Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I see you seeing me, and I like what we see

Katie sent me Winter Miller's New York Times feature on Cat Power and her struggle with alcoholism and drug addiction. The article describes Chan Marshall's dark moments which she led to suicidal thoughts and the self-sabotaging of shows. However, Miller also acknowledges her slow climb into health, strong album sales, and live shows that leave audiences in awe. There seems to be this insistence that although Chan Marshall is dealing with her inner demons, she's not quite "better." Miller references her reliance on anti-depressents and her "kooky behavior... [and] awkward fidgeting" during shows. Maybe I'm reading too much into these references because I adored watching Chan Marshall on her current tour in support of The Greatest. Yet, there are still bad show reviews, which point to evidence of smaller battles yet to be fought. I should be more gracious because maybe Miller wants simply to underscore that the road toward recovery and self-love doesn't happen over night.

After selling over 100,000 copies of The Greatest, Matador has decided to re-release the album with brand spankin' new artwork and a lowered shelf price. I read Matador's press released and laughed out loud. Not so much at the record label, but at the obvious need to justify the new pressing to potentially outraged fans:
Anyhow, we know this is a sensitive subject for some of you. We're not intent on gouging Cat Power fans, but we are trying to be creative and competitive in a marketplace where it is becoming increasing hard to maintain the shelf life of a title for more than a couple of months. We really believe in Chan and are of the opinion that 'The Greatest' is one of those life affirming records that we have to get into the hands and heads of as many people as possible.
In other words: Go complain to someone else. Would people really be that up in arms? Are they? Even if The Greatest arrived on my doorstep in a brown paper bag, I wouldn't trade it for an "improved" model. I like pretty packaging as much as the next person, but it's the music that matters. At such great music it is.

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