Cat Reviews Part 3:
Cat Power Takes Off Bra,
Gets Into Bed With Miss AMP


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CHAN: Yeah. <yells from bathroom> God, I bet nothing comes out, but, like, a windy puff. Yeah, it's just gonna be a windy puff.
AMP: Shall I sing a little song? So I can't hear?
CHAN: Are you mad at me? <comes out of bathroom> So, tell me more!
AMP: Tell *you* more?
CHAN: Tell me somethin'. What about your boyfriend? How long? Is he younger?
AMP: Yeah.
CHAN: You're a jaguar.
AMP: A jaguar?
CHAN: I am one too. If you go out with anyone that's like five or more years younger than you… or six… I can't remember… anyway, any woman that goes out with a younger man is a jaguar.
AMP: Why's it a jaguar? I thought it was a chicken-hawk. You know, gay men call it chicken-hawk, someone that goes after the young flesh. So we could be chicken-hawkettes.
CHAN: Well, we're jaguars. I'd much rather be a very refined jaguar.
AMP: Do you think it's good to go out with a younger boy? What's the difference between that and someone of your own age?
CHAN: Well, I was with him when he was 20. I think 20 and 21 are really good for men. And 22. But I think 23 is really hard for men, and 24…
AMP: Why?
CHAN: Because they're just realising that they're not a teenager any more. And that's harder for men, maybe.
AMP: Do you want to have babies?
CHAN: Love to have babies.
AMP: Do you feel the desire to have one more because you've hit 30? Or does it not affect you that much?
CHAN: It hit me when I was 27, 26. I started wanting one a lot. Now I think that if I do have one, it probably won't be until I'm about 37.
AMP: Yeah, I'd like to leave it as late as possible.
CHAN: And by then, I don't think I'd be able to have a baby. My health isn't that good.
AMP: I got really fed up the other day because I read this article - they always thought that fertility declined after 35. But in fact it's like, late 20s, it starts to decline.
CHAN: Right.
AMP: And after the age of 30 it goes, pfffft. I mean of course you can still get pregnant, but you're much less likely to get pregnant per menstrual cycle. I hate all this biological clock bollocks but at the same time… it's there.
CHAN: It is there. Because it's a source of love. Women wanting children might come from the fact that they don't feel loved. I don't know, that's a little too generalised.
AMP: I think it's more of a biological, not a psychological urge. A reminder that we're just animals.
CHAN: But, there's a gorilla named Coco - have you heard of her? She can do sign language - they taught her 700 words and she saw a tape of a baby gorilla. Playing with a mommy gorilla. And she was like, oooh, I want, I want, <does sign language>. Women start wanting love. When I look at a baby, I wanna give love. I want the sweet… love… baby.
AMP: How would you feel about having a baby with a boy that was younger?
CHAN: I would not want to have a baby with someone that was younger unless he asked me for it.
AMP: Right.
CHAN: Because, unfortunately, because of my dad, I would never wanna be like, 'I'm having a baby. I REALLY want a baby.' And he'd be like, sure, let's fuck, and you have a baby, and I'm gonna change my mind but I'm not gonna tell you because I'm not mature enough or responsible enough to realise the reality of having a baby.
AMP: So when would you have one?
CHAN: I would wait until he was ready… but by the time he's 40, and like comes around to the idea, I'm 47… it's over.
AMP: Yeah. Like when I first got with this younger boy and realised it wasn't just… pissing around… I had to say, look, I'm gonna want to have a kid. If we stay together, I'm gonna have one. In like 5 years. That's just how it is. I'm just warning you now.
CHAN: It's definitely something to think about. It's something you have to keep in the back of your mind. Maybe if you guys stick it out and hang out together for the next few years, that's fine… but if the object is to find a man, and have a baby, and be happy, that's really easy… but that doesn't mean you'll be in love with the man.
AMP: I read that you never thought you were going to reach 26. And now you're 30.
CHAN: Now I'm much more self-assured, now that I made it. That's why I realise it's really hard on my boyfriend. It's such a struggle through those ages. When I made it to 27, I was just like, wow, I did it. And now I'm 30 I feel much more reassured. I think, ok, I might live another 3 or 5 years.
AMP: How would you like to die?
CHAN: I'd like to die when, uh, Jesus comes down to earth. I wonder what happens when Jesus comes down to earth. Do you just… zoooom.
AMP: It depends on whether you're saved or not. If you're saved you go up to heaven. If you're not -
CHAN: You stay on earth?
AMP: Or go down to hell. Are you saved?
CHAN: I am saved. I try to save my boyfriend and he won't let me.
AMP: Save him from what?
CHAN: Save him from hell. I'm Southern Baptist and so is he - his grandfather was a southern Baptist minister. The clichéd insane type. They're alcoholics, the Baptists in the South, because they're not educated.
AMP: My grandparents were Baptists as well.
CHAN: So you're a Baptist?


AMP: I'm totally not a Baptist - I'm atheist - but I was raised religious. A happy-clappy, passing out in the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues kind of church.
CHAN: Yes - that's Baptist! I was laying in bed with my grandmother - I used to live with her, different times - and I would lie on her chest, smell her neck. It smelled so sweet. The smell of love. And my boyfriend, Daniel - I know this sounds crazy but Daniel smells the same.
AMP: Ahhh.
CHAN: And all of a sudden she was like 'duana abuanha victanih huurahnai' - and I lifted my head off her chest and looked at her and she's like ' duana abuanha victanih huurahnai'. It scared me. I was about 7 years old. I said 'Nanny…..what happened???' and she said, 'I was speakin' in tongues, darlin'. And we never talked about it again.
AMP: Have you ever spoken in tongues?
CHAN: Yes I did. One night. When this guy tried to rape me.
AMP: Shit.
CHAN: I was 21. I was housesitting, and I met this girl Lucy. And there were these guys that she was friends with. I sort of knew one of them. These arty, Lower East Side muscian squatter guys. They seemed nice. One of them was kinda cute. Kinda. Not really.
AMP: So what happened?
CHAN: We smoked a little pot - that's why I can't do drugs any more, because crazy shit happens every time I do it. Then the motherfucker started trying to coax us into having sex with him. Which is fine.
AMP: Ok.
CHAN: But then I was like, I don't want to. And that didn't go over very well. He was trying to talk me into it. And trying to say, really intellectually, that rape could be really satisfying if you'd relax, and all this.
AMP: Rrrright.
CHAN: And I was like, ok. I know I'm not really insane. And meanwhile while he's talking to me - because I'm the one that won't let it happen - this other girl, Lucy, she's just sitting there with her fingers in her ears and her eyes closed and she's like rocking. Because she can't believe it's happening either.
AMP: Ugh.
CHAN: And he's doing this thing where he's getting ready to lunge at me. You know when you see a lion getting ready to pounce? It was one of the most disturbing images I've ever seen. I'll never forget it.
AMP: Yeah.
CHAN: So I instinctively grabbed a knife that was on the counter in the kitchen. He said, 'You're not gonna do anything with that.' And he started walking towards me again. And I randomly prayed to god and closed my eyes. All I remember is the sound of bells ringing. And then I felt like I was in a dark tunnel - like, speeding really fast - and I opened my eyes, and my mouth was open, and I took this deep breath, like I was so exhausted, and I looked up.
AMP: And then?
CHAN: Then he wasn't standing there any more. And the front door was open, and swinging, and you could hear the sound of him running away.
AMP: So you were speaking in tongues.
CHAN: I don't know what happened. I do remember saying, just before I blacked out, 'if you take one step closer I will stab you in your fucking face'.
AMP: Fuck.
CHAN: Yeah. It was pretty intense.
AMP: So you think God helped you?
CHAN: Yeah! Well. Maybe.

Update: Certain biographical details pertaining to both mine and Chan's relationship statuses as discussed here may no longer be accurate. Hott boys please take note.

'We Are Free' is out now on Matador Records.

This article previously appeared in issue 5 of Careless Talk Costs Lives Magazine. Please order a copy from their website. Support the independent music press!



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