Meow! Cat's Comeback

Article excerpt

Byline: Lauren Streib

Chan Marshall, better known as Cat Power, is a musician with a bit of baggage. After an early career filled with well-received albums and an alcohol-fueled, erratic stage presence, she's now 40 and embarking on a new chapter.

You wrote, recorded, and produced Sun over four years, even dipping into your retirement fund to finance it.

I cashed out something I'd been saving for years. And it was a risk and a big decision, especially having many five-year plans and then just lighting them on fire. All that money went into renting a house, buying gear, flying my old band out to record songs ... Sorry, I'm distracted. I can't find my phone. It's one of those fake phones that look like a vintage receiver, and it's gold. I call it my direct line to Beyonce because I love Beyonce.

You also directed the video for "Cherokee." Is this your first time directing?

Yeah. Before I would think, That's impossible. What am I, crazy? I just wanted to direct my own video. I feel like [self-judgment] has been falling off me recently. [Making the video] was like not sleeping for four days--going over the wardrobe, going over the treatment with [director of photography] Greg Hunt, going over all the shots to make sure they were possible with a cherry picker since we didn't have a crane, working with the costume lady who got a bunch of bulletproof vests. …