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BEST LOCAL RECORD LABEL Minneapolis 2003 - Guilt-Ridden Pop

Back in 1999, Keith Moran was so successful in picking up buzzworthy new personalities for Guilt Ridden Pop that he nearly got Law and Order's sexiest attorney to play rhythm guitar on Mollycuddle's "The Ballad of Jill Henn-essy." Luckily, though, the primetime buff-cum-label impresario has no plans for signing the Benjamin Bratt Five or the Paul Sorvino Experience. He has more important projects to tend to: In 2002 alone, Moran released Mark Mallman's gorgeously lush ode-to-nookie classic The Red Bedroom (following it in early 2003 with the outtakes EP, Who's Gonna Save You Now?), the dance party remix of Volante's 2001 indie rock debut 45 Degrees North, and Malachi Constant's sprawling post-rock shenanigans Zenith. And he's not just some anonymous audiophile sitting behind a desk: At one of Malachi Constant's recent Eclipse Records performances, a very tired Moran was seen selling CDs, distributing flyers for upcoming shows, dragging heavy music equipment in and out of the store, and still making time to chat with local music fans about the latest episodes of Oz and The Sopranos. "I only got a few hours of sleep last night," he mumbled apologetically. Apparently, owning such an eclectic, efficient record label is an around-the-clock job--and, uh, so is watching late-night TV.

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