On Monday night, Kate Tempest delivered a remarkable set of spoken word and hip-hop to a surprisingly small audience at One Eyed Jacks. I have always found it interesting that we have a hard time generating enthusiasm for emerging performers—especially emerging performers from out of town—here in New Orleans. I suppose part of it is related to our role in presenting a certain type of musical style sometimes at the expense of others. To be fair, it is pretty easy to get comfortable in our ecosystem of funk and jazz, but more frequently these days performers like Tempest are passing through to shake us out of that comfort. In addition to her musical performances, Tempest is a prize-winning poet and playwright. Her show on Monday was a joyous and intense combination of spoken word, music and conversation that left a profound impact on myself and others in the space. Near the start of Shakespeare’s play, The Tempest, as Prospero tells Miranda his tale of betrayal, she tells him, “Your tale, sir, would cure deafness”. This was the scene that unfolded at Tempest’s show. She alternated between a couple of songs from her Mercury Prize nominated record Everybody Down and intensely poetic rants, which were delivered from the very edge of the stage. At the peak of the show there were 33 people in attendance (including the bartenders, minus the band). It seemed as though Tempest was able to make eye contact with each one of us individually at these moments. She has the poise of someone who has spent time at the front of loud rooms demanding that her voice and words be heard. This practice—this life in the world of verse—has served her well. When her overwhelming skill and confidence combine with the sheer joy she exudes on stage the audience cannot help but be swept away. Keep an eye out for the next time this young performer comes through town. She is truly a cure for that regional deafness into which we occasionally slip. You’ve missed her once, you won’t want to miss her again.
To Do This Week
On Saturday Megafauna will be at Gasa Gasa. Sunday night be sure to check out Chastity Belt opening for Courtney Barnett. Both Barnett and Chastity Belt have each released records that are strong contenders for my best of list this year. You do not want to miss this show. On Monday be sure to check out Iceage at Siberia. Tuesday, Brandi Carlile will play the House of Blues. Wednesday Amanda Shaw will be playing Wednesdays at the Square.
To Listen This Week
MS MR released a new song and video.
Great new track from Katie Eastburn via Soundcloud.
You can stream the new Sun Kil Moon album directly from his website here.
Finally, Tom Petty has release a lost track from the Wildflowers era via CoS.