March 20-26, 2003
If singer/guitarist/pianist Chan Marshall, a.k.a. Cat Power, eventually finds fame, she isn’t sure what, exactly, she’ll do with it. "What people see creates the image," she says by phone. "And when it comes to mine, I’m not sure if what they’re getting is mystique or mistakes."
A master at overwhelming by underwhelming, Marshall packs as much of an emotional wallop in her strained whispers as someone shrieking at the top of their lungs. A sublime writer whose songs contain elements of folk, punk, blues and her own Southern roots, she never tries too hard -- nor needs to. Despite the world-weary vibe found in many of her songs, Cat Power’s soulful music is surprisingly (and pleasantly) devoid of self-pity.
The new CD, You Are Free (Matador), is her most adventurous yet, both in terms of original songs like the twisted lament, "Good Woman," or her choice of covers, like Michael Hurley’s weird, Goth-folk "Werewolf." Disinterested in reaching the masses with her music -- "That’s the sickness of it," she says, "wanting to play big rooms with awful sound" -- Marshall prefers an intimate approach. "I would hate it if the audience couldn’t feel anything when I play," she says. "That’s like being a trend; a disposable thing."
Sun., March 23, 7:30 p.m., $12, all ages, with Entrance and Gamelon, First Unitarian Church, 22nd and Chestnut sts., 800-594-8499.