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ASHES TO ASHES: Bowie devotees Kali Ra say goodbye with tribute concert Saturday night

Courtesy of David Goad
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Once, in a review of one of his albums, I had the critical audacity to call Kali Ra-frontman David Goad the “Bowie of Oklahoma City.” It’s something I still recognize and adore about the band and when David Bowie died a couple of weeks ago, apparently I wasn’t alone in wondering how Goad was doing.

“All day people were calling and asking me how I was holding up,” Goad said. “Him and I were close, but only in an artistic, metaphysical sense, as much as two people who’ve never met can be.”

Instead of shedding tears and going into a state of inactivity, however, Goad and company channeled all of those feelings into crafting what is sure to be the premier Bowie tribute in Oklahoma City, Bye Bye Spaceboy.

“People think it’s cold when I say that I wasn’t surprised and that I didn’t shed any tear, but there’s more to it than that,” Goad said. “His death was maybe one of the greatest pieces of art ever orchestrated, the way that he arranged everything to be released around the time that he knew he was going to die, it was very masterful. Whatever happens to the artist himself, he has to translate it to his audience and no one knew that better than Bowie.”

Growing up on a healthy diet of punk rock and new wave, Goad’s first exposure to Bowie was in the form of Bauhaus’ cover of “Ziggy Stardust.” Tracking down Bowie album after Bowie album, eventually his artistic catalog began to influence his creative process like no other artist could.

“The way that he worked and what he produced validated the things that weirdoes, such as myself, who take art very seriously but also has a sense of humor at the serious parts of life, can create,” Goad said. “I guess there’s a type of person that absorbs the different things around them and they become a part of these things that they allow into their person, that I think prevents a musician from getting stuck in one genre. Bowie’s mass appeal was that if you didn’t like this album, stick around, you’ll probably like the next one, they were all so different. It’s something that I attempt with every album as well.”

Even before he died, Goad had numerous Bowie tributes he was setting up anyway, and now, with news of his death, he plans to just “embrace” them, hoping that by end these “cathartic” shows will have “exorcised his reflection” in Goad’s persona.

The Bye Bye Spaceboy Tribute will be held at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30 at the Blue Note, 2408 N. Robinson. Larry Chin and Hannah Wolff and the Inconsiderate Lovers are also on the bill.

 “When you come to the Bye Bye, Spaceboy show, you’re going to get me, being myself on stage,” Goad added. “I will be putting my twist on these covers, going by how Bowie would have played them live rather than how they sound on record. The shows will be cathartic, emotional and dramatic. It’s where I’m at right now emotionally, and probably where a lot of other Bowie fans are at as well.”

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Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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