Wednesday, December 26

In terms of unremarkable mediocrity rewarded by New Yorker articles, though, she's still no Jason Kottke...

I cannot BELIEVE there's ANOTHER Cat Power article in the most recent New Yorker.

By my count, this would be the third article in as many years about Ms. Marshall to appear in the magazine. There was previously a long, curiously non-negative, review of one of her terrible shows, and before that there was that profile that scarred many of us by running with a infamous picture of her coyly pulling down her low-rise jeans to show off her pubic hair. Gah...these days she claims she was a drunk back then, and I sincerely hope that's true.

For me, though, the final word about Cat Power came in this 2006 GQ article:

More than a few rock writers have called Marshall a drama queen. "For all the reverence Cat Power receives from disaffected art students" critic Michaelangelo Matos opined a few years back, "her posture as an artist whose soul is so fragile that it threatens to break in front of her audience may be the most purely showbiz conceit alt-rock has produced in years. Eat your heart out, Marilyn Manson."

Cynical? Maybe. But it's hard to believe that the way Marshall behaves in public isn't to some degree schtick. There are things about her story that don't add up. There's the Gap ad she did a couple years ago, and the fashion shows she's been spotted at [not to mention SHOWING HER VAGINA in The New Yorker. -Johnny], and the larger question of what would motivate someone so purportedly uncomfortable looking the world in the eye to pursue a career in which microphones, cameras, and large groups of strangers play such a key role. People who are really afraid of the water don't join the Navy.

Or as Patterson Hood, of Georgia's legendary Drive-By Truckers, put it in "Cat Power" a wry but affectionate tribute to Marshall:

"I don't mean to sound unsympathetic to your plight
But if you're really so shy
Why are you standing in the light?"

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