Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Deep and moving slow Alternative / Pop from Cat Power

Cat Power is actually the stage name of an individual, singer Chan Marshall, out of Atlanta, GA. She released her debut in 1995 and has a colorful history of strange shows with choppy transitions, odd behavior, and occasional early ends. Some attribute this to a combination of stage fright and alcoholism, which in its most positive light may contribute to an image of the troubled artist. Reportedly, she is much more on her game recently and is sober (which she defined as “seven drinks in seven months”).

I don’t know about all that. Personally, I can tell you I saw Cat Power at Bonnaroo. I didn’t get close enough to really observe the stage show, but it was a tight and professional show and it was great music to lay down in the lawn and listen to. Take your significant other to one of her shows if she comes to town.

She will make you feel the power of... um... cats.

She will make you feel the power of... um... cats.

You may well have heard her music before even if you weren’t aware of who it was. She turns up in car and jewelry commercials, movie and TV soundtracks, and has collaborated with artists ranging from Beck to Yoko Ono.

In 2008, she released Jukebox. The music is consistent and good. The instrumentation is usually quiet and soulful but it’s all about the vocal performance with her. I find, though, that a little Cat Power can go a long way for me. I take the very best 2 or 3 tracks from each of her albums and I recommend you check out these 3 from Jukebox. If you like these, dig deeper into her music. It all sounds a lot like this and you may enjoy having more of it come up randomly on your own iPod.

  • New York – Sinatra never sang it like this. Hammond organ, and thumping percussion back up Chan Marshall’s soulful, breathy vocals on this pretty cover. There were two different videos for this on YouTube. I, of course, chose the one with the sock puppet.
  • Ramblin’ (Wo)Man – Fantastic. My favorite Cat Power song. It has their signature Hammond organ and plodding percussion, but it also features some wailing guitar for mood. Marshall sings like a cross between Grace Slick and Janis Joplin. Really.
  • Metal Heart – It has a mellow feel like many of her songs, but it builds to a powerful and moving climax. We even get a little Swing Low Sweet Chariot in the middle of this song. I think this would be good music when you’re feeling sad. Not uplifting, but commiserating without dragging you lower.



July 21, 2009 - Posted by | Alternative, Indie, Popular

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