Cat Power: A Fan's Account of 30 Concerts over 13 Years

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Cat Power: A Fan's Account of 30 Concerts over 13 Years

Post  tumbleweed on Mon 27 Aug - 18:47

Part 1

People always describe the young Chan Marshall as a terrible performer, crippled by stage fright and prone to drug- and alcohol-fueled breakdowns that made her early performances legendary disasters. While I certainly witnessed more than a few examples of this behavior, what sticks with me is not the meltdowns, the shyness and songs cut short, or the rambling to incoherent stage banter, but rather the beauty and transcendence of the music in the moments when everything was right. It was these times when the beauty of Chan’s incomparable voice connected with the song and the elements in the room to create pure magic that kept me coming back. Yes, a great deal of unprofessional stage antics were displayed, and more than one show ended with Chan flat on her back, but the outbursts and oddities seemed negligible in comparison to the musical peaks Chan was able to achieve in her finest moments. Some of her early song lyrics come close to describing it- “Everybody bow your head for the greatest inspiration / A complete contradiction of ways.”
My first Cat Power show was in the fall of 1998 at the Bowery Ballroom for one of the early stops on the Moon Pix tour. I had picked up the Moon Pix record at Kim’s Underground (RIP) near my tiny apartment on St. Mark’s Place after reading an intriguing album review in the Village Voice. I don’t recall who the opening act was, but at this time Chan had a somewhat standard rock band backing her for the tour. I was impressed by Cat Power’s set, and one song that particularly struck me was their cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” which proved to be a recurring favorite of Chan’s over the years. My friend remarked that he thought the band could use more speed and less marijuana; on the way out of the venue, someone handed me a flyer for an upcoming Cat Power show at NYU and I expressed interest in going, but my friend declined- his loss! The NYU show was a Matador records showcase for CMJ. Cat Power played a short, tight and rocking set with her backing band. For years I held this set in my mind as a standard for Chan’s ability to deliver a strong and consistent rock performance, a feat that did not recur in my presence for many years to come.
I returned to New York after Christmas in time for New Year’s Eve, regrettably missing the Patti Smith show I had planned to attend at the Bowery Ballroom on December 30. I went to my job on January 2nd, and I was scheduled to work a double shift, but I happened to see in the Village Voice that Cat Power was playing that night, so I asked a coworker to cover my second shift so I could go. The streets were covered in ice that night as I made my way to the Bowery Ballroom, which was far from sold out when I arrived, with no inkling that I was about to witness a concert that would go down in history as a legendary Cat Power meltdown (and not without reason). Tim Foljahn, of the band Three Dollar Guitar featuring Sonic Youth’s drummer Steve Shelley, and formerly of Cat Power’s backing band also with Steve Shelley, opened the show with a solo set of plaintive songs including “Green Room,” from the Three Dollar Guitar album Weak Beats and Lame-Ass Rhymes. Some of the lines of this song seemed in retrospect particularly apt to describe the scene that ensued: “Passion has its price/ Insanity is your vice...”
When Cat Power took the stage with the same backing band I had previously seen in the same venue, it was immediately clear that something was awry. Apparently frustrations had grown between Chan and the band over the course of the tour, as there was a great deal of mutual antagonism and tension that only heightened as the night wore on. At one point, Chan said to her bandmates something to the effect of, "I have to get through all the songs on this list, it doesn't matter whether you play or not." I remember Chan repeatedly re-introducing the band members in a passive-aggressive, sarcastic way, and then before one song (perhaps “American Flag”) she announced that the band would leave the stage for the next song. They did not leave, but instead stayed and attempted to blast over Chan’s voice by playing at maximum volume. It was at this point I realized something dramatic and truly unusual was happening on stage. It may have been after this song, or soon thereafter, that the band abruptly abandoned the stage, leaving Chan alone with her guitar. At this point, Chan was clearly devastated by the turn of events, not to mention visibly intoxicated, but rather than ending the show there, she proceeded to half-heartedly meander through poorly played covers and scraps of songs, including a bit of “Wild Is The Wind” and a few Dylan songs, if memory serves. I remember Chan said she felt as though she couldn’t stop playing, because that would mean she would have to apologize. Certain concert attendees had apparently alerted the media to the meltdown in progress, since a few photographers showed up to document this late stage of the performance. At the show’s bitter end, Chan said to the much dwindled audience, “It’s not cool, it's not funny, and I’m sorry,” before stumbling off the stage to make her exit through the crowd.

To be continued (maybe)…
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Re: Cat Power: A Fan's Account of 30 Concerts over 13 Years

Post  Nicolaoua on Mon 27 Aug - 19:12


You were at the Bowery Ballroom meltdown! Shocked Fascinating testimony! I'm looking forward for what will follow.

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Re: Cat Power: A Fan's Account of 30 Concerts over 13 Years

Post  Cokelike on Mon 27 Aug - 23:03


Thanks for writing about this tumbleweed. I also look forward to hearing more about the shows.

See also, this New York Times review:

http://www.nytimes.com/1999/01/05/arts/pop-review-performance-anxiety-hiding-onstage.html

It says the show occured on "saturday night", which would have been 1/2/99, is this correct?

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Re: Cat Power: A Fan's Account of 30 Concerts over 13 Years

Post  tumbleweed on Mon 27 Aug - 23:34

Yes, I suppose that January 2nd 2009 is the correct date. I was going off of my memory in the absence of my old ticket stubs. Updated the date accordingly. It's a work in progress, as you can tell...

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Re: Cat Power: A Fan's Account of 30 Concerts over 13 Years

Post  tumbleweed on Tue 28 Aug - 13:50

Part 2

If I had not seen the previous concerts where Chan demonstrated her competence as a performing musician, I may have given up on her at that point, but when I read a few months later in the spring that she was performing in a small Lower East Side club called Tonic (RIP), playing music to accompany the silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc, I felt it was worth checking out. It seemed like a good setting for Chan to play alone in the dark with a movie playing, since she and her band had apparently parted ways. I learned at Tonic that the first show was sold out, but there was a second show for which I purchased a ticket. I heard someone coming out of the first show tell his friend that he had particularly enjoyed it since “the acid hit” right when Chan started playing. Honestly, I remember very little about this show other than the visually striking silent film; while I did not see Chan at all, I heard her music very softly and sadly played; I believe “Keep On Runnin’” and “Golden Apples” by Smog were on the playlist. I’m not sure if I was aware at this point that Bill Callahan was Chan’s ex. By this time Cat Power was evolving into a solo act, and I remember Chan playing a solo show at the Knitting Factory, the first of some three or four times I saw her at the now-shuttered Tribeca venue (there is now a Knitting Factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn). While playing “Colors and the Kids” at the piano, it seemed to me that Chan sang the line “Yellow hair, you are a funny bear” in my direction, since my hair was yellow at the time. I believe an early version of “Baby Doll” was played. Another highlight from this show was the unspeakably gorgeous song “Mountaintops.” This song has never been released, but I listen to my illicit recording frequently, and the lyrics haunt me to this day: “And you will go to meet him / Someday you will finally see / On the mountaintops / They have a secret key.” After hearing this, I was hooked on Cat Power and the following shows only fueled my addiction.
In July 1999, there was a benefit concert for the underground comic book World War 3 Illustrated scheduled to take place at Coney Island High (RIP), the punk rock club across the street from where I lived on St. Mark’s Place. When I went there to buy tickets, there was a sign saying the show had been moved to the community center a few doors down. This community center, now torn down and replaced by a minimall, was formerly the location of the famous Dom where Andy Warhol and the Velvet Underground staged their Exploding Plastic Inevitable in the ‘60s, so I thought it was pretty cool to see Cat Power play there. I think the tickets were $5. It was another good show. Chan went on around 12:30 in the morning, and she seemed to be finding her confidence again as a performer.
To be continued…
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Re: Cat Power: A Fan's Account of 30 Concerts over 13 Years

Post  Nicolaoua on Tue 28 Aug - 14:22

I didn't see that you changed the title: 30 concerts! Shocked I dare say that on this matter you are a lucky person! Thanks again for sharing these memories.

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Re: Cat Power: A Fan's Account of 30 Concerts over 13 Years

Post  tumbleweed on Wed 29 Aug - 15:21

Part 3

Some of my favorite unreleased songs that were frequently played live in the pre-Covers Record era include “I Want,” “Why,” “The Leopard and the Lamb,” and “Let Sadness Not Be Attached To Your Name.” I’m disappointed to report that my memory is not clear enough to recall exactly which songs were played at each show, and it was always hard for me to know which songs were original compositions and which were covers. After the Covers Record came out in 2000, Chan played the Knitting Factory, once again as a solo performer; indeed, Cat Power did not include a backing band again until 2003. What I mainly remember from this show is the opening act. Somehow Chan got Michael Hurley, whose song “Sweedeedee” was chosen for the Covers Record, to open the show with a bunch of folkies. It was hard for me to see this as anything but comical in that place and time, but it makes sense considering that the music world in those days seemed to be going in a techno and dance direction, and Chan was staking her claim as a modern-day folk singer. It seems totally appropriate now, in the dark years before the indie rock revival of 2002 and the freak-folk wave of 2004, that Chan would adopt this solo folkie style, as documented in the Covers Record and Mark Borthwick’s Speaking for Trees film, long before anyone had heard of Joanna Newsom or Devendra Banhart. Still and all, I thought then and still think that the “Salty Dog” cover is kind of corny.
Continuing on her solo performance streak, Chan appeared at Irving Plaza in November of 2000 for a booze-free NYU show. The opening act was Bright Eyes, which I missed, but Chan’s performance was one of the weakest I ever saw her give. She seemed drunk as she strummed her way through “Werewolf” and other barely audible folk songs in the dark. It was only through watching her on a TV monitor upstairs that I came to the realization that her hairstyle was very reminiscent of Nico in her later years. For me, this show was the epitome of sullen and sedated Cat Power, and after this I lost some of my enthusiasm about going to see her play again. But as always tends to happen, a new season brought new shows, and when my sister came to visit in June and we saw that Cat Power was doing a concert in a church, it seemed like the thing to do. The Angel Orensanz Foundation was a beautiful location to see Chan perform, despite the fact that she was somewhat oddly booked there as the headliner of a jazz festival. Chan arrived at the show a bit late, causing many audience members to panic that her performance was canceled and we were doomed to sit through an evening of experimental jazz music. When she finally took the stage, Chan opened her set, as she typically does, with a stunner - in this case, “The Party.” Why this track was relegated to being a non-album bonus track to You Are Free is something I will never understand.
From here my memory jumps around a bit – I think there was a Bowery Ballroom show that I skipped, but I know I went to see her at the Warsaw in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, near where I currently live. It was most likely in April of 2002, and I remember this was the first time I saw Chan wearing the plaid shirt that she would continue to sport for all public appearances over the following year. I certainly hope she had copies of the shirt, but I fear not, for when Chan made her network television debut on the David Letterman show, the plaid came with her, and it appeared quite worn and tattered. I distinctly remember from the Warsaw show that Chan performed “Colors and the Kids” solo on guitar, with a unique vocal inflection on the line “You want to say hello, to everybodee-hee-ee,” after which she paused to say she had been working on this phrasing. Chan also made a joke at the Warsaw about not having drugs in her nose. I believe it was at the Warsaw and then at the Knitting Factory in October of 2002 that I first heard “Names,” which became another live song that hooked me and kept me coming back. The Knitting Factory concert in October was a dark, somewhat disturbing affair, and I remember at one point Chan explained her choice to hide in the shadows by saying, “Sometimes you have to hide the junk.” Who can ever know what she meant by that?
Chan’s stage banter was slightly less ambiguous when she took the stage at her old haunt Tonic in March 2003, kicking off her set by saying, “Smoke it up.” She went on to talk about the upcoming smoking ban in New York bars, but I think an onlooker in a Bonnie Prince Billy T-shirt had it right when he commented, “She’s stoned again.” The songs I remember most strongly from this Tonic show are “Half of You” and “My Daddy Was a Musician.” After her last song, Chan walked right off the stage and told everyone to come to the downstairs bar. At one point she stood right in front of me, even more beautiful so close up in person, and I think that would have been my chance to talk to her and even go downstairs for a drink with her. Instead, I turned to leave, which just goes to show how afraid I was to speak with one of my idols, who I thought of as a rock goddess. I’m sure she would have been friendly and I kind of wish I had been less shy, but none of us can change the past.
Coming shortly after the release of You Are Free, Cat Power’s solo show at Tonic was paired with a concert at Irving Plaza featuring a backing band for the first time since the Moon Pix tour. I remember this as a great show, particularly because the band rocked out on songs like “American Flag” and “Taking People.” Cat Power hadn’t rocked like this since 1998. There were T-shirts sold there of a large Cat Power logo repeated across a black shirt, and I wish I had bought one; however, I did grab a few extra “You Are Cat Power You Are Free” stickers. One month later, in April 2003 at the Warsaw in Brooklyn, I picked up a pretty cool T-shirt with a distorted photograph of a girl kissing another passed out girl, imprinted with a purple Cat Power logo. This show was particularly interesting to me because the night before, she had been scheduled to play at the Baltimore Museum of Art, but this appearance was canceled due to “illness.” (I’m sure the snowstorm had nothing to do with it.) So the next night after canceling for illness, Chan was well enough to play at the Warsaw, where the indoor smoking ban was newly in effect. Throughout the show, Chan continued talking about her desire to smoke as a recurring theme in between songs, wondering aloud what would happen if everyone in the room lit up at once, and then she unforgettably asked the audience, “Is everyone else on acid too?”
To be continued...

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Re: Cat Power: A Fan's Account of 30 Concerts over 13 Years

Post  Nicolaoua on Wed 29 Aug - 16:28

tumbleweed wrote:At one point she stood right in front of me, even more beautiful so close up in person, and I think that would have been my chance to talk to her and even go downstairs for a drink with her. Instead, I turned to leave

Noooooooooooooooo! This is epic! But as Chan sing: "i don't blame you", i don't know how i would react in such a situation.

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Re: Cat Power: A Fan's Account of 30 Concerts over 13 Years

Post  Cokelike on Thu 30 Aug - 3:54


I'm enjoying all your stories, tumbleweed. Keep 'em comin'. Cool

I wasnt aware that she had T-shirts available at some of these shows. In fact I dont think I've ever seen an Official Cat Power shirt anywhere. What became of the shirt you picked up in 2003? Any chance we could see a picture of it?

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Re: Cat Power: A Fan's Account of 30 Concerts over 13 Years

Post  tumbleweed on Thu 30 Aug - 11:33

Re: T-shirts
Kungfunation.com used to carry Cat Power merch, but no longer.
Districtlines.com seems like the current home of offical Cat Power merch, at least it looks like some of the same stuff I've seen at recent shows. The "Save the Gorillas" shirt I actually picked up at her last show in NY at Webster Hall.
The "Kiss" shirt looked like this: http://www.backstreetmerch.com/official_cat-power_t-shirt_cat-power-kiss_catp01.html
Unfortunately my T-shirt became too stained to be wearable!

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Re: Cat Power: A Fan's Account of 30 Concerts over 13 Years

Post  Cokelike on Thu 30 Aug - 11:46


Wow, look at this!



It has the Ruin symbol and says "Smokin', Rollin', Blazin'", this is so me. Smile Of course, I just ordered a Matador tote bag when I ordered the Sun album, but now I want this one too. Must have.

Thank you for the link!


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Re: Cat Power: A Fan's Account of 30 Concerts over 13 Years

Post  tumbleweed on Mon 3 Sep - 19:18

Part 4

Cat Power continued touring relentlessly behind her great album You Are Free, playing another show in New York in June of 2003. This was a free show, for which I lined up early for tickets, which was a smart decision because by the time tickets were being handed out there was a line stretching all the way around Battery Park City. The concert was held outdoors in Castle Clinton Park, a beautiful setting near the water with a view of the Statue of Liberty. Chan seemed to be in fine spirits and comfortable with her backing band, at one point commenting on the breezy outdoor venue, “Every show should be like this.” She was occasionally distracted and offered bizarre commentary at times, but this was no surprise to me, having previously witnessed much crazier behavior onstage. I suspect that she smoked a joint and then a cigarette onstage in preparation for the final number, a rocking medley based on “Black Sabbath,” including bits of “These Arms of Mine” and “F**k the Pain Away.” But it was “Willie Deadwilder,” which Chan performed earlier in the evening solo at the piano, that impressed me the most from the Castle Clinton show. I believe this was the first time I heard this song, which is infinitely better in its solo piano version than the Memphis blues-influenced version on The Greatest, not to mention the M. Ward guitar permutation that came out with the Speaking For Trees DVD. Indeed, “Willie Deadwilder” became a cornerstone of most Cat Power performances for the next few years, including the solo show I saw at the Trocadero in Philadelphia the following October which was very nearly a disaster. The concert started out well, and I remember “Empty Shell” and “Wolf Among Wolves” being played successfully, but Chan soon became distracted and I think it was while playing “The Moon” that she stopped playing and remarked, “This song is boring.” I remember one of Chan’s jokes during that show was to use the word “douche” as the female version of “dude,” and she seemed to find this quite amusing. Chan said something to the effect that it was too hard to try to recapture the moment of a recorded song live in concert, but an encouraging audience member called out in reply, “It can be better!” On this evening, it was not - fragments of songs were attempted and abandoned, and Chan even gave up on trying to play “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now),” choosing instead to ask if anyone in the audience knew how to play the Otis Reading classic. A girl volunteered, and Chan brought her onstage and seemed very impressed with the paying audience member’s guitar playing ability, saying “Don’t stop!” repeatedly. The show concluded with Chan rolling around on the floor, seemingly in a drug-induced hysteria. I have to say that the second half of this sold out concert was most likely a low point in Cat Power’s performing career.

Why I returned to Cat Power’s next show at the Knitting Factory, in February 2004 is a difficult question, but perhaps I was feeling a need for some of Cat Power’s brand of melancholy on the day after Valentine’s Day. Here she was her usual free-spirited self, at one point remarking that recently she had been going out every night and never sleeping, but despite this Chan managed to get through most of her songs without stopping, while her backing band brought a blues-rock feel to songs like “I Don’t Blame You” and “Good Woman.” I remember “Willie Deadwilder” was played solo once again, as was the first version I heard of “Could We,” another song that I feel was ruined in its studio recording on The Greatest. As played by Chan solo on guitar, “Could We” was a beautiful song full of tenderness and regret, akin to “Good Woman” in its sentiment and a far cry from the cornball, saxophone-filled album version. The next Cat Power show I saw was a year later at Southpaw in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and this solo performance featured more of the songs that would be featured on The Greatest, such as the title track and “Living Proof.” I remember Chan whispering “Paranoia…” into the microphone, and she later asked for the reverb to be turned up, giving a beautiful effect of her voice washing over the room. I think I saw Chan tear up that night while playing “Could We.”

The last show I saw before the well-publicized cancellation of the tour for The Greatest was another solo turn in October of 2005 at The Ottobar in Baltimore. It was an early show, and Chan hit the stage with “The Moon,” sung for the first time with the upward inflection on the chorus that markedly improved the song - this time the tears were in my eyes. It was a darkly powerful performance, including the songs “Hate” and “House of the Rising Sun.” While Chan spoke of attempting to play the show sober, about halfway through she caved in and ordered a scotch to be brought to the stage, foreshadowing the events to come in the following months.

To be continued...
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Re: Cat Power: A Fan's Account of 30 Concerts over 13 Years

Post  Cokelike on Mon 3 Sep - 19:29

tumbleweed wrote:I remember “Willie Deadwilder” was played solo once again, as was the first version I heard of “Could We,” another song that I feel was ruined in its studio recording on The Greatest. As played by Chan solo on guitar, “Could We” was a beautiful song full of tenderness and regret, akin to “Good Woman” in its sentiment and a far cry from the cornball, saxophone-filled album version.

I dont mind "The Greatest" versions of those tracks, but I agree with you. I much prefer the solo live takes for the songs from that album.

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Re: Cat Power: A Fan's Account of 30 Concerts over 13 Years

Post  tumbleweed on Sun 9 Sep - 20:24

Part 5

The next chapter of the Cat Power saga is tougher for me to tell. I had tickets to see Cat Power’s concerts with the Memphis Rhythm Band at Town Hall in New York on Valentine’s Day of 2006, and also for another show at NYU that had been scheduled for around the same time. It was heartbreaking when I got the call from NYU that the concert was canceled, and when I subsequently learned that the whole tour was off. It was clear to me by then that Chan was struggling with some pretty severe mental health and substance abuse issues, but when she chose to cancel such a high profile tour, it seemed to imply her downward spiral was deepening, and I was honestly scared for her life. As we all know, a few months later the tour was rescheduled and crowds of fans seemed to respond to the spectacle of Cat Power as a survivor with nine lives and so on, returning to the spotlight in fine form. To me her music was a bit jarring during the period of The Greatest- the arrangements seemed a bit off, and the sentiment of Chan’s enigmatic, introspective lyrics didn’t really meld with the brass band, strings ‘n things celebration complete with gospel singers. But it was certainly an unexpected change in performance style from the early days of sad and sedated Cat Power. When I saw the Cat Power and the Memphis Rhythm Band concert at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston in June of 2006, I found it extremely inspiring to see Chan so confident and happy with the band supporting her both musically and emotionally, even if the style of music she was then adopting was not in my view the best use of her talents. “Living Proof” especially sticks in my mind as a strong statement of endurance, and Chan seemed happier than ever, sipping tea between songs and joking about creating a line of teas called “Sobrietea,” but this guise of clear-headed calm and confidence was short-lived.

My next chance to see Cat Power was the following September when she played a solo show at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. In classic solo Cat Power style, it was a disjointed but intermittently beautiful performance, including what I remember as my favorite version of “The Moon.” At this show any pretense of sobriety flew out the window as Chan’s stream-of-consciousness stage banter extolled the virtues of New England marijuana and advocated legalizing weed in museums. I witnessed a second show with the Memphis Rhythm band at the 930 Club in Washington DC, and by this time it seemed to me that Chan was barely holding on by a thread as the band backed her up. Perhaps Chan had set her “Sobrietea” aside and fallen back into her old ways, as she ended the NPR-broadcast concert with the self-deprecating statement, “I really f**ked that up.” It seemed like the whole The Greatest phenomenon had devolved into an overbearing band and over-supportive audiences trying to prop up a singer who had stopped believing in herself.

I was still a believer, though, and during the winter of 2007 I saw two Cat Power performances in Manhattan. The first was at the Museum of Modern Art, which was then hosting Doug Aitken’s Sleepwalkers exhibit, featuring numerous outdoor projections of an art film starring Tilda Swinton, Donald Sutherland, and Chan Marshall, among others. As a side note, there is a Sleepwalkers book available that has Chan on the cover and many beautiful pictures of her inside. In any case, the newly rebuilt MoMA threw a “happening” with Doug Aitken to promote the Sleepwalkers exhibit, and Chan was among the performers. It was actually a horrible place to see her play, since it was almost like she was playing the piano and trying to sing at a loud and crowded party; her performance was short and unmemorable. The next night, at the Hiro Ballroom in Chelsea, Cat Power performed what was billed as a solo show, but actually featured her new sidekick Judah Bauer of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion on guitar. Chan was in high spirits and her voice was great. This must have been the time that Jukebox was beginning to germinate in Chan’s mind, because the show kicked off with stunning versions of “A Woman Left Lonely” and “Making Believe,” the second of which is one of my favorites from this covers period and one that I am still disappointed has not been released.

When I next saw Cat Power it was with the full Dirty Delta Blues band at the Avalon Ballroom in Boston in the summer of 2007, and I remember this mostly covers show as being fun and full of energy- at that time, the covers of Jukebox like “Silver Stallion” and “Ramblin’ “(Wo)man” sounded fresh and unexpected. On the other hand, “Satisfaction” is a song that had appeared in so many Cat Power setlists by this time, I was ready to see it retired. There were infinite variations, solo, with and without chorus, with the Memphis Rhythm Band, with Dirty Delta Blues- this Cat Power staple reclaimed from the Stones became too much of a good thing. I saw two more shows of the Jukebox-era covers act, at the 930 Club in DC and the Starlight Ballroom in Philadelphia, and to me these shows grew increasingly dull. At the Philadelphia show, I enjoyed the new versions of Cat Power original songs like “Willie Deadwilder” and “The Greatest” more than the covers, especially the slower ones like “Lord Help the Poor and Needy” and “Lost Someone” – these songs have their merits, but in my view, they are not Chan’s finest moments. As Chan and her Dirty Delta Blues band continued this karaoke act for three years or so, it began to seem very lazy to me, and I lost interest. I missed several opportunities to see Cat Power in 2009 and 2010, and I don’t regret it. I was beginning to wonder if Cat Power would ever make great original music again.

My interest returned when I talked to someone from Atlanta who said he saw Chan play a local show on Father’s Day where she played new songs. This seemed to hold promise that new Cat Power songs were on the horizon, so when she returned to play New York’s Webster Hall in August 2011, I got tickets and it was a great show. Many new songs were played, including “Ruin’” and “Cherokee” which ended up on the great new album, and others which did not appear on Sun, like “Horizon” and “Bully” – I hope these will be released one day. My friend, who was seeing Cat Power for the first time, said he was impressed and thought she was very cool. People writing about this concert tried to compare it to the old days of breakdowns and stage fright, but there is really no comparison. Yes, Chan still preferred to play without a heavy spotlight on her, but there were no false starts or other unprofessional stage antics, no rolling around on the floor, no putting herself down. From Moon Pix to Sun I feel that Cat Power has come full circle and proven herself as an original talent and a true artist. I truly hope this resurgence will not repeat the pattern of The Greatest and that Chan will continue making and playing amazing new music in the years to come. I am very much looking forward to seeing Cat Power at the Hammerstein Ballroom on the upcoming Sun tour - I am sure this be at the least an interesting new version of the Cat Power live experience, which has been so fascinating to watch over the years. While I admit that the number of Cat Power concerts I attended is a bit extreme, consider that I lived in New York in a period when she played many shows here, and the fact that Chan consistently performs a greater number of concerts per year than the vast majority of touring musicians. Give or take a show or two, the upcoming show in October may be my thirtieth Cat Power concert. Stay tuned! Scans of my Cat Power tickets from the past 13 years may be posted soon...
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Re: Cat Power: A Fan's Account of 30 Concerts over 13 Years

Post  Nicolaoua on Sun 9 Sep - 21:14


Thank you again for writing this, i enjoyed every single line.

I didn't know about the sleepwalker book:

http://www.amazon.com/Doug-Aitken-Sleepwalkers-Klaus-Biesenbach/dp/0870700456/ref=pd_sim_sbs_b_2

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Re: Cat Power: A Fan's Account of 30 Concerts over 13 Years

Post  Cokelike on Mon 10 Sep - 8:49


Your posts are awesome! Thank you! Smile

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Re: Cat Power: A Fan's Account of 30 Concerts over 13 Years

Post  Nicolaoua on Wed 19 Sep - 21:38

I allow myself to post your pictures from your tumblr: http://plotslaidthick.tumblr.com/






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Re: Cat Power: A Fan's Account of 30 Concerts over 13 Years

Post  tumbleweed on Sat 26 Mar - 4:13

You can now find me at http://alookthatislost.tumblr.com - I do post about more things than Cat Power though

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