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Wild At Heart & "Searching For Sugar Man"

Wild Bill Ketelhut provides the "blog" to this anti-blog

Wild At Heart

I just saw one of the best music documentaries of the year which also provided some nostalgia for me. The documentary is “Searching For Sugar Man”as follows the story of Detroit musician Rodriguez. I had the honor of seeing him perform at Rockabilies on route 59 (I hope I spelled the name right) a couple of years ago. He came in wearing his black hat and hit the stage in a very unassuming manner as you can imagine. While he didn’t have the swagger of your typical rock star, he had a great stage presence once he started playing and his songs are hughly powerful in the same way as a Dylan or Cohen. Sixto Diaz Rodriguez is a Mexican-American folk musician, born in Detroit, Michigan whose parents were immigrants that moved here to work for the big automotive factories which might account for his songwriting which frequently speaks to the cruelties facing the inner city poor.

The documentary focuses on a number of fans from South Africa who take on the task of locating Rodriquez, whose two albums caused no buzz in the US and if I hadn’t lived in Detroit for a number of years, I might not have been in the know about his music. Apparently, his music about standing up to authority and questioning the government was somethging that sparked a fire under the youth in South Africa who were against aparteid but couldn’t do much about it. Like songs like “We Shall Overcome” became tied to the Civil Rights Movement here, Rodriguez’s music was attached to the anti-apartied movement there.

The movie traces this influence and puts it into an historical framework, such a seeing records with certain songs scrathed up so they couldn’t be played on the air and then moves into a detective piece trying to find song lyrics to give them an idea where he might be (there were no linear notes in those records) and since he wasn’t selling, no one was writing about him like the big acts of the day. Using the reference of “Dearborn” in the song ‘Cold Fact’ they managed to get a hold of the producrers and his family. Having thought he was dead, they were surprised to find him alive and the third part of the film showcases his subsequent tour of South Africa playing to sold out shows but still managing to remain a man of mystery.

This documentary is a wonderful look at an amazing man while also taking a look at the mercurial nature of the music business. There are a lot of great records and musicians that have never made it big (reminds me of when the Funk Brothers documentary got released a few years back) and I am glad that Rodriguez is finally getting some of his due with this film and if you ever get the chance to see him play in some small bar or musicstore in Detroit, manke sure you get yourself over there to hear a great songwriter and musician.

It was also nice to see Detroit again in a nice light. I give this film an A.

And here is a video of him singing a great song, “I Wonder”.

I would also like to share some pictures I took at our version of Jazzfest here in Rochester of a wonderful artist known as Daniella Cotton who while jazz trained brings a strong vocal intensity to her performing which has led to her opening for artists like Bon Jovi, BB King, Derek Trucks and Robert Cray. I had a few issues dealing with shooting around her microphone but I hope you enjoy and of course there are more at my photobucket site.

Photobucket Photobucket Daniella Cotton back up Daniella Cotton Daniella Cotton strums Photobucket

Inspired by that, here are some nice concerts to enjoy this week:

Tuesday (10/16) –Social Distortion @ Royal Oak Music Theatre, Peelander-Z @ PJ’s Lager House

Wednesday (10/17) –Psychedelic Furs & Lemonheads @ Royal Oak Music Theatre, All Time Low w/Hit The Lights @ St Andrews Hall

Thursday (10/18) –Trey Anastasio @ the Fillmore

Friday (10/19) –Brandi Carlile w/Blitzen Trapper @ the Fillmore, Public Image Ltd @ Royal Oak Music Theatre, John Spencer Blues Explosion @ Magic Stick

Saturday (10/20) –English Beat @ Hard Rock CafĂ©, Jackson Browne @ Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, Seether w/Sick Puppies @ the Fillmore, Verve Pipe @ the Ark, Sponge @ Perfect Pitcher Sports Club (Taylor), Ryan Cabrera @ Premier Concert Theatre (Chesterfield), Manhattan Transfer @ Macomb Center for the Performing Arts

Sunday (10/21) – Gym Class Heroes @ Magic Stick

PS – I am getting ready to head back up north of the border to see New Order and hopefully check out a nice 007 exhibit, but here are some of my last pictures from Toronto Fan Fest capturing the anime and Steampunk genres and a few people that just didn’t fit anywhere else.

Steampunk is basically cyberpunk in the Victorian era. So think of movies like the Matrix or Total Recall using Victorian era technology, like steam powered battlesuits and the like. Think of “Adventures of Brisco County Jr” or “Wild Wild West” as close examples of the genre though the animated movie “Steamboy” (which I saw at the Main Art Theatre) is the best example. Check out the Steampunk Bender figure someone made. Just adorable.

2012 Toronto Fan Fest - cyberpunk Bender Photobucket Photobucket

Next, here are a few pics of my favorite anime related characters. There are so many nowadays that I mostly recognize certain characters or shows but cannot for the life of me remember the names of the characters anymore. The only one I got right was the cast of Full Metal Alchemist and a Pokemon spinoff warrior. There are more at my photobucket page.

2012 Toronto Fan Fest - Full Metal Alchemist Photobucket Photobucket 2012 Toronto Fan Fest - blue and purple 2012 Toronto Fan Fest- black and blue 2012 Toronto Fan Fest - body armor 2012 Toronto Fan Fest - Pokemon warrior 2012 Toronto Fan Fest - love that pink hair 2012 Toronto Fan Fest - heroic trio 2012 Toronto Fan Fest - pretty in pink 2012 Toronto Fan Fest - look it's Earth Photobucket

And then we have a few odd ball items I couldn’t place or didn’t fit into other categories.

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket 2012 Toronto Fan Fest - elf quest

Hope you have enjoyed all these pictures from Toronto. I never realized how long it would take me to go through them so thanks for the patience. In other news, I was also excited about a couple of things esp meeting the Dali Lama in Syracuse last Tuesday. It was a four ½ hour event with the Dali Lama speaking for a good hour along with guest speaker Martin Luther King III and host Whoopi Goldberg. The music was varied and inclded my girlfriend Cyndi Lauper along with Dave Matthews, Indian perform AR Rahman (guy who did the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack), Nelly Futado, David Crosby, Counting Crows, Roberta Flack, etc. It was great seeing all these amazing artists all on one stage backed by Detroit’s own Don Was and his All-star band. Highlights for me included Cyndi Lauper accopanied by David Sanborn and the powerful African singer Angelique Kidjo doing “True Colors” and seeing the Israeli singer Liel Kolet share the stage with Iranian singer Andy Madadian (supposedly a first for a duo by singers from such disparate countries) and then later Liel performed with the children’s choir of multicultural talents, the Voices of Peace Concert. It was truly a great show and it is nice seeing such an influencial leader in world politics.

Have a good week.