Friday, May 26, 2017

Cat Power and the Animals

Cat Power
16 x 12 inches, oil on canvas paper, 2017
Some years ago I wondered what if Beth Orton were an animal what kind of animal she'd be. I suggested she may be a crow. One year later there was a song called Magpie on her (then) new album. Now, what kind of animal would Chan Marshall be? Of course Chan Marshall's alter ego is Cat Power, but I doubt her spirit animal would be a cat. There aren't many of her songs in which animals are named. I recall (from the top of my head) the Werewolf Song, a cover of a Michael Hurley original, then she did Salty Dog, an old blues song but that one's not about a dog at all. The newest Cat Power in my Top 100 is Sad Sad Song in which a killer whale plays a prominent role. The credits are Cat Power's but the lyrics are, in good blues tradition, an amalgam of various verses, some old some new, some hers, some by others. The whale verse appears to have been written by M. Ward, a contemporary West Coast musician. I don't see Cat Power a killer whale though, perhaps a zebra.

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