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In 1970, when Sixto Rodgriguez released his debut LP Cold Fact, U.S. listeners likely dismissed the Detroit-based psych-folk singer as an angrier, gritter, version of Donovan. Well, the few that heard him did, anyway. But an ocean away, unbeknownst to Rodriguez, Cold Fact made a larger impression. He made it onto the radio in Australia and New Zealand and a compilation record of his work eventually went platinum in South Africa. At some point during the late ’90s somebody finally tracked Rodriguez down, alerted him to his success, and he resumed touring.

Which brings us to tonight, when Rodriguez will perform at the Rock & Roll Hotel with, through some unexplained but welcome fluke of fate, certain members of local avant-brass band Gestures. Yeah, The Thermals are playing too, over at Black Cat. But look, Rodriguez has been in the wings for some thirty years to bring his songs to his own country. The Thermals, on the other hand, will probably show up again next month. Hear tonight what the people of Australia already understood decades ago.

Video after the jump