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Catherine Irwin.

With a small window of opportunity open this morning to get on the
laptop, I thought that I would take a break from the 'Post Toasties'
stuff for at least a day and do a 'real' post.

For those who might not know, Catherine Irwin is one of the two
members of the Alt-Country band Freakwater. And she also did her own
solo album a while back — Cut Yourself a Switch. The following are
excerpts from an interview she did with Here online magazine back
in June 2003. Considering that Here has been defunct for quite a
few years now, I didn't think they would mind.

Being excerpts, I of course skipped stuff in the interview about a lot
of things, including the stuff about the Amish. Catherine seems to have
some pretty weird ideas about the Amish…perhaps it's best if we not
go into all that.

I think Catherine is a talented and fascinating woman. As Neko Case
said about her, "she is mighty."

on her "insane babbling"

"Just sometimes I get started telling some sort of story, and then I
feel like the more I talk, the deeper I dig myself into some sort of
pit."

on making a new record

"I just kind of thought, well, maybe if we made a record, I could get
away with another year of slacking. Driving from one town to the next
and getting free sandwiches."

on money

"…I don't have any worldly goods, really. It's always possible for me not
to make any money just because I've never made any money."

on her music

"I guess I ended up writing my own songs just because I couldn't figure
out how anybody else's songs went. I was never that kind of good guitar
player that could just listen to a Heart song and figure out how they
were doing it. So I'd end up writing my own songs because it was easier
that way."

on "authenticity"

"[W]hen you hear just a normal person singing a song, like a Rolling
Stones song, you don't think, "Did he really meet a gin-soaked barroom
queen in Memphis?" Is that authentic? Did he really do that or is he
just making that up? It's really weird the way that some people get
ragged on for authenticity and then other people don't."

on companionship

"I have no friends."

on pessimism

"I guess nobody needs to look too far about something to get either
incredibly pissed off or just despondent about. The way that the
government and the country are headed, they're certainly not trying to
make me happy. It's not that they're thinking: "Hmm, little girl from
Kentucky, why so sad? Why you think so often of death?" They're not
thinking of me, and what would make me feel like perhaps things are
looking up – less starving people or less petroleum-coated otters. Just
everything's awful, and it's just more and more awful. The people that
really are concerned about it, their heads must be beaten to a pulp
from pounding them against the wall."

on story-telling in music

"It's always kind of funny to me, these questions about the themes in
country music, because I guess they just don't seem that different to
me than the themes in any popular music. Maybe it's because the lyrics
are so much more prominent, and so much easier to understand because of
the way the records are produced — it's more story-oriented. But a lot
of Black Sabbath songs, aren't they talking about death? More babes,
but also death. I mean, Led Zeppelin: elves, and death. Trade unions
and elves. Stuff like that. It's all grim."


"Hex"

by

Catherine Irwin

When you hear me calling
your name in the night,
do you run to your window
thinking a coyote might
be howling?
When you hear me knockin'
at your door again,
do you tell yourself
it's only the wind
that's blowing?
When you watch the sun
sink down in the west,
do you tell yourself
that the heart in your chest
is still beating?

Will you know or must I tell you:
This is my lover's spell you
have fallen into,
my dear.
My voice is all you'll hear.
Only the sound
of my heart pounding,
darling.

You took my heart,
cast it aside,
laughed when I cried,
like it was just no big deal.
And here all alone,
in the dark,
I know just how you feel.

When you feel my fingers
touch your skin again,
do you tell yourself
there's just no use
in crying?
When the stars in the sky
begin to fade,
do you tell yourself
don't be afraid —
it's just the night
that's dying?

Will you know or must I tell you:
This is my lover's spell you
have fallen into,
my dear.
My voice is all you'll hear.
Only the sound
of my heart pounding,
darling.

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