A critique of a
critique, from your friendly Southern staffers. Drinking iced tea, natch.
By Blurt Staff
Here at BLURT we like to read music biographies – lots and
lots of them, in fact. Sometimes several per week. Then we like to write about
them, assuming of course there’s something worthwhile to report. Since
launching our website just over a year ago, we’ve published 62 book reviews, in
fact, tipping you to some genuinely great reads.
In the instance of the recently-published Cat Power: A Good Woman (Three Rivers
Press), however, we write about the book in order to WARN you, our readership. In
a four-star (out of ten possible) critique, ace reviewer Jake Cline calls
author Elizabeth Goodman, late of Blender, for the “many exaggerations, simplifications and mistakes that plague the
book… [You] would do well to ignore the biography altogether.”
Of course, the question arises: do we even need a bio yet on
Chan Marshall? Aside from her loony claims of being Spooner Oldham’s love
child, is she even that interesting?
tried to block Goodman’s efforts in chronicling her turbulent career as a
diva-in-making, browbeating friends and associates into not cooperating with
the writer. So Goodman, determined to soldier on, was left to assemble whatever
facts she could without talking directly to her subject. Still, as Cline points
out, “The book is riddled with one groan-inducing claim after another: ‘[Marshall has] a real
influence now on music, of course, but also on fashion, on literature, on art
in general … . ‘ ‘Being associated with Cat Power gave [Dave Grohl and Eddie
Vedder] the sheen of contemporary relevance.’ ‘Chan is a Gatsby.'”
Wow. Those are some serious howlers. And we can’t help but
slap our knees and guffaw like our dear ol’ departed grandpappy at the way
Goodman, apparently one of them durn northerners, depicts the South, where Marshall lived for a good
while. You can read what Cline had to say about that in the review. Meanwhile,
we have to go fix us a tall cool one of iced tea….