I came across this video a week or so back, and I’ve been watching it ever since. It features Chan Marshall, aka Cat Power, singing Metal Heart (her own composition), with Judah Bauer on guitar, and Jim White on drums. Never heard of her before. But it captivated me instantly, and I’m not sure why.
The simple explanation is that she’s a damn fine piece of woman. But I think there’s a bit more to it than just that.
Maybe it wasn’t her looks, but her voice. An urgent, breathy, whiskey voice.
In the end, I figured it was neither her looks nor her voice that had captured me, but the way she moved. She moves very elegantly, and with a cat-like unpredictability. It was when she started singing, and she crouched forward to deliver the words, was when she grabbed me.
Or maybe it was all three at the same time. Heck, how should I know?
In the YouTube comments, someone described the performance as “weak”, and said she should’ve stuck to the original version. All I could think was that if this was a weak performance of hers, then a strong performance might have killed me.
And someone else wondered what the secret of her eternal youth was. She looks like she’s about 20, but she’s actually nearly 40. But I should have thought that the answer to that question was: whiskey and cigarettes.
You can see her with cigarette.→
And here she is again, somewhere else, and singing a different song, but wearing the same shirt. She’s wearing the same shirt in all these shots. Poor girl, I think maybe she’s only got one.
And she’s got a lovely smile.