Neko Case may be banned from the stage of the Grand Ole Opry (a topless performance tends to have that effect) but her calling voice, cutting lyrics and twangy, swooshing sound ironically prove an interesting point: Country music isn't dead; it's just hanging out with the indie crowd.
Nope, the Virginia-born, Canadian-bred singer's music has no cheesy guitar riffs or American flag flaunting. But it's definitely a little country, albeit distinctly unique and entirely her own.
Known for her work on drums and vocals in the Vancouver-based indie rock group The New Pornographers, Case achieved critical acclaim and landed on many a critics' top ten list with her 2006 album Fox Confessor Brings the Flood. With her follow up due out in March, Case will be swinging down south on the last leg of her summer tour, stopping in at the Granada before closing at ACL Fest on Sunday with her opening/backing band Giant Sand (like the sandworms in Dune). Led by Howe Gelb, the group has ties to Calexico, who used to serve as its rhythm section. Whether you pull on your cowboy boots or not, this is a show worth seeing.