After a month of endless e-mails, phone calls and searching under a few rocks, I was finally able to track down Neko Case for a gracious two-minute interview. The long-awaited New Pornographers album (due Aug. 23) is expecting a warm response from fans and critics alike. Case, a Chicago resident, kicks off her solo show which will hit The Highdive on June 10.

buzz: So, you have a show June 10 in Champaign. Are you totally stoked?
Case: Yes, definitely, definitely stoked. I really love The Highdive.

buzz: Familiar with any local alt-country artists?
Case: Uh … no.

buzz: Understandable. When did you decide to make the transition from punk to indie to alt-country?
Case: I’m not alt-country. I don’t know what that is.

buzz: But you would agree you’ve been described as that genre, no?
Case: Yeah, I guess they’ve said it, but it’s not accurate.

buzz: OK, so what would you describe your music as?
Case: I don’t know. I’m not qualified to say that.

buzz: Well, who are your influences?
Case: I don’t know. A lot of stuff.

buzz: OK … well, so, back to the tour. You’re going to be touring for a while solo and then with the New Pornographers. Any plans to record a new solo album soon?
Case: I was recording back in Arizona and then we’re heading east and we’re circling back. The New Pornographers have a new album coming out sometime in August and then I’ll finish recording the album at the end of the tour.

buzz: So what direction (are) the New Pornographers heading vs. your solo album?
Case: ….

buzz: Neko?

[Case never returned any of our further calls.]

Neko Case will be appearing at an early show at The Highdive this Friday. The show begins with opener Low Skies at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15.

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