February 14, 2008


The Catpower show happened and the Catpower sweatshirt didn't. No smalls. I'm going to make my own now, with a picture of her eating a sandwich, smiling big, coming out Karl Lagerfeld's vagina maybe? MAYBE at the beach, singing into a conch shell, or appearing to tunnel through the front pocket of the hoodie? I will post the results of my handiwork.

The last time I saw le chat was at a benefit I booked at Tramps in 1999 & Her set was 22 minutes long and 18 of them were lassitude on blast, and four ivory twinklings. I heard tell she is "better" (what is better, really?) but I was surprised by her who and how now: chipper Chan and her shiny ponytail tippin' and tappin' all over the stage. ABLY VIVACIOUS AND ENJOYING HERSELF. Master of her music with a beautiful sliver of righteous-fuck-you-you-didn't-think-I-could-do-this-did-you. It was a real pleasure to see. I wrote it here, or maybe just told someone, lassyear about when I saw Fiest on accident, that she was every thing I wanted Cat Power to be--engaging, relating to the audience, useful with her talent. But I see Cat Power now and she is more than that, she is the Cat Power you want--and she is not even giving what you wanted (or expect)-- she is beyond that. There is something extra-willful, powerful, in her being her own design of rock star, she is dreaming bigger than we are. She's not parked behind a mic, torchy and beholden to our gaze; she's flitty and pretending to show us her butt, owning it all, all, all, keen and aware, reflecting back to us our limited imaginations for "singer girl on stage". Total powervibes; maybe it's all that Mary J Blige she listens to.

Robin said that Chans dance is the sort of thing you do in your bedroom alone, and it is. The casualness and ease of her on stage moves blunt the pall of her blues band; she was taking it serious, but you know, it wasn't serious serious. We also admired her white pointy shoes, which from the 100 feet away nosebleeds, looked to us like the kind of Capezios you had to wear for jazz dance class. Robin said she drifted into a little fantasy that the shoes were magic shoes, leading Chan into her little hoofy trot of a dance. I bet they are a much fancier brand than Capezios, magic or not. Also, funnily, she was wearing the exact same outfit as JR always is, so to me she looked like she was in costume as my best friend, save for those lacey fingerless glovelets. I am mostly writing about how she looked because I could hardly hear her singing, so I can't say much about it, not because appearance is what most rock critics mention when they go see women play. No one ever writes about men's outfits and p.s. Imagine if someone wrote about what colors and styles and types of shoes No Age wore?) When she came on stage, she started singing and then went and turned up JB's guitar amp, and from then on, unless they were hush, you couldn't hear the words, only the faint shape of them under all the Keith-chords. When they got loud at the end, it was too revue, too oldies night at Kingston Mines and so we left.

Highlights were "New York", her confidence, her footwork, her revision of "Song for Bobby" to "Song For David Yow"--"first time I saw you was CBGB's... who were you screamin' to?". Also, Gregg Foreman's hair is his most interesting artistic work since Junction--it's like a wrestlers mullet by way of Tegan and Sarah meets the purposeless puff n' curl of those later Lady Clairol years of The Replacements.

Posted by Jessica at February 14, 2008 12:39 PM | TrackBack