Thursday, May 29, 2008

Icon: Chan Marshall


I started writing this article two months ago with Cat Power's style in mind. After extensive research I deleted everything I'd written. I knew she was a musician and a Lagerfeld muse but I didn't know that I would fall in love with her music. Chan Marshall has released quite a few records so far, but I've started with her ten year old album Moon Pix. The songs have a soul of their own. Some stories are told with such penetrating intensity that is not doubt influenced by Chan's voice has the ability to lack emotional inhibition. She isn't afraid to feel the burn of tears that won't fall or stutter or let words almost unrecognizably drawl out in a hushed tone. Guitars quirkily layer and it works even though some may think it shouldn't. They don't take away from Chan's feelings, they create an atmosphere. In one song, "Say", the sound of grey roaring clouds complement the music while providing a darker atmosphere. "Moonshiner" is the tale of an alcoholic who has been a slave to the drug for many years. For me the peak moment on the record is in this track when she sings ," We're already in hell! I wish we could go to hell!" with such intense and helpless sincerity that must coax listener's to tears at Cat Power shows. In a turn that's more sweet than bitter "Colours and the Kids" is a stream of consciousness where Chan sings confections like "It must just be the colours and the kids that keep me alive, because the music is boring me to death", "Will you meet me down on a sandy beach, we can roll up our jeans, so the tide won't get us below the knee" and "When we were teenagers we wanted to be the sky."

See how many references you can spot in "Cross Bones Style."

This video of "Metal Heart", another standout track, has me spellbound. It breaks my heart every time she sings "Metal heart, your not worth a thing."

from What Would the Community Think
from You Are Free



richard avedon ^














10 comments:

Sally Bowles said...

I wish I had a haircut like the last picture.

konst said...

LOOOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE CAT POWER(L)

deexdeexdreamer said...

i know its overrated, but 'the greatest' still gets me. every time.

Aretha said...

I just love her, love her style.. Did you see her in My blueberry nights??? Woonderful moment

heather said...

just leave it to richard avedon to make you look at someone a little differently

style.street said...

i love cat power but i saw her in march and she was terrible. oh well, i guess i can say that i've experienced one of cat power's tantrums. i'll always love that photo of her in the field wearing that denim jacket. and is it just me, or is she constangly wearing that green shirt nowadays? every recent photo i've seen has her wearing it.

-h of candid cool said...

I like The Greatest song. And I'm really drawn to the picture of her in the kimono.
This reminds me, The Daybook Exchange has some pretty stunning photos of her.

skinnyGLASSESgirl said...

*sigh* I LOVE Cat Power.. Chan is amazing.

stage139 said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.

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