It hardly needs saying but it’s quite an odd thing to have a venue packed out in Dublin to see the performance of a 70 year old guy on the basis of 2 albums he released over 40 years. Admittedly one of those albums, Cold Fact, is fantastic but the other one is pretty patchy. But here we in Vicar Street (upgraded from the Button Factory) to see Rodriguez who’s on riding high of the new wave of interest generated by the ‘Searching for Sugar Man’ documentary.
Searching for Sugar Man is the Swedish and British documentary that follows two Cape Town fans tracking down whatever became of Rodriguez, an American musician who never quite made it big as producers expected. The film made a mark during festival season, getting nominated for the special jury prize at Sundance and winning the audience award at the Los Angeles Film Festival. If you loved it or still need to check the documentary out, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is bringing Searching for Sugar Man to Blu-ray and DVD on January 22.
The hit documentary about musician Rodriguez, which sold out in theatres across the country has become the most successful documentary of all time in South Africa.
Searching for Sugar Man has made over R2 million at the box office and is currently still screening exclusively at Cinema Nouveau and select Ster-Kinekor Theatres – and shows continue to sell out.
It seems fitting that the American septuagenarian should play Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, the same stage that The Rolling Stones played a good while back, on the same night that they were reforming in London, with an average age of 68.
The fact that Rodriguez is 70 was not lost on his audience, but neither was the fact that his individual voice remains all that it ever was.
Triple M Entertainment books Founder of iconic SA band Bright Blue to perform a FREE Concert in De Waal Park on Sunday 2 Dec 2012
Robin Levetan was the lead vocalist and founder of iconic SA band Bright Blue whose uniquely infectious blend of pop, rock and mbaqanga established them at the forefront of the progressive music scene in the 80’s and 90’s.
Robin’s writing extended to the theatre and his highly acclaimed counter-culture play, “Skyf” broke attendance records at The Baxter and Market Theatres. His second play “Mrs Kaplan and the Witchdoctor” was also performed at The Baxter and was later staged at various festivals in Eastern Europe by students at UCT.
After leaving Bright Blue, Robin continued to write songs and, in 2009, teamed up with producer / musician, Roger Bashew. The pair were joined by Willem Moller (guitar), Paul Tizzard (drums), Selwyn Schneider (keyboards, vocals), Tonia Selley (vocals, percussion), Shaggy Scheepers (keyboards), Buddy Wells (sax) and Jessica Levetan (vocals), together with Bright Blue band mates Ian Cohen (bass) Dan Heymann (piano) and Tom Fox (guitar).
The resulting 12 track album, “A Far Country”, was launched at the CTICC in 2011.
Robin has been performing with a group of top local musicians who will join him at De Waal Park on 2 December from 4pm till 5.30pm (Entrance is free ..) where they will perform songs from the album as well as new material and some Bright Blue favorites. CD’s will be on sale at the event.
The line-up will be:
- Robin Levetan (vocals)
- Tonia Selley (vocals, guitar, percussion)
- Selwyn Schneider (vocals, guitar)
- David Bass (keyboards)
- Roger Bashew (bass)
- Paul Tizzard (drums)
- Willem Moller (guitar)
For more info firstname.lastname@example.org or 083 4484475
50 Flippen Brilliant South Africans is the eagerly anticipated follow-up to the bestselling 50 People Who Stuffed Up South Africa, and is once again an irreverent and entertaining popular history of modern South Africa – but with a more positive spin this time around.
What does it take to be a flippen brilliant South African? Simple: sheer brilliance and a good story. So, whether naughty or noble, crazy or controversial, here are 50 of the most talented, successful, inspirational, intriguing, fascinating Saffers to have walked the planet…
“Searching for Sugar Man” is continuing to find critical acclaim.
Malik Benjelloul’s documentary about musician Rodriguez, who abandoned music only to find his career resuscitated after becoming hugely popular in South Africa, won the Best Music Documentary award at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, the festival said Friday.
“Sugar Man” also took home the Audience award.
Chinese feature film Full Circle, the story of a group of irrepressible senior citizens who decide to enter a reality show on television and Searching for Sugar Man, a documentary on the life of Rodriguez, the 1970s U.S. rock icon who never was, won the Audience awards as the Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF) drew to a close.
A 70-year-old displaying all the gusto of a much younger man, cult figure Rodriguez lights up Camden’s Roundhouse, the first stop on his current UK tour
He made his way onto the stage like an old man being assisted in his walk down the plank. It seemed like he could barely stand and wouldn’t have wanted to even if he could. Then it seemed like he could barely sing. I began to weigh up in my mind how likely it was that in just a few years Rodriguez had gone from being an accomplished performer to a man who was really just doing the rounds while he could, bidding a final farewell to people who would have to go home and reassure each other with the fact that they had at least laid eyes on him.
As it transpired the hitch was more technical than biological. During a pretty undignified microphone rearrangement, his hat and glasses had to be removed and the real Rodriguez was revealed: smiling, bashful, and in possession of more faculties than you could reasonably expect of a 70-year-old man.
Rodriguez, aka Sixto Diaz Rodriguez, Rod Riguez, and Jesus Rodriguez, released a pair of albums, “Cold Fact” and “Coming from Reality,” in 1970 and 1971. His music was influenced by Bob Dylan’s, but it had the hard edge of his native Detroit and was often political in nature. It went nowhere in America, and Rodriguez eventually dropped out of the music scene, earning a living as a demolition worker while pursuing a PhD in philosophy at Wayne State University. But the story turned out to have a Part Two. Abroad, Rodriguez was discovered in several countries, most notably of all in South Africa. There, the songs on “Cold Fact” became anthems of the anti-apartheid movement, and Rodriguez acquired a cadre of fans who circulated a false rumor that he had died. After running unsuccessfully for the Detroit city council, Rodriguez came back to public notice in his home country after a documentary, “Searching for Sugar Man,” explored the circumstances surrounding the death hoax and won notice at the Sundance Film Festival. Now, Rodriguez is back, with a new album, successful tours, and an appearance on “60 Minutes” to his credit. His personality, idealistic and eccentric, is like a time capsule from the 1960s, and the word “unique” is insufficient to describe his talent.