Music: “The Werewolf” by Cat Power

Hi guys,

To keep up with tradition, I thought I’d post a little something for my favorite Halloween music. Cat Power’s cover of Michael Hurley’s “The Werewolf” has definitely been one of my favorite tunes this October. Hurley’s original track is just as haunting and transcendent. It gives me absolute chills, which is perfect for this Halloween season.

I don’t know about you guys, but this October has been really stressful. Honestly, I feel like I haven’t been able to catch my breath. I’ve just been pushing through, and trying to smile and mask it all. It’s been a heck of a month and I cannot wait until November. Halloween has never been one of my favorite holidays as I feel like it’s the time for childish and outlandish behavior, which gives permission to people to not act like themselves. I didn’t go into October thinking, ‘oh, I’m going to be someone different!’ It kind of snuck up on me and I involuntarily felt like someone else all month long.

Being in disguise kind of takes a toll on you for an entire month. Looking into the mirror and not recognizing the eyes staring back at you is frustrating and kind of heartbreaking because I’ve just been trying to find my way back to myself. Feeling trapped while someone else reaches the surface is surely a recipe for stress and depression.

With all of that said, Cat Power’s “Werewolf” has been a familiar and uncanny anchor for me to feel like myself. Her voice just always clears my view through all of the fog. It’s like I can hear her energy and it jolts me back into reality. There’s a glimmer of myself that I can catch, even if it only last a few minutes. Also, a song about being a werewolf is just another snippet of relatability. Having to transform into something unfamiliar and untameable to wake up not remembering who you were for a moment of time? Yeah, I copy that loud and clear.

I wish I could say Happy Halloween…but to sign off on a positive note, Happy end of October!

Check out my first Halloween playlist.

 

Music: “The Greatest” by Cat Power

I first started listening to Cat Power my freshman year of college. I don’t even remember where I first heard her, but I can bet it was from Pandora. No, I take that back. It was from Bones. Brennan was listening to The Greatest and I grasped so hard to the song that I continued on to play it just about everyday while in college. It just holds so much meaning and opens up my mind and pretty much wakes me up. It’s ironic, because Cat’s voice is very raspy and she generally sings in a whispery sort of fashion. So, for this song to wake me up means that I drop everything, clear my mind, and focus.

It’s just a beautiful track. “Once, I wanted to be The Greatest.” What does it mean to be the greatest? What does it mean to be all that you are and above all that you are? It takes a lot of courage to surpass your own strength and rise up. Be brave. Challenge yourself. Then, as a woman, this song really throws that feminist punch. “No wind or waterfall can stall me.” It’s easy to lose focus and dwell on feelings and emotions from those around you. Even romantic ones. And I’ll open up a little right now and say that not so long ago I almost let myself fall hard for someone and change all of my plans based on whether or not that someone would finally realize that I was pining for him.

And, I won’t punish myself for this moment of weakness. I allowed myself to feel and open up, but at the same time it just wasn’t something worth what I was willing to give up. Fortunately, I have moved on and gotten my head back on with my eyes peering forward. Romance is nice, but you have to truly and wholly love yourself and what you’re doing first. Be completely happy with who you are and all that you have accomplished before you share that love with someone else. At the time, my mind was too clouded and I wasn’t happy with my personal journey. I just wasn’t finished with my plans and I wasn’t focused enough. Diving into something like a relationship could have ruined me.

Anyway, this song always just drives home that feeling of being in control. Yes, I am allowed to be emotional. To be strong. To be selfish. To be happy. To be focused. I am allowed to be the greatest…compared to others and compared to myself. I am allowed to rise up.

There are just certain musical artists that speak to me. Ryan Adams, Coldplay, Radiohead (Thom Yorke), and Cat Power. It’s like, Ke’ara, shut off everything around you and listen. Focus. I’ve read a lot about Cat Power’s personal journey in the music biz, and some of it is heartbreaking and most of it is encouraging and inspiring. She’s gone through a lot and has had some breakdowns on stage and she’s had some blossoming moments of pure beauty.

Jason Kempin

Because live music shouldn’t be this brief, mindless, performance in front of strangers. It should be a moment to feel every once of emotion that you put into the music. It’s your song. It’s your story. It’s your soul. And sometimes it’s not pretty. It’s not perfect. It’s not some robotic, straightforward, constructed thing. It’s bits and pieces of all sorts of rushes of feelings. And it should show. It should reach out and smack those in the audience. It should make them feel… you.

Cat Power does that and I think with this entertainment industry, her truths and raw emotion just doesn’t get read or understood the way it should. Because those people just aren’t prepared for it or on that same wavelength. There are just too many facades in the entertainment industry, and Cat Power is basically one in the handful of artists who are just beyond those standards. Way beyond. She’s one of the greatest.

‘Til next time.