Dallas Good of the Sadies, and frequent vocal collaborator Kelly Hogan.

The live album The Tigers Have Spoken, released in 2004, spotlights Case's incredible performance prowess recorded at several shows in Chicago and Toronto with Canadian band the Sadies. When she returned to the studio two years later, the result was Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, a stunning, evocative album of dark fairy tales based on Case's life that critics called a masterpiece. But she had even higher to climb; 2009's Middle Cyclone, drenched in the rage and beauty of the natural world, was nominated for two Grammys and reached No. 3 on the Billboard album chart.

In a painful three years that followed, Case lost both of her parents and several other loved ones, and retreated to a 100-acre farmhouse in Vermont, where she plans to stay. "I was really depressed and in mourning . . . and I'd never slowed down to just feel it," she says. She turned inward, then, for her most ambitious and revealing album to date. 2013's The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You surges with themes of gender, fear, pain, hope, and power, from the heartwrenching "Near Midnight, Honolulu," to the defiant "Man."

"Being in a band isn't a race to an awards platform; it is a life, a great and complicated, messy, anxious, hilarious, and home-made life," writes Case from the farmhouse. "I wouldn't trade it for anything, ever. I gave up a lot of what makes people 'normal,' but it was always my choice. That is a victory in itself. This is a LONG story, which I will continue later."
Thao (of the Get Down Stay Down)
Thao (of the Get Down Stay Down)
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down—the San Francisco−based band fronted by singer and songwriter Thao Nguyen—released their fourth album, A Man Alive, on March 4, 2016. Following the critical success of We The Common (2013), which was largely inspired by Thao’s volunteer work with the California Coalition for Women’s Prisoners, A Man Alive is an evolution in both subject matter and sound. Thao says: “I wanted A Man Alive to be beat- and bass-driven—rather than guitar-based—extending and elaborating upon the hip-hop influences of the previous record. A Man Alive is more instrumental, more riff- and loop-centric, and has more manipulated sounds.” The Get Down Stay Down are at their best on this record, and Thao herself experimented with programming drumbeats for several tracks, although live drums are also played on every song.

Mostly recorded at Tiny Telephone Studios in San Francisco, A Man Alive was produced by Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards. Collaborating with Garbus, who is a close personal friend, allowed Thao to achieve the sound she had been striving for on previous releases. “Looking back,” she says, “I was less sure of what I wanted. With this record I had clearer vision and aspirations. I wanted emotion. I wanted power. I wanted beats. Merrill’s priority was that I take songs and ideas and run with them; she pushed us all over the place. She carved out time and space for us to experiment at will and fostered a very supportive, creative environment. Everyone was compelled to go beyond what they were comfortable doing. Musician-wise we kept it tight knit because the songs were so personal and vulnerable, and it was such an intense process, I only wanted those who know me well.”

A Man Alive finds Thao exploring darker and more personal territory than in her earlier songwriting. She grew up in Northern Virginia, on the outskirts of Washington, DC. When Thao was young, her father left the family. She helped out in her mother’s laundromat as a teenager, sitting at the counter with a guitar, making change for customers, working on her first songs, and playing at open mics in the evenings. Her father drifted in and out of their lives.

“The record is essentially about my relationship with my dad, its trajectory. It’s a document of my life in conjunction with his, even though we’ve always been leading our lives away from each other. Some are optimistic and forgiving, some are the opposite. There are songs from his perspective: I imagined what it would be like to have kids and choose to exist without them, or feel like you have to save them from yourself. I realized there was this relationship that I never really talk about, realized it’s defined so much of me. So it was a point of reckoning. The record wrote itself. Painstakingly, of course.”

The emotional center of A Man Alive is the gorgeous, plaintive “Millionaire,” a song about a wayward father. While the song could have ended up as a folk ballad, its instrumentation and atmosphere is of a piece with the rest of the album, pushed along by heavily reverbed synthesizer, a simple guitar riff, and subdued drums and bass. “That’s a sad fucking song,” Thao said. “I remember walking out of the vocal booth, and I saw Merrill tearing up. It’s uncompromisingly sad, which I don’t traffic well in. It took a lot.”

Much of A Man Alive is vibrant and danceable—including standout tracks such as “Astonished Man,” “Slash/Burn,” “Nobody Dies,” and “Meticulous Bird”—and the juxtaposition of that exuberance with the dark themes explored in the lyrics is one of the album’s great achievements. The songs are often punctuated by handclaps, sing-along choruses, and ass-shaking beats. While these songs come from a deeply personal origin, they have such an accessible quality that it is easy to imagine an engaged and participatory live audience. “I suspect that’s always been my motive,” Thao says, “but this is the most actualized that it’s ever been. I wanted to make a record that was very introspective and personal, but it would also seek to communicate. And we would have fun performing it—not just fun, but I wanted a kind of crazy, rabid, animal energy. That’s my favorite thing about performing—you can tap into this frenzy. We want people to dance and feel. And I want to do that every night, too.”

A Man Alive is undoubtedly a new career highlight for Thao & The Get Down Stay Down. The album presents a fiercely original group sound that is rife with experimentation and playfulness. It demonstrates Thao’s development as a songwriter. And it achieves that most elusive quality in music—to create an album of songs that are dark yet buoyant, tragic yet redemptive, personal yet inclusive.
Venue Information:
Cain's Ballroom
423 N Main St.
Tulsa, OK, 74103
http://www.cainsballroom.com