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

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.

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

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.

Rodriguez – New York City – Live Show + Film Screenings (Tribeca Film Festival)

From Light In The Attic

Rodriguez Live at The Sewer (Courtesy of Rodriguez)
Rodriguez Live at The Sewer (Courtesy of Rodriguez)

Very excited for this upcoming week in New York City where Rodriguez will be playing a rare live show at Joe’s Pub. In addition, there will be two screenings of the Sundance award winning documentary Searching For Sugar Man as part of the Tribeca Film Festival. Check the links below and hope to see you there!

Rodriguez – Live Performance
@ Joe’s Pub, NYC
Wednesday, April 25 @ 11:30PM
Tickets available here.

Searching For Sugar Man (Film)
@ Tribeca Film Festival, NYC
Tuesday, April 24 @ 9:30 PM, BMCC Tribeca PAC
Friday, April 27 @ 6 PM, Clearview Cinemas Chelsea 7
Tickets available here.

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