Numero Group: By The Numbers

Weekend Warriors: 48 Hours in the Twin Cities
August 27, 2013, 10:10 am
Filed under: Eccentric Soul 45s, Lewis Connection, Mind & Matter, Purple Snow, Uncategorized

If you know nothing about the Numero process, it typically involves finding a spot on Earth where important music was made, and then boring down into the ground until lava starts bubbling up. After two years spent strip mining the Twin Cities, I was afforded the opportunity to visit the Land of 10,000 as a tourist, not as a detective. Conversations flowed freely, and without the need for note taking. Here are a few cool things that can happen in Minneapolis once you’ve sent Purple Snow to the printers and presses.

1.) You can DJ somewhere:


Brian Engel, Greg Waletski, and George Rodriguez constitute a dense portion of the Minneapolis vinyl firmament. On Friday, they celebrated 11 years of the Hipshaker Dance Party, and invited me to join. Being able to work with and celebrate the musical veterans of the Twin Cities has been an honor, but it’s just as encouraging to receive the blessings of your record collecting peers. These guys (along with friendly rivals Hotpants) are really carrying their weight, keeping old records alive in the Twin Cities.

2.) You can eat at the diner from Alexander O’Neal’s debut album:


Mickey’s Dining Car is a 24/7 institution, located at 36 7th Street in St. Paul. The building in the background has been there as long as the diner, meaning that Alexander’s famous visit was made possible by generous amounts of airbrushing.


In actuality, the scene probably looked more like this:


3.) You can go to the fair:


Just talking about the Minnesota State Fair can shake lose interesting facts from native notables. Bill Gaskill, whose saxophone solos season much of Purple Snow, informed me that his grandfather put together the first traveling midway specifically to play the Minnesota State Fair in 1904. Hymie’s Records owner Dave Hoenack revealed he’d never eaten fried alligator, despite having workied in the Fried Alligator Booth several years consecutively. I visited the Caterpillar Kingdom and met this friendly fellow.


The pressed penny machine offers advice for the ages:


4. You can hang with the Peanuts Gang:


Charles Schultz was from St. Paul.

5. You can go to the Spruce Lounge:


Although it’s changed names over the years, this structure near the corner of 36th Street South and 4th Avenue has been serving refreshments to the community for a half century, and invokes the spirit of many legendary haunts documented in Purple Snow.


A fluctuating cast of local legends perform every Sunday from 6pm – 9pm. Notable participants this week include Herman Jones, Pierre Lewis (The Lewis Connection) and guitarist Johnny McGhee (LTD).



Me and Everett Pettiford of Mind & Matter at the Spruce Lounge. Mind & Matter’s diabolical full-length LP/CD will be available 10/29/13.


Herman Jones with the Herman Jones 45 and Pierre Lewis with the 94 East 45, on which he plays piano.

From Minnesota, with Love…


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