Despite coming from Detroit, chances are you’ve never heard of rock musician Rodriguez, especially if you’re from the US. The 1970′s Mexican-American folk rocker has become an icon in South Africa and other places around the world and a new documentary from Malik Bendjelloul explores the obscure life of this man. Winning the audience and grand prize awards for documentary at Sundance this year, Searching For Sugar Man has gotten nearly unanimous rave reviews and the first trailer has arrived today. While we all love documentaries on our favorite musicians, I also adore ones that bring one into an entire world you never knew existed, and this looks to fall into that category, with some twists to boot. Check it out below. – John Cunliffe
Keep On Chooglin’ with Creedence Clearwater Revival live at Woodstock, August 1969
Sun – Impi (You’d be bats not to like it)
Impi, (not to be confused with John Kongos’ briefly lived band or Johnny Clegg’ seminal anthem) were mostly The Bats under a different name. To their ranks they added Sounds of Brass’ Peter Hubner, The Square Set’s Neville Whitmill and Hubner’s girlfriend Deni Loren. The group released one eponymously titled album which featured the track ‘Sun.’
Listening to it, one can see why The Bats chose not to release it under their usual name. It was far more prog rock influenced than most of their previous pop work and, perhaps they felt their fan base would not really like it. Starting out with a heavy beating drum (African rhythm), then weaving in a haunting pennywhistle before building up to the catchy chorus with a rich brass ensemble.
Unfortunately for The Bats, their alter ego did not really capture the hearts and minds of their pop fans, nor those of the progressive bands like Hawk, Abstract Truth and Freedom’s Children as the album did not do too well and faded into obscurity. Fortunately Benjy Mudie, the keeper of the South Africa rock flame, has just released the album on his Retrofresh label, so we are able to listen to ‘Sun’ and all the other tracks, and wonder why we didn’t go for it big time at the time.
Where to find it:
Impi – Impi (2012), Retrofresh, FRESHCD 183
This CD compiled by Dirk Uys in March 2002, and released by EMI in May 2002, is now long out-of-print, but inspired by Marq Vas I have linked to the songs that are available to download on Rhythm Music Store.
This album collected the A to Z of Afrikaans Rock (from Akkedis to Karen Zoid) at the time, as well as most of its genres like blues, boogie, industrial, punk, hip hop, rap, reggae, metal and more.
I seem to remember Dirk telling me at the time that he would have liked to include a David Kramer song but wasn’t able to get permission. Not sure what song it was, but I have included David Kramer’s Bokkie Bokkie as a digital bonus track.
Artists – Tracks
- Anton Goosen – Blommetjie gedenk aan my
- Spinnekop – Tiger en Louise
- Akkedis – Cybersurferraver
- Koos Kombuis – Kaalvoet
- Karen Zoid – Afrikaners is plesierig
- Springbok Nude Girls – Pappa ek wil ‘n popster word
- Beeskraal – Strate van Pretoria
- Bernoldus Niemand – Boksburg bommer
- Valiant Swart – Gange van Babylon
- Piet Botha – Goeienag generaal
- Koos Kombuis – Bomskok babelaas
- Raaskopleef – Elektrisiteit
- Bernoldus Niemand – Reggae vibes is cool
- Spinnekop – Maanskyn
- Valiant Swart – Vloek van die kitaar
- Akkedis – Anderkant die berg
- Brasse van die Kaap – Cape flats
- Battery 9 – Twyfelaar
Digital Bonus Track
David Kramer – Bokkie Bokkie
This song has English verses and an Afrikaans chorus. The original version was released on the Original Mountain Rockers compilation in 1980. David re-recorded it in 1981 for his Bakgat! album.
However in May 2012, Dorothy, better known to Ramases fans as Sel (or Selket), advised that her late husband, Ramases (real name Barrington Frost) and Martin Raphael were not the same person.
I would like to clear up the confusion between Ramases (Barrington Frost), born in Sheffield, and Martin Raphael who played the sitar on Space Hymns. I do not know where he was born or where he lived. I wish to confirm that Ramases and Martin Raphael were not the same person. I do not know how this misunderstanding has come about. I would be interested to hear any comments. Love and light from Selket. (Dorothy Frost, wife of Ramases)
Martin Raphael’s nickname was Ralph to start with….
On one of the out-takes the engineer… (Gouldman, I think) talks over the intercom to the guy on the floor … you think it’s to Ram but actually Ram isn’t even there … it’s an overdub… (track is obviously Molecular Delusion, Mr Raphael’s only contribution).
“Hey Ralph” And it sounds as if Ram is replying, but that’s a previous take…
It’s very clear on our out-take…
“Ralph” Martin Raphael is then the only one talking…
Ram did show and sing him the chord-changes, but when the sitar is laid down on the next take Ram has left.
Also the famous “Fuck” heard on Molecular Delusions is clearly not Ram but Martin Raphael … he thought the chorus was coming and plays that note but there is still 8 bars of verse to go … he goes back to the verse after a bar.
A small collection of rock & roll covers by classic rockers.
A nostalgic selection of some of my favourite pop versions of classical pieces.
A new single off the album, Fireflies In The Rain, the debut solo album from one of South Africa’s leading electric cellists who is best known for her work with the Cape Town group CODA as well as with the groups Electro-Muse and Sterling Electric Quartet.
This hot new track is for all those who love deep house music and showcases the endless tricks and skills of Prolurv Charm’s house music production.
One of the eleven new tracks specially recorded by this veteran SA artist inspired by his appearance in the recent spooky KykNET TV series Wie Lê Waar? off the album Spookpsalms.
Terry Dean writes and plays his own brand of blues, rock and folk music on his latest album Blues with a Capital C , which was recorded live at a local festival and features guest musicians Dave Smith on keyboard, Davie Namonde on bass and Thapelo Monareng on drums.
The brand new single from this dynamic rock band from Johannesburg.
The production of her debut solo album Secret Surprise saw Elzahn collaborating talents with acclaimed South African musicians such as Schalk Joubert, Kevin Gibson, Jesse Jordon, Louis Esterhuizen, Ramon Alexander and award winning mixing engineer David Langemann.
A song from the compilation Jazzing and Jiving – The Cape Town Sessions an eclectic trip through the traditional and modern landscape of Cape Jazz with the city’s finest musicians.
On her album, Wonderful Life , this Cape-based songstress sings about the light and dark side of life, the undeniable relationship between these two opposites, and how we cannot exist without either of them.
A track from the highly rated Johannesburg Nu-Folk’ singer-songwriter off her third album Six Winters released through Rhythm Records.
Mingus is a well respected figure in SA Hip Hop who gathered all his friends from Germany,Sweden, the U.S. and South America to contribute to Beneath The Underdog his highly jazz influenced debut album.
Prime rat instigator Jonathan Handley wrote the tracks for this album, Spooky Obsession inspired by a real incident. Handley can be heard on bass, drums, vocals, spoken monologue and harmonica.
Some stirring and melodic R&B rap pop on the title track off the new debut album from emerging South Artist artist Sylvester.
[Thanks to Jethro Tull for the post title]
Just a few of my favourite really long songs.
Thick As A Brick – Jethro Tull
Supper’s Ready – Genesis
Karn Evil 9 – Emerson, Lake and Palmer
Close To The Edge – Yes
Tubular Bells – Mike Oldfield
Phallus Dei – Amon Düül II
Autobahn – Kraftwerk
Ma – Rare Earth
Get Ready – Rare Earth
Just A Poke (album) – Sweet Smoke: Baby Night & Silly Sally
Includes an excerpt from The Soft Parade by The Doors and a wonderfully phased drum solo.
Shine On You Crazy Diamond, parts 1-9 – Pink Floyd
On the ‘Wish You Were Here’ album, this song is split into two sections, separated by the other 3 songs on the album. Here it can be heard as one long piece.
Anonymus Two – Focus
Tarkus – Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Echoes – Pink Floyd
Salisbury – Uriah Heep
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida – Iron Butterfly
Ordinary length songs are often stretched incredibly during live performances, here’s one of them:
Dazed And Confused (live 1973) – Led Zeppelin
And here’s another:
Space Truckin’ – live 1974 – Deep Purple
And just for laughs:
Metal Machine Music – Lou Reed
This double album, consisting of 4 sides of equal length, is like one of those really bad movies that you keep watching hoping it will get better.
Spoiler alert: it doesn’t.
It’s been a crazy year for Rodriguez. The documentary Searching For Sugar Man was one of the first films to be purchased (by Sony Pictures Classics) at Sundance and picked up two awards on the way (World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary and World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Prize for its Celebration of the Artistic Spirit). Be sure there is some cool Rodriguez news in the coming months! After being out of print for the last year, Rodriguez Cold Fact (LITA 036) is finally available again on vinyl and to celebrate, we’re giving away a copy of Cold Fact for this week’s Free Basin’ Fridays. – Light In The Attic
Sat 31st March – South Africa’s legendary band, Falling Mirror perform at The Alma Cafe. We all remember their iconic and unforgettable “Johnny Calls the Chemist” but with an original repertoire of over 100 songs, you are in for an evening of truly quirky, fascinating and powerful songs. The evening of original music is also interspersed with storied, anecdotes and songs from other musicians who inspired and influenced the band. Book earliest to secure your seat.
“Thru The Mirror”
“A nostalgic trip down memory lane…. the story behind the influences that wrote the songs.”
Alan Faull…guitar and backing vocals
Nielen Marais …vocals
Tim Faull …Drums
Alma Cafe Rosebank
Saturday 31st March 7pm for 7.30pm.
Bookings on 021 685 7377.
R130 including 1 course meal
Fully licensed R20 corkage.
Please specify dietary requirements upon placing your booking Desserts and drinks optional extras Fully licensed NO PLASTIC, cash only
From Billy Forrest
It was a difficult one this. To remember my favourites over a span of 55 years was no mean feat, who do you leave out? I’ve chosen the songs that moved me the most, with just that “something” that makes a song reach into your soul. I’ve got two lists, International and “Local”. On the S.A. side it was more a case of appreciating the song, the performance and the production. Enjoy! – Billy Forrest
Cliff Richard & The Shadows (Live) – Miss you nights
Dobie Gray – Loving arms
Moody Blues – Nights in white satin
Dolly Parton – I will always love you
Kenny Rogers – Ruby don’t take your love to town
The Righteous Brothers – Unchained melody
The Walker Brothers – Make it easy on yourself
The Beatles – Yesterday
The Rolling Stones – Satisfaction
Matt Monroe – Born free
Dion Warwick – Valley of the dolls
Mike & The Mechanics – The living years
Elvis Presley – Are you lonesome tonight
Tom Jones – What’s new pussycat
Richard Harris – McArthur park
Abba – Fernando
K.D.Lang – Hallelujah
Elton John – Sacrifice
Mamas & Papas – California dreaming
Josh Grobin – You raise me up
June Dyer – Whirlpool of love
Dickie Loader & The Blue Jeans – Exclusively yours
The Flames – For your precious love
The Dream Merchants – Time and the river
The Staccatos – Cry to me
Clout – Substitute
Bright Blue – Weeping
McCully Workshop – The Buccaneer
Copperfield – So you win again
Ballyhoo – Man on the moon
Rabbitt – Charlie
Joanna Field – Don’t fly too high
Maria – Clap your hands and stamp your feet
Gene Rockwell – Heart
Ken.J.Larkin – Turn around
Johnny Clegg – Scatterlings of Africa
Margaret Singana – Mama Tembu’s wedding
Steve Hofmeyr – Pampoen
Laurika Rauch – Kinders van die wind
Sias Reinecke – Sproetjies
Twenty Nine years after the first Off the Edge album was produced, it has now officially been re-released. Originally produced on vinyl, it is now available on CD featuring 8 bonus tracks that were recorded between 1982 and 1984.
“It feels like a lifetime ago that we ventured into a recording studio to put this first album together. That was in 1983! The additional tracks are mostly the original rough raw demos which we thought would be rather nostalgic to include.” Peter Hanmer and Tony Groenewald.
At that time it was to some extent unheard of for a band to record and fund its own album as an independent release. There was no record company involvement, just a group of guys who wanted to record and release their own songs. They got together, paid for studio time and ultimately 300 LP’s were produced. After it’s release and extensive radio play by 5FM (Radio Five), this is Chris Prior’s review in The Sunday Times at the time…
“….. Basically its straight down-the-line rock – no punk, no new wave, no cross-over and especially no disco. It’s guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and vocals – and it’s got a pretty sharp edge. Guitarist Peter Hanmer and bassist/vocalist Tony Groenewald are the main men behind this band; they formed it and do all the writing – and they probably did all the hassling to get themselves onto vinyl………… their debut album is an amazing effort – polished, professional and definitely promising. To have achieved this quality on a first outing demonstrates considerable talent. There’s no reason at all why that talent shouldn’t prosper and grow.” Chris Prior, The Sunday Times, 1983
When the album was first released, due to time and money constraints, the band was forced to go for a very plain cover design. It was some 15 years later that there was talk of re-releasing the album on CD and new artwork was commissioned. The new and quite spectacular ‘retro’ artwork was created by Mark Raats. He was asked to produce something in the style of Roger Dean which he achieved masterfully but at the same time, staying true to his own style. Mark Raats is a talented artist who works on a limited number of private commissions and provides illustrations for Lucasfilm and other Hollywood based companies. Mark went on to create and design all the future Off the Edge album covers.
For one reason and another, the CD release kept getting shelved and it was only after a huge amount of interest shown over the past 2 years, especially abroad, that the project finally came to fruition.
Five albums later, Off the Edge is still funding its own products with no record company involvement. For all of those who have supported and bought Off the Edge albums over the years, you can now finally complete your collection. Should you wish to purchase a copy of this CD, please email email@example.com for further information.
Joseph Poirier wrote:
I was at SXSW Film where they screened Searching for Sugar Man last night (Wednesday night). I took a video of the Q&A after the movie with Sixto Rodriguez and director Malik Bendjelloul.