Cat Power has become the latest artist to wipe Israel off her touring map for political reasons.
The silken-voiced singer was scheduled to play Sunday at a music venue in Tel Aviv called Reading 3 - her only 2012 concert date so far after mysteriously disappearing from this year's Coachella poster.
Cat Power (aka Chan Marshall) unleashed an all-caps stream of apologies Thursday to followers on Twitter, with her final update stating:
DUE TO MUCH CONFUSION IN MY SOUL,PLAY?NG FOR MY ?SRAEL? FANS W/SUCH UNREST BETWEEN ?SRAEL&PALEST?NE I CAN'T PLAY,I FEEL SICK IN MY SPIRIT XX- chan marshall (@CATPOWER) February 9, 2012
To Cat Power's credit it looks as though she made efforts to book a subsequent date in the West Bank's Ramallah before pulling the plug on her Tel Aviv show. She made repeated public requests for promoter and booking information while posting this message:
MUSIC IS HEALING AND IT IS NOT HUMANE IF ALL CANNOT HAVE THE CHOICE, THE RIGHT, TO ATTEND.H E L P,A W A R E N E S SX X X X X- chan marshall (@CATPOWER) February 9, 2012
Cat Power had been feeling some heat for taking the gig. There was a Facebook protest page set up specifically to change her mind as well as an open letter from a group calling themselves Don't Play Apartheid Israel (DPAI), which included a lengthy quote from Rogers Waters of Pink Floyd that compared Israel to apartheid-era South Africa.
Waters, the Pixies, Elvis Costello, Carlos Santana, Devendra Banhart, Brian Eno, the Klaxons and Gorillaz are among the now sizable list of artists who have either refused to play in Israel or cancelled their dates because of the ongoing situation with Palestinians.
Every time a musician takes a stand against Israel's politics by canceling a gig, you wonder who is being made to suffer and the answer is invariably the music fan in Israel.
As I mentioned in the summer 2010, when the Pixies pulled the plug on their gigs, Israel is a free and democratic state where artists can go, play their music and speak their mind about what they think of the Israeli government. But maybe that would make for a downer of a show.
One artist who has no such qualms about rocking Israel is Madonna, who's set to kick off her world tour there on May 29, barring a war breaking out with Iran over nuclear weapons cache.
Fans are pleading "please don't stop the music" to the Israeli government and asking to hold off any strikes until after the gig. We'd like to take that request one step further and ask Israel to never strike out at Iran.