In today's issue of the New York Times Magazine, my friend Dan Menaker writes about indie-rock siren Neko Case. The whole thing is worth your time. A taste:
Maybe because of her hard childhood, it seems as if Case has created not only her music and her art and her sewing and her decor but also her very self out of patches and pieces. Somehow she managed to shore up her fragments against a meaningless life of drugs and poverty and oblivion. It could easily have gone the other way. After leaving her friend's parents' basement in Tacoma, she says: "I was pretty floaty. I didn't have any idea about mortality. My life was like the scene in 'Roger Rabbit,' where the guy goes into the cartoon world." Finally, and paradoxically, it was her very anger about neglect that appears to have driven her away from self-destruction and toward music. "I was a mad kid," she says. "I was sick of being poor. I was sick of being a girl. I felt completely unimportant, I didn't matter to the world, and I was just going to get love any way I could."