Neko Case: “I’m Almost Impossible To Embarrass!”

The forceful alt.voice, and sometime New Pornographer, in her own words and by her own hand.

Neko Self Portrait 770 by 800
Neko Case 250
Neko Case: her revenge on bullies will be terrible.

I would describe myself as… a nerdy 13-year-old boy in a strange woman’s body. I act out a lot, there’s silliness and general air of self-confidence.

Music change me by… I think I’d just be dead without it. I can’t imagine where I would be if I didn’t have such a positive thing to focus on as a kid. It scares me. I didn’t have parents or direction. It was a lighthouse for sure.

When I’m not making music… there’s farming, reading – a lot – wandering around in the woods, writing, hanging out with my friends and animals, eating, learning about anything I can get my hands on. Right now history is my fixation – the Civil War is where I go forwards and backwards from, I think it’s because it’s actually so recent and it happened so close to where I live [in Vermont]. I went on a Civil War vacation a few years ago, we went to the Confederate White House – even the name of it sounds insane. I would do a lot more if I didn’t have to spend so much time in airports. I fantasize about a future, for me, with no air travel. Only ocean liners, cars and horses.

My biggest vice… is sugar.

“I’d like to be remembered as a two-fisted son of a bitch.”

The last time I was embarrassed was… I can shit my pants and brag about it so that’s a tough one. I’m very hard, almost impossible to embarrass, I have no idea why that is… maybe because I made myself do things when I was younger, to get over being super-shy. It’s very freeing, especially when you perform onstage with all the calamities that can happen there! I don’t much like having my picture taken, though, that feels embarrassing to me. Too much attention. Ew. Discomfort.

My formal qualifications are… a BFA in fine arts which might mean “no” to most folks.

The last time I cried was… today. Listening to Lambchop’s You Masculine You [from Nixon].

Vinyl, CD or MP3? Vinyl and CD. I am not crazy about MP3 but I don’t let it ruin my day. Though it does make tripartite mixing a bitch!

My most treasured possession is… it’s a 3-way tie between my grandmother’s wedding ring, my Gibson SG electric tenor guitar and my Fender Jazzmaster. My Jazzmaster is the most useful, so in a pinch I think I would have to choose that.

Lynda-Barry-Cruddy
Lynda Barry’s Cruddy: “creepy and grey”, but in a good way.

The best book I’ve read is… Another three-way tie between Watership Down by Richard Adams, that was the first book that got me hooked. After Watership Down I was a ravenous, unstoppable reading machine. Also Annie Dillard’s The Living and Lynda Barry’s Cruddy. It’s all coming in threes, so Masonic! These last two books best describe the landscape where I’m from. Creepy and grey to most, close and otherworldly to me.

Is the glass half-full or half-empty… half full. I can make things out of just a little. I like recycled things and making a little go a long way, and if I see canned beets on sale I’ll buy ten of them, it’s like I’m getting ready to go in the nuclear fallout shelter! But I’m not a hoarder – if it doesn’t get used it’s recycled or given away, and then one month later I find I need it.

My biggest regret is… not ever getting the chance to beat the intestines out of a few bullies from my ‘kid days’. Not a popular stance but I stick by it. There were some real petty, lousy, mean fuckers, bullies who took advantage, and I’d still love to knock their teeth out!

When we die… we are too insignificant to know what happens, which is a huge relief. I don’t believe anything happens and I’m okay with that, I’m excited to be here right now with the people, the animals and the world.

I’d like to be remembered… as a two-fisted son of a bitch.

Artist(s):