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Live from Austin Tx

4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 9, 2007
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Frequently Bought Together

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The latest release from the acclaimed Live From Austin, TX Austin City Limits series is the CD version of Neko Case's 2003 appearance. The DVD release was heralded by NOW magazine as ''a career-defining session, signaling the ascendancy of a powerful new voice in American Music.'' Since its inception, the series has shipped almost 1 million units and garnered its first Gold release, with others nearing Gold certification.

Amazon.com

What k.d. lang branded "torch and twang" might serve as a starting point for a description of Neko Case's music, but the uniqueness of a style that incorporates country roots, punk attitude, and supper-club sophistication defies classification. Her 2003 debut performance on the Austin City Limits series (also available on DVD) showcases Case's artistry in a stripped-down setting, with stand-up bassist Tom Ray serving as a one-man rhythm section, Jon Rauhouse providing multi-instrumental virtuosity on banjo and a variety of guitars, and Kelly Hogan supplying impeccable harmony support. Case was touring at the time behind her Blacklisted album, though the setlist strays farther. On "Hex," written by Freakwater's Catherine Irwin, Case and Hogan could pass as the Louvin Sisters, while Bob Dylan's "Buckets of Rain" receives a languid reading punctuated by Rauhouse's Hawaiian lap-steel guitar. "Deep Red Bells" emphasizes the western side of country & western, with the more experimental "Maybe Sparrow" combining banjo and edgy atmospherics. Throughout, the bare-bones arrangements let the songs breathe and Case's voice soar. --Don McLeese
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 9, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: New West Records
  • ASIN: B000KCI9U6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,479 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
If you're the kind of person who already owns Blacklisted, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, Furnace Room Lullaby, and perhaps even Canadian Amp or The Virginian, then definitely buy this album. But if you're new to Neko, or have maybe one album and are looking to expand your collection, pick up the other albums I listed first. And if you're looking for live Neko, start with The Tigers Have Spoken. In general, this is the last album of hers I'd recommend - although I still recommend it, on the grounds that I recommend that serious music lovers should own everything Neko Case has ever recorded!

The problem here is that it's too sparse and downtempo to sustain a whole album. It's an interesting experiment for a while, but several songs need a fuller sound, and the overall flow needs some uptempo. It's a good album to have in a shuffle mix on your iPod, but not to listen to straight through - try one of her phenomenal studio albums for a taste of what she can do with pacing!

Don't let this discourage you from buying this album, though... just buy other Neko Case albums first.
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Format: Audio CD
Neko Case is this generation's Patsy Cline only with more attitude. Her appeal crosses over multiple genre's but you can't quite categorize her. Pick up any of her catalog and you'll find yourself searching for more.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have seen other reviews saying this music is boring, or "not her best work". As a matter of fact, though I consider Fox Confessor her best studio album, this is currently the CD I have on heavy rotation. This album is just one long goodness.

One reviewer says, "The problem here is that it's too sparse and downtempo to sustain a whole album." But that is not true. The compositions and performances are subtle and deep. If anything, the album is too short!

"And if you're looking for live Neko, start with The Tigers Have Spoken," he says. But that album is boring pop. I think that guy just likes her with the Sadies and New Pornographers--either that or he simply doesn't appreciate Neko's complexity, which keeps me coming back for more.

Bottom line? Decide for yourself.
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Format: Audio CD
Neko Case offers an interesting approach to popular music and progressive country. Having heard her latest album, Fox Confessor, I was eager to see her live. This DVD was my next best opportunity. She played with a small ensemble of tight musicians and a back-up singer, and they played surprisingly well, if not dramatic. Neko seemed extremely nervous on the Austin City Limits stage, and she admits to being over-joyed to be on the program. Nonetheless, she was very adept at playing her music, which is a mix of country, folk, and light jazz-rock. It will be interesting to see where she goes from here. I would recommend this performance if you haven't seen Neko case, or even if you haven't heard her music. She is a very interesting singer.
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Format: Audio CD
Live From Austin TX," Neko Case's second live album, was recorded on 08/09/03 at Austin City Limits. As was the case with her first live album, "The Tigers Have Spoken," which actually was recorded after this one, in March and April of 2004, the overall sound on "Live From Austin TX" is alt-country. Unlike its predecessor, however, the music is more stripped down and there really are no uptempo rockers. While I slightly prefer the mix of songs on "The Tigers Have Spoken," the sparser instrumentation and slower tempo songs on "Live From Austin TX" really allow Neko's strong voice to come to the forefront, which provides further evidence that she really knows how to belt out a tune. All 14 tracks are very good. Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
As with all Neko Case recordings, this is a joy to listen to. It's not without it's flaws, however, and I'm thinking Austin City Limits is to blame.

First off, as a couple of reviewers debated over, Neko's vocals are mixed with less reverb than what Neko fans are used to. I've heard Neko herself refer to the amount of reverb she uses live to be at a "pornographic" level, but that's the way she likes it, so that's the way we, as fans, like it as well. It's part of her sound, just like it would be for, say, a surf guitarist. I don't know if Austin City Limits forced her to lower the reverb level, or if she just didn't push the issue because she was so in awe of being on the show in the first place. Regardless, just be aware that it is at a sub-Neko (i.e. normal) level.

Second, Nearly all the between song banter that Neko is famous for has been cut out. I think that most live Neko fans can agree that her ramblings are part of the Neko concert experience. One of these songs was the first one she ever wrote, but, although she stated that during this concert, it was cut out of this recording. I didn't know who the Louvin Brothers were until Neko mentioned them in the original broadcast of this performance. I subsequently went out and got myself acquainted with them. What I'm saying is that Austin City Limits did us a disservice by deciding to omit the talking between the songs. One of the things that makes Austin City Limits so wonderful is that it's intimate. What can be more intimate than having the artist talk to us like we're in their own living room? I can understand cutting it for the broadcast, due to time restraints, but there is no reason to not include it here.

Oh, consumer, do not let me dissuade you from purchasing this CD. Neko's version of "Alone and Forsaken" is easily worth the price of admission by itself, and there are several more gems here to be discovered. I just want you to know what you're getting.
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