I met one of Neko Case's boyfriends once. His name was Bill, and for a time he was a drummer and bass player in Case's band. (Band name: "Neko Case and Her Boyfriends") Bill went to high school with a friend of mine, and I met him a few times when I lived out in Seattle. This was around the time of the release of "Furnace Room Lullaby," a record I listened to hundreds of times, amazed at the lyrics and the beauty of Case's voice and also that it hadn't made her famous.
One day we were at a party in Kurt and Barbara's house, and Bill started telling stories about touring with Case's band. About the amazing musical instrument store somewhere outside of London that supplies the touring acts that come through there, where you can play guitars that used to belong to the Beatles. I wanted him to tell a Neko Case story but I didn't want to ask him, and then, finally, he did. What I remember Bill saying about playing with Case was that it was like being around a rising star. She was going places and you could tell, was the gist of what he said.
Well, Neko Case has arrived. Her new album "Middle Cyclone" gets a glowing review in the New Yorker, and on the cover Case is posed on the hood of a Mercury Cougar with a Samurai sword. What further proof does one need? Also, her album is on sale at Starbuck's. Of course, for every listener, Neko Case arrives when you first hear her. Her powerful and unusual songwriting has been gathering its audience for years. "Middle Cyclone" is a great record, definitely worth downloading from Itunes or wherever you pay for music.
(image taken from website for Neko Case)
(NB: This post was edited in response to the helpful comment of Tim Jones-Yelvington, below)