Photo by Mike Lloyd
Millions got to know Kat Robichaud as a finalist on The Voice in 2013. But in truth, it told very little of the story of her dazzling creative life to come – which has seen her build quite a significant cult following in San Francisco, with her ongoing and decidedly outré club series Misfit Cabaret. That also happens to be the title of her brilliant 2017 album, which is shot through with gloriously ostentatious aesthetic signifiers of her inimitable artistic manifesto.
Perhaps the standout of those is her fervent, impassioned tribute to the two-years-deceased Thin White Duke, the unambiguously titled “Song for David Bowie.” In it she confesses of that fateful last night of this life in January 2016, “The stars woke me up last night / Burning brighter than I ever could remember / And I knew that you were gone.”
In some ways she is – artistically and stylistically – the most perfectly realized “Child of Bowie” – which makes her recollection all the more poignant, nay emotionally piercing. And the video for the song, which BlackBook premieres here, magnificently brings that all to life.
“The night that Bowie died,” she recalls, “I felt a light had gone out somewhere in the universe. The First Church of the Sacred Silversexual put on an emergency show the next day at Slim’s, and we packed the room with people needing a place to mourn. I broke down while singing ‘Five Years,’ the first song of the set. I looked out into the audience and people were sobbing. I think we all just needed a nice big cry. And then the light came back on, brighter than before, because I realized there were so many people on this Earth that would continue to love him and play his music and share him with the new generations. Bowie’s not going anywhere.”
Kat Robichaud’s “Five Most ‘Bowie’ Things About David Bowie”
I cried the first time I heard “Lady Grinning Soul” and it’s still my favorite. His lyrics paint such a vivid picture; they’re both catty and profound. I’m actually finding it hard to put into words what Bowie’s music means to me. Suffice it to say, I grew up in a small rural town in North Carolina and he made my world a lot less gray.
The collaborations with Kansai Yamamoto were killer. His hair was amazing.
He wasn’t afraid to push boundaries or to fight against the patriarchy or the rigors of normalcy. He taught me that it was okay to be different.
Jareth the Goblin King = my sexual awakening.
I play in a Bowie cult band called The First Church of the Sacred Silversexual in San Francisco. I also play in a Bowie band where we tour the country and play in symphony halls in front of 50-piece orchestras. Playing Bowie songs with fellow musicians just feels good, like we’re spreading happiness into the world, like we’re helping to heal people’s hearts. It’s amazing to look out to a crowd of 500-1000 people and see how they’ve dressed up to pay homage to everyone’s favorite alien. It’s cathartic to sing “Life on Mars” and hear the crowd belt out “SAILORS, FIGHTING IN THE DANCE HALL.” In so many ways, Bowie was the savior of all our broken, weird little hearts.
Photo by Mike Lloyd