Thursday, February 16, 2006

Cat Power

What goes around, comes around. During bouts of insomnia I used to annoy (frighten? piss off? torture?) Max the cat with impromptu midnight piano concerts. I haven't gotten up and tinkled (in that way anyway) since he died. One of the first few days Diego-san lived in his new surroundings I was awoken early one morning to the sound of seemingly random piano notes being played. I got up to see Diego strolling up and down the keyboard. I was gonna keep the keyboard cover closed but I figured the noise would discourage a return engagement anytime soon. Diego-san showed me the first signs of his persistent nature. I was woken up a few days later by a longer concert.

Diego's music is more Bartok than Bach, more jarring than mathematical but I always get a kick when he feels the need to express himself musically.

So maybe it isn't a coincidence that my favorite CD of the year thus far is Cat Power's "The Greatest." I've read reviews comparing her to everyone from Dusty Springfield to the Cowboy Junkies. Whatever. For some reason her music really makes me miss Juliana Hatfield. My favorite song on the CD is "Empty Shell," a song that would do Juliana proud. It just kills me. "I love and and I miss you too... I really do love you and I really do miss you too..."

The CD is sparse in a subterranean way; the lyrics proving sometimes the less said the more effective. The backing is provided by Al Green's band (including horns) but they never overwhelm Chan Marshall's dreamy singing. "The Greatest" doesn't rock but it's as mesmerizing as watching a big black cat lose himself as he walks back and forth on a baby grand keyboard.

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