Moon Pix - 1998

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Moon Pix - 1998

Post  Nicolaoua on Mon 3 Oct - 13:28

Premier chef d’œuvre?



Publié le 22 septembre 98

Face A
American Flag – 3:30
He Turns Down – 5:39
No Sense – 4:50
Say – 3:24
Metal Heart – 4:02

Face B
Back of Your Head – 3:43
Moonshiner (Traditionnel) – 4:50
You May Know Him – 2:46
Colors and the Kids – 6:35
Cross Bones Style – 4:32
Peking Saint – 2:28

(cliquer pour voir l'image en grand format)






Last edited by Nicolaoua on Tue 28 Feb - 15:07; edited 2 times in total

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Information on album title, recording and songs

Post  Cokelike on Tue 28 Feb - 9:21

From Chan's interview with Amy Keller with Index Magazine, September/October 1998:

So, what's the new album called?

Chan: Well, on paper, if you write it down, it's M-O-O-N-P-I-X, that's what I want you to see. But if someone says, "What's it called?" I want them to say, "O'Hell." So I don't know what to do. Visually it's "Moonpix," but verbally it's "O'Hell" One's a visual and one's a hello. I can't decide which one I want.

-------------------

From Chan's interview with Matt Doren for "Comes With A Smile" publication, 1998:

Does your role as producer of Moon Pix belie a new-found confidence?

Chan: I quit playing music and I moved to the country. In South Carolina. And I had a dream that somebody was telling me to come into the field - ‘cause I live behind a field - basically to die, or something. I realised that I didn’t want to die so I woke up and didn’t meet the voice in the field and then I went and wrote this record. And then two close friends of mine died the next day and … I quit playing music. I never wanted to do it again. These things happen. My boyfriend at the time was going to Australia and I was like, ‘I wanna go too’, and I’d already asked Mick and Jim if they’d play on my record before - like a couple years earlier - but I never thought I’d ever make another record. Since I’d had the bad dreams, I dunno, it deals with a lot of like … the reason I did it was because I had just blocked it out of my mind so much, like, I’m not gonna do another record. And then … I dunno how to describe it.

It’s a much more personal record as a result.

Chan: It’s also a little more ‘free’. Like, I got more mature as a person or something. I don’t know if that’s true or not. I don’t know.

How much of a contribution did Mick and Jim make, from your perspective?

Chan: Maybe more confidence? Me, as a person, being kinda naïve and not really… being kinda ignorant of everything. I hung out in Australia for two months and then Mick came in for about an hour and a half. Jim was with me four days straight. So, it was just kinda support. I don’t know. The essence of … they gave … I don’t know. They were all, like, one takes. They had no idea what they were supposed to do. That’s the same way my other records were recorded. This time there were a lot of things that didn’t involve them like sampling and feedback and, like, piano, song structure, blah, blah, blah. But what they gave? They’re just really good players and I don’t think they needed to know what they were supposed to do because they blended so nicely with the song. They really built these songs. Like Metal Heart, for instance, I think … I mean, all the songs really. I don’t know. I feel like I’m saying things ‘cause I don’t really think about it much at all.

I suppose all this analysis strips away the personal connection from both your perspective and the listener’s. All this chat’s killing the spontaneity.

Chan: It’s like spiritual. When music is talked about it gets intellectualised and the emotional content and value becomes intellectualised. It becomes an objective thing instead of an internal thing.

He Turns Down has a particularly English feel. It’s a little jazzy, folky even.

Chan: I just knew that I wanted flute on that. I didn’t know how it would turn out.

So, it’s instinctive.

Chan: It’s all like if you had a bunch of paper and a lot of energy and a bunch of time and a bunch of materials, you’d make something. I think if I do continue to make music I might be able to think more clearly and more structured about what I want.

Bob Dylan’s rendition of Moonshiner was the one that inspired your version, I heard. What are your thoughts on him?

Chan: Bob Dylan said about Woody Guthrie that Woody Guthrie could go to a church of his choice or Brooklyn State Hospital. But he believed that at sundown in the Grand Canyon they would be there together. I think Bob Dylan reminds me of someone like - I hate to make the analogy - but someone like Martin Luther King. I mean Bob Dylan played the guitar and did drugs, whatever. But as far as him needing to speak, I mean he always had this drive to say things all the time. I don’t know how to describe it. I think he had a huge responsibility when he was younger. I mean, the sixties … he was, like, twenty three or something and the world that he was being interviewed by was his father’s world. Before Rolling Stone was really big it was all suit and tie interviewers. And middle aged men were interviewing Jimi Hendrix, whatever. And I think that’s why Bob Dylan isn’t that respected personally because of his attitude back then. Something that had always been there but he made people look at it for once. I think that’s really important. And he had a good sense of humour, he’s totally sarcastic. I guess he’s got one of those tongues, like a knife. Really smart. I haven’t been educated and my environment growing up wasn’t really the most . . . pretty common you know. So I don’t know much about things. So I don’t have a sharp tongue. Are you mad at me for rambling?

No, I like ramblers. I’m a rambler. Compare your version of Moonshiner.

Chan: I feel like that song shouldn’t be anybody’s favourite song. I’m not saying that it never would be but because it’s such a die-hard blues song.

‘It must be the colors and the kids ‘cause the music is boring me to death.’ Is that about New York?

Chan: The whole conception of music is like Disneyland. Everybody shares the same human pulse or whatever and anybody can sing a song or write a song and be in a band and, I think, there’s not a separation. Like with visual art the line between what’s important and what’s not important is just criss-crossed. MTV and commercial radio and everything … we’re not allowed to have a choice. I mean there’s so much to look at but music is conceptualised into commercialism and visuals like video, like T-shirts, actual CDs … I don’t know … music’s awesome - we know that - but … I’m not smart enough to pick out what I’m thinking.

What were you thinking when you wrote that line?

Chan: I can’t describe it. That’s the only way I can say it. I think I’m dyslexic or something. Music is nice, right These days, music is more of a tool … I don’t know. I don’t want to offend anybody because everybody’s the same. But I don’t like a lot of music that I hear. I mean, I love old music that I hear because that’s where all of today’s music comes from. Like techno, the drum and bass thing really does have a bottom to it. I’m not real smart. I’m not an authority on music so, what I meant by that was that I get confused by the reason for music these days. Everybody loves music but it’s something that should be free and relentless. Music should be more timeless and less disposable.

There it is.

Chan: Ha, ha, ha.

-------------------

From Chan's interview with Anthony Carew for Gravity Girls, Late 1998:

So what is it about this record that you hold dear to, what is it that this record means to you?

Chan: Well, it's the first time I've really given a shit about recording one. It's the first time I've really payed ttention in the studio. It's the first time I ever had an idea of what I wanted. And it's the first time I've really l
liked all the songs. And it's the first time I ever had a good time in the studio.

So were you essentially 'the producer', as such?

Chan: Oh, absolutely, it was just me and the engineer. I begged Jim White to come in there, because I was afraid to sit in the room with the engineer because I didn't know him. So Jim kind of sat there reading gossip magazines - y'know, like Courtney Love, bullshit like that: rock stuff, gossip stuff; he'd just be reading that, telling me all that stuff. And if the engineer did something I didn't like, I'd be like: 'why'd you do that? I don't like that'; and the engineer might say: 'I did that because of this reason, and because of this reason we have to do that.' And Jim would kind of just like appear from out of the couch, and he'd be like: 'why are you doing that? She said she didn't like it, so why are you doing it?'; so it was like, every now and then Jim would like help me with my confidence. It was great, too, because the engineer at the end - after I had been basically running the show with no idea of how to get what I wanted...

You had no conceived goal, no masterplan laid down, right...

Chan: No, no masterplan. I had an idea of what I wanted, but all of my flip-flopping drove the engineer crazy.
The impulsiveness--'I want to do this!'--that drove him insane. Y'know Colors And The Kids? At the end of the
recording, after he was done putting everything on tape, while he was busy for a couple of hours, I just wrote
this song, just on the piano, and I was like: 'ooh, I got one more song'. So he had to set up all the microphones
again. And we did it in one take. Actually, the first take that we tried, I did it all the way through, and then
I said: 'fuck!', because I thought I had fucked it up, and I was going to keep it, but I was like 'I don't want
that to be in that song'. So I did it again, and then it was just over, and he just put that on every little dat.
And he was funny, because he said that I'd taught him so much'.

That's wonderful.

Chan: I know, I was like: 'what are you talking about?'; and he just said: 'you've really taught me a lot'.
Isn't that funny?

I can understand that.

Chan: But I don't even know what I'm doing!

I suppose as an 'engineer', and it's not my bane so I may be wrong, but you might fall into the habit of
only approaching things in a very dry, technical way. And, maybe, in a very 'male' kind of way, if I'm allowed to
say that. And, for someone to come in and simply throw all that theory away, and just simply go with what you think sounds good, or go with what embodies a certain kind of feeling, that may take the engineer out of their
logical-thought processes and make them tap into the spirit of the record.


Chan: It got pretty tense at times, but yeah, he was really a nice guy...

So, do you feel more of a sense of 'accomplishment' with this record than you may have with previous ones?
Chan: I do and I don't. I do because I actually did something that I wanted to do. Like, I've never really actually wanted to do any of the other records. That's in complete honesty. I'm not being, like, coy, or whatever you call it-- I've never been excited about making a record. But, I feel good about doing this. But, I feel bad, because, a lot of the songs didn't get the attention they... like American Flag, for instance, the first song, the reason that song is so over...--I don't want to say overdone or overproduced, because I like the way it is, and I don't think it's overdone- but the reason it is so different, the reason that the mechanics of it, the colours of it, the reason there is more colours there, that's because Jim and I were waiting for Mick to show up, because he had to pick his girlfriend up from the airport that day, so we sat around for four hours doing that song. And then the rest of the record is like 'bam-boom-bam-bam'- just so straightforward. If I had another week, or even another day, I'd probably feel better about it. Songs like Peking Saint, You May Know Him, Cross Bones Style, I really feel like those are just skeletons. But, unfortunately, cost-effectiveness, and basically just being a flake, and spending two months in Australia and New Zealand and Tasmania with the advance money I begged Matador to give me to quote-unquote 'record an album', when it came time to record, it was like too late. Jim and Mick were going out of town, and we only had these specific 3 days, and 4 days in total, and, just, me being a loser. So I feel that the record could have been a lot better.

Have you found the songs easier to play live?

Chan: Than before?

Than songs from previous records.

Chan: Yeah. In the way that I feel when I'm playing them. No, that's not true... Before, when I recorded the
previous records, I'd already been playing those songs, right?

Sure

Chan: But when I went to record this record, I'd only played these songs once, when I made them up. I'd never played them before, so when I went in the studio, it was like playing them for the first time. So, now, when I'm on tour, it's like, I have a sense of where they're from. Whereas before, when they were written before, it was sporadic, these every-now-and-then songs that I'd write. The majority of these songs were written in one day, in South Carolina, after a nightmare, a very horrible experience, blah-blah-blah. So these songs come from a very direct memory. Every time I play them there's a place that they're coming from, a memory, a direct memory that they're all related to. And that reinforces a sort-of 'stability' for the songs. Then, for the record, it makes it more like a 'complete' record. Not saying that I have a complete record, but, for me, yeah, they're different to other songs. Because there's a general unity, as opposed to other times where it was more of a collection. This is also a collection, too, but must of the songs are collected from this two hour period of one night last year before I went to Australia. So I know where they came from, I remember it. You know what I mean?

Do you think that helps them share a specific kind of 'feeling', like an emotional register?

Chan: Yeah, 'cause they're all coming from the same, um, I don't want to say 'mindset', because...

Like apply the term 'mindset' to more of an emotional sense in your stomach, as opposed to a mental approach.

Chan: But it's not even limited like that, either. The time when I wrote these songs, I thought I was going to die. I thought I was going to go to hell. I thought I was going to be taken from my house into the spiritual world. Like, maybe some people might call that mental insanity, but I thought that I was going to die. I thought some pretty insane shit that I've never thought before, I thought I was in a dream, I couldn't tell what was reality, and the songs like came from a distance from myself. Like, I had to just 'shut off', just play and sing, and the songs came. From my subconscious, I guess. It was like, y'know, 'my darkest night', and I won in the end. I won, you know. You know what I mean?

Absolutely

Chan: So, it's not something limited to saying that the songs are 'emotional', or I was in a 'mindframe'. It's like
the whole thing: physically, emotionally, psychologically; being on the verge of something. It's me, everything I
had been, everything my life had been up until that point, it was all... Oh, I should shut up, I sound stupid.

No, not at all.

Chan: Sorry.

---------------------------------------

From Chan's interview with Greg Weeks, 1998:

Recording this album, were you in full control?

Chan: Absolutely. I was tellin' somebody it's like having thirty plates on each arm, and trying to shift them. Shifting like twenty plates to the other hand. That's what it was like, because we only had two days of recording time.

And why did you decide to open with "American Flag?" The drum machine; the big wave of feedback?

Chan: Basically it goes in order of the production, the way it went. It's the first song we did because
Mick [Turner] couldn't come in that day, so we just did that. So, those are the first two songs.

And what made you decide to use the flute on the second track?

Chan: 'Cause I wanted one on there.

[Prodding] 'Cause you wanted a flute on there.

Chan: Yeah. I thought I wanted violin, but it turned... it was the flute.

-------------------

From Chan's interview with John Forunato for Aquarian Weekly, 1998:

Your song, “Metal Heart,” has a hymn-like quality. Its lyrics ‘once was lost but now am found’ touch on spirituality.

Chan: That came to me 5:30 in the morning and I had a nightmare about the devil calling me to meet in the fields behind my South Carolina house. So that’s when I woke up and wrote that song.

--------------------

From Chan's interview on KCRW, 11/5/98:

On ''Say'':

Chan: That's from the Bible, Hebrews 4:14.

--------------------
 
From Chan's interview with Kate Mercier for Fabula Magazine, 5/11/99:

On "He Turns Down":

Chan: That's about God. It's about how I felt like I was going to go to Hell. I saw this as a clear realization, not a guess and it made me really depressed, because the strict Lord doesn't want any fuck-ups like me.

-------------------

From Chan's interview with David Peisner, September 1998:

Chan: I've had nightmares my whole life. But, I hadn't had nightmares for a year. And just before I went to Australia, I had a nightmare. I got up and I thought I was still dreaming. I thought there were people in my house that weren't there. I was afraid. I wanted the sun to come up. So I was playing guitar, writing songs, waiting for the sun to come up. And that's when I wrote the more important songs on the record. I wrote six songs that night.

-------------------

From Chan's interview with Roni Sarig for Creative Loafing, December 1998:

Chan: I had a horrible dream that a voice was telling me my past would be forgotten if I would just meet him --whoever he was -- in the field. And I woke up screaming, 'No! I won't meet you!' And I knew who it was: the sneaky old serpent. My nightmare was surrounding my house like a tornado. So I just ran and got my guitar because I was trying to distract myself. I had to turn on the lights and sing to God. I got a tape recorder and recorded the next 60 minutes. And I played these long changes, into six different songs. That's where I got the record. I feel good when I play these songs. I look at people in the audience now because I want them to hear the lyrics and I hope they understand what I'm saying. It's all about being good. Before I had no understanding, I had the blues. Now I got some hymns.

-------------------

From Chan's interview with Marcus Maida for Hotel Discipline, 11/15/98:

When was your new album “Moon Pix” recorded?

Chan: In January, in Australia. My boyfriend at that time was down there, he was going on tour there and he was gonna 
go travel there, and I went with him. And there was my next record for Matador to do, And I was really late, 
and I didn’t have any money. So I went on this trip, and I recorded it.

With Jim White & Mick Turner from the “Dirty Three”. How did that happen?

Chan: I knew them before, played like three years ago a couple of shows in New York, and I called them before I left.

What about the musicians from your last album? Are Jim & Mick your new band?

Chan: No, not really. I just wanted to go to Australia, so I wasn’t really thinking … you know, about anything … I 
just wanted to go there, make the record there and so I called Jim and Mick to make sure that they were there.

Was it the first time you went to Australia?

Chan: That was it, yeah. I always wanted to go there. It’s great (laughs), it was so nice.

What do you think is the most difference or developement from your last album “What Would The Community Think” 
to “Moon Pix”? Is there a basic change?

Chan: Not really, it’s just coincidental or consequential, because all the times I recorded before, I never was 
paying attention during the recording, and this time it was just me and the engeneer, so basically I did everything. 
It was fun for me for the first time.

So is there a musical change?

Chan: Mmmm... maybe, I guess, personally there is. In physical performance … I didnt feel intimidated or … stupid as I 
used to. And not like the whole “Rock’n Roll, man’s world-thing”, like I was really feeling intimidated by. I mean, 
in this case, too. Most men are like … I just felt kinda stupid like young and dumb, so I always felt intimidated, 
especially in the studio with the engeneers and stuff. This time I was working with one person that really cut the...
just like...

Was it about gathering some self-confidence?

Chan: Yeah … no distractions, just like “Just no one around, ah well, no one else is gonna do it”. Only cause I had to 
go back to America in two weeks and I spent all my money on travelling in Australia & New Zealand, and I only had like 
$1000 left, so I had to do the record (laughs). But it was really fun, I had a great time there. It was good.

How long did it take to do the production?

Chan: It took one day to do the first- Well, Jim White and the engineer and me came up at 10 am, and he was reading 
magazines while I was doing “American Flag”, which took like 5 hours, because Mick wasn’t turning up, he kept being late because he have to pick up his girlfriend from America, and this is the only reason why “American Flag” is the most produced and worked-on song. The thing is for me: musically I had so much fun doing that, cause I spent five fucking hours on it, you know what I mean? So then Mick came, & we stopped “American Flag”, cause it was done, & also “He Turns Down”. And after Mick came in we went straight into “Metal Heart”, “Moonshiner”, “Say” & “No Sense”. And then he left immeadiately, And then came the flute player right then, and she came in, never heard my music, never heard the songs, “He Turns Down”, she listens to it, goes out there, plays, and she’s not really in it, she holds herself back, and I go “Stop-stop-stop!”, and she’s like “Is it horrible?” (laughs), and I was like “No, I just think you’re holding back”, so we have to turn up the song really loud in the headphones, and
she has to play really loud or whatever to get her sound through, and then she came out, first recording, and that’s 
the take! She was fucking great, she was so amazing. And then when she left, then the bass player came for that song 
and I worked with him. So the first songs were just basically getting the people through, and in the second, during 
“Cross Bone Style”, we messed that up pretty bad, we noticed in the songs some messy mistakes, but anyway (laughs), 
during “Metal Heart”, it was more like I did some vocal-production, like the rest of the stuff, and then I took a couple 
of days off and had some fun, and then we did the Mick-thing, and then the last day, we were putting everything on 
the DAT, making smaller tapes for us and the record label, and I kept going into the piano room, and that’s when I 
wrote “Colors And The Kids”, so when I wrote that, I just said “I got a new song”, and that was the last thing that 
was recorded.

So you did it kind of spontaneously then?

Chan: Yeah, totally, a lot of it, like “Say” was pretty made up there, yeah, it was pretty fun. So, if I had more time 
in the studio, (quietly:) I bet, I’d have a better record.

(laughs)

Chan: I mean next time maybe you will hear a better record.

I think the way it is, is very good.

Chan: Thank you.

Because it sounds so pure. That’s good. Not over-produced. That’s very good. Could you give a short comment to each 
song, please?

Chan: "American Flag" is about my first drummer from Atlanta. It’s more about the humor of like the non-existent drummer 
with me, and sort of like... whatever... anyway... and then He Turns Down is just... some of the songs are written 
one night after like a really really bad dream, just really bad situations, like "He Turns Down", "Metal Heart", "Cross
Bones Style"... "You May Know Him". Nightmare situations, but some other ones, "Back of Your Head", I was in love with 
someone from some other.. and that was a dream of a... we’re getting a portrait taken of his family, and I might 
not be enough for his family, cause his family’s sort of political right, knows Jimmy Carter in Atlanta or 
whatever, and so this is a dream that I’m like in a body-bag for the wedding, and I just wrote that song when I 
woke up, and then another song would be "No Sense", it is about Me and Mark, the guitar player here, we were playing 
together one night this club called “Context”, this place in New York, and it is about all the guys that I ever 
played music with... just like being able to, like, not be considered as a girl or something... it’s about just 
playing music, and sex is not really being an objective at all.

What about "Cross Bones Style"?

Chan: Actually that one was written after the nightmare, but I was in my mind when I was doing that. I mean, I met 
a lot of kids when I was in South Africa, but these two little boys, I spent a couple of hours with, they were 
living in a township just outside of Capetown, and they were telling me both of their parents were shot in front 
of them, cause they were involved with the freedom-fighting people, so the militia-men came and killed them in 
front of them, made them homeless for years, it was 1992, and that song has this sense of being so burned up and 
being like ten years old, they’re like little adults, and pretty young.

They already experienced so much.

Chan: Yeah. And it just like bashes about them.

And "Colors And The Kids", what is that about?

Chan: That’s just a collection of memories just like different types of memories that make me happy... meowww... 
make me happy...

The sound is different, & the mood is different to the other songs …

Chan: Yeah...? It’s like I think an anthem for my youth, and all the memories, even for the terrible things that 
happened in my past, you know, just like everybody when they’re growing up, you know, booze, drugs & things. 
Everybody experiences those things in some really unforgettable colors and memories and things, experiences it 
with other friends. Mostly it’s about friends, and my nephew. That “funny bear”-thing is a play on my nephew, 
it’s like when my family’s fucked up, and he’s like the one... there are some others which are very cool, but 
he’s like (whispers) the awesome kid, he’s like … we’re in the same team, me and him, it’s really cool, he’s 
like my friend, that’s very awesome. That song is about just old memories.

And "Peking Saint"?

Chan: That was written about a medical wonder, it’s just like... I mean, I don’t know what I’m saying, like when 
I wrote the song... I’m just making it up, when I’m playing guitar, but if I reflect on it, it just means like: 
The plastic media stuff... (hesitates long & looks for the right words)... people are overlooked because of the...
like because the media societies abandon like the good true spirit of like the human nature... instead of that it 
emerges a superficial aesthetic fake, beauty or whatever, beauty about beauty and stuff... the values are twisted up...

What do you mean by “twisted up”?

Chan: I guess I’m just talking about like, you know, like somebody born in another country that could be like a 
genius or something, but could be starving to death cause America bombed, you know, bombed... but they would be 
overlooked, but like if you’re famous, or if you, you know, blonde and blue-eyed and big tits and little waist and big 
butt and nice looks, you be alright for the rest of your life and be – you know what I mean?

-------------------
From her Late 2009 Interview with Nick Milligan:

"I feel like the only record I wanted to make was Moon Pix... oh, and Jukebox."

-------------------

Thank you, Chan. Thank you. This was the first Cat Power album I heard. I was entranced. I couldnt believe how good this album was from start to finish. You succeeded. Your music is timeless and far, far from being disposible. How lucky we all are to be able to hear and enjoy the music and emotion of your talent.


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Re: Moon Pix - 1998

Post  Nicolaoua on Tue 28 Feb - 9:29

Woaw, thank you for this great compilation.
Moon Pix is probably my favourite album and i became very shy when i thought it was time to write a review about it. Moon Pix by Chan in her own words: thumbs up! Very Happy

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Re: Moon Pix - 1998

Post  Cokelike on Tue 28 Feb - 10:22

A true masterpiece in songwriting. While "You Are Free" remains my favorite of her 8 albums, this is the album I would recommend to start with. I feel she found her voice on this album. That she was able to complete this in about 4 or 5 days is unreal. I must have played this 10 times in a row when I got it.

From her live concerts we know the following songs were written/performed prior to the recording:

American Flag
No Sense
Back Of Your Head (The album version is her recording for VPRO Radio, 11/7/96)
Moonshiner (Traditional, her version based on Bob Dylan's version)

That means her recording of demos for the album possibly included:

He Turns Down
Say
Metal Heart
You May Know Him
Cross Bones Style
Peking Saint

According to an interview, "Colors And The Kids" was written at the end of the recording process.

According to what I have read, the versions of "You May Know Him" and "Peking Saint" on the album actually are demo recordings she did on her own.

How cool would it be to hear the tape that she talks about recording to get her songs down during that wild night in 1997 when she just had to get all those songs out of her system?

Everything is here on this album. Great arrangements (yes, spare but perfectly produced), intensely personal lyrics, and a very sympathic backing band. My favorite might be "Back Of Your Head". Her lyrics, "Couldnt park that fucking car/Couldnt part from you". You can hear her frustration and desperation that runs through the whole album right there in just those 2 lines. And she sings that over those incredible fingerpicked minor chords. It just projects the mood so perfectly. By the time you get to "Colors And The Kids" and she tells you thats what keeps her alive, you're just asking yourself, "What keeps me alive?", because you're thinking the same thing. What keeps me going when everything seems so wrong? The sequencing is perfect on this. What a great album!


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Re: Moon Pix - 1998

Post  Nicolaoua on Wed 29 Feb - 12:26

Cokelike wrote: From Chan's interview with Amy Keller with Index Magazine, September/October 1998:

So, what's the new album called?

Chan: Well, on paper, if you write it down, it's M-O-O-N-P-I-X, that's what I want you to see. But if someone says, "What's it called?" I want them to say, "O'Hell." So I don't know what to do. Visually it's "Moonpix," but verbally it's "O'Hell" One's a visual and one's a hello. I can't decide which one I want.

I'm working on a translation of your post and i don't understand what Chan meant with this "O'Hell" story. scratch

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Re: Moon Pix - 1998

Post  Cokelike on Wed 29 Feb - 20:25


I think she was still trying to decide on the album title when she did the interview. It was either going to be "Moonpix" or "O'Hell". She seemed to like the look of the word "Moonpix" and the sound of word "O'Hell". The word "O'Hell", being like a backwards version of the greeting "Hello". I agree it's kind of weird the way she explains it.

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Re: Moon Pix - 1998

Post  Nicolaoua on Thu 1 Mar - 19:05

Première partie de ma traduction des extraits d'interviews postés par Cokelike. N'étant pas agrégé d'anglais, j'implore votre tolérance pour la qualité de cette traduction. N'hésitez pas à me signaler toute erreur ou contre-sens. Wink

Interview avec Amy Keller, Index Magazine, Sep/oct 1998

Q: Alors, comment s'appelle le nouvel album?
Chan: Et bien, sur le papier, si vous l'écrivez, c'est M-O-O-N-P-I-X, c'est ce que je veux que vous voyiez. Mais si quelqu'un se demande "comment il s'appelle?", je veux qu'il dise "O'Hell." Donc je ne sais pas trop quoi faire. Visuellement, c'est "Moonpix", mais verbalement, c'est "O'Hell". L'un est un visuel, l'autre est un hello. Je n'arrive pas à décider lequel je veux.

(Ndt: ce passage est un peu compliqué à traduire, Chan n'étant pas ici très explicite, même en anglais. L'une des hypothèses est qu'elle hésitait entre 2 titres: Moon Pix et O'Hell, qui serait un jeu de mot avec Hello.)

Interview avec Matt Doren pour "Comes with a Smile", 1998


Q: Votre rôle de producteur sur Moon Pix cache-t-il une confiance nouvellement trouvée?

Chan: J'ai arrêté de jouer de la musique et je suis partie vivre à la campagne. En Caroline du Sud. Et j'ai fait un rêve où quelqu'un me demandait de venir dans le champ - car je vis derrière un champ - pour mourir en fait ou quelque chose comme ça. J'ai réalisé que je ne voulais pas mourir donc je me suis réveillée pour ne plus entendre la voix dans le champ et j'ai écrit ce disque. Ensuite, 2 de mes amis proches sont morts le lendemain et j'ai arrêté de jouer de la musique. Je ne voulais plus jamais en faire. Ce sont des choses qui arrivent. Mon petit ami à l'époque devait aller en Australie et je me disais "je veux y aller aussi" et j'avais déjà demandé 2 ans auparavant à Mick et Jim s'ils accepteraient de jouer sur mon disque, mais je ne pensais pas vraiment refaire un autre disque un jour. Depuis que j'ai fait ces mauvais rêves, je sais pas, ça a à voir avec... la raison pour laquelle je l'ai fait, c'était parce que je l'avais tellement bloqué en dehors de mon esprit, du genre "je ne ferais plus aucun disque". Et ensuite... je ne sais pas comment le décrire.
(ndt: Chan n'est pas très claire dans ce passage. Elle ne répond pas vraiment à la question des raisons pour lesquelles elle a fait l'album)

Q: Le résultat, c'est un disque plus personnel?
Chan: Il est aussi un peu plus libre. C'est comme si j'étais une personne plus mûre. Je ne sais pas si c'est vrai ou non. Je ne sais pas.
Q: De votre point de vue, quel a été l'apport de Mick et Jim?
Chan: Peut-être plus de confiance? Moi, en tant que personne, je suis plutôt naïve et pas vraiment...je suis un peu ignorante de tout. J'ai trainé en Australie pendant 2 mois et ensuite Mick est venu pendant 1 heure et demie. Jim était avec moi pendant 4 jours d'affilée. Donc c'était surtout une sorte de support. Je ne sais pas. L'essence de... ils ont donné...Je ne sais pas. Ils faisaient tout en une prise. Ils n'avaient aucune idée de ce qu'ils étaient supposés faire. Mes autres disques ont été enregistrés de la même façon. Cette fois, il y avait plein de choses dans lesquelles ils n'étaient pas impliqués, comme le sampling, le retour, le piano, la structure des chansons, blablabla. Mais ce qu'ils ont apporté? Ce sont simplement de très bons musiciens et je ne crois pas qu'ils avaient besoin de savoir ce qu'ils étaient censés faire car ils s'intégraient si bien dans les chansons. Ils ont vraiment construit ces chansons. Comme Metal Heart par exemple, je crois... Je veux dire vraiment toutes les chansons. Je ne sais pas. J'ai l'impression que je dis certaines choses parce que je ne pense pense vraiment pas du tout à tout ça.

Q: Je suppose que toute cette analyse abîme votre relation à l'album et celle de l'auditeur? Toute cette conversation tue la spontanéité.
Chan: C'est en quelque sorte spirituel. Quand on parle de la musique elle s'intellectualise et son contenu émotionnel et ses valeurs s'intellectualisent. Ça devient quelque chose d'objectif au lieu d'une chose intérieure. (ndt: je pense que ce que Chan veut dire, c'est que ça devient réfléchi au lieu d'être ressenti).

Q: "He turns down" a un côté particulièrement Anglais. C'est un peu jazzy, presque folk.
Chan: Je savais juste que je voulais qu'il y ait de la flute. Je ne savais pas comment ça allait se passer.
Q: Donc c'est instinctif?
Chan: C'est comme si vous aviez plein de papier, plein d'énergie et plein de temps et pleins de matériaux: vous fabriqueriez quelque chose. Je pense que si je continue à faire de la musique, je pourrai bien être capable de penser de manière plus claire et structurée à propos de ce que je veux.

Q: J'ai entendu que la version de Bob Dylan de Moonshiner, est celle qui a inspirée la vôtre. Que pensez-vous de lui?
Chan: Bob a dit à propos de Woody Guthrie qu'il pouvait bien aller dans l’église de son choix ou au Brooklyn State Hospital mais il croyait qu'au crépuscule, ils se retrouveraient ensemble dans le Grand Canyon. Je pense que Bob me rappelle quelqu'un, je déteste faire cette analogie, quelqu'un comme Martin Luther King. Je veux dire, Bob Dylan jouait de la guitare et prenait de la drogue mais bon...Quand il fallait qu'il parle, il avait toujours ce truc en lui qui le poussait à dire des choses tout le temps. Je ne sais pas comment le décrire. Je pense qu'il a eu d’énormes responsabilités quand il était plus jeune. Je veux dire, dans les 60's...il devait avoir 23 ans à peu près et le monde qui l'interviewait, c'était le monde de son père. Avant que Rolling Stone (ndt: le magazine) soit si important, les interviewers, c'étaient des costumes cravates. Et des hommes d'âge mûr interviewaient Jimi Hendrix quoi... Je pense que c'est pour ça que Bob Dylan n'est pas plus respecté que ça en tant que personne, à cause de son attitude à l'époque. Quelque chose avait toujours été là mais il a fait en sorte que les gens la remarquent pour la première fois. Je pense que c'est vraiment important. Et il avait un grand sens de l'humour, il est complètement sarcastique. Je suppose qu'il doit avoir une de ces langues, comme un rasoir. Vraiment malin. Je ne suis pas cultivée et l'environnement dans lequel j'ai grandi n'était pas vraiment le plus...normal, vous voyez... Donc il y a plein de choses que je ne connais pas. Donc je n'ai pas la langue acérée. Est-ce que vous m'en voulez d'être si décousue?

Q: Non, j'aime bien les gens décousus. Je suis décousu. Comparons votre version de Moonshiner.
Chan: J'ai le sentiment que cette chanson ne doit pas être la chanson favorite de tout le monde. Je ne dis pas qu'elle ne le sera jamais mais c'est vraiment un blues de dur à cuir.

Q: "It must be the colors and the kids" "cause the music is boring me to death". Est-ce que c'est à propos de New-York?
Chan: Créer de la musique, c'est un peu comme Disneyland. Tout le monde partage le même pouls humain et tout le monde peut chanter ou écrire une chanson et faire partie d'un groupe et je crois qu'il n'y a pas de séparation. C'est comme pour les arts visuels: la ligne entre ce qui est important et ce qui ne l'est pas n'est pas droite. MTV et la pub à la radio et tout ça...On ne nous laisse pas le choix. Je veux dire qu'il y a tant de choses à regarder mais la musique est conceptualisée dans le mercantilisme et les visuels comme les vidéos, les T-shirts, les Cds...Je ne sais pas...la musique c'est génial, on le sait, mais... Je ne suis pas assez intelligente pour trouver les mots qui expriment ma pensée.

Q: A quoi pensiez-vous quand vous avez écrit ces paroles?
Chan: Je ne peux pas le décrire. C'est tout ce que j'arrive à dire. Je pense que je suis dyslexique ou quelque chose comme ça. La musique, c'est bien, non? En ce moment la musique est plus comme un outil...je ne sais pas. Je ne veux pas offenser qui que ce soit parce que tout le monde est un peu pareil. Mais je n'aime pas un grand nombre de musiques que j'entends. Je veux dire, j'aime la vieille musique que j'entends car c'est de là que vient toute la musique d'aujourd'hui. Comme la techno, le drum 'n bass a un fond (ndt: traduction déplorable Crying or Very sad ). Je ne suis pas très maline. Je ne suis pas une autorité dans le domaine de la musique, donc ce que je voulais dire par là, c'est que je reste perplexe de la raison d'être de la musique actuelle. Tout le monde aime la musique mais c'est quelque chose qui devrait être libre et acharné. La musique devrait être intemporelle et moins jetable.

Q: Nous y voilà.
Chan: Ha, ha, ha.


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Re: Moon Pix - 1998

Post  Nicolaoua on Fri 2 Mar - 9:40

Interview avec Greg Weeks, 1998

Q: Aviez-vous le contrôle total lors de l'enregistrement de cet album?
Chan: Absolument, Je racontais à quelqu'un que c'était comme avoir 30 assiettes sur chaque bras, et essayer de passer 20 assiettes sur l'autre main. C'est à ça que ça ressemblait, parce qu'on n'avait que 2 jours pour enregistrer.

Q: Et pourquoi avez-vous décidé de débuter l'album par "American Flag"? La boîte à rythmes, le grand feedback?
Chan: En fait, les chansons sont dans l'ordre où elles ont été produites. C'est la première chanson que nous avons faite parce que Mick (Turner) ne pouvait pas être là un autre jour, donc on l'a faite. C'est pour ça que ce sont les 2 premières chansons.

Q: Et qu'est-ce qui vous a décidé à utiliser une flute sur la deuxième piste?
Chan: C'est parce que j'en voulais une à cet endroit.

Q: (insistant) Parce que vous en vouliez une à cet endroit?
Chan: Ouais, j'ai pensé que je voulais un violon mais c'est devenu...une flute.

Extrait de l'interview avec John Fortunato pour Aquarian Weekly, 1998

Q: Votre chanson Metal Heart, a les qualités d'un hymne. Ces paroles "once was lost but now i'm found" confinent à la spiritualité.
Chan: C'est arrivé vers 5:30 du matin, j'avais eu un cauchemar à propos du diable qui m'appelait à le rejoindre dans le champ derrière ma maison en Caroline du Sud. Donc quand je me suis réveillée, j'ai écrit cette chanson.

Extrait de l’interview avec David Peisner, septembre 1998

Chan: J'ai fait des cauchemars toute ma vie. Mais je n'avais plus fait de cauchemars depuis 1 ans. Et juste avant que je ne parte pour l'Australie, j'ai fait un cauchemar. Je me suis levée et j'ai pensé que je devais encore rêver. J'ai cru qu'il y avait des gens dans ma maison alors qu'il n'y avait personne. J'avais peur. Je voulais que le soleil se lève. J'ai alors pris ma guitare et j'ai joué, j'ai écrit des chansons et j'ai attendu que le soleil se lève. Et c'est comme ça que j'ai écrit les chansons les plus importantes de l'album. J'ai écrit 6 chansons cette nuit là.

Extrait de l'interview avec Roni Sarig pour Creative Loafing, décembre 1998

Chan: J'ai fait un horrible cauchemar, dans lequel une voix me disait que mon passé serait oublié si je venais la rencontrer, quelle qu'elle soit, dans le champ. Et je me suis réveillée en hurlant "non, je ne te rejoindrai pas!" Et je savais de quoi il s'agissait: le vieux serpent sournois. Mon cauchemar entourait ma maison comme une tornade. Donc j'ai simplement couru vers ma guitare pour essayer de me distraire. J'ai dû allumer toutes les lumières et chanter pour Dieu. J'ai un enregistreur à cassettes et j'ai enregistré les 60 minutes qui suivirent. Et j'ai joué ces longues suites d'accords, qui sont devenues 6 chansons différentes. C'est là qu'est né l'album. Je me sens bien quand je joue ces chansons. Maintenant, je regarde les gens dans le public parce que je veux qu'ils entendent les paroles et j'espère qu'ils comprendront ce que je dis. Tout ça, c'est à propos d'être quelqu'un de bien. Avant, je ne comprenais pas, je chantais le blues. Maintenant, j'ai des hymnes.


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Matt Voigt Interview - Moon Pix Engineer

Post  Cokelike on Sat 3 Mar - 10:04

Great interview with Matt Voigt, engineer for the Moonpix album. He talks about how Moonpix was recorded.

http://www.messandnoise.com/articles/10560.

edit: new link http://messandnoise.com/articles/10560

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Re: Moon Pix - 1998

Post  Nicolaoua on Sat 3 Mar - 13:04

Cokelike wrote:
Great interview with Matt Voigt, engineer for the Moonpix album. He talks about how Moonpix was recorded.

http://www.messandnoise.com/articles/10560

Thanks a lot, it is indeed very interesting. The engineer was thinking pretty much what every fan wondered at least once: why does she say that she is sorry when you hear it's perfect. She's definitely not faking it. She's the real deal.
I wish one day we can hear the complete recording session, even if it means waiting for 25 years...

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Re: Moon Pix - 1998

Post  Sab on Sun 3 Jun - 14:45

Cokelike wrote:
I think she was still trying to decide on the album title when she did the interview. It was either going to be "Moonpix" or "O'Hell". She seemed to like the look of the word "Moonpix" and the sound of word "O'Hell". The word "O'Hell", being like a backwards version of the greeting "Hello". I agree it's kind of weird the way she explains it.

I found this picture of Chan's art piece, written in 1997 "Bonjou means Hello and Hello means crap":



Is it related with the O'Hell/Hello (Bonjou (r))?

http://www.papermag.com/2007/07/party_train_summer_is_awesome.php

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Re: Moon Pix - 1998

Post  Nicolaoua on Sun 3 Jun - 14:54

[quote="Sab"]
Cokelike wrote:

I found this picture of Chan's art piece, written in 1997 "Bonjou means Hello and Hello means crap":



Is it related with the O'Hell/Hello (Bonjou (r))?

http://www.papermag.com/2007/07/party_train_summer_is_awesome.php

That's fascinating!
Have you noticed the other picture? The picture on the top left, is almost the same picture of Bob Dylan on a television screen used for one of her concert's poster (and on Moon Pix inner credits!).
This place, Max Fish, seemed to deserve a visit (Chan's material was exhibited there in 2007).


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Re: Moon Pix - 1998

Post  Sab on Sun 3 Jun - 15:23

En effet, je n'avais pas vu! Tout est lié! Very Happy

Apparemment, Max Fish est le bar hype du Lower East Side. Sur les photos de Patrick O'Dell, ce bar figure souvent en toile de fond. Y défilent entres autres Kim Gordon et Chloe Sevigny.

Chan y a été exposée en juin 2007, tout comme Stefano Giovannini en 2008.


http://www.maxfish.com/html/artgallery.htm

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Re: Moon Pix - 1998

Post  Nicolaoua on Sat 7 Jul - 20:58

Cokelike wrote:
From Chan's interview with John Forunato for Aquarian Weekly, 1998:

Your song, “Metal Heart,” has a hymn-like quality. Its lyrics ‘once was lost but now am found’ touch on spirituality.

Chan: That came to me 5:30 in the morning and I had a nightmare about the devil calling me to meet in the fields behind my South Carolina house. So that’s when I woke up and wrote that song.

I've just realized that these lyrics are in fact from "Amazing Grace"!

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Re: Moon Pix - 1998

Post  Nicolaoua on Wed 22 Aug - 15:45

Anecdote: a few seconds of Cross Bones Style can be seen at the beginning of Vanilla Sky, in the background (around 3'30").

Thanks to "fuckyeahchanmarshall" for the information.

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Re: Moon Pix - 1998

Post  Nicolaoua on Wed 24 Apr - 21:23


A good article about Moon Pix: http://stereogum.com/1332151/backtrack-cat-power-moon-pix/

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Re: Moon Pix - 1998

Post  Nicolaoua on Thu 2 May - 7:45

Did you know that the Australian Version of Moon Pix had 3 bonus tracks? It seems that "Kingsport Town" take is from Radio Aligre session.




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Re: Moon Pix - 1998

Post  Cokelike on Mon 21 Oct - 0:43

Nicolaoua wrote:Did you know that the Australian Version of Moon Pix had 3 bonus tracks? It seems that "Kingsport Town" take is from Radio Aligre session.
 
From Matadors website (archived news):
In the meantime, Cat Power will be touring in Australia. Mushroom will be re-releasing "Moon Pix" in anticipation of the tour with these three bonus tracks: "Kingsport Town" - Radio Aligre Sessions France 10/98; "Schizophrenia's Weighted Me Down" - from the UK CD5 of "Nude As The News"; "Sea Of Love" - from Everything Is Nice. Those of us outside the Southern Pacific archipelago will have to claw our way through the import bins.


So the extra tracks would be:
Sea Of Love (Unreleased at the time this reissue came out in Dec 1999, also included on a Matador comp.)
Schizophrenia's Weighted Me Down (Nude As The News B-Side)
Kingsport Town (From 11/30/98, Radio Aligre)

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Re: Moon Pix - 1998

Post  Cokelike on Wed 22 Jan - 17:03

This guys observations on Moon Pix and her other albums is spot-on, IMO. 

http://www.clashmusic.com/features/foundations-maximo-park

By Paul Smith

“I got into this album at the time it came out. My local music shop in Newcastle had a postcard of the cover up, and I thought it looked pretty interesting – this interesting face on the cover, peeking out at you. I’d read some things about Cat Power, too, which made me want to listen to the record – and it surpassed any expectations that I had.

“This came at a time in my life where I’d just gone to university, and I was listening to the albums I did buy a lot more, as I didn’t have the money to buy too many. I’d listen to this record a lot, and initially I actually only had it taped off a friend of mine. It was only recently that I bought the album on vinyl, in a nice reissue. But I’d listen to the tape over and over again.

“There are all sorts of stories that go around this record – like the hauntings going on in the house she wrote it in, and then the recording of it out in Australia, which lends it a different feel to what she’d done before. The guitar playing of Mick Turner and the restless drums of Jim White stand out for me – these are key components of this record. And Chan’s playing is great, too, but that’s her thing – she has this really interesting, sprawling guitar style, and she’s one of these singers who could sing anything. Her covers records have shown how flexible she is.

“To me, this is soul music. It’s total… it’s alternative music, but with an added, despairing howl. There’s a sense of rejuvenation in a lot of her music after this record, of coming in from out of the darkness. After I got ‘Moon Pix’, I went back to her earlier records, and some of those are harder to listen to – not just because of the emotional content, but also because I don’t think she’d found her voice, until ‘Moon Pix’.

“If anyone was looking to get into Cat Power now, I’d definitely say this is the place to start. And, perhaps, to end, too – go further if you want, but I think she hit the nail on the head with this album.

“I did like ‘Sun’ (review), and when you trust an artist you rather pin your colours to their mast, so you can appreciate when they try different things. Maybe not all of that record is for you, but it has so many bright spots, so it’s worth getting into. So I liked ‘Sun’ quite a lot. A couple of its songs aren’t for me, but it’s important that someone who’s a strong, positive female artist is out there on her own, taking risks with each record.

“I liked ‘You Are Free’, too, where she was working with Eddie Vedder and Dave Grohl, but to some hardcore, like, Drag City kinda fans, I expect that was really off-putting. ‘The Greatest’ features some of her best songs – it’s great that every time she takes a little risk, and that’s really appealing to me.”

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Re: Moon Pix - 1998

Post  Nicolaoua on Sat 28 Jun - 16:56

Are you sure that's an outtake ? It looks a lot like the back cover photo to me.

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Re: Moon Pix - 1998

Post  Cokelike on Sat 28 Jun - 17:20

Ah , you are right , I wasnt looking closely enough.

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Re: Moon Pix - 1998

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