Who is chan marshall dating

15 Oct

She quickly became the unwitting fantasy object for both rock critics and music fans obsessed with the hypnotic and often inscrutable nature of her work. And for the first time I could perform without feeling like I had to be of two minds. The guys in the band were holding me up out there, you know? I almost said, “for a girl like me,” but I’m 40 years old now. RACHEL: Your transformation as a performer has been such a cool thing to witness. I basically spent every dime I had saved on that place. When I start writing, it’s like you have a hammer in one hand and a homing device in the other, and then it’s like, Now what do I do? Lyrically, I usually work at a piano and just try and get into a kind of trance and play a part over and over and wait for something to come to me. MARSHALL: Oh, well, there’s this beautiful Langston Hughes poem about the Statue of Liberty—or that mentions the Statue of Liberty. It’s basically my homage to him, and to this weird idea of what liberty actually is. Maybe it’s because of the culture that you sprang out of—the whole early-’90s Matador Records indie-rock thing. RACHEL: Having spent the past few years in between Miami and New York and Los Angeles—or touring—where do you think of as your home?

(She is one of the few vocalists who can tease abject heartbreak from a line as cryptic as “Yellow hair / you are such a funny bear.”) But the release of in 2000 propelled Marshall into a more mainstream arena. When I perform alone, I often feel like there’s this need. I felt like I had their respect as people, as friends. I felt protected for the first time, which is really important for a woman like me . When I see you play now, it actually seems like you’re having fun. Before, seeing you play live was so nerve-wracking. RACHEL: I love that you get to indulge all of these different creative impulses on. I was doing tours intermittently during that time, and we would play some of the new songs, but it still wasn’t what I had in mind. Meanwhile, I’m touring to make money, and I’m in a relationship that is starting and stopping and starting and stopping. Long story, but I end up playing in Paris and I wind up working in a studio there called Motorbass. You know, it’s hard, and often I don’t get a lot of stuff done because we end up just talking about UFOs and spirits and shit like that. RACHEL: We’ve known each other for almost a decade. I can finally go to a gay bar now and not get carded. And then it’s like, Well, I have to fucking do something . I kept thinking about the man in Manhattan, and the history of that word.

If your parents gave you fire to play with when you were two, you’d be standing in fire by the time you were an adult. It wasn’t for drinking — this was for a reaction to drinking.

[Before my most recent hospital stay] I was drinking from the time I woke up in the morning until the time I went to bed.

But Marshall, who has struggled with substance abuse and psychiatric problems, is also singing to her troubled younger self.

"I'm putting, like, a recycled aluminum-foil crown on her head. No one taught me how to do that except my friends and, like, my dog and the birds and the clear water from the mountain.

Born in Atlanta, Marshall first emerged with her debut album, (1995), during the golden age of the mid- ’90s Alternative Nation, her minimalist compositions as emotionally harrowing as they were beautiful. RACHEL: On your last few tours, you’ve worked with two excellent backing bands, an experience that allowed you just to sing. But I saw you play just a few months ago and I almost felt like I was watching a completely different person. And having those musicians backing me really helped because those guys are my friends. I wanted a place where other musicians could come and we’d all have a room—including myself—and space to work. So much of the time it’s just like, I really don’t want to be here. I just want to buy a bag of Oreos and get into bed. That’s how a lot of the digital music on got started—me just sitting at a machine and thinking, I might as well fucking press this button and see what happens. RACHEL: There’s a beautiful song on the record called “Manhattan.” You haven’t lived here in a long time, but the place obviously still weighs heavy on your mind. RACHEL: Despite your Southernness, I always think of you as being a New Yorker. Those were my college years on the Lower East Side.

Her penchant for reinterpreting other people’s songs (her wholly irreverent take on the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” is already a classic) placed her in the rarefied territory of a Nina Simone, or even a Bob Dylan, two artists whose songs she has often sung, and whose own storied—and sometimes troubled—careers occasionally mirrored her own. In order to create the song as it exists in my mind, I have to be mathematical—the mathematical part on one side of my brain that plays the song in the right tempo, doesn’t fuck up the notes. I remember seeing you at the Knitting Factory in almost complete darkness—just you and a piano—and you would play these beautiful snippets of songs with these long passages of silence in between. There was almost a performance- art aspect to the whole thing, except you clearly seemed terrified. You’re hoping and praying that you and the audience can meet at the same place, some place that’s not here nor there but some “other” place altogether. A lot of people might not know about the sort of experimental, punk-rock origins of Cat Power—or that you can play drums. I also recorded in Miami at South Beach Studios and worked with some amazing people there . MARSHALL: You shouldn’t say that, it makes us sound so old! RACHEL: When it comes to talking about making music—specifically, your process for writing songs—you’ve always played that pretty close to the vest. People need to be reminded sometimes about what real liberty means—the idea that you can do whatever the fuck you want.

Her infamously erratic live shows—characterized by rambling interludes, breakdowns, and a predilection for stopping midsong—reflected her battles with a variety of personal issues, anxieties, and addictions. RACHEL: Has making a record where you play every single instrument been on your mind for a while? RACHEL: You just felt like you couldn’t do it before? And then there is the other part of the song— the other side of my brain—the spiritual, animal, beautiful part of performing that has nothing to do with math and everything to do with feeling. People in the audience kept shouting things like, “I love you, keep going! MARSHALL: Well, I can’t really play drums or synthesizers, and I don’t really know how to take a beat and cut it up and drop it into a song or duplicate it into a computer program. RACHEL: You’ve lived all over the place since you left New York about a decade ago. RACHEL: Well, we met when we were both 12 years old, here in the East Village . I can probably count on one hand the number of times we’ve really talked about that stuff. RACHEL: I just got the feeling that it was something you desperately didn’t want to talk about. And so much of the time people think they’re doing that, but really they’re just chasing money, not freedom. Some people don’t want to leave their cubicle on the farm. There’s always gonna be something about this city, something that when you are here and you look up and see the moon, the most natural thing in the world, it makes everyone the same. If there was a full moon, my grandmother would get me and my sister out of bed and we’d go sit outside in our nightgowns.

Over the phone on a hot day in July, Marshall is poolside (in almost every interview, Marshall's love of water and pools comes up) in Brooklyn. She speaks with a warm, Southern lilt and a husky, hushed awed-by-life tone as her emotions swoop between stark recollections and hazy, dreamlike musings: things she'll never forget, things she can't forget, and surprise at how far she's come. When she sings ― well, that voice, with its lived-in, smoky worldliness, that's the voice inside all of us that's seen and knows too much, but still wants to finds beauty in the world.

There's something very vulnerable about Marshall ― that's a large part of her draw, really, as Cat Power ― that makes her fans, music critics, and journalists root for her.