Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cat Power Slinks in the Background

Around the same time that DJ B selected my husband's beloved Bob Dylan from the public library, she also picked out one of my cherished favorites: Cat Power. I've been a long-time fan, even selecting a Cat Power cover of Velvet Underground's "I Found a Reason" (from the Covers Record) to be the first dance at my wedding six years ago. Despite all of that, the one album I don't have is the one that Miss B chose at the library. I was a bit skeptical of Jukebox, Cat Power's latest release (also full of covers), because the bits I'd heard and the reviews I'd read made it sound like a departure from the spare, moody Cat Power that I know and love.

When we first listened to the CD, Miss B said, "What's this one?" and "I wanna hold your hand." Yet, she stopped the CD after less than one song. The next time we played it, she ignored the music completely, instead focusing on our newly acquired Christmas tree. On another listen, she again went about her business, which included a major tantrum over clothing choices. As track 6 began ("Lost Someone"), she calmed down slightly. Later in the day she even swayed a tiny bit to the music while we were making Christmas ornaments. Although she seemed disinterested in the music, she got extremely upset when I tried to take the CD out of the player. There must have been something about Cat Power that was acceptable to her, at least as background music.

For me, I was a bit disappointed in Jukebox overall, but still found a few gems that took me back to the Cat Power of old. And, perhaps the same could be said for Miss B. She must have sensed the power of Chan Marshall's beautiful voice and creative take on covers, even if she wasn't outwardly enthusiastic.

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