Podcast: TSOYA: Soul Sides with Oliver Wang


Oliver Wang, PhD, is the man behind the popular soul and hip-hop blog Soul Sides. He's also a professor at the California State University at Long Beach, and a long-time club and radio DJ (as DJ O-Dub). He recently produced the second of a series of CD compilations of classic soul: "Soul Sides Volume Two: The Covers." It collects classic and contemporary cover tunes by soul artists both well known (Al Green performing the Beatles "I Wanna Hold Your Hand") and more obscure (Bill Withers' classic "Kissing My Love" performed by Spanky Wilson). We discuss a few of the tracks with Dr. Wang as well as his new career in academe.

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Our intersititial music is provided by Dan Wally

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An Unlikely Listener

I had to search for Oliver Wang after, Peggy, a woman in her mid 60s that works in my company's human resource management division told me that she listens to his music. When she first said she listened to his music I figured he was a classical composer, but she told me he did hip hop. Just the thought of an old lady listening to hip hop made me search out Wang's music. She is, indeed, and unlikely listener.

I really loved this interview. I didn't know about Soul Sides until now. One cover that I would like to have seen on the comp is the band Africa covering...well, damn, they cover a lot on their one album, but most notable is their version of "Light My Fire" as sampled by J Dilla. I'd also like to see rock artists covering soul songs, like Devo's "Workin In The Coal Mine" or The Wolfgang Press' "Respect."I am a nerd