Rachel Flotard has sung backup for Neko Case and written and performed with steel guitarist Jon Rauhouse, but her primary musical vehicle is Visqueen, a band that has become a fixture of the Seattle scene.

Championed by local triple A station KEXP, the band is often tapped to open Seattle shows for national acts. In some cases, like with Cheap Trick, Imperial Teen and Guided by Voices, Visqueen was asked to stay on and support full tours. "That's been the secret for us, getting out of Seattle," Flotard says. "You get four wheels and you leave."

Opening for such acts as these makes sense considering Visqueen's brand of catchy, quick power-pop, led by Flotard's staccato voice and scorching guitar, plus drummer Ben Hooker's fast tempos.

Flotard met Case when Visqueen opened for the New Pornographers in Seattle five years ago and the pair became fast friends. The artists trade guest vocals on each other's forthcoming albums, with Flotard on Case's "Middle Cyclone" (Anti-) and Case on Visqueen's "Message to Garcia." In addition, the latter will feature Rauhouse and John Roderick of the Long Winters and is set to be finished later in the spring. Flotard is also busy recording with Rauhouse.

Visqueen is in the process of lining up a management deal.

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