I know, I know. You see those words in the title and most guys will agree she not only has a sexy voice, but she is easy on the eyes too. Ladies? Any thoughts? It makes it a complicated call for me. But here goes.
Sure I think she has used her looks to get her places in the business. But let’s face it folks, it is an ugly business. I say anyone brave enough to try and make a living for themselves making music should use any and everything in their arsenal to take that hill. There’s not much room (in the music business) for dabblers and half steppers I think everyone can agree.
Let’s talk ‘HOT mess in a dress.’ I have no illusions. I’m a family man. I love my wife and I enjoy the steadiness and comfort that married life allows. I have no desire to participate in anyone else’s drama ‘cause there’s plenty of sugar in my bowl.
But just for a second let us entertain a certain notion: that somehow a voice could separate itself from someone’s body, which is kind of one of the magic tricks of pop music for me. It is an escape into someone else’s psyche and their worldview; a way to access that which you might not normally be able to access; a means of revisiting a time and place where a song was discovered, understood and absorbed into your personal history. That disembodied voice speaks to you directly like the voice of a close friend over the phone, or a photograph that reminds you about a corner of your life that exists mostly in flimsy little artifacts now.
It was a tenuous time in my existence in the Bay Area. I was missing old friends and searching for an identifiable raison d‘etre in a city that was feeling a little colder than I expected.
The Atlas was a bastion of slackerdom in a quickly changing neighborhood on the cusp of Dot Com excess. Musicians and people who appreciated music staffed the Atlas. They had their own open mic’ nights and afternoon shows on the weekends. It was a little piece of Austin for me that did not require buying a plane ticket to access. It was just a short bike ride from my flat.
Later I lost interest in Cat Power for a while, only to regain it when I heard her album, “the Greatest.” Which I think is an accurate descriptor for it considering the whole of her output. Her voice had matured a little, gotten a little raspier, mellowed. I found myself searching through web content trying to view live performances to get a greater sense of this enigmatic voice.
Well here’s where I lay it on the line. I think if I could have sex with a disembodied voice this would be it, o.k.?
I’m sure there are some guys out there to back me up on this. My adult existence is littered with voice crushes: Kim Deal, Hope Sandoval, Pj Harvey, Amy Boone and Deborah Kelly, Rachel Nagy, Karen Dalton, Margot Timmins, Irma Thomas, Stevie Nicks, Holly Golightly, Sam Phillips, and a young Emmylou Harris, and the list goes on and on.
But for the moment Chan Marshall’s voice will get the bottle of wine over an expensive restaurant dinner, and then afterwards???