Cat Power on David Letterman

This is the place where you can vent whatever's on your mind. Feel free to go off on extended rants or brief blurbs about whatever's rocking your world.

Moderators: D. Phillips, Jake

Kristy
GLONO Team Member
Posts: 146
Joined: Thu Feb 20, 2003 10:54 am

Cat Power on David Letterman

Postby Kristy » Sat Apr 05, 2003 3:19 pm

I was ready to go to sleep when Paul Shaeffer, guest-hosting for Dave, announced Cat Power as the Late Night musical guest. I stuck it out, Johnny Loftus style, ruggedly enduring endless egregious banality (Bob Dole was on for the zillionth time) for a few minutes of music.

Well, I don’t know why I was so excited. Did I think she’d somehow be opened up by those powerful network cameras. Did I imagine she’d sing her heart out? No, it was the same familiar story – she performed in a soft, whispery voice that sometimes broke mid-word from sheer powerlessness. She didn’t choose an obvious crowd pleaser of a song, either – “Fool” or “He War,” say, which each have a strong chorus. She did the delicate “Maybe Not,” a song I like, but the song’s hook is subtle and Marshall just couldn’t put it across. She seemed to be struggling with managing the piano part as she sang, and her face – visible only because she's trimmed her bangs a little – grimaced at times. Was she fighting her own tendency to mute herself these days, then fighting to bring the song out over that iron-clad inhibition?

It must be hard to be in an intimidating setting as a solo performer and have to come up with the goods. But doesn’t Marshall ever want to <i>triumph</i> over these conditions? If I’d written as good a song as “Maybe Not,” it would kill me to swallow the best words in a line. To go home not having done it justice. You’d think the fighter in her would emerge at these times, but it seems to be the opposite. Part of her curls up in defeat, and we turn away disappointed once again.

miss carol
GLONO Board Maniac
Posts: 4113
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2002 10:39 am
Location: Toronto

Postby miss carol » Sat Apr 05, 2003 9:26 pm

Having worked in TV, she had probably become completed jaded and exausted with the utter stupid crap foisted on her all day; take 1, take 2, take 80.... Plus TV audio sucks ass 'cause TV sound guys don't know a thing about mic-ing or mixing live music. Every band I've wanted to see on TV has been 1/8 of what they are live with one exception: Elvis Costello's legendary 1st appearance on SNL.

then again she could have been just plain stoned...I don't blame her, frankly...

Johnny Loftus
GLONO Team Member
Posts: 318
Joined: Tue May 21, 2002 8:00 pm
Location: Detroit City

Postby Johnny Loftus » Mon Apr 07, 2003 1:39 pm

The continued coverage of Cat Power both at GloNo and elsewhere - and the prominent mention of her infamous live performance idiosyncracies - has made me anticipate her Detroit appearance this Tuesday even more.

There's a huge disparity between the promotional push for "You Are Free" and Marshall's odd bird status. The initial press and Internet push was surprising. But an appearance on 'Letterman'? I mean, she's a talented songwriter, and her new album is tops. But how acessible to a larger audience does Matador or Marshall's publicists honestly think it is?

The promotion and press also seems like it would only place additional pressure on an already fragile person. Her Detroit show was moved from the Shelter, a relatively small, intimate venue, to the Majestic Theater, which holds a good 800-1000 souls. I feel bad that I'm starting becoming more jazzed about her D-Town gig to see whether she chokes than to enjoy her actual performance.

(On a lighter note, it would be funny if Cat Power had sat in with Paul Schaffer and the World's Most Dangerous Band, jamming on blues covers and such like when dudes like Buddy Guy or GE Smith stop by the show.)

JTL

Jiggle Billy
GLONO Board Kingpin
Posts: 594
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2002 4:27 pm

Postby Jiggle Billy » Mon Apr 07, 2003 2:36 pm

GE Smith



Hahaa hhahaah ahh aha haaha

ryanking
GLONO Board Kingpin
Posts: 649
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2002 8:00 pm
Location: Athens, GA

Postby ryanking » Mon Apr 07, 2003 2:54 pm

Johnny, I think you have discovered the polar opposite of Cat Power when you mention G.E. Smith.

Well, aside from a mutual love of covers.

Let's get these two together. The world needs to play matchmaker with G.E. Smith and Chan Marshall.

Chan will swoon with just one look at G.E. Smith's patented "guitar face"

Johnny Loftus
GLONO Team Member
Posts: 318
Joined: Tue May 21, 2002 8:00 pm
Location: Detroit City

Postby Johnny Loftus » Mon Apr 07, 2003 3:59 pm

GE Smith's "guitar face" does brighten my day a Comedy Central rerun of SNL flashes by during a channel search. It would be awesome if Cat Power's tour was just her and GE, who'd stand at a 45-degree angle behind and to the left of Chan Marshall. He'd make his face and strum that yellow Telecaster, and he'd probably be wearing a waistcoat of some sort.

"Chan Marshall, with GE Smith and the Saturday Night Live Band!"

Kristy
GLONO Team Member
Posts: 146
Joined: Thu Feb 20, 2003 10:54 am

Postby Kristy » Mon Apr 07, 2003 4:49 pm

Well Johnny, I hope Chan makes it through the snow to Detroit. I'll be very interested to hear your report. Didja see the NY Times magazine's feature on her? The media really are all over her.

ryanking
GLONO Board Kingpin
Posts: 649
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2002 8:00 pm
Location: Athens, GA

Postby ryanking » Tue Apr 08, 2003 8:01 am

I heard the press is a little worried about Chan. A few of them got together and a few more newspapers agreed to contribute some positive reviews for Chan. They're worried that she might "do something" because she doesn't think the world knows about her record. So spooky! So troubled! What does she need? We'll give it to her, anything!

Kristy
GLONO Team Member
Posts: 146
Joined: Thu Feb 20, 2003 10:54 am

Postby Kristy » Tue Apr 08, 2003 6:28 pm

Oo, that's spooky, Ryan. It can't be lack of attention to the record, because everybody's been giving that tons of attention -- Matador can't get over it. It must be the negative reviews for her shows. The New York Post wrote a really nasty one, saying everyone was jeering her and that that was 'totally New York' and also totally justified. I can barely believe it, having only seen her in New York and never having heard her heckled. The Post also tends to exaggerate. I don't know if she reads reviews, but I'm sure some negative reports reach her. After I saw the Letterman spot, I was feeling a coincidental reluctance to say critical things about her, in case they are seeming to mount up. You're right, we all want things to go well for her! We're with you, Chan!

Miss Carol, I can well believe that the world of live TV can be wearying and stupid. But other performers seem to fare okay there. I've seen electrifying performances from Beck, Sonic Youth, Lucinda Williams, Patti Smith, etc. though I must admit, most of those are SNL memories. Maybe late night talk shows are different. But it seems all to get back to that issue of personality -- are you enough of an extrovert to stand a thousand eyes and a TV camera on you? Some are, some aren't.

jaimoe0
Level 10 Glonoid with +5 stamina
Posts: 2598
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2002 8:00 pm
Location: San Jose, CA
Contact:

Postby jaimoe0 » Tue Apr 08, 2003 6:34 pm

I think one other problem with music performances on talk shows is that the acts have one four or five minute spot to make magic. They can't build up to anything, they have to hit the floor running, and that can be hard. I'd love to hear what a performer has to say about this theory. I've heard it discussed before. They just don't have time to work up a lather.


Return to “Rants and Raves”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest