Given the historical precedent, a polite listening party at a quirky record-and-coffee shop like Sweat Records might be the safest option if one were jonesing for an earful of Chan Marshall.
Performing as Cat Power (a guitar-wielding chanteuse with a seemingly inexhaustible knack for composing soulful teardrop anthems), Marshall has developed quite a reputation as an "idiosyncratic" entertainer. Way back in 2003, New Times dubbed her performance at I/O, the downtown Miami club that would eventually become the Vagabond, the year's best live train wreck. And at this point, Marshall has oscillated between craziness and recovery so many times that when it comes to a live Cat Power show, you never know what you're gonna get.
But in recent years, the sorrowful siren has provided fine, solid performances at Miami's Studio A and Fort Lauderdale's Culture Room. So her upcoming tour kickoff at Grand Central probably won't turn into a group therapy session. To be safe, though, swing by Sweat Records for a guaranteed meltdown-free Playback Party session. You'll get a chance to hear the new Cat Power album, Sun, while scoring swag from Matador Records and sipping some complimentary Zignum mezcal.
Plus, the record won't shut off in the middle of the first song, start mumbling, and then challenge the listener to sue her.