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My love letter to Cat Power

The Preatures lead singer Isabella 'Izzi' Manfredi pens a heartfelt ode to Chan Marshall aka Cat Power.

Isabella Manfredi

A love affinity for Chan Marshall is undeniable but not unnoticed. At Vivid LIVE 2018, Chan, better known as Cat Power, will reciprocate the love by performing in full the world premiere of her seminal album Moon Pix, in celebration of its 20th Anniversary along with original collaborators the Dirty Three.

In 1998, Chan reinvented “girl power” against the 2000s pop music’s version. Chan’s version was about being real, uncomfortable, and heartbreakingly vulnerable and the end result is Moon Pix, an unparalleled depiction of despair: “as powerful as indie gets, bar none”.

Izzi Manfredi of The Preatures writes a love letter to Cat Power, a rarity in the 21st century. Unlike emoji-ridden modern love letters, two time Vivid LIVE alumna Izzi opted for pen and paper to laud her beloved Cat Power.

Cat Power plays the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall as part of Vivid LIVE on May 31. The Preatures will embark on a mammoth Magick 2018 National Tour this June. 


Hey Chan,

I’ve been thinking about love. The kind of love that lives on after things get broken. The kind of love that keeps you attached to a person by hope’s silver thread, even when you wanna walk out the door and set yourself free.  

The first time I ever saw you was at the Enmore Theatre in 2012 or '13. It felt like catching a butterfly. It was a good show, a great show even. I can’t remember much specific about it. 

Then there was The Hollywood Bowl years later, where you supported The Pixies and fucked up all the lyrics to your own songs and a few Nick Cave ones too. And maybe you were drunk. Or maybe you were just terrified. I didn’t care. I loved you. 

I loved you political with your popped collar in commie khaki, fiddling with your pinned microphone in a YouTube interview. I thought I saw Lennon’s smirk in the outline of your pigtails.  

Love is like that I guess, it fills up the spaces you don’t expect it to go. 

You’ve never been some vegas act with all that class and craft and smarmy banter. And you’ve never been one of those Blade Runner artists, churning up the same ice cream flavour for all the kids. You’re a mother to the moment and if we’re lucky we get caramel.  

That’s the thing about performing: it’s all energy. And if you’ve got a hint of the sensitivity it takes to make it, that energy can drown you alive. It’s you against the lights and the people and the voice in your head that says run dammit, and it’s you with them too, and it’s so fragile sometimes it’s easier not to feel anything. I don’t wish to glorify it, only to say I think this is a part of what love is too. 

And when it’s good it’s real, real good. You’re like misty windscreen wipers crunchin’ on in a beat-up Toyota Corolla. Subtle as a mushroom peaking underground, delicate like a cactus flower in the early morning. 

You’re the kind of artist that does itsy-bitsy-spider with her hands when she sings; goes on Letterman barefoot and does the chicken dance. You’re a kid. You’re a woman. You’re nobody's star. 

They might love you more, if you could stand to be less difficult. But could you? Would you? Would any of us? I don’t wish that. I love you difficult and dangerous and striving to find yourself in all this mess. That’s real love, far as I can see it. 

Sing one for me,

Izzi


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Marking 20 years since its release, acclaimed US indie-folk singer/songwriter Cat Power returns to the Sydney Opera House performing her seminal 1998 album Moon Pix for the first time in-full with original collaborators Jim White and Mick Turner of the Dirty Three, exclusive to Vivid LIVE.