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Neko Case: "Deep Red Bells"

Blacklisted, the album from which this song is taken, is on a CD full of miscellaneous MP3 files (117 of them, to be exact) that's been in my car player for a week or so. I'd forgotten how good it is. To tell you the truth, I'd pretty much forgotten about it, period, though I wrote about it here, almost exactly fifteen years ago. "Deep Red Bells" is the opening track, and one of my favorites.

I just learned, to my mild horror, that it's about a woman murdered by the Green River serial killer.


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Good song. I've always liked her voice but have never really warmed to her music for the most part, although I know that if I surveyed it I could come up with a great playlist. There always seem to be at least a couple good tunes on each album, at least on the ones I've heard. The owner of my local is a big fan and often plays her records in the bar.

She does have a great voice. I have her past four LPs, but have not really given them the time needed to form a real opinion other than it is nice to hear her sing.

Besides the voice and the songs, I'm a pushover for that heavily reverbed guitar. Members of Calexico, a band I really like, contributed to the playing and arranging. I was mistaken about this being the opening track, by the way, not that anyone cares. It's the second.

My friend is also a big fan of The Sadies, and if I remember correctly there is some connection between them and Case.

Did I ever mention a strange little album called "Feed the Fire" by Promise and the Monster? It's got a lot of that sort of guitar on it but the music is quirkier -- almost like a mash-up of Mazzy Star and Flunk. I bought it on a whim because I saw a really cheap copy, and ended up liking it very much. I see they (she?) has a new EP out called "Chewing Gum."

Yes, actually you, uh, facilitated my hearing it. I've only listened to it a couple of times, and that not real closely, but I liked what I heard. Which reminds me that I've been meaning to write about a couple of other albums you recommended.

Oh yes, now I remember. Listened to the new EP this evening, and was disappointed. It's much more synth-driven and has very little guitar (or other instruments, for that matter). Because of COVID lots of artists seem to have done these small-scale DIY records. Which is fine, but they're not all good just because they were done under pressure of the pandemic.

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