A sense of community for Neko Case

First Published      Last Updated Sep 20 2013 10:38 am

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"I found I really loved interacting with my fans," she said. "I really loved talking to them. I always thought they were kind of great, but now I know they are really great."

While several songs on "The Worse Things Get..." — "I tried to shorten it, but it just didn't have the same feeling," she said of the album title — leave much to a listener's imagination, the song "Nearly Midnight, Honolulu" is brutally specific.

It describes an incident she witnessed while waiting for an airport shuttle bus in Hawaii. A mother swore at her child, telling her to get away. "Why don't you ever shut up?" the mother said.

Case seethed. She resisted the temptation to get involved, but wrote a song that loses none of the incident's immediacy. "Please, kid, have your say," she sings, "'cause I'll still love you, even if I don't see you again."

After her mother shouted at her, the little girl turned away and started singing to herself, Case said.

"I don't think she was processing," she said. "She was just surviving. She'll pay for it later. I had a very similar upbringing so I totally felt for that kid."