Ode to Chan
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2012 Summary

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Post  Cokelike Sat 15 Dec - 10:44

2012 Summary

Did you see Cat Power in 2012? Do you have any memories/pictures/recordings you would like to share?

We'd all love to hear from you.

I'll get to my summary of 2012 in a moment. But first...

The Hair!

2012 Summary Chan_h10

After many years of more or less the same long hair (sometimes with a pony tail, some times not), Chan made a huge break this year and totally changed up her hair. She started by cutting it very short. And in the first picture above you can see how close it is to the picture she used on the cover for "Sun", when she was about 20 years younger. After letting it grow during the summer to a sort of Beatles Mop-top (which I really liked), she decided to change it again. Declaring online, "FUCK IT IF I AM GOLDHEADED", she announced that she had for the first time dyed her hair another color, going blonde. She later said she wanted it to be pure white, but she couldnt take having the dye in her hair that long. This was sometime in July/August. She continued with this for a few months before sometime around October. She then shaved off the hair on the sides of her head to create a sort of mohawk hair style which is similar to one of her favorite musicians, Peaches. She (sort of) covered Peaches' "Fuck The Pain Away", back in 2003.  

2012 Summary Peache10

Since then, she has had a few trims. So basically, this has been a really big year for her hair.  Laughing It remains to be seen what will happen next. My guess? Colors. Maybe, blue.

Okay, so that's that.

So, Chan's 2012. A pretty bumpy ride.

This era really began back on 12/24/11. This was when she released, as a charity download, "King Rides By". This was a cover of one of her older tunes. But it showed the new direction she was taking in her material and was really exciting to hear.

She began 2012 with what ended up being (at least for now) the last concerts she has played with the DDBB. These were in February. After more than 5 years with the DDBB, most of the members went off to do other projects and Chan would have to put together another band soon. Planned appearences at Tel Aviv and Coachella were canceled. Tel Aviv, due to "confusion in my heart", and Coachella because she had not finalized the album yet.

 In March, she broke up with her boyfriend of 2 or 3 years, Giovanni Ribisi. She talked a lot about this in her interviews this year, so go read them if you're interested in that. It certainly affected her, but I will leave Chan to explain that to you.

The biggest news came in April when she announced that she had finally completed, "Sun". The album was many years in the making. She went through several song choices before finally putting together the final album track list. She exercised a lot of control in the development of this album (probably more so than any of her previous albums) and seemed to be very proud of that.

In June, we got our first taste of the album as she released a video for the song, "Ruin".

2012 Summary Ruin10

This was what the fans wanted and needed. New Cat Power, and it was exciting as all hell. I remember playing this for weeks in a row, anticipating the release of the album.

Following this, she went on a media blitz unseen since the days of "The Greatest". She appeared on magazine covers and gave interviews to Rolling Stone, Spin, The New York Times, and a whole slew of internet music sites. She appeared in a number of European programs as well to talk about the album. There were photo shoots galore.

In August she played her first show without the DDBB at an industry music conference in Boulder. Tour dates for North America and Europe were announced around the same time.  

2012 Summary Fmqbwe10

"Sun" was released on 9/4/12. It reached #10 on the billboard chart. Her highest placing album of her career. She was appearently unaware of this until months afterward.

2012 Summary Cover10

"Sun", turned out to be an incredibly surprising departure for Chan. Though, not entirely unexpected. Most of her albums are different from each other. Though, still there was a bit of shock to hear things like synthesisers and auto-tune on a Cat Power album. Still, it was the songs and especially the vocals that took center stage (at least for me). A handful of tracks had been played live, but most of the album was brand new material. And in true Cat Power form it was captivating. After 4 months I am still going back to this album and enjoying everything about it. The production is exotic without going overboard. The lyrics are thoughtful, topical, and beautiful. This is the most "current" she has ever sounded. Always unpredictable, but always right on.  Smile

On 9/17/12, Chan released the music video for "Cherokee":

Previously, she had let other people direct her music videos. But, similar to her retaining control over her album, she directed this music video herself.

Around this time it was revealed that Chan was struggling with an illness and staying at hospitals. She later said that just after the album was released, she came down with what was diagnosed as Angioedema (basically, swelling of the throat). She stayed in American, Mexican and, during the tour itself, Canadian hospitals.

To tour for the album Chan had to put together a new band. While she battled her illness the band rehearsed in preparation for the tour.

The Current Band:
Gregg Foreman, Adeline Jasso, Nico Turner, Alianna Kalaba:
2012 Summary Chan_b10

In contrast to the DDBB (and even her other "make-shift" bands of the past) this was nearly an all-girl group. I was impressed by their talents on stage. I look forward to seeing all of them performing with Chan again.

The North American tour kicked off in Miami on 10/11/12 and ended in Los Angeles on 11/8/12. She played 17 concerts and 1 TV performance on "Conan". (You can add to this, the 3 DDBB concerts, the Boulder concert and the 2 Eddie Vedder appearences for a total of 24 performances this year.)

How can I talk about this tour and be impartial? I was at Detroit, Chicago and Milwaukee for a saturday-sunday-monday run and had one of the best weekends of my life! She signed 2 albums for me and I got to meet the girls in the band and get their autographs as well. Given the circumstances, of having a new band and her health not being what it should be, I thought her performances were incredible. As she often does, Chan adopted a new look for this tour, that of a hard-edged rocker in leather and boots. She looked great!

2012 Summary 1310

2012 Summary 110

As it turned out, the reviews were mixed for most of the tour. Though, I'll go ahead and say that I think that much of the reviewers were unfair in their assessments of the concerts. I think a lot of these people went back (due to their unfamiliarity with Cat Power) and read some older reviews and this colored their vision. She probably wasnt at the top of her game at all for these shows, but I believe she tried her hardest and succeeded. She certainly turned in a number of amazing performances and the highlight of most concerts was the middle section, where she sang "Angelitos Negros" illuminated by a single spotlight from behind. Its also worth noting that for the first time, Chan employed an elaborate stage production featuring projections and special lighting equipment. It was unlike anything she had done before. Highlights of the tour included her adding "Ramblin' Woman" to a few shows, a special medley including "Dont Explain" and "Wild As The Wind" at one show, a special duet on ''Colors And The Kids'' with Willis Earl Beal at one show, and her bringing out her ex's daughter Lucia to sing on "Nothin But Time", (which was written for Lucia) at the last concert in Los Angeles.

2012 Summary 10-20-10

As the tour was nearing its end, sadly, Chan announced via an online statement that she would have to cancel the European tour due to health and financial issues. This was a disappointment to many of her European fans. Fortunately, she seems to be doing better, as she recently made two back to back appearences in Fort Lauderdale on 11/30/11 and 12/1/12 at Eddie Vedder's solo concerts. On the horizon is the 10-date Australia tour in February 2013. She also seems to have plans for an album of remixed "Sun" songs, and clearly wants to film another music video for "Ruin". She also recently indicated that she is writing new songs and may play some solo shows in the near future.

So, compared to previous years, even with the set-backs, this really was the year of "Sun", of a kind of re-birth. New look, new album, new band, new stage show, new videos. She accomplished a lot (!), and she's still going. She's made it all the way and she'll keep going, keep rollin'. We all love you, Chan! Thanks for everything!


The following is a list of recordings from this year. I'm sure there are others, but these are the ones I know about. If anyone has something not listed, we'd all love to hear it as well!

6/22/12 - Le Grand Journal - Interview - 2:34       
8/20/12 - Kultur Journal Interview - 5:10            
9/2/12 - NPR Interview - 8:24          
9/3/12 - Knowaves Radio - 37:47 - Anyone have more of this?    
9/4/12 - Amoeba Records - "Whats In The Bag?" Video - 3:44
9/7/12 - Spotify Interview - 23:48
9/9/12 - Triple J Radio Interview- 17:21   
9/13/12 - Makers Interview - 7:27        
10/4/12 - Bayerisches Fernsehen - 29:36        
10/7/12 - The Canvas Connection TV Program - 27:33 - Anyone have this complete?
10/20/12 - Toronto, FLAC - 1:44:24        
10/27/12 - Detroit, FLAC - 1:31:06        
10/27/12 - Detroit, MP4 - 65:37          
10/28/12 - Chicago, FLAC - 1:29:36      
10/28/12 - Chicago , MP4 - 77:05      
10/29/12 - Milwaukee, FLAC - 88:06      
10/29/12 - Milwaukee, MP4 - 61:51
10/30/12 - Minneapolis - Possibly recorded? Saw a track on soundcloud, now removed.      
11/2/12 - Vancouver, FLAC - 1:31:10      
11/6/12 - Oakland , 320k Mp3s - 1:30:24        
11/7/12 - "Conan", MP4 - 4:20        
11/30/12 - Fort Lauderdale, 320k Mp3s
12/1/12 - Fort Lauderdale, 320k Mp3s
12/12/12 - "Kid Songs With Cat Power" - MP4 - 3:19


Out of the above (that have appeared so far), I would list the following as essential:

9/13/12 - Makers Interview - 7:27              
10/7/12 - The Canvas Connection TV Program - 27:33

In the first one Chan talks a bit about starting her career. In the second, she reflects on various artworks and music. Both are fascinating.

10/20/12 - Toronto, FLAC - 1:44:24                        
10/28/12 - Chicago, FLAC - 1:29:36                
11/2/12 - Vancouver, FLAC - 1:31:10      
11/6/12 - Oakland , 320k Mp3s - 1:30:24    

All good to excellent recordings from the tour.
11/7/12 - "Conan", MP4 - 4:20        

11/30/12 - Fort Lauderdale, 320k Mp3s
12/1/12 - Fort Lauderdale, 320k Mp3s

Worth a listen to hear Chan share the stage with Eddie Vedder, who appeared on her You Are Free album in 2003. She appeared on his Ukulele Songs album in 2011.

12/12/12 - "Kid Songs With Cat Power" - MP4 - 3:19

This is a total highlight of the year. Must see.


PS. I couldnt summarize this year and leave this out  thumbs up :
2012 Summary Catpow10

Last edited by Cokelike on Mon 22 Jul - 1:48; edited 9 times in total

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Date d'inscription : 2012-02-14

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2012 Summary Empty Re: 2012 Summary

Post  Nicolaoua Sat 15 Dec - 11:26

thumbs up

You can add that Chan is planning to write a book (a biography?).

It was indeed a very exciting year for a Cat Power fan. So much hope, so much joy, so much fear and finally so much sadness. By the way, i should have been in Brussels last night for the last show of 2012 (and I'm still pissed by the way the communication toward european fans was handled: organizing an Australian tour before a rescheduled european one and not a word for the european fans? Come on!)...
Anyway, as the year (and the world Laughing ) is coming to an end, i'm looking forward to what's coming! bounce

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Date d'inscription : 2011-10-03


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