Rodriguez Label Chief: ‘Our Dealings with Clarence Avant Were Always Positive’ | AUDIO KORNER

Light in the Attic’s Matt Sullivan, whose reissues prefigured the Oscar-winning documentary, laments the story’s tragic ending.

Matt Sullivan, 38, is a true believer. The head of Light in the Attic, the reissue label he founded in 2003 with partner Joe Wright in Seattle, released Sixto Rodriguez’s two albums, his 1970 debut, Cold Fact, and the 1971 follow-up Coming From Reality, in August 2008 and May 2009, just about the time the late Oscar-winning filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul began working on his documentary about the Detroit singer-songwriter who had become a cult figure in South Africa as a symbol of the fight against apartheid.

The first time Sullivan heard Rodriguez’s “Sugarman,” from a compilation sent to him by his friend, Irish producer/musician David Holmes, he was hooked.

“I couldn’t get enough of it,” says Sullivan who launched the label with This Is Madness, the 1971 sophomore record by hip-hop precursors the Last Poets, and has released more than 150 albums since.

Sullivan then e-mailed South African record store owner Stephen “Sugar” Segerman, who put him in touch with Rodriguez and his family, as the fan tried to figure out how to license the albums and get the musician, who didn’t make a penny from all the bootlegs sold in South Africa and Australia, paid.

The search brought him into contact with Rodriguez’s original producers, Dennis Coffey and Mike Theodore, and music business veteran Clarence Avant, the one-time Motown head who released the two Rodriguez albums on his own Sussex label, most famously the original home of Bill Withers.

Avant refused to answer Matt’s e-mails or phone calls, but Sullivan’s persistence finally landed him a meeting with the elusive label head, who agreed to meet during a wedding anniversary trip to Seattle. After seeing the kind of publicity Light in the Attic generated for its releases, Avant relented and consented to license the two albums to the indie company.

If there’s a villain in Searching for Sugar Man, it’s the flippant Avant, who brushes off talk of contracts signed 40 years ago, though, according to Sullivan, his attitude belies the fervent belief the executive had in Rodriguez and his music, going so far as to ask him to change his name to Jesus Rodriguez to avoid a previous publishing deal, a case now in the courts.

Read more at Rodriguez Label Chief: ‘Our Dealings with Clarence Avant Were Always Positive’ | AUDIO KORNER

Sixto Rodriguez pursues review of contracts, sales in search of royalties | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

Rodriguez Courtesy of Malik Bendjelloul/Sony Pictures Classics
Rodriguez Courtesy of Malik Bendjelloul/Sony Pictures Classics

Could some answers finally be on the way for Sixto Rodriguez?

After decades of murkiness about his record sales and royalties, a legal and accounting team has begun an inquiry for the enigmatic singer-songwriter, the Free Press has learned.

The move comes as 70-year-old Rodriguez gears up for the biggest hometown show of his career, tonight at the sold-out Masonic Temple Theatre in Detroit.

Read more at Sixto Rodriguez pursues review of contracts, sales in search of royalties | Detroit Free Press | freep.com.

Best Album Reissues of 2012: Rodriguez, ‘Searching for Sugar Man’ | Rolling Stone

Searching For Sugar Man
Searching For Sugar Man

The reissue of the year is the soundtrack to one of the most compelling music documentaries ever made, about a comeback so improbable it seems like fiction. Searching for Sugar Man follows two South African fans as they solve the mystery of the Hispanic, Detroit-born singer-songwriter Rodriguez: a charismatic phantom who vanished into working-life obscurity after his quietly urgent, elegant-R&B classics, 1970’s Cold Fact and 1971’s Coming From Reality, crashed on release in the U.S. (They were Springsteen-size smashes in South Africa, though Rodriguez never saw a dime.)

The soundtrack combines the best tracks from those LPs in a greatest-hits display of Rodriguez’s supple Dylanesque voice; his fluid, lyric swing between sympathy, need and righteous candor in “Sugar Man,” “I Wonder” and “I Think of You”; and the music’s unhurried, funky delicacy. You can get the original records in full, reissued by Light in the Attic. But the Sugar Man album is a precise introduction to a gentle genius who is still here (now 70), still singing, and finally reaching the audience he always deserved.

via Best Album Reissues of 2012: Rodriguez, ‘Searching for Sugar Man’ | Rolling Stone.

Charles Bradley – “I’ll Slip Away” (Rodriguez cover) – YouTube

Celebrating Light In The Attic’s 10 year anniversary in 2012, we are releasing a series of very special colored vinyl 7″s and digital downloads. The series features contemporary artists covering a track reissued by Light In The Attic on the A-side, plus the original version on the B-side.

Charles Bradley — known as “The Screaming Eagle of Soul”, and for good reason — tackles ‘I’ll Slip Away’ by one of Light In The Attic’s big success stories, Rodriguez. Dating back three years before his defining Cold Fact album, ‘I’ll Slip Away’ was the Sugarman’s 1967 debut single for Impact Records. In Rodriguez’s hands, it’s shuffling, tropicalia-tinged folk. In Bradley’s hands and backed by the inimitable Menahan Street Band, it’s a vintage soul stomper.

A side is produced by Thomas Brenneck and recorded at Dunham Sound Studio, Brooklyn, NY, July 2012. B side features the original Rodriguez version as remastered by Dave Cooley.

Charles Bradley – “I’ll Slip Away” (Rodriguez cover) – YouTube.

Rotter and Friends – Wisdom » Rodriguez Official Shirts Come To Reality

Rodriguez Tee Shirt
Rodriguez Tee Shirt

I am so proud to release the first official illustrated tee shirts of Rodriguez and honored to have been asked to scribble the magic, approved by the man himself. Special thanks to Light In The Attic, David Black (photographer of wonder), Stella Berkofsky, and Rodriguez’s family, for helping make this project happen. Rodriguez’s music is a very personal labor of love-it has hit many heart strung moments and inspired greatly for ages. Beyond that, his story is legendary even beyond the gifts he gives all musically: selfless, talented, and genuine: we salute.

via Rotter and Friends – Wisdom » Rodriguez Official Shirts Come To Reality.

Save the Date: Light In The Attic 10-Year Anniversary Concerts

Press Release from Light In The Attic Records

Seattle

Hi Friends & Family,

I wanted to say hello and let you know that this fall marks the 10-year anniversary of Light In The Attic. We feel incredibly lucky to be doing this for a decade and continuing to thrive, especially in these tough economic times. Each year has surpassed the previous year, and 2012 is set to be far and away our best. To celebrate our first decade, we’ve put together two special concerts in L.A. and Seattle featuring RODRIGUEZ, MICHAEL CHAPMAN, DONNIE & JOE EMERSON, SHIN JOONG HYUN, and STEPHEN JOHN KALINICH. Save the date; they’re going to be fantastic shows. Below/attached are the full details on who plays where and when. This fall will also see a 7″ singles series featuring contemporary artists covering Light In The Attic songs, including Iggy Pop & Zig Zags, Sweet Tea (Alex Maas (Black Angels) & Erika Wennerstrom (Heartless Bastards)), Charles Bradley & The Menahan Street Band, and Mark Lanegan, amongst others.

Furthermore, the film documentary SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN about Detroit singer-songwriter SIXTO RODRIGUEZ is finally in U.S. theaters. For the past 4 years, we’ve been re-releasing Rodriguez’s music and have recently partnered with Sony Legacy on the soundtrack. See the movie. It’s truly a brilliant film. If you hate it, we’ll pay for your ticket. 2012 already looks to be the year of Rodriguez. Earlier this month the man performed on Letterman (

). The film is currently playing in theaters in Seattle, L.A., New York, Boston, San Francisco, Portland, Chicago, DC. Austin, Dallas, San Diego, Philly, the list goes on and on. See below for more info on cities and theaters.

Thanks for all the continued support and here’s to another 10 years,

Matt.

Matt Sullivan | Light In The Attic Records
cell 206 919 3780 | office 323 466 0655 | fax 206 706 1008

www.lightintheattic.net | www.twitter.com/lightintheattic

LIGHT IN THE ATTIC 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY CONCERTS:
Fri, Sept 28 @ El Rey (L.A.):
– RODRIGUEZ
– SHIN JOONG HYUN (3rd ever U.S. show)
– MICHAEL CHAPMAN
– STEPHEN JOHN KALINICH
– DJ SIPREANO
http://www.facebook.com/events/367964679941354/

Fri, Oct 12 @ Showbox Market (Seattle):
– RODRIGUEZ
– MICHAEL CHAPMAN
– DONNIE & JOE EMERSON (1st ever Seattle show)
– DJ SUSPENCE

http://www.facebook.com/events/347326228683466

SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN: NOW PLAYING AT:
HARVARD EXIT TWIN (SEATTLE, WA)
NITEHAWK CINEMA (BROOKLYN, NY)
VILLAGE EAST CINEMA 7 (NEW YORK, NY)
LINCOLN PLAZA CINEMAS (NEW YORK, NY)
THE LANDMARK ON PICO (LOS ANGELES, CA)
REGENCY SOUTH COAST VILLAGE CIN (COSTA MESA, CA)
LAEMMLE’S PLAYHOUSE 7 (PASADENA, CA)
LA JOLLA VILLAGE THEATRE (LA JOLLA, CA)
AQUARIUS TWIN (PALO ALTO, CA)
CENTURY FIVE (PLEASANT HILL, CA)
EMBARCADERO CENTER CIN. 5 (SAN FRANCISCO, CA)
SEQUOIA TWIN (MILL VALLEY, CA)
NICKELODEON FOUR (SANTA CRUZ, CA)
CAMELVIEW PLAZA 5 (SCOTTSDALE, AZ)
CHARLES THEATRE (BALTIMORE, MD)
CENTURY CENTRE CINEMA (CHICAGO, IL)
KENDALL SQUARE CINEMA 9 (CAMBRIDGE, MA)
MAIN ART THEATRE 3 (ROYAL OAK, MI)
RITZ AT THE BOURSE 5 (PHILADELPHIA, PA)
MAYAN THREE (DENVER, CO)
WEST END CINEMA (WASHINGTON, DC)
COOLIDGE CNR. MOVIEHOUSE (BROOKLINE, MA)
EDINA CINEMA 4 (EDINA, MN)
FOX TOWER 10 (PORTLAND, OR)
ARBOR CINEMAS @ GREAT HILLS (AUSTIN, TX)
VIOLET CROWN CINEMA (AUSTIN, TX)
THE MAGNOLIA THEATRE (DALLAS, TX)
ANGELIKA FILM CENTER & CAFE (PLANO, TX)
MORE INFO + ADDITIONAL CITIES: www.sonyclassics.com/searchingforsugarman/dates.html

Los Angeles

A Selection Of Rodriguez Album Covers

Cold Fact (LP) Coming From

Reality (LP)

Cold Fact (LP) After The Fact (LP)
Cold Fact USA 1970 Coming From Reality Cold Fact After The Fact
USA
1970
USA
1971
South Africa
1971
South Africa
1976
At His Best (LP) Rodriguez Alive (LP) The Best Of Rodriguez (LP) Cold Fact (CD)
At His Best Alive The Best of Rodriguez Cold Fact
Australia
1977
Australia
1981
South Africa
1982
Australia
1986
Cold Fact (CD) After The Fact (CD) Live Fact (CD) Cold Fact (CD)
Cold Fact Coming From Reality / After The Fact Live Fact Cold Fact
South Africa
1991
South Africa
1996
South Africa
1998
South Africa
2002
After The Fact (CD) All The Facts (3CD) Cold Fact (Remastered CD) Sugarman: The Best Of Rodriguez
After The Fact All The Facts Cold Fact Sugarman: The Best Of Rodriguez
South Africa
2002
South Africa
2005
South Africa
2005
South Africa
2005
After The Fact (Remastered CD) Cold Fact
(USA re-issue)
Searching For Sugar Man (soundtrack) Searching For Sugar Man (soundtrack)
After The Fact Cold Fact Searching for Sugar Man (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) Searching for Sugar Man (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
South Africa
2005
USA
August 2008
Worldwide
July 2012
Worldwide
July 2012

Light In The Attic’s 10 Year Anniversary | Seattle & Los Angeles Concerts | Limited Edition 7″ Series « Light in the Attic Records

Light In The Attic's 10 Year Anniversary | Seattle & Los Angeles Concerts
Light In The Attic’s 10 Year Anniversary | Seattle & Los Angeles Concerts

Hard to believe ten years have passed since Matt Sullivan and Josh Wright founded Light In The Attic, a label responsible for some of the sharpest looking and sounding reissues and new albums of recent years. To celebrate the tenth anniversary, Light In The Attic has put together some very special events and a series of exclusive singles.

via Light In The Attic’s 10 Year Anniversary | Seattle & Los Angeles Concerts | Limited Edition 7″ Series « Light in the Attic Records.

Searching for Sugar Man – Rodriguez | AllMusic

Searching For Sugar Man
Searching For Sugar Man

In the documentary Searching for Sugar Man, director Malik Bendjelloul looks back at two music fans’ quest in the early ’90s to learn the fate of ’70s singer/songwriter Rodriguez (born Sixto Diaz Rodriguez to Mexican immigrant parents in Detroit), musically accompanied by the Searching for Sugar Man soundtrack that collects tracks from his two albums. Growing up in South Africa, record retailer Stephen “Sugar” Segerman and music journalist Craig Bartholomew had a very different relationship with Rodriguez than folks in his native U.S.; while debut Cold Fact and follow-up Coming from Reality (released on the short-lived Sussex label in 1970 and 1971, respectively) attracted critical praise from the few press outlets they reached, commercially they went nowhere, seemingly dooming the artist to obscurity. But against all odds, a bootleg recording of Cold Fact made its way to South Africa, just as the stronghold of apartheid was growing, and Rodriguez’s anti-establishment storytelling, filtered through a psychedelia-tinged folk-rock lens, connected deeply with black Africans as well as liberal young Afrikaners.

via Searching for Sugar Man – Rodriguez : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic.

Searching for Sugar Man – Movie Trailers – iTunes

Searching For Sugar Man
Searching For Sugar Man

SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN tells the incredible true story of Rodriguez, the greatest ’70s rock icon who never was. Discovered in a Detroit bar in the late ’60s by two celebrated producers struck by his soulful melodies and prophetic lyrics, they recorded an album which they believed would secure his reputation as the greatest recording artist of his generation. In fact, the album bombed and the singer disappeared into obscurity amid rumors of a gruesome on-stage suicide. But a bootleg recording found its way into apartheid South Africa and, over the next two decades, he became a phenomenon. The film follows the story of two South African fans who set out to find out what really happened to their hero. Their investigation leads them to a story more extraordinary than any of the existing myths about the artist known as Rodriguez.

via Searching for Sugar Man – Movie Trailers – iTunes.

Searching For Sugar Man Original Motion Picture Soundtrack | Light In The Attic Records

Searching For Sugar Man Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Searching For Sugar Man Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

“Stunning. One of the greatest, and most moving documentaries ever made.” ★★★★★, Q Magazine

“A hugely entertaining, emotionally touching, and musically revelatory experience” – IndieWire

“to South Africans in the early ‘70s he was their Beatles and Dylan combined” ★★★★, Mojo

via Searching For Sugar Man Original Motion Picture Soundtrack | Light In The Attic Records.

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