The most highly anticpated new album this month is probably Cat Power's The Greatest. I myself have had a weird relationship with Chan Marshall and her music over the years. We clashed and I resisted for a long time; I thought she was insufferably dull and pretentious -- her performance persona really bothered me. Every tale of shows she walked out of playing turned me off even more. But 2003's You Are Free finally reached me. I still can't explain why Ms. Marshall's music affects me -- her melancholy voice and weary, detatched delievery cut right to the heart of things. Her melodies are not complex, as a matter of fact, they're almost excessively repetitve (as all good blues songs are), which I think is what leads people to accuse her of phoning it in -- a critique I've already seen of The Greatest from a few quarters. That couldn't be further from the truth, though -- there's actually some, dare I say it, upbeat (but still bluesy) numbers on The Greatest, even more so than on any of her previous albums. It's an interesting direction, and it was even a little unexpected. But welcome nonetheless.
Anyway, here's one of those famous Cat Power covers (she really can interpret a song like no one else in indie rock); this one appears on the Japanese release of The Greatest.
Cat Power -- Dreams (Everly Brothers cover)
(pre-order The Greatest at Insound. It will be released on January 26, 2005.)
...and now for something completely different. Bootie San Francisco, by far the best dance party in the country and the playground of bootleg mashup maestros Party Ben and A plus D, has compiled the best mashups of the year in one convenient location, The Best of Bootie 2005. Enjoy!