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Getting the Band Back Together

Ugh. Somebody needs to get the world's female-vocalists-in-bands-I-like to stop recording crappy solo projects. Jenny Lewis, Neko Case, now I'm listening to Amy Milan's desperately mediocre album. And I hear Emily Haines is working on one too. This is terrible.

May 16, 2006 | Permalink

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Comments

Hmm, Neko's latest is currently #2 on Cokemachineglow's rating list for the year to date. Is it really so bad?

Posted by: Christopher M | May 16, 2006 2:31:10 PM

I also respectfully disagree about the Neko album. Her previous solo albums, meh. But Fox Confessor grabbed me from the first time I heard "Margaret vs. Pauline" and I'm not yet tired of it. It's like the intersection of Emmylou Harris and Sigur Ros.

Posted by: David Weigel | May 16, 2006 2:40:03 PM

Yeah, I can't go along in re: Jenny Lewis either; Rabbit Fur Coat is terrific.

Posted by: Scott | May 16, 2006 2:48:44 PM

Stop encouraging them, people! Stay with the band. Stay with the band. Stay with the band.

Posted by: Matthew Yglesias | May 16, 2006 3:15:31 PM

Neko was solo before the NP. Furnace Room Lullaby is way better than her work with NP -- and way better than the new record too.

Posted by: Mark | May 16, 2006 4:30:39 PM

Dude, really, it's all cool and progressive and stuff, but the all-grrl party has got to stop. I blame the Canucks, they're making you soft.

Posted by: Kriston | May 16, 2006 4:56:25 PM

I like the new Neko album better than NPs!

Posted by: Will Wilkinson | May 16, 2006 5:10:43 PM

NC > NP
But Jenny Lewis + Elected < Rilo Kiley.
Amy Milan = Amy Millan

I don't know, this preference for fixed groups instead of recognizing the free-floating ad-hoc nature of indie, when any two musicians can mix tapes over the internet and release it under a new third name means MY spends too much time in bars.

Signed:Lou Barlow

Posted by: bob mcmanus | May 16, 2006 6:27:08 PM

I was thinking about respectfully disagreeing like David with your ridiculous allegations toward Neko Case, but thinking about it more I might have to disrespectfully disagree instead, such is the extent of my outrage.
I rather agree with you on Jenny Lewis though, and haven't heard Amy Milan.

Posted by: zw | May 16, 2006 7:34:11 PM

"Neko was solo before the NP."

Yup.

And FWIW, her solo live act is highly recommended.

Posted by: Petey | May 16, 2006 8:09:25 PM

What Petey said re: Neko Case live. And her solo work is much better than the New Pornographers, although since I like her alt-country and standards type stuff (see "Poor Wayfaring Stranger" and "Running Out of Fools") best I'm not so crazy about her newest record relative to her other stuff.

Posted by: Ted | May 16, 2006 8:42:51 PM

Neko's live album The Tigers Have Spoker, which is technically solo, is absolutely amazing. Her stuff with the New Pornographers is good, but I think her own voice comes through better in the solo work.

Then again, the idea of "an indie Emmylou" makes me all weak inside.

Posted by: DivGuy | May 16, 2006 10:29:25 PM

Just to jump on the bandwagon, there's no question that neko case is first and foremost a solo artist with a side project in an excellent band .

On the other hand, the Amy Millan album--truly awful. To be fair, I've never heard it, but I've seen her perform stuff from it a couple times (once opening for Metric, as it happens) and it was unbelievably awful, in a way that suggested that no amount of studio time was going to improve it.

Against your thesis though, Feist's solo album was a good call on her part.

Posted by: mc | May 16, 2006 10:32:48 PM

Super-groups are inevitably doomed, and the clock was already ticking on the NPs when you first heard "Letter from an Occupant." Not that I think Neko's solo stuff is better, per se, but there's little hope that a serious singer-songwriter is going to be satisfied for long providing bounce and volume for someone else's records. Anyway, even if Fox Confessor isn't on par with Furnace Room, it is still better on the whole than The Slow Wonder, which itself is a pretty decent album. So just relax.

Posted by: Professor Booty | May 17, 2006 12:41:58 AM

I think this post is just an unknowing expression of your repressed misogyny and desire to subjugate women, Matt. All this sensitive gender stuff you've posted in the past has just been full of crap.

Posted by: flippantangel | May 17, 2006 9:21:57 AM

In all the well-deserved defenses of Neko Case's solo work, nobody's mentioned perhaps the most important point: New Pornographers are boring and almost shockingly overrated. So even if Fox Confessor fell well short of where it did, it would still likely be better than Twin Cinema.

Posted by: mark f | May 17, 2006 11:57:08 AM

Oh, and Scott is very wrong about Rabbit Fur Coat. Her voice is great, but the melodies and arrangements are generic and the lyrics are inexcusably awful.

Posted by: mark f | May 17, 2006 11:59:37 AM

'Solo artist' is just a term for anyone too insufferable to be in a band.

Posted by: Tom Hilton | May 17, 2006 6:28:46 PM

I agree with the others re Neko Case solo release. It's terrific. "Star Witness" is endlessly playable. And mind you, I'm as tough a critic as you appear to be.

http://theangryliberal.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Grey Matter | May 17, 2006 10:01:33 PM

Am I the only one that reads that that loves both Neko by herself and the New Pornographers?

Posted by: ryan | May 19, 2006 6:07:19 AM

No, I like 'em both. The NPs are the best live band ever.

Posted by: Professor Booty | May 19, 2006 11:06:23 PM

neko is the hot, 'nouf said

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Posted by: JEROGatch | Sep 15, 2006 6:50:54 AM

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