Displacement Syndrome

Author Cherie Parker, Michael Welch and Rose Farley
Publication Twin Cities Reader
Date August 30th, 1995

After decades of nursing a Frogtown-sized municipal inferiority complex, St. Paul recently reveled in the national attention heaped on the Saints baseball club and the beautiful real-grass Midway Stadium where the team plays. Leave it to an arbiter ofhip like MTV to take away a bit of the towns thunder.

Midway Stadium was the site of two decidedly rocking Soul Asylum concerts two weeks ago; it also served as the setting for band members Karl Mueller, Dan Murphy and Dave Pirner's stint as guest hosts of MTV's late-night alternative-rock video show, 120 Minutes. The edition featuring the Soul Asylum MCs aired here Sunday, August 27, at 11 p.m.

The lads did a damn fine job of it--where most host bands get so bound up trying to be "cred-rock" cool they can barely open their mouths, the SA boys were loose and fun, emerging simultaneously from Biffs at the opening of one segment; in another, they even played a spot of ball in the maxi-lush green of the outfield. (During the Thursday evening concert Soul Asylum infused the diamond with a similarly easygoing and friendly vibe -- no doubt because they were in good old Pig's Eye.) But in the course of introducing videos, the band members identified their locale as Minneapolis. That's the kind of thing that could slip by unbeknownst to all but the most die-hard St. Paul boosters (who wouldn't be up at that hour anyway), but the special thanks given in the credits to the "Minneapolis Municipal Ball Park" had to sting some home folks.

Mueller, Murphy and Pirner -- Minneapolis products all -- no doubt couldn't give a rip about such petty provincial matters, but that's sort of the point: Non-St. Paulies don't even consider that the city could be the site of something happening. Too bad MTV couldn't be here this week for really cool St. Paul stuff like seed art and Princess Kay of the Milky Way in butter.