A few people have asked me about Cat Power. The show was last Saturday and I KNOW it's late to put up, but the "no big deal" elections or whatever put a kink in my focus (SO STONED).
Despite her recent loony social media outbursts (Bankruptcy! Skin diseases! Not being able to afford desired light shows! Tour Cancellation! Things that are weird to say on Instagram!), Chan Marshall made it to the Showbox last Saturday and avoided melting down during her show. Though she did seem to be completely uncomfortable up there—fidgeting and constantly adjusting her ear input things and microphones—her voice was still SO GREAT. In fact, if you closed your eyes, she sounded exactly like the strong, smoky, Cat Power I came to know almost a decade ago.
When I wrote the Up & Coming for the show (WEEKS in advance, we are SO ON TOP OF IT OVER HERE), I had just listened to Sun and thought it was... okay. In the days leading up to Showblow time, I re-listened to The Greatest, You Are Free, Moon Pix (everything before then was a little too soft for my liking) and actually started getting really excited for the show. I had forgotten how much I liked her back in the yesteryears of highschool/college/stony stony couch parties! When I listened to Sun again, I upped the rating from "okay" to a solid "good."
A behind-the-scenes Showbox friend told me that Chan had not come to the sound check (her band did, however) and that when she did arrive, she was wearing a surgical mask and appeared to be in distress. The show only started 15-20 minutes late, and she kicked it off with "The Greatest." An interesting point that my sister brought up was that, by the time encore came around, front row girls were screaming "play 'The Greatest'" because they hadn't recognized it as the first song. "She's really good at covering her own songs."
I shimmied up to the front for the last few songs, and saw right into those big, watery, Cat Power eyes. Chan is obviously a casualty of the tour grind—a musician can have all the talent in the world, but touring is what pays the bills and it's a rough row to hoe. Is that an expression? Road to hoe. Road to hold. Row to tow. Hoe to hold.
Tour is hard, it can and will shatter fragile brain frames. Feel better Chan, we missed you, the end.