Went to see Neko Case on Wednesday. Neko does what I hesitate to call alt.country - because I got a glimpse of her contract rider sitting on the sound stage, and it made it clear that under no circumstances should the words alt.country appear on any promotional material - but hey, that's what it is, country/folk steeped music with a particularly modern compositional bent and idiosyncratic subject matter. Oh, she has a tremendous voice, and puts it to use. Check out Hold on Hold on, playing here, or Deep Red Bells, here; I highly rate both albums that birthed them. It was certainly a good show, although I think the set was stronger when I saw them back at the Shepherds Bush Empire.
M Ward supported, and I need to urgently recommend this guy. I got my hands on Transfiguration of Vincent recently but only allowed it to dent my consciousness, but seeing him live was an electric experience. Part eccentric showman, part troubadour, and part wounded artist, his songs are recklessly inventive but allow the music of ages to breathe through them. Tremendous stuff and I have indeed suscribed to his newsletter!
AllMusic review of M Ward.
AllMusic review of Neko Case, and reviews of albums Fox Confessor.... and Blacklisted at trendier-than-thou music portal Pitchfork.