Music note: The soul of the South Side

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Aiming to capture the “sounds from South Minneapolis backyards, living rooms, churches, coffeehouses, concert halls, and honky-tonks,” the neighborhood paper Southside Pride has created an eclectic music compilation called Southside Soul. The disc is sure to make Southsiders proud indeed, and to pique interest in the neighborhood’s diverse music scene.

Southside Soul will be released on March 29 at a party at McMahon’s Pub, 3001 E. Lake Street, Minneapolis. The party will begin at 7 p.m., and copies of the disc will be distributed free to the first 200 attendees. There will be no cover charge. Copies of the compilation will thereafter be available at Cheapo music stores, where they will be free with any purchase of local music. For more information, contact David Goldstein: david@pulsetc.com.


The compilation was directed by David Goldstein—formerly of The Pulse—and Southside Pride editor Ed Felien. To their credit, Goldstein and Felien cast a wide net: the disc includes everything from beat poetry to rock to gospel to folk. The selection is tasteful without being bland, and the disc does indeed feel as loose and fun as a backyard party.

Musical standouts include the Sexy Bang’s “Dark Horse,” with its shouted vocals and driving guitar-lick hook, and the Lanes’ “No, Not Lately,” a blissful pop tune that floats on a vintage British Invasion arrangement complete with handclaps and singsong organ. Brave gambles with absurdity pay off in Rockthrow’s oddly poignant agrigultural ode “Favorite Cow” and the spoken piece “Lilac Week,” in which a gravelly-voiced Roy McBride demands that “the world must surrender to lilacs.” Young Voices, a grade school choir, contributes a pretty and poignant medley of songs from the Civil Rights Movement.

If some of the tracks are less than remarkable, none of them are duds. The compilation is similar in character to the annual southern music compilations from the Oxford American magazine, where soul sisters, blues brothers, frizzy-haired folksters, and pissed-off punkers coexist harmoniously. The OA editors, of course, have the luxury of being able to select music from across the South—but on Southside Soul, the musical streams running through “our South” sound just about as broad and deep.

Jay Gabler is the Daily Planet’s arts editor.

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