May 12, 2009

Cat Power//Nude as the News

Today I decided to channel my inner-snobby record store clerk and mash it with my favorite 2nd grade take-home assignment. Picture: construction paper, picture: inane facts*, picture: polaroids. Thus, I bring you:

My Cat Power Timeline

January 21, 1972 – Cat Power (Chan Marshall) is born in Atlanta, Georgia.
June 19, 1983—I am born in Hackensack, NJ.
1992—Cat Power moves to NYC and plays her first show here in a Brooklyn warehouse. She also plays a show using a two stringed guitar while singing the word “no” over and over again for 15 minutes. This is most probably significant foreshadowing for future Cat Power shows.
1994—Cat Power opens for Liz Phair.
1996What Would the Community Think? released. CP moves to farmhouse with then boyfriend Bill Callahan (Smog)
1998-1999—Released Moon Pix and The Covers Record. Everyone everywhere is talking about Cat Power. I am reading about her in various magazines and hearing about her from various friends, but, despite my dedicating all extra teenage money to the purchase of albums, never listening to her.
September 2001—I move into East Quad at the University of Michigan. My down-the-hall-dorm-neighbor/soon-to-be best friend/soon-to-be bandmate Michael Beauchamp and I do a CD swap. He gives me 30 of his favorites to burn and I give him 30 of mine. What Would the Community Think? is in the pile. I fall in love.
2001-2003—Michael and I play this song together late, late one night post-party. It sticks and we begin playing the cover live.
2003You Are Free released.
April 15, 2003—Michael and I, along with a number of other friends, see CP live in Detroit at the Majestic. She is a total wreck. Here is my actual 2003 Livejournal account of the show, from April 16th:

the cat power show was the weirdest experience ever. here is a series of events that made it weird:
-we leave at 6:30pm
-e locks keys in car.
-doors supposedly open at 8, acccording to the ticket, but they don't really open until 9.
-1st opening band=lullabye.
-2nd opening band=worst thing i have ever seen in my life.
-cat power: huge black workboots, huge plaid shirt, huge aviator sunglasses.
-cat power: marching along with songs.
-cat power: cheers the audience and gulps down some alchololic beverage in between every song.
-cat power: so drunk she cannot put her sunglasses on.
-cat power: stops midway through two songs saying, "i'm fucking this up. i need to stop. it's gone."
-cat power+drunken asshole guitarist: attempts to lead audience in a screaming contest.
-band leaves: cat power plays a string of songs that she apparently makes up on stage for the next hour.
-after 6 hours of standing and no sign of cat power halting her drunken serenade or at least bringing the band back on, i finally decide i have had enough. having no attention span or will to stand, i leave with kot, ange and emma.
-we listen to team dresch. loud.
-the end-
ps. ange informed me via ali that chan played until 2:30 am and that she played songs over and over again, and covers...after that she tried to engage the audience in a dance party.

And in a comment on that entry from Ali:
a brief summary of what happened after you left:
-the band comes back on in an effort to stop chan from continuing her drunken serenade, and they play a cover of "dead leaves and the dirty ground"
-"good woman" is played for the second time.
-chan begins singing to herself. the band attempts to play along. for at least 8 minutes. the band stops. chan continues singing until the guitarist walks over and has a word with her.
-chan starts singing "she's lost control" in an ian curtis voice. doesn't appear to remember most of the words. throws in a few "JACKSON! JESSE!"s, after which the band tries to play "nude as the news". but chan's not having it.
-things get a little blurry here in my memory. there are several more attempts to play another song, any song.
-a dance party is suggested. the guitarist asks for "track 5", loud rap comes on, chan jumps into the audience. chan goes behind the dj booth to smoke pot rather than dance. the show is over at 2.30.
-michael and i attempt to find an explanation for what we've just witnessed, fail miserably, and fall into a troubled sleep in the backseat of ethan's car.

Wikipedia lists this time period as Personal Struggles: 2000-2006.

2004: I meet Sean SC for the first time at a show that DUC is playing with him. He covers Metal Heart. Meanwhile, CP releases the experimental performance film Speaking for Trees.
2006: CP sobers up and releases The Greatest. I don’t think it’s The Greatest. My friends and I lament the effect the death of her alcoholism has had on her art and drink PBR.**

*Facts brought to you by Wikipedia.
**Inner-record store clerk inappropriate dark comment.


Nude as the News.mp3

Jackson, Jesse,
I’ve got a son in me.
Jackson, Jesse,
I’ve got the son in me.
And he's related to you,
He's related to you,
He is waiting to meet you.
He's related to you,
He's related to you,
He is dying to meet you.


Anonymous said...

another of your most entertaining posts! and, it's a true service to CP fans everywhere to have this era roughly documented and contextualized, as most of us were nearly as drunk as she was at the time (as yr post indicates).

AH, the good old days...


Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention the homeless guy with the large knife that offered/threatened to open my locked car door... with the fucking knife and then proceeded to stab the side of my car until a bouncer from the magic stick scared him away.

music NERD said...

i love CP but have never seen her live. Reading your reports of her live show were thoroughly enjoyed by me. :)


g said...

Emma--you're right. We were all totally wasted... although I'm not sure if we were quite as wasted as her.

Ethan--totally forgot that part. My Detroit car-park/knife-wielding-homeless-man stories all blend together at this point.

musicNERD--glad you liked it. You should check her out live, if you can. Although I think she's calmed down significantly now.

katherine said...

interesting. i don't remember listening to team dresh on the way home...

...aside from that, the memory of this night is still quite vivid.

g said...

I didn't remember that part either, but it was in my livejournal, so I'm sure it happened. I think this was the height of Ange's TD obsession phase.

siciliana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
g said...

Hi Siciliana,

Thanks for reading. You are totally is much better for Cat Power that Cat Power is sober. This was just an intense experience.

Take care!