The Phoenix Network:
About  |  Advertise
Adult  |  Moonsigns  |  Band Guide  |  Blogs  |  In Pictures

Cat Power

CAT POWER comes out of her indie-rock shell with a backing band of Memphis ringersIt may be her own fault, but Chan Marshall can’t seem to win for losing. In a decade as Cat Power, with the aid of Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley and his downtown NYC buddies, this quiet Southern girl’s been plugging away in the big city at the kind of broken-souled, sparely arranged, introspective pop just catchy and pretty enough to keep a cult of fans infatuated and more than skewed enough to ensure it wouldn’t go beyond that. With The Greatest, she comes out of her indie-rock shell and, with a backing band of Memphis ringers who’ve sessioned with everyone from Al Green to Booker T., adds orchestral strings, grand piano arpeggios, tasteful hooks, full-bodied vocals, and even — gasp! — a sexy bit of groove. Exactly the sort of thing that would appeal to, say, a Fiona Apple fan. Chan’s MO hasn’t changed that much: she’s still the tragic poet, full of sorrow, longing, and ennui. And in spite of a few Southern soul and R&B touches, a swinging beat here and a little Delta slide guitar there, she remains at heart a preciously torchy indie popstress. But with its warmer, more welcoming production, The Greatest is poised to reach a much wider audience. It’s the Cat Power album most likely to grow on you even as diehard fans recoil in horror.

Latest Articles


Review: Mirah at Somerville Theatre

 At the Somerville Theatre, October 9, 2009
The mid-March release date of Portland-based singer/songwriter Mirah’s newest solo album, (A)spera , seemed ill fitting.
By CARRIE BATTAN  |  October 15, 2009

Photos + Review: Pretenders, Cat Power at Pavilion

The Pretenders + Cat Power + Juliette Lewis | August 12, 2009 at Bank of America Pavilion
The Pretenders + Cat Power + Juliette Lewis | August 12, 2009 at Bank of America Pavilion
By MIKE MILIARD  |  August 14, 2009

Letters to the Portland editor: June 12, 2009

Thanks for honesty
I'm writing to thank you for your brief, honest assessment of our band's performance and constitution (see " Bands Come, Go, and Get Bashed ," by Christopher Gray, June 5).
isobell list

Put your skirt on

Isobell are a girl with style, grace, and muscle
Portland's aggressive new frontgal can hit all the notes while she hits you in the face.
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 20, 2009

Feel the music

We may be the last generation to give tangible tunes for Christmas
I personally find it comforting that the current number-one single in the country has a chorus that goes "I'll gas up the jet for you tonight, and baby we can go wherever you like."
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  December 11, 2008

Susanna | Flowers of Evil

Rune Grammofon (2008)
Flowers of Evil — a covers record, though it includes two originals — lacks power.
By DEVIN KING  |  November 24, 2008

Photos: Lollapalooza 2008

Rage Against the Machine, Radiohead, Gnarls Barkley, Girl Talk, Broken Social Scene, Cat Power, Grizzly Bear, and more
Rage Against the Machine, Radiohead, Gnarls Barkley, Girl Talk, Broken Social Scene, Cat Power, Grizzly Bear, and more

Times a' changed

The 2008 Newport Folk Fest mixes it up
Ever since Dylan plugged in (gasp!), the Newport Folk Festival has preserved a noble tradition of ignoring what folk is supposed to be in favor of defining the stuff for itself.
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  July 22, 2008

The ultimate balancing act

An extraordinary documentary opens the 2008 Maine International Film Festival
About 100 films deep, MIFF ’08 has intriguing offerings for cineastes of all stripes. Here’s a slice of what to look out for.
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  July 09, 2008

Slideshow: Tattoo you

Some of Boston's best tattoos
Inspired by the Peabody Essex Museum’s current exhibition on Maori tattoos, we raised a call to adventurously inked souls in Boston.
By PHOENIX STAFF  |  July 25, 2008

Campfire blues

Snock a/k/a Michael Hurley
Snock (a/k/a Michael Hurley) is a banjo-strumming Woody Woodpecker whose campfire is a constant blaze of dreamy, peculiar Americana.
By PETER SMITH  |  May 28, 2008

Guitars are from Mars, Feist and Björk are from Venus

A musical battle of the sexes
It’s 3 am. Do you know if you’re a man or a woman?

Mad lulling

Mia Doi Todd's dark folk
Attendees of this week’s José González show on March 13 at the Paradise will be treated to an opening set from LA’s Mia Doi Todd.
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  March 04, 2008

Less is best

The spare science of José González
González possesses the will power and the patience to dig into each of his songs until he has exhumed its bleeding heart.
By SHARON STEEL  |  March 04, 2008

Dancing in the Dark

Cat Power at the Orpheum Theatre, February 7, 2008
If you’re a Cat Power devotee or even a casual fan, you’ve heard the horror stories about Chan Marshall’s live performances.
By MEGAN V. BELL  |  February 12, 2008

Cover girls

Cat Power and Shelby Lynne
On Cat Power’s second album of covers, she might be traveling the same territory Elvis did in “Kentucky Rain” — a country road with low clouds on a chill, gray afternoon.
By CHARLES TAYLOR  |  February 04, 2008

Buzz babes

The new "It" girls
Among the top contenders early on: a mom setting the tone of a teen-pregnancy flick.
By VICTORIA WELCH  |  January 14, 2008

Start with some Spice

A recipe for a tuneful 2008
The game is on for the reunited Spice Girls.
By MATT ASHARE  |  December 26, 2007

Dead white females

From Fall Out Boy to One Night in Paris , modern pop culture is what it is today thanks to 10 long-expired ladies
Can you remember the last time you curled up under the covers with Marcel Proust’s I n Search of Lost Time ?
By SHARON STEEL  |  August 08, 2007

Digital or timeless?

‘Opening Night at Tanglewood,’ the Dutch and the Danes at Jacob’s Pillow, ‘The Unknown Monet’ at the Clark
Garrison Keillor went into one of his trademark reveries and began to tell us about Tanglewood’s “designer” fireworks.
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  July 18, 2007

Rockin' neurotic

Cat Power, Avalon, July 8, 2007
Nervously pacing the stage in a baggy T-shirt and jeans, Cat Power’s Chan Marshall is about the last performer you’d ever mistake for Tina Turner.
By BRETT MILANO  |  July 09, 2007

Tween troubles

Kelly Clarkson’s fall from grace
Poor Kelly Clarkson.
By SHARON STEEL  |  July 09, 2007

Folk heroics

Or, how M. Ward became such a big deal
“Why is he such a big deal right now?” a friend asked with some exasperation earlier this month when I mentioned that I had a phone date with M. Ward. M. Ward, "To Go Home" (mp3)
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  June 19, 2007

Playlist: June 1, 2007

DJ C’s five favorite tracks made by MySpace friends
Exillon, Ghislain Poirier, Alter Ego V Lil Keke, and more.
By DJ C  |  May 29, 2007

Flowing forward

EL-P, Middle East Downstairs, May 1, 2007
There were just a few holdouts from the backpack era for last Tuesday's El-P’s Middle East show.
By MATTHEW GASTEIER  |  May 07, 2007

Tone def jam

This Icon is just a con
Def Jam: Icon is a marketing memo disguised as a video game, a conceptual nightmare that collapses under the weight of brand names and ill-advised “synergy.”
By MITCH KRPATA  |  March 27, 2007

Guest lists

 What 30 of the Phoenix 's music critics liked this year
What small, private lists like this remind us is that big, honking institutional lists are largely fictions, mirages of a consensus that no longer exists, if it ever really did in the first place.
By PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  January 02, 2007

Mad scientists

Labseven finally put it all together with North Winds
Successful hip hop is all about braggadocio.
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  November 21, 2006

Southern accents

Cat Power reveals the secrets of her stability
It wasn’t so long ago that a Cat Power show was a roll of the dice. Cat Power, "The Greatest" (mp3)
By MATT ASHARE  |  September 01, 2006

Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited

Various Artists| Verve Forecast  
Mark up another score for the seductive spirit of Serge Gainsbourg.
By SIMON W. VOZICK-LEVINSON  |  August 01, 2006

RSS Feed of for the most popular articles
 Most Viewed   Most Emailed 

  |  Sign In  |  Register
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
Copyright © 2009 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group