It’s hard to articulate what makes Canadian artist SoCalled special. To say, as I did in a recent article, that he blends klezmer with hip hop, hardly does him justice. To add that he plays the accordion and performs magic tricks makes him sound like something of a sideshow. None of this conveys the way in which he is able to take the contributions of virtuoso musicians in a dozen different genres and meld them into something uniquely his own. Fortunately, thanks to Montreal director Garry Beitel, there is a now a film that better conveys what SoCalled is all about.
Having followed SoCalled around, camera in hand, for the better part of the last three years, Beitel unveiled “The SoCalled Movie” on March 16 at the South by Southwest music festival, where it was launched on YouTube’s new video rental site.