I just got back -- pretty early for me -- from a concert. It was Neko Case, together with her backing band of choice, The Sadies, as an opening act. You know how things you look forward to tend to disappoint? Well, I always look forward to seeing Neko Case, even if it's a passing look at her playing catch in front of her house. But did she disappoint? No, no, no. The show was beyond great. The Sadies rocked hard. And her voice was every bit as good as it is on record, maybe even better. Not to mention that she was particularly talkative and made all sorts of winning comments between songs. Although her stage manner is not much like Kim's, she reminds me of Kim in other ways. For example, I think they're both sexy by resisting conventional sexiness. Anyway, in an effort to pry my mind away from the memory of Neko's mannerisms, let me state, for the record, that my experience was a thousand times better for being at Solar Culture. Maybe it's a lame, middle-aged thing to feel, but I so prefer Solar Culture over places like Club Congress. Nobody's smoking in my face. And the music usually sounds perfect. I know Steven Eye is a strange character, but he and his minions do wonderful work.