Cat Power sounds like the name of a band, but it is actually the moniker of Chan Marshall. She is remarkable because, well, she’s really great. But also because she’s a woman, as the pronoun implies. She’s also had far more popular success than the other bands we’ve been listening to.
Her work is quite varied. You certainly couldn’t say that her style was sadcore. Then again, as I go through this week, I realize that it is’t pretty hard to say what the hell sadcore is. I listen to a lot of bands that get the label, and I don’t too much buy it. Truthfully, the only bands I feel really good about using the moniker on are the three featured thus far: American Music Club, Codeine, and Red House Painters.
But there is no doubt that Cat Power is sad. She’s had major problems with alcohol overuse and at least one psychotic breakdown. I don’t mean to be cavalier, but that kind of thing definitely goes along with this kind of music. When you think of rockers drinking, you think of parties and generally an extroverted experience. When you think of Mark Eitzel or Cat Power, you imagine them alone and lost in their dark thoughts.
The song for today comes off Cat Power’s four album, Moon Pix — which is widely considered her masterpiece. The album isn’t a total downer at all. Of course, you could say that of the other acts. But I’ve picked one that is weirdly down, “Colors and the Kids.” It’s hard to say what it is about. It’s just short of hopeful. Like so much of her work, it sounds like a cry for help. It is highly evocative, but other than that she is managing to hang on for one or another reasons, I can’t say.