I’ve spent this past week dipping, heavy, into Soul Sides past (you can read why below) 1
It’s been both a sobering and humbling experience. In those early years of the site – beginning around 2004 – I was posting more or less daily; there was a visible hunger I had to write about records all the time. I could get into why the ardor has cooled over the years but it’s nothing particularly new – age, the rise of social media, blah blah blah – but the point here is that I forgot how many things I had to write about when I first started.2
For example, I forgot, in those early days, how many thematic posts and cross-site collaborations I pursued. There was the Blunts vs. Soul series between myself and Cocaine Blunts. And there was my Beat Week series, of songs with, well, really good drums. These were, if I may say, good ideas! I don’t know why I forgot them to begin with. I should do more of them.
The other thing I’m reminded of is that, when I started, my philosophy was to only keep up sound files for a set period of time. Partly, that was designed to keep me off the radar of, say, the RIAA but partly, it was because this was in the era before every single song was on Youtube anyway. I still believe in the utility of the MP3 – it’s nice to be able to take songs with you – but I’ve very slowly begun to revise older posts and either repost songs to them via Youtube files or actual MP3s again. If you have requests, ask it in the comments and if I can repost, I will.
Meanwhile, Soul Sides is still here. It ain’t going nowhere. Thanks to those who’ve been with me for the last dozen+ years. I’ve never stopped being thankful for you.
By the way, be sure to keep track of the mixes I put up on Mixcloud. I’ve slowly been releasing some of my old mixes back into the wild, including the first two Deep Covers volumes.
- Last week, I finally fixed a problem with the site that I had let fester for over five years; I had hundreds of orphaned posts left over from the days when this site was powered by Blogspot. When I migrated over to WordPress, I didn’t bother to futz with the back-end architecture at the time and as a result, I left all posts from 2010 and before in a state of frozen limbo, wholly disconnected from my CMS. In hindsight, I’m not sure why I didn’t address any of this sooner but it was one of those out-of-sight, out-of-mind things.
In any case, this past week, I tethered every post – going all the way back to 2006 – to the WordPress CMS. However, in getting rid of all the orphaned posts, I’ve created a smaller problem: “lost” posts that Google thinks exist but don’t line up properly with an existing permalink. I’ve been painstakingly fixing those one by one – in almost all cases, all I need to do is tweak the permalink address on my end. However, if you people notice a missing post (not music file but the post itself), let me know and I should be able to track down the problem. ↩
- Writing-wise, not all (most?) of those posts were particularly good. I’ve always treated Soul Sides as a place where I could brain dump entire paragraphs instead of artisanally crafting every sentence. But I’d like to think my goal has always been to try to get at what makes a song/artist/album interesting or important…not necessarily to the world but at least to me. ↩
Oliver, I’ve been a regular reader for 10+ years, and I love the site and your posts. You’ve turned me on to a lot of great music, please keep up the good work!
So grateful for all the great work you’ve put into this site over the last 10 years. Keep it up. Also really like the revisiting albums theme you did a few posts on.
I’m catching up on old posts, so I’m commenting on this 7 months late(!) but just wanted to say thanks. This site has fueled my music discover and ignited a love for soul music for the last 10 years or so. I agree that those cross-posts with other blogs were awesome. Unfortunately, most of those other sites are long gone! Thanks for keeping Soul Sides going. I really appreciate your dedication to my music education!
Thanks Noah, I appreciate hearing this