Middle Cyclone, the fifth album by Neko Case, is due March 3 on Anti-. We’re reserving comment on the record until the appropriate time (like three months from now), but there is a flurry (hey, weather pun) of information to share:
1. The album cover depicts Neko, crouched on the front hood of a sportscar, wielding a broadsword. The car might be an early-’70s Pontiac GTO. No idea about the sword, though.
2. There is a making-of-the-album video posted on Anti-‘s blog here.
4. There are many guests on the album. We’re feeling loopy today, so after the jump we list them all and comment rudely upon their existence.
Sarah Harmer: You would know her if you were Canadian. Nominated for multiple Junos for her singer/songwriter fare. She’s been in the presence of greatness, contributing vocals to albums by the Weakerthans.
Steve Berlin: Keyboardist/saxophonist for Los Lobos. If you’re currently spending the holidays at your parents’ home, purloin your dad’s copy of 1992 album Kiko.
Joey Burns and John Convertino: a.k.a. Calexico. We need to inject some Fleetwood Mac-style drama into this. Neko used to date Burns, and Middle Cyclone is a collection of love songs. Speculate amongst yourselves.
Travis Good and Dallas Good: The tall, corpselike (they are pale) brothers from alt-country band the Sadies. It should be noted they have co-written some of the best songs (“Hold On, Hold On,” for one) on Neko’s previous albums.
Garth Hudson: Old grizzly bear.
Kurt Heasley: Wild card! Lilys frontman Heasley hasn’t been heard from in years. We used to spot him sometimes in the wilds of North Philly with his 12 children. Seemingly has no connection to Neko or the type of music she makes. The album’s cover photo was probably his idea.
Lucy Wainwright Roche: Now they’re just making up names.
Rachel Flotard: See what I mean? “Flotard.” If this person were real, she might be in a band called Visqueen.
Howe Gelb: A man with no fans under the age of 35, Gelb doesn’t get enough credit for, well, anything. He’s directly or indirectly responsible for the careers of M. Ward, Grandaddy and Calexico. Giant Sand was one of those bands that was way ahead of the pack in the ’80s (see also: Butthole Surfers, Savage Republic, Meat Puppets) but translated poorly to subsequent decades.