Friday, October 5, 2007

Cat Power

Cat Power's latest album The Greatest peaked at #1 on the Billboard Top Independent Albums chart - which is "based solely on sales". When considering Chan Marshall's story, missing from such an assessment are the factors of cult status and critical reviews. Perhaps a chunk of her wholeheartedly enthusiastic long-term fans have considered the stylistic detour - which the album took - a bum rap. But, based on comments coming out of the cluttered offices of critical acclaim, Greatest blows a hole through the graffiti etched brick wall of her cult stratum. Which opens the door to a wider fan base.

The album's title track takes Chan back to home turf, and includes guitar work by Mabon "Teenie" Hodges, "lead guitarist and songwriter on many of Al Green's popular soul hits of the 1970s." Add to that a group of musicians who took part in the shaping of Memphis soul in the late 60s. Most of the tracks were laid down in one take. Such a influential lineup may be part of the reason why The Greatest costed 7 times more to make than any of her previous albums.

player @ myspace
interview @ harp
mp3 @ matador (the greatest)
real player @ matador (he war)
real player @ matador (cross bones style)
label @ matador


Against their will, a Cat Stevens cover song has become a hit for Matador Records, sort of. Chan Marshall, sung on a 30 second long recorded section of the song How Can I Tell You, that was used in a generic diamond commercial(probably DeBeers). Marshall's performance proved to be very marketable. During the approaching 2006 holiday season: "For the past several weeks, our esteemed General Manager has been besieged with daily email from persons desperate to purchase some version of this recording," wrote Matador Records Co-President Gerard Cosloy.

Check out the cross-fire between hungry fans and frustrated record company execs on the Matador Records Blog.

video @ youtube (how can i tell you - cat stevens)

As the Cat Power breakout buzz gets a little louder, fans search for information about Chan(pronounced "shawn") Marshall, the law of supply and demand has resulted in more video interviews popping up in YouTube. Below is a partial link listing of various interviews at different stages of her career.

video @ youtube
video @ youtube
video @ youtube
video @ youtube
video @ youtube
video @ youtube
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