Live & Direct with Neko Case


Neko Case joined Rosemary Welsch for a Live & Direct session on June 30, 2014. Her band mates, Eric Bachmann on guitar and Kelly Hogan on backup vocals and additional instrumentation, accompanied her for a rare and acoustic performance for a tightly packed and energetic room full of WYEP Members.

Rosemary asked Neko Case to provide a thumbnail synopsis for her 2013 release, The Worst Things Get, The Harder, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, but the long title of the album serves as a summary itself. However, the “You” in the album title is ambiguous—“You” can represent Neko Case herself or other people in the world. She explained that she grew up in a family where people didn’t talk about themselves because vanity was considered the worst sin on earth, “so it’s hard to go ‘yeah, it’s about loving me and all my glory’…me, me, me, I love me—I do! But there’s a lot of conditions that I love myself on.”

The haunting song, “Nearly By Night, Honolulu,” stopped Rosemary in her tracks after first listen. Neko Case witnessed a mother yelling profanities at her child, which inspired her to write a song about the incident. Neko Case has been criticized for not standing up for the child and standing idly by, but she observed the child shrug off her parent’s comment while looking unaffected by the remark, and she was impressed by the child’s ability to ignore the negativity. Neko Case made the artistic choice to keep the song a cappella with unique harmonies because she wrote the song in a car and felt like the melody was already completely there without instrumentation. The fact that the song is a capella with a beautiful melody, while at the same time describing an unpleasant situation, makes it a poignant and memorable track.  

Rosemary also discussed topics such as family struggles, deconstructing gender norms, love of animals, and home with Neko Case.


Lisa Fierstein, Music & Programming Intern


Neko Case and her band (Eric Bachmann & Kelly Hogan) performed at the WYEP Studios on June 30th, 2014. 

Set List:

- City Swans

- Calling Cards

- Local Girl

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