Thursday, August 30, 2012

New Discovery - Rodriguez; and film "Searching for Sugar Man"

I am hesitant to write too much about the extraordinary story of the Detroit singer-songwriter known as Rodriguez. Far better that you simply see the documentary film Searching for Sugar Man, as this truth-is-stranger-than-fiction tale is far better told in 90 minutes by the parties involved than anything I could write here.

But I will say that I grew up in Detroit in the 1970's when Sixto Rodriguez recorded his music, and while my ear was to the ground, I did not ever hear of him at all until I read a review of Searching for Sugar Man just a week ago. And yet halfway around the world, his songs literally helped spark a revolution and became the soundtrack for an entire nation.

Which would not be totally shocking perhaps except that Rodriguez had no idea for more than 25 years that anyone anywhere in the world outside of little more than friends and family had heard his music.
It could have only happened pre-internet, and perhaps only in a country as cut off from the world as apartheid-era South Africa.

Here is Rodriguez performing on the David Letterman show 2 weeks ago:

I will also include a movie trailer, though it contains way too many spoilers. I include it for those of you non-trusting souls who need more. Seriously, if this film is showing in your town, skip the trailer and go see it. Now. Or get it from Netflix. It is an amazing film about an intriguing, fascinating man and great songwriter.

Rogriguez is touring the US now at age 70 for the first time in his life.
Rodriguez tour dates.

His only 2 albums, Cold Fact and Coming From Reality, from 1970, are now available on CD at Amazon: Rodriguez CDs


Emma said...

The entire soundtrack for this movie is awesome!! I haven't stopped streaming it since I found it online:

John Hyland said...

Great post, JD. Did you know your man Dennis Coffey produced Cold Fact? I discovered Rodriguez and purchased Cold Fact several years ago - as the result of your recommendation to me of Wax Poetics magazine! Also, you can buy the vinyl via Wax Poetics, and Rodriguez actually gets paid! Check this out:

Jim Desmond said...

Emma, thanks for reading and posting. I should have noted the release of the soundtrack. So thanks for that important info. Great to have you with us here!
John, Well yes, I did catch the Dennis Coffey connection. He is one of the first people to speak in the film. See today's Soul Corner which I wrote a few days back after seeing the movie. Great minds think alike...I saw Coffey play last year and he is still terrific.