Ode to Chan
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10/13/05 - Baltimore, MD, Ottobar

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10/13/05 - Baltimore, MD, Ottobar Empty 10/13/05 - Baltimore, MD, Ottobar

Post  Cokelike Sat 4 Aug - 5:10

10/13/05 - Baltimore, MD, Ottobar

Incomplete setlist:
I Dont Blame You

The second date of the twelve date midwest tour.

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Cat Power is Chan Marshall, a young woman who has released five LPs of increasingly folk-influenced lo-fi, bluesy rock since 1996. The Greatest is her fourth album from Matador Records and her first studio album since 2003's formidable You Are Free. Recorded in Memphis with such musicians as Jim Spake and Teenie Hodges, it will be released in early 2006.

As recorded, her songs are haunting and visceral, imbued with a quivering vulnerability in the weary yet powerful quality of her voice and the almost minimalist restraint with which she handles her piano and guitar.

The plain intimacy of her lyrics, the very simplicity of her general approach, was mirrored by the setting of her show at the Ottobar on Oct.13 -- she was backed not by a band, but by red Christmas lights, and shared the stage only with her two instruments.

The stripped-down quality of her records was taken even further, forgoing the buzz, distortion and other instrumentation (drums, strings, brass, back-up vocals) found on her albums for a sound that was even more solitary, naked and often stark.

Of course, music is not the only reason that so many people squeezed (rather uncomfortably, I might add) into the Ottobar to witness her sold-out show. If Chan Marshall is well-known for her albums, especially The Covers Record and You Are Free, she is also notorious for her stage persona.

She has broken down into tears, into angry accusations and generally played a good number of shows that are notable less for the performance than for the ways that Marshall reacted to what appears to be incredible insecurity and stage-fright. I think she is an effective and powerful artist with a very impressive discography, but the same part of me that loves the Anna Nicole Smith Show wanted to see the shock show as much as I wanted to hear her songs live.

However, seeing her onstage, at least this time, was not what I expected. There was something strangely charming about her nervousness, her demand that her voice be taken out of her monitor (presumably so that she would not be able to listen to herself), her requests for scotch and her awkward pauses.

An incredible stillness marked her performance: not just her stillness but the crowd's as well. It was as if everyone was holding his breath, trying to will her through what seemed to be a genuinely painful experience.

Throughout the time Marshall spent onstage, the possibility that the wheels might come flying off at any moment, that there might be some sort of devastating implosion loomed large. But rather than distracting from the music, this uncertainty added a palpable layer of intensity to her set.

True, she did not finish every song, and at one point she stopped herself a few bars in to play scales and make strange, desperate noises. But when she did play through, slouched over with her long hair obscuring her face, she cut a sweetly fragile figure and performed triumphantly soulful and heart-wrenching versions of such songs as "I Don't Blame You," "Names" and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction."

At these moments, when she forgot she was being watched and shared her music with all those present, it was difficult not to be moved by this small, unassuming woman's talent and understated power.


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So I saw the show at the Ottobar and it was a good show. Her voice was incredible and after she heard me screaming with my request between songs, I got her to sing moonshiner...it was the highlight of the show. She also put down a few shots throughout.....She is worth seeing!

"Ready to get depressed?" - Chan, 11/16/13

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Date d'inscription : 2012-02-14

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