A couple weeks ago I got a mailed copy of Elizabeth Goodman's new Cat Power book, Cat Power: A Good Woman. Although it's deeply reported, it's unauthorized; Chan Marshall refused to speak with Goodman for the project, and thus all her quotes therein are indirect. It's a fast-paced read, but I'm going to recuse myself from commenting further on the book (although, Cat Power obsessives, you can read my late 2007 New Times interview with Chan by clicking here.)
In any event, the book reminded me of this throwback, the video for Cat Power's "He War," from the 2003 album, You Are Free. Where most music videos shot in South Beach are all about the party, Marshall and director Brett Vapnek spun the island's baked pastels in a different direction. The song, built on ragged chords and tripping piano, obliquely describes an irreparable relationship rift. So does the video: Marshall and her boyfriend are seen slowly working their way across the Beach, treading the same ground but never really occupying the same space. Set against an impossibly sunny, cheerful backdrop, the alienation only seems more intense.