UNDER THE COMMAND:
“Under the Command” was about listening to Chan Marshall AKA Cat Power’s music on the radio, from a future perspective—like from the year 2010 or something. When I first saw Cat Power play, it was at a dive in Philadelphia and there weren’t many people there. The place didn’t even have a stage. So she just stood there and looked at the floor and strummed her guitar. I thought it was really good, but I was too shy to talk to her, and she didn’t really look like she wanted anyone to talk to her. It was 1995 probably, and at that time I still weighed 233 pounds due to the Burger King meals, so I think it would have been upsetting to her if I’d said anything. I should have given her a tape of my music, but that probably would have been even more upsetting! Then she started to get some measure of fame, so I wrote the song about her. I was trying to imagine what would happen if she became really famous like En Vogue. And how younger kids would look up to her, probably. But it would be really awkward, because she was clearly unsuited to fame and all messed-up. But mainstream kids would listen to her music as they drove around and they’d daydream about her. They would have glamour posters of her on their bedroom walls, etc. She would star in a movie with Vanilla Ice. But now I know that in 2010 this won’t be the case! I haven’t heard her music in years. She never became famous like En Vogue, which was a personal disappointment, but I guess she probably has quite a bit of money now. I heard she’s still crazy even though she’s supposed to be normal again. I did write another song about her called “Chan” in 2001, but I don’t remember why I did that. Beyonce really filled the void that I thought Chan Marshall might occupy.