Neko Case – Ogden Theatre, CO

Neko Case on the marquee

For their second Colorado show, Neko Case and company took the stage at the Ogden Theatre in Denver.

Once again, Joey and John of Calexico took the opening slot, the “bittersweet hump day” of their five shows on this tour.

When Neko and the band started their set shortly after 10 and played for an hour and a half to the packed theater.

“Hello, how are you?” Neko asked. “Nice to see you.”

Someone yelled, “Rock us, Neko!”

“I will do my best to give you some nearly-40 rocking.”

“We’re gonna soft rock you,” Kelly said. “We’re going to soft rock your balls.”

“It’s gonna happen tonight.”

Maybe Sparrow

Someone yelled something to Neko and she said, “Thank you, cute lady – and men pretending to be ladies and sounding like chickens when they do it.”

People Got A Lotta Nerve

“Thank you so much for coming to our show this evening,” Neko said. “As you’ve probably guessed we’re on tour for our new record, it’s very exciting for us… it’s freaking Paul out, the pedals (guitar pedals) are so nervous.”

“You can do it little guys!” Kelly said.


Someone asked where Neko’s sword was and she said, “That was a rental sword, I had to return it.”

“We’re doing our best,” Kelly said. “To serve you. This song was co-written with the Sadies from Toronto, Canada.”

Hold On, Hold On

Someone in the crowd yelled, “Yippee!” making Kelly giggle, “Ok, morale is high. Here’s a song about Neko’s imaginary boyfriend, Gene Hackman in buttless chaps.”

“He’s hot, what can I say?” Neko said. “If somebody’s your imaginary boyfriend it’s kinda like you’re also their mother in a weird way, because you made them up. ‘I raised you! I raised you! Now I’m going to make out with you.’ It’s so messed up.”

“There’s a niche for everyone,” Kelly laughed.

The Pharaohs

“This next song is the title song of the new record, called Middle Cyclone,” Neko started. “There’s some wicked solos.”

“The shegby does all the work,” Kelly said. “The instrument that shegs itself.”

“It couldn’t sheg without you.”

“I don’t know, we’ll see. It was invented by Shelly our sound woman and Paul our guitar player, hence the name ‘shegby’ and it also holds all our tampons.”

“We try to avoid that, it dampens the resonations so I just keep them all in my vagina.” This whole declaration was met with laughter from both the audience and the rest of the band, making it harder for Neko to compose herself… so instead she just kept talking. “So if anybody needs a tampon, let me know. We also have some back-up in Jon’s beard… he’s got the slender regulars.… here’s our tender love ballad.”

Middle Cyclone

They tried so hard to pull it together and started the song, but during the first verse Neko laughed and said, “I’ll tell you about it later,” trying to continue singing and by the second line of the second verse she had already gotten distracted again and stopped saying, “Ok, hold on one second… I started thinking about the word ‘vagina’ and how not really appealing it is and even used for comedic effect it’s kinda gross but then I imagined, you know that picture of that guy with like the 65 cigarettes in his mouth, it just came to my mind, it’s really gross.”

The longer and longer this whole dialogue went on, the more and more flustered Neko and company got until it seemed like they were maybe just talking to try and unsuccessfully climb out of the hole they were digging.

“Are we ready to try again?” Kelly asked.

“Yes, I think so.”

“Thank you, Denver.”

“We’ve talked it out.”

“I think we owe you one.”

“As long as I don’t look at you, I’m cool.”

Someone of course, had to yell “vagina” again.

“I know,” Neko said. “It sounds awesome yelled like that.”

They gave the song one more attempt but Neko cut it off saying, “Ok, we’ll do a different song and come back to this one.”

“Great idea,” Kelly said. “I think I started it by saying the word ‘tampons’ and for that I apologize.”

“No, it’s cool.”

Deep Red Bells

“Here’s another tender love ballad,” Neko said. “It doesn’t have the same connotations as the other right now.”

I Wish I Was The Moon

There was a short period of silence and darkness to which Kelly said, “Thanks for hanging with us, and keeping the lights low so everybody has that level dating playing field. We’re doing our part to help coast-to-coast.”

“We want to make sure that Denver makes out tonight,” Neko said.

“Not all day in the lotus style, don’t get crazy.”

There was some more yelling of “vagina” and Neko said, “Let it out.”

Kelly laughed, “Just try doing that in your cubicle on Monday. You should get it out tonight.”

“Yelling, making out, smoking if you don’t smoke I guess… I don’t know what people do on weekends anymore.”

Someone told them that they started it and Kelly said, “Yeah, we did start it, and we’re gonna finish it.”

I’m An Animal

“This next song is a spooky song,” Neko said. “It’s been haunting Jon’s amp all night.”

She apparently was still shedding (see the Boulder show) and brushed a particularly large clump away and Kelly said, “That’s a big one. It’s like a tumbleweed.”

“I know,” Neko said. “Please don’t make any wicca parcels out of it later.”

Prison Girls

Someone asked Kelly what the little green thing on the stand next to her was and she said, “That little green guy? It’s so stupid. It’s like a Pez on Seinfield. It was a present for Judge but she she was afraid to have it back with her, the Judge does our video.” She wound up the toy and put it down. “He’s a dancing dude, maybe we can have him open for us.”

“Uh, oh,” Neko said as the green toy made a bunch of loud noises because it was near the shegby. “There’s a pick up in that thing.”

“It’s a morale booster, a scene booster.”

The Tigers Have Spoken

“Now we’re just afraid to talk about anything,” Kelly said.

“Seriously,” Neko agreed. “I’ve gotta keep my mouth shut.”

Margaret vs. Pauline

“Where’s John Convertino at?” Neko asked. “He’s coming back out to make us look good.”

“Here’s a break up song,” Kelly said.

“Thank you, John,” Neko said. “Here’s another tender break up ballad… tender… I love breaking up, I start shit just so I can break up, I love it!”

“You’re strong,” Kelly laughed. “You’re cast iron.”

“I just need to feel something!” Neko joked. “Anything! I’m just kidding.” She giggled and added, “That was dumb.”

“I’m not saying so many things.”

Don’t Forget Me

“That was by Harry Nilsson, of course,” Kelly said.

“This song is about Paul,” Neko said. “It makes him so angry.”

That Teenaged Feeling

“Hello, Joey,” Neko said in a high-pitched voice.

“Thank you, Denver, for allowing us to soft rock you this evening,” Kelly said.

“Yes, thank you for weeping your weekend away with us here tonight.”

This Tornado Loves You

“Thank you Denver!” Neko said. “It’s so nice to see you again. Thanks for being so nice like you always are, we’ll see you next time.”

They left for a short encore break and then Kelly, Neko and Paul came back out.

“Thank you so much, everybody,” Neko said. “Oh boy, we’re going to send this song out to Craig and Karen who came all the way from Tucson. Craig (Schumacher) from Wavelab Records all of our records so it’s really nice that he actually gets to leave the studio, with his wife and everything and go on vacation.”

“Get out,” Kelly said.

“It’s weird! But we’re really excited that you guys are here and this is the song that I think it took us longest to record so Craig probably hates it by now but we’ll try to give it a fresh new spin. I don’t know how you do that…”

“Give it a reggae beat?” Kelly suggested.

Vengeance is Sleeping

“Nice work, Paul,” Neko said. “It’s the new mustache, it gives him so much prowess.”

“I just invented a new umpire signal for the next song in the set,” Kelly laughed making hand motions. “Lady… Pilot…”

“How does that go?”

Kelly repeated her new umpire signal and Neko said, “That is fucked up.”

“It just came to me,” Kelly said and then did a little cheerleader movement and said, “Ready? Ok!”

“This song goes out to Joey and John.”

Lady Pilot

“I don’t have an umpire signal for that one,” Kelly said.

“Thank you, you nice people,” Neko said. She asked Kelly if she would introduce the band.

“Yeah, I sure will. Yes, I will, Neko.”

“Why thank you, Kelly.”

“You are so, so welcome. Jon Rauhouse is over there on the pedal steel. He’s from Tempe, Ariz., he’s got tampons in his beird,”

“He’s a friend of the ladies, what can we say?” Neko added.

“And he really likes T.J. Hooker. Paul Rigby, back there in the hat on guitar from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Paul loves potatoes. Back there on the drums, Barry Mirochnick from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Barry likes kittens.”

“He really does,” Neko said.

“And that is cool.”

“Start swooning ladies, Barry loves kittens.”

“Tom V. Ray from Vincennese, Indiana. He loves pork.”

“He loves pork and he loves NASCAR.”

“You do?” Kelly asked. “You like NASCAR? Interesting.”

“Dave Blaney is from Indiana… what happened to Dave Blaney? Where’d he go? He was driving the Jasper engines car, we have a Jasper engine in our van so we feel like we’re right there in the cockpit with him.”

“I’m a King Richard fan myself,” Kelly said.

“And this is Kelly Hogan, from Atlanta. She likes so many things I can’t even describe them.”

“I know, I’m easy.”

“She dated Matt Davis when she was still in high school and lived to tell about it.” There was some laughter and Neko said, “He was a great dancer!”

“Check it out. His denim shirt collection… there was so much unsnapping going on… pop, pop, pop. He helped me with my trig homework.”

“I just picture him wearing short-shorts and like, Adidas tennis shoes and you guys enjoying Lays potato chips on a picnic bench somewhere.” Neko started joke singing, “‘Kelly, I love you. Baby, baby…’ Alright now, that’s enough. Here we go.”

If You Knew

“Thank you so much, y’all are sweet,” Kelly said.

“This song is for (the driver) for driving us around for days and days and days,” Neko said.

“Let’s introduce Shelly Steffens,” Kelly suggested.

“Shelly Steffens doing sound, from Chicago, Ill. Looking very nautical in her striped shirt.”

“I bought you a candy bar, Shelly.”

“Tim on the monitors, also from Chicago and Paul, our tour manager…”

“Salute!” Kelly said.

“And the lovely Kathleen Judge from Chicago, Ill. doing all our projection. She made a wicked owl but it was too big for the theater so maybe next time. And also, to Sandy Creps from, where are you from? Dayton or Columbus? I always get them mixed up. He’s from Ohio, which is all you need to know. And then our friend, Kelly Altazin, is selling our stuff if you want to buy something and of course, well, she’s from Baton Rouge I should have said. And then of course, the lovely, foxy Calexico to class up our show tonight.”

“And y’all,” Kelly added.

Knock Loud

“We’re going to take one last stab at the song Middle Cyclone before we go,” Neko said. “And we’re not going to embarrass you like we did earlier.”

“Or us.” Kelly said.

“Jon’s gonna tune that guitar which leaves another opportunity for me to thank you very much for coming out tonight. There are many other things you could have done, like uh… or… uh… there’s a lot of eating to do.”

“That’s true.”

“And you could have done it, you could be in whatever city No Doubt is playing in. We’ve kind of been on tour with them, in a way, it’s pretty awesome. We can feel their wake, their pink, puffy wake.”

“There it goes…”

“I just want to kick over my head,” she strummed a quick note and then went “Goo, goo, goo, goo, goo, goo” and said, “Sorry, I couldn’t help it.”

“I knew you were going to do that. I was amazed.”

“Sing it like a baby, if you mean it, you sing it like a baby.”

“The world is large,” Kelly said.

Neko laughed some more and said, “Someone’s going to machine gun me when I go out on the street. That’s cool, I deserve it.”

Middle Cyclone

“Thank you, Denver! Thank you so much everybody, thank you Calexico, please come back and see us again.”


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