I've been on a Cat Power (Chan Marshall) kick for the past couple of days, reading every interview I could find online. Previously, I only knew her from the song "Lived in Bars," when I caught the video a couple of years ago on a local station. I liked the song a lot, but thought that she was just some "bluesy hippie chick"... But from the stuff I've been reading, she's extremely haunted and also frighteningly visionary, a shaman. (A Capricorn, though, not a Scorp!) :) When I read that her 1998 album "Moon Pix" (including the song "Cross Bones Style") was written (according to her biographer):
"in one deranged night," following a hallucinatory nightmare Marshall had in the fall of 1997, while alone in the South Carolina farmhouse she shared with then-boyfriend, Bill Callahan. "I got woken up by someone in the field behind my house in South Carolina," she explained, "The earth started shaking, and dark spirits were smashing up against every window of my house. I woke up and I had my kitten next to me...and I started praying to God to help me...So I just ran and got my guitar because I was trying to distract myself. I had to turn on the lights and sing to God. I got a tape recorder and recorded the next sixty minutes.
The hair on my arms stood straight up when I read that. A similar thing happened to me in '91 or so. Deeply unhappy in my waking hours, I had just fallen into a fitful sleep when all of a sudden I sat straight up in bed and felt some terrible, heavy spirit in the room that "wanted to get inside me" if I didn't do something, anything... I didn't know what to do. Like Marshall, I ran around turning on all the lights in the house and praying frantically to God to help me. (Unfortunately, in my case, no work of art came of all of this. I remember merely calling in sick to work the next day after staying awake all night waiting for the sun to come up, and then staying in bed the next day reading Pat Conroy's "Prince of Tides," which, though terribly sad, was also spiritually uplifting.)
Today I went immediately to Amazon to order "Moon Pix," "The Greatest" (2006, which has "Lived in Bars" on it and is considered her most popular and accessible album), and her just-released "Sun."
"Cherokee" from "Sun":