In Montreal, while biking through a park, I told a friend my overarching theory of music that I like: the main force behind it has to be a despondent alcoholic for the music to really hit.
Exhibit A? Our mutually loved, formerly favorite band, a band that’s released several gut wrenching albums but only came to a quasi “success” with some recent concept albums that while good - and with some amazing songs - didn’t hit the heights of the previous work.
Part of the problem, I theorized, was that I always saw this lead singer out and about in Brooklyn, looking happy with his lovely girlfriend. This situation, of course, will not do. I sincerely worry about the next album and whether it will be good or not.
Exhibit B: Cat Power. Because do you really listen to The Greatest? Or do you listen to Moon Pix? Do you like it when she says “Jackson, Jesse, I’ve got the son in me/he’s related to you, he’s related to you, he is dying to meet you.” I thought so.
Then we mused on Jeff Buckley. Where he’d be these days. Whether, if after years of beautiful music, lines of all-too-willing women, whether he’d making beautiful music. Whether the fact that he died meant that he never started to suck.
After all, Elliott Smith never put out a bad album.
And then my friend said the cruelest thing of all: “He’d be Cat Power.”