Thursday, October 7, 2010

Chan, Sing One For Me.


So, I was walking home in the rain (understatement - terrential downpour) late last night and my iPod was on it's last battery legs. Before it conked out on me (making it such an unfortunate, soaking final 10 minutes) an old Cat Power tune came on. Off her unbelievable record of 2006, the track "Love and Communication" was a real, gritty stand-out. Mind you, the entire record was unbelievable - a compilation of songs representing Chan Marshall's darkest period before breaking down due to paralyzing anxiety and alcohol abuse. "Love and Communication" is just real rock n'roll - served straight up with no twist. Marshall's sultry rasp tangos with the big electric guitars and thumping beat in the sexiest way, and walking home last night I might as well have been strolling into a smokey bar in the deep south with a real chip on my shoulder. Check it out: Love and Communication - Cat Power

And on another note, if you want to get into an artist you're almost guaranteed to enjoy, check out the rest of Cat Power's stuff. She is hands-down in my top five favourite artist list. She's weak, strong, heavy, light...anything you could imagine. And all as the result of her rollercoaster emotional existence. The woman is, essentially, a musical genius. But the funny thing is, people have to convince her that, she feels "undeserving" of her fame and success. Her comeback album (post-hiatus) was one of the most fascinating moments in musical history. She released Jukebox in 2008 - her eighth studio album and second collection of cover songs (she released The Covers Record in 2000). On Jukebox, you can hear, smell and taste her revival in the eclectic, seriously re-crafted covers of her favourite rock n' roll, country and soul classics. She also adds a few of her own originals: "Song to Bobby", about her longtime devotion to Bob Dylan, and a powerful piano-driven re-creation of a song written in her darker days, "Metal Heart". She put her complete 360 degree spin on each cover, making them into new entities - meaningful and personal tales of resurfacing with faith. She and the Dirty Delta Blues cover The Highwaymen, James Brown, Hank Williams, and most amazingly - Bob Dylan. She takes Dylan's twangy (and in my mind, not memorable) acoustic "I Believe In You" and unravels it from a Christian-country ditty to an electric, sharp-edged anthem about believing in herself. Listen to the electric guitar soar overtop the drum kit. Simple, and impossible to forget.
Listen to it, it will honestly change your life!


....Girl power.



Want to know more about Cat Power? Elizabeth Goodman will tell you her tales in A Good Woman.



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