Neko Case's Austin City Limits debut, taped in August 2003 and part of New West's Live From Austin, TX concert DVD series, proves a career-defining session for the counter-country rebel, effectively separating her from the alt-country crowd while signalling the ascendency of a powerful new voice in American music. Case, with the tastefully austere accompaniment of Jon Rauhouse, Tom V. Ray and backing vocalist Kelly Hogan, seizes the moment by first demonstrating her considerable songwriting chops, and then seals the deal with an awesome display of formidable interpretive skill. From the opening notes of her room-silencing signature tune, Favourite, which Case introduces as 'the first song I wrote all by myself,' she transforms the corny cardboard Austin City Limits set into her own dimly lit netherworld and maintains it throughout with a well-chosen and perfectly paced song sequence that charts her development as a composer. After a stunning version of Deep Red Bells, she takes hold of Catherine Irwin's Hex and Bob Dylan's Buckets Of Rain and does a subtly menacing take on Ketty Lester's Look For Me (I'll Be Around), making each sound like it was written in her own blood, before boldly doing the same with Hank Williams's Alone And Forsaken as a capper. This is Case at her top-dollar best.