Ode to Chan
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XX/XX/92 - Atlanta, GA, Royal Peacock

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Post  Cokelike Sat 25 Jan - 21:26

XX/XX/92 - Atlanta, GA, Royal Peacock 

Setlist (incomplete):
Unknown - 6:09

There were probably many shows between the first one in 1991 and this performance here.

This video is so far the oldest Cat Power video that I know of. I believe that is Mark Moore, Damon Moore and Glen Thrasher playing. This was posted on youtube (with many other Atlanta music clips) by Fletcher Liegerot, who also played with Chan around this time. He writes in the description:

Cat Power very early lineup. Last show in Atlanta before Chan moved to New York.

And the clip says 1993. But this must be an error. My understanding is that Chan left for NY in the fall of 1992 (see the interview below). She certainly played CBGB's in December. So I would say this is really from Fall of 1992. I emailed Fletcher on youtube to ask about the video but never got a reply.  

Its hard to make out any of the lyrics she is singing in this. At the end you can hear her say ''fuck...'', after a feedback squeal.

XX/XX/92 - Atlanta, GA, Royal Peacock Vlcsna11

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This interview with Glen Thrasher explains a lot about these early days of Cat Power. 


>1. *tell me a bit about the early-90s scene in atlanta and your impressions of it/your place in it. chan talked a bit about some bands: benjamin smoke, opalfoxx quartet, magic bone, a few others. it seemed like a vibrant scene that never got much outside attention.

The "music scene" in Atlanta always has been "vibrant" to the eyes or ears of anyone who bothered to pay attention. I think it still is, though I don't pay too much attention these days. Some of the same talented people from my day are still at it and still making good music. Bill Taft, who played in Benjamin's bands, Smoke and the Opal Foxx Quartet, is still at it playing with his new band, Hubcap City. They have a new 7"which is amazing, put out by my friend (and co-worker at A Cappella Books) Chad Radford. Grace Braun who played with the great DQE is still going strong. She has a new CD called "Rose of Sharon" which is likewise good, maybe great. As for the "old days", well to quote Slim Charles from my favorite television show, HBO's "The Wire", "they are the old days."

I published a fanzine called LowLife. I put out 17 issues between 1984 and 1992. There was a great deal happening in Atlanta worth remembering, but I don't think many people bother to remember. I don't think this is a symptom found only in Atlanta. Seems like much of the best art, music, literature, whatever, is forgotten every day that goes by. I have always tried to stir up a few memories of stuff worth not forgetting.

During the two years I was in New York, there was a really amazing band called God Is My Co-Pilot. You probably know about them, but a lot of people have already forgotten them. At the time they seemed to be the most amazing thing going. They must have put out nearly a record per month in 1993. Chad Radford recently described them as nothing but a footnote to "the scene".

I could write a book, perhaps several books, on the "Atlanta scene" of the early 90's/late 80's/early 80's/etc. Chad Radford is working on just such a book, tentatively titled, "Illusions of LowLife: the Secret Atlanta underground 1984 to 1992", which will include reprints of much of my music writing from LowLife and a CD of all the good music I released on record in conjunction with the 'zine.

I also had a radio show called Destroy All Music, I co-hosted from 1984 to 1992. I believe it was one of the greatest radio shows ever. My friend (and co host) Ellen McGrail still does the show with her boyfriend Tony Gordon. It is still good, though slightly different. Ellen and Tony put their own spin of the destruction of music. The old DAM was more of a no wave show. The current version is more of a noise/jazz thing. Nevertheless I played lots of noisy jazz in my day. No doubt E. & T. play some stuff a gal or a guy could call no wave.

We (Ellen and myself and many others) also put on four Destroy All Music Festivals during that same period. Loads of great musicians such as Borbetomagus, the Shaking Ray Levis, Bruce Hampton, etc., etc. etc. appeared at our festivals. Recently Tony and Ellen put on a fifth. More great music!

Unfortunately, most of the music from the old days is lost to contemporary ears because there are very few recordings. There is/was a pretty good 7" by Damon's band Magic Bone put out by an Atlanta label called Worry Bird, a clever vinyl scout could probably dig up with the help of the web. Magic Bone was sort of southern boogie meets grunge, I thought they were pretty great.

Benjamin (of Smoke, etc.) appears on a few tracks on records I included with some issues (#'s 15, 16 & 17) of my 'zine, LowLife. There were two Smoke LP's released in the early 90's, soon to be reissued in a very fancy box-set type CD format. Keep your eyes and ears open and you might find the prize.

So "the scene" goes on. And nobody cares.

> 2.)*when/how did you first meet chan? what were your impressions of her?

I think I met Chan in 1991. She worked at a Pizza joint in our neighborhood. Mark Moore and Fletcher Legerot (spelling not sure about) had both heard her songs and thought she would be a good person to form a band with. We were always forming bands in those days. The original Cat Power lineup was Chan and Damon and Mark and Fletcher and myself. Everyone played guitar, but me. I played drums. My "impression" of her was she was an amazing young woman. That has not changed.

>3.) *wondering if you could confirm spelling and basically I.D. some people she mentioned you both played with: damon and mark moore, fletcher (last nameunknown). was this like an early version of cat power?

See number "2".

> 4.) *you and chan moved up to nyc in what year? she mentions the move was partially because of drugs becoming a problem in the atlanta scene – were the deaths of damon and mark moore drug-related?

I think Chan and I moved to New York in September of 1992. I don't think the move had anything to do with drugs. Although I am sure Chan was not thrilled with all the drugs her friends in Atlanta were using at the time. If Chan wanted to move away from drugs, why the hell would she move to New York? Sorry to answer a question with a question, but it just seems to be a rather funny notion. I think Chan is being a little creative with her memories. Or maybe I am wrong. Maybe that is why she moved. It just seemed like the thing to do at the time. It still seems like the thing to do some days.

I want to say a few things about Mark Moore and Damon Moore. First of all Mark and Damon are not related, in case you were wondering. Likewise, their deaths are unrelated. Damon died a few years after I moved back from New York, due to an overdose of heroin. Mark died about two years ago. Mark's death had nothing to do with drugs. In fact, Mark did not use drugs, though I suppose he drank too much. He died from some sort of brain hemorrhage. They were both really great guys, two of my best friends, and I miss them both.

> 5.) *chan mentions you taking her to see anthony braxton perform in nyc. did you know that that would have such an impact on her? (with regards to how she views musical performances and the relationship between audience/performer.)

I did not know that Braxton had such an influence on her until I just read it in your question. When I talk to Chan we never talk about bands or music or "the scene".

I think Braxton is one of the greatest living musicians along with Ornette Coleman, Captain Beefheart, Brian Eno and almost no one else I can think of at this moment. I did an interview with Braxton, printed in LowLife, which was pretty good, I think. I hope.

> 6.) *kind of a funny question: when i was with her, chan talked to EVERYONE - kids on the street, people in line at the deli, whoever. has she always been like that?

I think this is an excellent question.

One of the most perceptive things I ever read about Chan was in some local Atlanta article, I think it was in our entertainment weekly, "Creative Loafing", usually an unreadable piece of shit, best used for packing material, etc. I can only paraphrase: "Chan treats everyone like they are the most important person in the world".

I believe Chan believes whoever she is with is the most important person in the world, if only at that moment she is with them. For this reason, and many others, everyone seems to love Chan. She is one of the kindest souls I have ever known. Bless her for being who she is.

To answer your question, she has always been "like that", as long as I have known her, and she was 17 when I met her (I think?) maybe 18. She is especially fond of children and dogs and elderly people, as she will be happy to tell you.

> 7.) *i don't know how close you've been with her in recent years, but did you have any idea that she'd become so depressed and dependent on alcohol? Were people trying to reach out to her?

I don't see Chan as often as I would like, but I believe we are very close. Nevertheless, taking into account my answer to the previous question, don't we all?

I have never considered Chan to have a problem with drugs and alcohol, but she seems to think she did (or does?) have such a problem. She certainly knows herself better than I do. As for "reaching out", I believe that would (always is) a bad idea in such situations, if you mean something like "tough love" or a so-called "intervention". No one can solve addiction problems but the so-called (love that "so-called" stuff, don't you?) addict, and I know a great deal, unfortunately, about the topic of addiction.

> 8.) *and finally, what did you and chan talk about when you last had contact 6 months ago? do you feel like she's (sorry, cliche ahead) on a better path now?

We had breakfast together, and we went shopping. (I had a flat tire along the way.) We talked about everything and nothing. She seemed very happy and was stunningly beautiful. Her smile was the biggest thing I have ever seen. And yet I think this was only a week (perhaps days) before she cancelled a bunch of tour dates and went into some personal transformation mode of operation. I don't know what that was about. I suppose she was not so happy after all. I hope she is on a "better path", if anyone deserves a "better path" it is Chan. More than anything I hope she is still smiling, still happy, when next we meet.

Last edited by Cokelike on Sat 25 Jan - 22:56; edited 1 time in total

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Post  Nicolaoua Sat 25 Jan - 22:13

The video is hardcore but this is History!
Very interesting interview.

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Post  Cokelike Thu 30 Jan - 6:13

From the 8/XX/96 Weedbus Fanzine interview:

OK, I'll go back over some recent history. I guess I'm from Atlanta, although my parents separated and I ended up going to 12 different schools. I've lived in Georgia, Memphis, North Carolina and Atlanta. I got a band together ages ago with some friends just to goof around - we had four guitarists and a drummer. We did five shows just to play together, we had no real songs. I got a bit sick of it as I was more interested in writing songs in my bedroom rather than playing live for a laugh.

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Post  Cokelike Thu 30 Jan - 8:11

Interesting... Could this really mean that she only played 5 shows before moving to NY? If so, that is really interesting, as I always assumed more. 

''We did five shows just to play together, we had no real songs. I got a bit sick of it as I was more interested in writing songs in my bedroom rather than playing live for a laugh.''

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