Cat Power to the People

January 11th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Singer-songwriter-cover queen Cat Power, née Chan Marshall, has been touring India and Bangladesh this month on behalf of charity: water, a non-profit that provides clean water to impoverished areas around the world. Marshall’s new cover album, Jukebox, also drops January 22nd, around which time she will be kicking off her musical world tour.

I’ve seen Cat Power twice in concert. The first time was before she famously got on the wagon, at the Troubadour. At that show, she was glued to a bottle of Jose Cuervo, got wasted, started and stopped one song at the piano 7 times while muttering to herself, disappeared and began to sing using her wireless mic from some other part of the club where she couldn’t be seen, came back and did a bizarrely perky lip-sync of a Swoosh song, disappeared again, came back and wandered through the crowd dead-eyed, got down on her knees in the middle of the crowd, sang some more, and then disappeared for the third time, ending the show early. Her backup band just rolled their eyes the entire show and looked depressed. Everyone shuffled out of the club shell-shocked. I thought she would be dead in six months.

But then she got sober and released The Greatest, which was actually not the greatest record, but I believe in second chances. So I saw her again in concert this past September. She was still awkward, kicking around the stage in her white jazz shoes, shrugging her shoulders, getting the crowd to like her by being so teeny and cute as indie chicks are wont to do, and sneaking off now and then to the wings to steal a smoke. She seemed, however, upbeat, and there were no real off-putting antics. That said, I was bored out of my gourd. The music, despite her magical, smoky voice, sounded very adult-contemporary, flat, monotonous, and forgettable.

Cat Power isn’t making it out to L.A. to tour Jukebox. But when she does eventually come west, I won’t get suckered in a third time; I’ll spend my money buying a toilet for someone in Bangalore instead.

Click here to find out more about charity: water.

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