Back when I didn’t have children and I went to concerts pretty regularly, Cat Power is one of the bands I would venture out to see. Even after my first child was born, I would find time to hit up the smaller venues and catch acts from the lesser know, but totally awesome, indie bands who would come through the Philadelphia or Baltimore areas.

Perhaps now as they are getting older, I will be able to include the kids in on the musical adventures. After all, Finn’s first concert to see Matt & Kim happened before he was even walking. Amelia’s first concert outfit was a magenta tie-dyed hippie dress; she fit right in when seeing Dave Matthews Band prior to her 2nd birthday. Of course, my oldest, I brought him everywhere; he has seen Ben Folds Five, John Mayer, and even the Spin Doctors. Somewhere I learned that introducing music to children early on in their life is important for their development… Yep, I’m standing by that statement.

Ready for relaxation mode

Cat power Wanderer Album CoverWhile Cat Power was originally known as a band, for Charlyn Marie “Chan” Marshall, it has now become her stage name as a solo artist. Cat Power, is really a jack jane of all trades. She is a singer, a songwriter, a model, and has even had some acting roles over the last 30 years. She has been releasing music since 1996. She’s pretty incredible, and Cat Power music still makes my ears happy.

I was sad when I hadn’t heard music from her over a couple of years, but it turns out that Matador Records had decided not to release her last album. I bet they are regretting the move now. Lana Del Rey is featured on one of the tracks, “Woman,” and she actually encouraged Cat Power to push for the album, titled Wanderer, to be released on another label. New listeners might also like to know that there is a piano cover of Rhianna’s “Stay” on the album which is absolutely exquisite. Bye bye Matador, and hello Domino Recording Company. Thank you for knowing not to pass this one up.

The decision to go her own way artistically is working, and I, for one, am excited to see her out on tour again. The album Wanderer released last May and unfortunately didn’t get the hype it deserved. It’s super chill, super mellow, and the perfect music for a laid back Sunday morning. Or, as time would have it, it’s the perfect album to commemorate #NationalRelaxationDay, which is apparently today, August 15. Cat Power has a beautiful voice; there is no denying that listening to her music soothes and relaxes me.

A must watch music documentary

The now solo artist recently popped back up on my radar when I saw her name affiliated with a soundtrack for a documentary that you are going to watch. You are, I’m confident. Echo in the Canyon (94% on Rotten Tomatoes) tells the story of the place and the people and brings in contemporary musicians influenced by the music of Laurel Canyon. Just in case you think that shouldn’t matter to you because you don’t know Cat Power, let me further elaborate by sharing who is featured in the film. With Jakob Dylan leading the way through the film, Echo in the Canyon contains conversations and performances with the likes of Ringo Starr, Michelle Phillips, Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Roger McGuinn, and Jackson Browne. On top of that, we hear from contemporary musicians they influenced such as Tom Petty (in his very last film interview), Beck, Fiona Apple, Cat Power, Regina Spektor, and Norah Jones.

Intrigued? Mmhmm, told you so.

Beyond the actual content of the documentary, the soundtrack is also a MUST LISTEN, well, because obviously you see the folks the documentary covers – of course the music rocks.

So go watch this documentary, I think you’ll love it, especially if you like the idea of artist’s collaborating, which I very much do. If anything, I can promise that you will adore the soundtrack.

In other news, but still totally related

This September, NYC-based artist Arsun will embark on an east coast tour opening for, you guessed it, Cat Power. Arsun recently released his debut EP Send Her My Way. It is no surprise when you listen to his music that one of his favorite songs is “Wild Horses” by the Rolling Stones. While the Stones may hold the title of “favorite song” in his heart, it is The Velvet Underground who really inspired him to become a musician. Specifically, the song which inspires him the most is The Velvet Underground’s track “Satellite of Love.”

Arsun is a bit less polished than Cat Power, but that is no surprise since he is new to his career. It might also have something to do with the fact that he records with analogue equipment, straight onto tape rather than through a computer like most other modern music.

A single from Arsun’s EP is “White Light,” and I totally dig it. Listen below.

9/12 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – Revolution Live
9/13 – Tampa, FL – The RITZ Ybor
9/14 – Orlando, FL – The Beacham
9/16 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
9/17 – Charlotte, NC – The Underground at the Fillmore Charlotte
9/18 – Charlottesville, VA – The Jefferson Theater
9/20 – Northampton, MA – Academy of Music Theatre
9/22 – New York, NY – Webster Hall
9/24 – Boston, MA – ROYALE
9/25 – Washington, DC – The Lincoln Theatre
9/27 – Niagara Falls, NY – The Rapids Theatre
9/28 – Ithaca, NY – State Theatre of Ithaca
Check out other music news in the Painted Lines music archive.