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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Neko's Vanishing Case … Solved!

There's been rampant — and silly — speculation around town regarding the strange and sudden disappearance of one Neko Case from the New Pornographers' show this past Friday at Higher Ground. Did she quit the band? Did she pass out in a drug crazed stupor? Did one of her stalkers show up? (Don't look at me, I was at Nectar's.)

I wrote briefly on this in tomorrow's column. But other than noting that she was a no-show, there wasn't much left to report. The folks at Higher Ground were as baffled as the rest of us. Further inquiries to the club and the reps for both the New Pornographers and Case were not returned. That is, until just after the column went to the press. Of course. [That sound you hear is me shaking my fists skyward, cursing the rock and roll gods.]

HG's Alex Crothers writes that Case was — Are you ready? Can you feel the tension? Deep breaths, deeeep breaths — stricken with food poisoning. Yuck.

Here's hoping Ms. Case is feeling better.



Ah ha! Glad you wrote about this, Dan. While it wasn't unusual for Neko to be absent (I've seen them a couple times before when she's been musically occupied elsewhere, and Kathryn has always ably handled her parts), it was mighty strange to see a microphone set up for her like an empty seat for Elijah. Thanks for helping to solve the mystery.


While disappointed in the absence of Ms. Case and Mr. Bejar, they still put on an amazing show. That AC Newman is a hell of a front man.


While disappointed in the absence of Ms. Case and Mr. Bejar, they still put on an amazing show. That AC Newman is a hell of a front man.


I'm a huge NP fan and was very disappointed -- because of Neko's unexplained absence and the show in general. The band seemed like they didn't really want to be evidenced by the ridiculously short set they played. The energy was really lacking, I thought.


What's "silly" is accepting a bullshit excuse so easily. Everyone agrees that she was at HG for the sound check. It's pretty clear that, at the time of the show, neither the band nor the venue knew where Neko was. Hello? That's why the band was so off. Why was her mic stand set up on stage? Why the long-ass delay between the opening act and the headliner? Because they were hoping that maybe she'd show back up.

dan bolles

You're right, Mundy. It's probably a huge conspiracy. That's the only logical explanation, really. Or, maybe Neko and Dan Bejar ate the fish …


Food poisoning is literally the show business equivalent of "the dog ate my homework." At least say "had to tend to personal issue" or "family emergency" if you're feuding with your band mates. Also, leaving a microphone on stage is hardly a sympathetic gesture toward an ill comrade. Seems more like a passive aggressive magnification of her absence.


It's not a huge conspiracy, it's just both businesses involved - the band and the venue - making sure they get paid-in-full, regardless of whether they delivered the show they advertised or not. I proposed a "half-refund in cash or full-refund in credit" settlement to HG. (Basically, "we both got jipped, let's split it.") I was, of course, denied.

Anyone wanna buy two Broken Social Scene tickets at face value? I'll eat the service charge.

dan bolles

It's entirely possible that is the case, Mundy. But my gut feeling is that even if there is another explanation, we're not gonna find out what it is. (That doesn't mean I won't try, of course.)

Based on what little I know about Neko Case — from being a fan for years and about an hour on the phone a while back — I have a hard time believing she would bail without good reason. She's aware of how interested her new VT neighbors are in her, and how excited folks are to have her here. The importance of the NPs show to local fans was not lost on her. Neither, I imagine, is the disappointment fans felt on Friday.

That said, I also know that she is an intensely private person. So unless she wants to set the record straight, this might be the only answer we get.

But who knows? Maybe we can get her to sit in for Leslie Feist when BSS comes.


Either she bailed for a good reason - and there are many I can think of, many of the "private" variety - or she just flipped out, like any human can do. She's still may favorite. Yeah, I'm interested to know the scoop, in a gossipy sort of way, but I'm over the sting of disappointment by now. (It took about a day.

The thing is, a bunch of tickets were sold on the Neko Case name. (I took a good look around that crowd. Believe me. HG even had Neko's name listed before Carl Newman's, in the "featuring" line on their website.)

And there was no Neko Case. I know it's a fucked-up situation, but why does HG and the NPs get to keep all the money? Because they can, that's why. Because the money is already in their pockets. Well, that's shitty.


You know what? I think I'm finally over it. Yeah, it's shitty, but oh well. I guess I just needed to bitch about it online a few times. Feels like a cloud is lifting...

Sir Winston Thriller

I was disappointed, too, but enjoyed the show for the most part. The sound, from where I was sitting (near the soundman) was terrible, though. The vocals were almost too muddy to hear.

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