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April 12, 2014
The Mats played Coachella last night. I've listed a few reviews below and you can check the Facebook page for full details, but the consensus seems to be that the crowd was smaller than expected but the band sounded great, despite a few lyrical flubs. Paul's acerbic humor seems to have been lost on a few reviewers.

Replacements play Coachella - Star-Tribune
Coachella: Five thoughts from Day 1 - Las Vegas Weekly
COACHELLA 2014: The Replacements delight with reunion set - The Press-Enterprise
Paul Westerberg Was Visibly Annoyed With the Audience Last Night - LA Weekly (nice headline...insert Liz Lemon eye roll here)


Here's "Alex Chilton", which will make you wish we saw the whole set. On that note, Coachella has a streaming YouTube channel but the Mats set was not included. (boo).



The band not only sounded great, they looked dashing in the suits, yes, suits, what else would one wear to perform in the desert heat?

replacements @ coachella
photo from Getty

replacements @ coachella
photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News

replacements @ coachella
photo from hitfix

The set list: Takin’ a Ride / I’m In Trouble / Favorite Thing / Hangin’ Downtown / Color Me Impressed / Nowhere Is My Home / Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out / Achin’ to Be / Androgynous / Love Ya Till Friday / Left of the Dial / I’ll Be You / White and Lazy / Psychopharmacology / Alex Chilton / Cant’ Hardly Wait (encore) / Bastards of Young (encore)

NOWHERE IS MY HOME. FFS...that one hurts...

The printed set list as posted on the Mats FB page:

Replacements set list 4/11/14


March 15, 2014
I put together a list of the Mats fesitval appearances, adding a new one in Montreal at the Osheaga Music Festival, August 1st – 3rd. Hopefully we'll see this list grow!

Festival Location Date
Coachella Indio, CA April 11-13
April 18-20
Shaky Knees Atlanta, GA May 9-11
Forecastle Louisville, KY July 18-20
Osheaga Montreal August 1-3
ACL IS NOT
OFFICIAL YET!

Austin City Limits
Guess October 3-5
October 10-12



March 7, 2014
I'm little behind in updating you with the latest festival news - if you're on the Facebook, be sure to "like" this page. 1. Because I need positive reinforcement and 2) I'm also able to post news more quickly than I can here.

A new festival apperance has been officially added. It's the Forecastle Festival in Louisville, KY and takes place July 18-20. Other headliners include Outkast, Jack White and Beck. The line-up by day hasn;t been posted yet.

In unofficial festival apperance news, Michael Corcoran writes that the Mats are unofficially playing Austin City Limits in October: Here Come the Regulars: Replacements return to Austin in October: "It isn’t official yet, but the Replacements are going to play this year’s ACL Fest at Zilker Park the weekends of Oct. 3 and Oct. 10. Trust me and my inside source on this one."

Definitely click through and read the article, the festival mention is just a jumping off point for an excellent article on the band. And the article links to some fantastic pictures of the band by Pat Blashill - visit his site to see not only The Mats but a ton of other bands. Spoiler alert: Paul is giving the audience the finger in one of the pictures.


Jan. 10, 2014
If you are a fan of the following, do I have great news for you!
1. The Mats
2. Desert heat
3. Crowds

Did you guess it already? The Mats are playing Coachella this year. Visit the festival website for details. It seems a bit confusing because the site currently says that GA tickets go on sale Jan 10 at 10AM PST...as I write this, that's about 7 hours from now, yet GA tickets for Weekend 1 are already sold out...

Coachella (about 30 minutes from Palm Springs) takes place two weekends in a row: Friday April 11 - Sunday April 13 and Friday April 18 - Sunday April 20. The line up is the same each weekend. The Mats play on Friday April 11 and Friday April 18, and they are billed third. OutKast is headlining, then a Swedish electonic duo called The Knife is billed second, then the Mats (View the full lineup here).

There are no single day passes, you buy a pass for the entire weekend; a GA pass is $375. High rollers, a VIP weekend pass is $899. And if you really want to live the high life, you and a companion can stay on site in a Safari Tent for just $6,500!


Feb. 5, 2014
Another festival show appearance was just announced! The Mats are playing The Shaky Knees Music Festival in Atlanta on Saturday May 10 (ticket info here). Will more festival appearances be annouced? I have no idea! But Chris Riemenschneider in the Star-Tribune says: "Word is they are looking at other dates, too – but your guess on where and when is as good as ours." ("The Replacements added to Atlanta's Shaky Knees Fest").

I can't stress enough that I have literally no inside information on any plans so the following is 100% wishful thinking and ill-advised speculation on my part. That said, there is currently a "To Be Announced" band pending for the Boston Calling festival on Saturday May 24...I'm just saying.


Jan. 10, 2014
If you are a fan of the following, do I have great news for you!
1. The Mats
2. Desert heat
3. Crowds

Did you guess it already? The Mats are playing Coachella this year. Visit the festival website for details. It seems a bit confusing because the site currently says that GA tickets go on sale Jan 10 at 10AM PST...as I write this, that's about 7 hours from now, yet GA tickets for Weekend 1 are already sold out...

Coachella (about 30 minutes from Palm Springs) takes place two weekends in a row: Friday April 11 - Sunday April 13 and Friday April 18 - Sunday April 20. The line up is the same each weekend. The Mats play on Friday April 11 and Friday April 18, and they are billed third. OutKast is headlining, then a Swedish electonic duo called The Knife is billed second, then the Mats (View the full lineup here).

There are no single day passes, you buy a pass for the entire weekend; a GA pass is $375. High rollers, a VIP weekend pass is $899. And if you really want to live the high life, you and a companion can stay on site in a Safari Tent for just $6,500!


Dec. 16, 2013
The "Preparing to launch..." message on the Mats FB page last week was about their web site, which has launched with a store, jukebox, videos and more. In other news, the Mats didn't make it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - not a surprise, but still kind of a bummer. This year's nominees are Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Linda Ronstadt, Kiss and Cat Stevens.


Dec. 6, 2013
I've been meaning to update the page for a while but there hasn't been much to report. Then today, there was a rare status update posted on the Mats official FB page: "Preparing to launch...". Cryptic! Perhaps this means they will be doing a full scale launch of their web site? Or perhaps it means they will be launching a worldwide tour, with a 5 night stand in Boston? Who knows? We'll just have to wait and see. A few things to check out in the meantime:

• There is a signed poster from the Mats Chicago Riot Fest show up for auction on CharityBuzz. Proceeds go to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (current bid is $2250, so have deep pockets if you want to bid!).
• Holiday shopping for the Mats fan in your life? Or just buying yourself a little something? Don't forget to pick up the Songs for Slim CD and/or "The Replacements: Waxed-Up Hair and Painted Shoes: The Photographic History" by Jim Walsh.
• The annual Mats tribute show took place on 11/29, read all about it on City Pages.


Oct. 16, 2013
THE REPLACEMENTS NOMINATED FOR 2014 ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME

Woo. Hoo. Your vote counts (a miniscule amount but it counts!) so vote early and often.

Other nominees are: Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Deep Purple, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Kiss, LL Cool J, The Meters, Nirvana, N.W.A., Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens, Link Wray, Yes and The Zombies.


Sept. 27, 2013



Thanks to Bigbak for the above picture of the show-ending "Hootenanny" in Denver. See the guy with the camera to the right? Could be good news for those not able to make a show (and those who want to relive it) - see below for more on this:

• From CityPages: Here's 16 Replacements reunion videos from Riot Fest Toronto. Which is great, but more importantly (emphasis mine): "As we wait for an official release of a live document of the show -- local filmmaker Rick Fuller was on the scene to record it all -- these 16 snippets can serve as an introduction to what transpired over the group's 75-minute set." OFFICIAL RELEASE. I like the sound of that.

• This is fantastic! The place where the band got their outfits for Denver is Rockmount Ranch Wear and they posted 22 photos of the Mats in all their finery . (Fans of FoTC will also want to take a look at this ).

• The Wall Street Journal did a story on the reunion, "The Replacements Reunion Tour (Sort Of)". Linking to the WSJ can be problematic because of the paywall, so if that link doesn't work, try this.


Sept. 23, 2013
I have been posting updates to FB but haven't had the chance to update the page until now. I made the trip to Denver and while I am thrilled I decided to go, hoo boy, it was quite the experience - a whirlwind 48 hour trip with only an hour or so of sleep post-show before I had to get up and get to airport. The show itself was everything I hoped it would be - the band sounded fantastic and seemed to be genuinely having the time of their lives up there. And despite the myriad challenges of the event experience (that's a WHOLE nother topic), the audience was PUMPED. When I saw the band come out in their ensembles, any reservations I had about making the trip disappeared and I knew it was worth everything to be there (picture from The Mats FB page ):

The Replacements

Here is the set list - the finale was a big old mess of a thing, with Paul on drums, tommy on guitar and Josh on bass and all kinds of shenanigans, i.e. perfect. I grabbed this list from the Star-Tribune's excellent summary of the show, "Replacements get the last laugh at Denver Riotfest".

And to quote that review, here's how things started off: "As the world-weary lounge anthem "That's Life" played over the speakers, they took the stage in blaze-orange cowboy hats, plaid western shirts and pink cowgirl skirts, purchased at a Western-wear store in Denver. Somewhere Bob Stinson, their late tutu-wearing guitarist, was smiling." The linked songs to yoYouTube videos - you can see a very funny moment at the start of "Kiss Me On the Bus" when Paul tweaks Tommy about Tommy's other band: "What's that, you're in the jungle, baby? Far be it for me to give you shit for being in Van Halen."

1. "Takin a Ride"
2. "I'm in Trouble"
3. "Favorite Thing" BAR NOTHING!
4. "Shiftless When Idle"
5. "Hangin Downtown"
6. "Color Me Impressed"
7. "Jingle Jangle Jingle" (snippet)
8. "Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out"/"Third Stone From the Sun"
9. "Kiss Me on the Bus"
10. "Achin' to Be"
11. "Androgynous"
12. "I Will Dare"
13. "Love You Till Friday"/"Maybelline" (Chuck Berry cover)
14. "Merry Go Round"
15. "Wake Up"
16. "Borstal Breakout" (Sham 69)
17. "Little Mascara"
18. "Left of the Dial"
19. "Alex Chilton"
20. "I Don't Know"/"Buck Hill"
21. "Hold My Life"
22. "Can't Hardly Wait" (after a bit of the Beatles' "Hello Goodbye")
23. "Bastards of Young"
Encore:
"Hootenanny"
"Detroit Rock City"/"Substitute" (Who) (note the video quality is appropriate to the musical quality! Here's another video version of this .)


Thanks to Shecky Kim for this terrific shot of Paul and Tommy, click on the image to see full-sized version.



• Some fantastic pictures of the show from Jay Dryden, with more to come.
• I didn't agree with a lot of this review from Reverb (obviously) but they have a boatload of images you'll want to see.


Sept. 16, 2013

Wow. The Chicago show was a barn burner by all accounts, with the rain letting up during the Mats set as a little bonus (which I am sure was welcome after a soggy weekend). Lots of coverage/reviews on the show, however if you only read one review, this is one you want: "The Replacements' Rapturous Return: Two (Very Different) Takes From One Critic", by Steven Hyden on Grantland's excellent Hollywood Prospectus blog. He writes two review, one as a dispassionate professional reviewer person and one as a giddy fan boy. This is my favorite thing written so far about the reunion:

"I can’t believe how good they sounded. Paul Westerberg looks like he’s been swimming 100 laps a day and sounds like he’s been swimming those laps while smoking a carton of cigarettes. Tommy Stinson appears fully prepared to assume the role of Keith Richards if Keith ever kicks it. They were incredible to hear and magnificent to look at."

Maybe that last line is just my favorite thing written.

The set list was very close to Toronto but not exactly the same (Hold My Life!)
1. Taking a Ride
2. I'm in Trouble
3. Favorite Thing
4. Hanging Downtown
5. I Don't Know (w/Buck Hill)
6. Color Me Impressed
7. Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out
8. Achin' to Be
9. Androgynous
10. I Will Dare
11. Love You Til Friday/Maybelline
12. Merry Go Round
13. Wake Up
14. Borstal Breakout
15. Little Mascara
16. Left of The Dial
17. Alex Chilton
18. Swinging Party
19. Kiss Me On The Bus
20 Waitress in the Sky
21. Can't Hardly Wait
22. Bastards of Young
23. Hold My Life
24. IOU


I have a link to a YouTube channel with a ton of videos from the show in my list of links below, but have to post I.O.U. here because it will blow your head off.



• Many wonderful pictures of the show on Underground Bee, by Robert Loerzel
• Review by Andrea Swensson for The Current: "The Replacements show their ramshackle charm at Chicago Riot Fest show" - "it was downright exhilarating watching them ride the rails and drive the performance forward with an unbridled momentum."
• Chris Riemenschneider in the Star-Tribune: "The Replacements hold steady at Chicago's RiotFest"
Jim Walsh's review for MinnPost: "Sheer visceral force and great songs ignite Replacements in Chicago"
Listen to the whole show on YouTube (audio only).
• And another wonderful person on YouTube has posted 14 videos from the show - it's like being there, minus the rain and Porta-potties!


Sept. 14, 2013

Chicago Riot Fest is upon us. The Mats play Sunday night at 9:15 PM CT. I will attempt to provide updates here and/or on Facebook on the set list, but reserve the right to be sitting slack-jawed in front of my TV trying to process this week's episode of "Breaking Bad" instead. If you have any pictures from the show you want to share, send them to me here.

The final Songs for Slim auction starts tomorrow and it's gonna be a good one...Jeff Tweedy, "Ballad of the Opening Band" b/w Lucero, "From the Git Go".

If you're reasing this page, you probably don't need an intro to Paul, but this AV Club piece is still interesting reading: A Beginner’s Guide to Paul Westerberg and The Replacements


August 30, 2013

A few items of note today:

The 5 Stages of Missing The Replacements Reunion - A handy guide to managing this traumatic time.
Should You Go See Your Favorite Band’s Reunion Tour? Yes, You Should. - Why you should NOT miss the reunion.
'Satisfied?' or 'How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Replacements Reunion' - An interesting (and long) show sort of review by Titus Andronicus' Patrick Stickles. Bonus: A drawing of the Mats by Stickles.


August 26, 2013

You know what they say about a picture...doesn't this one pretty much say it all?

Lots to share on the reunion, plenty of video, audio, reviews and pictures -- almost enough to feel like we were there...(almost).

Slicing Up Eyeballs did a killer job of covering the show and covering great music in general (and I wind up singing "Debaser" in my head every time I visit the site). You can view all the videos from the show there, including "Alex Chilton", "Left of the Dial", "Bastards of Young"...the list goes on. I am currently listening "Alex Chilton" and singing LOUD: "I'M IN LOVE WITH THAT SONG". They also have a live audio stream of the entire show, from The Replacements Live Archive Project.

• Stellar review from Consequence of Sound - "The Replacements shrug off 22 years at Riot Fest Toronto. It was worth the wait."

GroundControl has my favorite review of the show, if you only read only rreview, this is the one.

...that every song was met with rapturous applause, full sing alongs and the largest mosh pit filled with over 35-year-olds I've ever witnessed (on a Sunday night no less!), speaks to the undying passion and intensity of 'Mats fans. That all the bands from earlier were on the side watching gave the show a sort of surreal sensation too; you could see Barlow and J Mascis watching on the side of the stage, fans as much as those on the ground were.

• Chris Riemenschneider's review from the Star-Tribune: "Review: Never mind the doubters, here's the Replacements". Lots of pictures here too.


August 25, 2013

Warning, watching this video of THE GODDAMN MATS doing "Favorite Thing" and "Color Me Impressed" will rip your heart out,throw it on the floor, then stomp on it for good measure. (unless you were at the show).





It's all over now - thank you to Slicing Up Eyeballs and The Star-Tribune for the live updates. They were painful but awesome. More to come tomorow of course, but for now, here's the phenomenal set list and check the FB page for some pics. Yes, I am so sad not to have been there but I am really thrilled and so truly happy that it seems like the show was a resounding success for all.

1. “Takin’ a Ride”
2. “I’m in Trouble”
3. “Favorite Thing”
4. “Hanging Downtown”
5. “Color Me Impressed”
6. “Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out”
7. “Kiss Me On the Bus”
8. “Androgynous”
9. “Achin’ to Be”
10. “I Will Dare”
11. “Love You ‘Til Friday” (w/ Chuck Berry’s “Maybellene”)
12. “Merry Go Round”
13. “Wake Up”
14. “Borstal Breakout” (Sham 69 cover)
15. “Little Mascara”
16. “Left of the Dial”
17. “Alex Chilton”
18. “Swingin Party” (“Special request from our friend Slim back home”)
19. “Can’t Hardly Wait”
20. “Bastards of Young”

21. “Everything is Coming Up Roses” (From ‘Songs For Slim’ EP)
22. “IOU”


Happy Replacements Reunion Day. These are the Mats shirts on sale at Riot Fest (H/T Yer doin' great: a muzak clickclack).





August 24, 2013

Paul and Tommy arriving in Toronto this afternoon...the baggage claim is this way, so watch 'em walk down that way..



Awesome reunion poster, a different one will be available for each city.




August 23, 2013

Two days until the first reunion show in Toronto...and it hit me yesterday that I'm not going to be there and wow, that is tough to take....It's not feasible for me to go to the show for a number of reasons and I was feeling OK about that but now, not so much. I think it was all the Mats related info that popped up online yesterday. So I'll share all those links with you so you can either feel 1) Really really crappy about not being able to go or 2) Really really psyched because you are going.

• This was the one that put me right over the edge - an eagle-eared Minnesotan was outside First Ave on Weds and heard the band rehearsing inside! He posted a short clip of what he heard and mentioned they did "Left of the Dial", "Bastards of Young" and "Alex Chilton".
• A very brief, very blurry clip was posted on the Mats official FB page of them doing "Takin' a Ride" .
• The Current has been doing a fantastic job of priming the Mats pump this week with some great posts, including: The Replacements Family Tree; The Current's Guide to The Replacements; and Replacements-related landmarks in the Twin Cities .
• This is truly awesome - The AV Club went to the Let It Be house with Tommy and posted a video. They also interviewed Daniel Corrigan who shot that iconic cover photo.
• Oh and here's a picture of painters who were recently working on the house, recreating the photo.
"All Shook Down" will be released on vinyl for the first time for Black Friday Record Store Day (11/29/13).
• Everything you need to know about the reunion - Chris Riemenschneider explains it all .
• Consequence of Sound dissects the Mats oeuvre.



August 18, 2013

The official line-up for the Mats shows was announced via an article in the Star-Tribune ( "Former Westerberg sidemen to round out the Replacements' reunion lineup") - Paul and Tommy will be joined by Josh Freese and Dave Minehan , who both played in Paul's 1993 touring band (that line-up was rounded out by Paul's manager, Darren Hill). Also, the set times for Toronto were announced and the Mats close the show on Sunday 8/25 from 8:45-10pm - one week from tonight! For those of you lucky enough to be there, please share your reviews, photos, etc. on the message board so we can all live vicariously through you!


July 11, 2013

Here's the B-side of The Silks 7", a cover of The Stones "One More Try" with Paul on vocals - enjoy!






July 4, 2013

There is a new, 19-second clip of Paul and Tommy rehearsing "Favorite Thing". The camera is placed strategically to leave out the other players. If you are interested in the latest speculation on who the substitute Mats are, visit the message board, some guesses(leaks?) on there. To get the latest Mats info directly, like the Official Replacement page on FB - I try to post stuff as soon as I can but I'll never be as fast as the official FB/web site so if you need your 19 second clips as soon as is humanely possible, go here!






June 30, 2013

We got the briefest of previews of what this incarnation of the Mats will sound/look like (seriously - very brief, do not get too excited). Below is a 9 second clip of a rehearsal last week, where it appears only Paul's left side is visible. Still not official word of who else will be joining Paul and Tommy, rumor has Josh Freese on drums, still an unconfirmed rumor at this point.



As someone posted on the board, "Screw the festivals, I want a ticket to the rehearsals". Yes, please.

Below are Paul and Tommy with the Slim poster signed by many local musicians, a project headed by Jon Clifford. The poster will be auctioned off to raise money for Slim and is currently on display at HiFi Hair. Looking good!



Finally, sharing news about The Silks 7", produced by Paul. Here is the info from their Facebook page : "Dont miss your change to get your hands on The Silks 7" with Paul Westerberg of The Replacements. They are limited to ONE TIME pressing of ONLY 300 copies! Once they are a sold out they are GONE FOREVER! (I dont mind telling you that they are almost gone forever already so... ORDER ONE NOW !) Dude...like, NOW! Seriously."

The rare Grandpaboy cover art will no doubt become a collector's item.


June 23, 2013

Tommy got a jump on the festival thing on Friday night, joining Wilco for the first night of the Solid Sound Festival, which was an all-requests, all-covers show. That'll learn me to skip Solid Sound... here's the full set list.



Wilco closed the show with what we hope will soon be our state rock song, "Roadrunner"!


The Replacements at RiotFest June 12, 2013

The official announcement that the Replacements will be headlining at Riot Fest came tonight. As of now, the only details are that Paul and Tommy are playing - no word on who else will be playing with them for these shows (Are we voting? If we are, I vote for Michael Bland and Kevin Bowe). They are headlining 3 shows:

- Toronto August 25
- Chicago Sept 13-15 (which day/s the Mats are playing yet to be announced)
- Denver Sept 21-22 (which day/s the Mats are playing yet to be announced)

And the Mats now have an official web site (just a page now, but hopefully more info to be posted soon), TheReplacementsOfficial.com!

I know what your next question is and it's my next question too - what about other, non-festival shows, taking place in a city near you, such as Boston? Nothing on that yet but let's hope those are in the works too!


May 25, 2013

Life happenings have prevented me from having the time/energy to update the site in the past several weeks so I planned to do an update over this long holiday weekend. That plan is being aided by 1) Paul penning an op-ed for the Times yesterday (!) and 2) it being 45 degrees and rainy today so any outdoor activities are kaput.

Paul's New York Times piece is about songwriting,called "Simple or Impossible" (bonus: includes an image of Paul's hand-written lyrics for "Crackle & Drag" ):
Painfully aware of the who-what-when-where hocus-pocus that constitutes the journalistic game, I beg the editors’ pardon because illiteracy is part of my stock-in-trade. I write songs where “orange” rhymes with “gorgeous” and “chin” with “gasoline.”

O.K., and now to explain how it’s done. Well, it’s a little like trying to hit a bottle cap with a wire coat hanger. Every day a songwriter rows out into the deep waters in search of his own personal Loch Ness monster. (Just a matter of time, we insist.) Being a weary subscriber to the old inspiration-perspiration theory, I must say that minus the former, you’ll hit a sweaty dead end every time, yet without this purging of what I call “brain vomit,” you’ll never drain the 99 pieces of hooey before one of pure inspiration writes itself for you.

The other recent news is that the PW-produced first single from The Silks is out. You can listen to the single "Down at the Heel" below, if you have a problem with that player, then listen here . The Silks' Facebook page says "This will be available as a 7" with a B side featuring Paul Westerberg on lead vocal and guitar! Limited to 300 copies!" But I can't find out exactly how one goes about ordering one. Have at their FB page and see if you can find that info (and let me know if you figure it out!). As you might have noticed from the video below, the cover art for this single has a familiar style -looks like Grandpaboy is back in the art business.




March 30, 2013

This sounds very promising! In a new interview with Time.com, Tommy talked about plans for him and Paul to get together in the studio after he finishes some GnR tour dates (he was interviewed in Abu Dhabi, and preparing for a show tonight in Beruit and for some reason, this line from "spinal Tap" immediately came to mind when I read that: "We toured the world and elsewhere.") Here's what he had to say:

You recently reunited with Paul Westerberg for Songs for Slim. What was it like being in the studio together again after all these years?
It was so much fun. It was so much fun that we talked about doing it again with some original material. In fact, when I get done with this GnR tour, I’m booking a flight to Minneapolis and doing that. Putting some songs down, but not getting stuck on making record — seeing what comes out of it. Neither one of us feels the pressure to become the Replacements again, although we talk about it.

Every time you or Paul mentions in an interview that you might get the Replacements back together, your fans go nuts. Do you really think it will happen?
I think if we think we’re having fun and it made sense and the music we were making was fun, we would do it. If it became too much of a nightmare, we wouldn’t. We want to enjoy ourselves, make some people happy, do our bit — not make a nightmare. Paul has more at stake, as he has more real feelings about it. He’s more reticent. He’s a singer. He doesn’t want to go out and compete with his 25-year old self. He’s 50. But if he could go out and have fun without the pressures and personal demons of competing with himself, I think he would.

Do you think getting back together with Paul was inevitable — or was it only Slim that could have brought you back together?
Paul and I have always played together. We’ve played together for years post-Replacements. I’ve played on his records; he’s played with me. I throw songs at him, he’s thrown them at me. We’re always going to play together when the planets align. We love each other. We have chemistry together and you don’t just get that with just anyone.


March 22, 2013

More Songs for Slim news today. April's release will be in conjunction with Record Store Day (April 20) and wil be availble in retail outlets rather than via auction. It will feature Curtiss A and The Minus 5 covering "Rockin Here Tonight," and Tim O’Reagan and Jim Boquist (with an assist from PW) covering "Cozy".

Also, check out these tour dates for Kevin Bowe & the Okemah Prophets and see if they are coming to your town - Kevin played with Paul on the 2005 tour and on the Songs for Slim EP and has a great CD out, "Natchez Trace".

March 22 - Hoogland Center for Arts in Springfield IL
March 23 - Southgate Revival in Newport KY
March 25 - Club Passim in Cambridge MA
March 26 - Rockwood Music Hall in NYC NY
March 27 - Rock Shop in Brooklyn NY
March 28 - The Saint in Asbury Park NJ
March 29 - Club Cafe in Pittsburgh PA
March 30 - Wise Fool's Pub in Chicago IL


March 5, 2013

It's MP3 Release Day: Today is the day those of us who were not able to get one of the limited-edition Replacements "Songs for Slim" EPs can own the new songs too. The EP is now available on iTunes and Amazon.com. Buy, listen, enjoy!


Feb. 21, 2013

Extremely good news: The digital download for the Replacements "Songs for Slim" EP goes on sale March 5. Better news: You can listen to preview clips now. How fantastic does that sound? And how good is it to hear Paul again? I cannot wait for March 5, hurry up! the auction has received a good bit of press attention ( "The Replacements' Quasi-Reunion Raises Over $100,000 for Slim Dunlap's Medical Care"),which will likely increase once the songs are actually available.

I did forget to mention last time that you can now buy Songs for Slim merch, including a t-shirt with the Replacements EP cover - first new Replacements t-shirt since 1991? You need that! And you need to take a look at the picture below, from the Songs for Slim FB page - Paul and Chris signing all of the EPs, soon to be shipping out to the lucky auction winners.



And finally, I'm passing along some info from 40 Stitches Later, a Michigan band that is organizing a Mats Fest on April 13 in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Visit their site or FB page for more info on attending or participating. Proceeds will benefit Ozone House, so good music + a good cause!


Feb. 17, 2013

I'm a little slow on this one but the next Songs for Slim auction started this week and runs through Friday, Feb. 22. This time, it's Steve Earle, "Times Like This" b/w Craig Finn & Friends, "Isn't It?". March 15 brings Lucinda Williams and Tommy Keene. And I am also late in mententing that Feb. 14 was named Slim Dunlap Dayin Minneapolis.

And here's an interview with Kevin Bowe on the recording of The Replacements EP. Very interesting and entertaning stuff and you need to go read it, but I am just going to steal this bit and post it here because it's references such a great part of the Mats legend. This is Kevin's response to how he met Paul:

We grew up playing the same clubs together. I was in this band. I think this story is out there, but when I was in rehab, they let us out on the weekends to go to these dances, and you've been sober for like 5 minutes, and they let us out to go. It was awful. And one of these ones that I went to, some idiot hired The Replacements to play a 'sober teen dance.' Whatever guy that was, I don't think he had a future as a booking agent. But it was The Replacements first gig ever under the name, "The Replacements."

Kevin and the Okemah Prophets are touring in March and playing at SXSW, check out the dates to see if there's one near you!


Jan. 27, 2013

The unofficial total for the Songs For Slim auction that ended on Friday is north of $100,000 raised! EP #1/250 went for an astonishing $10,000 and it looks like the average winning bid was in the $350+ range. The tracks will be available for digital purchase on March 5 and a 12" vinyl version will go on sale April 16. The next auction will start on February 15 for a split 7": Steve Earle, "Times Like This" b/w Craig Finn, "Isn't It?".

Kevin Bowe


Jan. 16, 2013

The auction started yesterday and is going strong, with bidding on the #1 pressing (of 250) at $10,000 (!). However, do NOT let that discourage you from bidding on one of the other 249 EPs - there are some currently at the minimum $50 bid, so get in there and start bidding! And then check out these links:

Consequence of Sound interviewed Peter Jesperson about the project, the Mats reunion and Slim and it's a must-read.
Brad Zellar spoke with Slim and the interview is posted now on the Songs for Slim site, another must-read.
• Great article by Mark Brown on the early auction results: Replacements fans step up for stricken guitarist.



Jan. 12, 2013

Official info about the auction is now up on the Songs for Slim web site. The auction will start Tuesday, January 15 at 11:00AM ET/8:00AM PT and the items will be posted here. The auction details are as follows: "You will be able to bid on #1/250, and every 3 minutes we will put the next one up, until #250/250 is put up for bidding at 10:27PM that night. Each auction will last exactly 10 days.". Exactly what is up for auction?

• 250 numbered 10” vinyl EPs
• Cover autographed by Paul Westerberg, Tommy Stinson & Chris Mars
• 4 glossy prints of never-before-seen band photos
• Collectors’ poster of Slim
• Print of the full Chris Mars cover painting on the inner sleeve
• Digital download card of entire EP

Refresher on the EP tracks:

Side A
1. Busted Up (Slim Dunlap)
2. Radio Hook Word Hit (Slim Dunlap)


Side B:
1. I'm Not Sayin' (Gordon Lightfoot)
2. Lost Highway (Leon Payne)
3. Everything's Coming Up Roses (Stephen Sondheim/Jule Styne)


"Radio Hook Word Hit" is a Chris Mars track - while he didn't particpiate in the recording of the other 4 songs, he did record his own cover of this Slim tune and also designed the artwork for the EP. The other tracks were recorded in September by Paul and Tommy, with Kevin Bowe on guitar and Peter Anderson on drums. According to the site, after the auction, digital versions will be available to buy and at some point in the future, a regular vinyl version will also be sold.

Here's a Star-Tribune article on the releases, Replacements' "Songs for Slim" EP expected for auction next week. Includes info on the other artists involved with the series: "Other entries in the "Songs for Slim" series will start rolling out in February, with other friends and admirers covering Dunlap’s songs as monthly split 7-inch singles. The first one in the series will be Steve Earle’s version of “Times Like This” b/w Craig Finn’s “Isn't It?” After that comes Lucinda Williams’ “Partners in Crime” b/w Tommy Keene's “Nowhere’s Near.” Some of the other participants to be paired up include Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Jakob Dylan, John Doe, the Jayhawks, Joe Henry, the Minus 5 (with Peter Buck) and Curtiss A."

And now here's a first look at the back of the EP, with the song list!




Jan. 5, 2013

Here's a first look at the cover art for the new Mats EP!




Dec. 31, 2012

Happy Birthday to Paul, born Dec. 31, 1959!

And here's some info/news of interest to PW fans, stuff that I have been meaning to post and finally have the time to. Have a Happy New Year everyone, and let us hope for a more peaceful 2013.

• The Songs for Slim project now has a FB page, like it so you can find out when the Paul & Tommy EP and other releases are coming out.

• I found these two awesome commics strips about Paul/Grandpaboy on my hard drive today. Looks like they are from 2003 for CMFT and DMS. Enjoy!

• 2013 should bring us the release of Bob Mehr's book on the Mats, Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements, the Last Rock 'n' Roll Band

• If you haven't seen it yet, you can now watch the Mats documentary, "Color Me Obsessed" for free on YouTube. (Plug: Director Gorman Bechard's next file is a documentary on a horrific case of animal abuse that led to changes in Alabam's abuse laws. Find out more here, be aware the picture you will see when you click through is of a happy dog, but one who bears terrible scars.)

• Finally, the ukulele Mats tribute album you have been waiting for is here: "Treatment Bound: A Ukulele Tribute To The Replacements", from the duo Bright Little Field and available on Bar/None Records. Here's an article on Modern American that explains more (assuming you need more information than just Mats tunes + ukulele). You can watch the video for "We're Coming Out" and the label has also made it available to us a free MP3 (right click to download/save as) -- enjoy both!




Nov. 15, 2012

For the past several years. First Ave has been hosting a mats tribute show the day after Thanksgiving and that tradition continues this year on Friday Nov. 23:
89.3 The Current and City Pages "Picked 2 Click" present A Tribute to The Replacements.

I have two pairs of tickets to give away so Twin Cities folks, send me an email if you want to enter the drawing and and I'll notify the winners on Tuesday Nov. 20.

And this year's show will also be a fundraiser for Slim Dunlap: "First Ave's Replacements tribute turning into a Slim Dunlap rally". There are 3 balcony tables up for auction on eBay. The article also provide some additional info on the recordings in the works to raise money:

As everybody who knows the words to “Can’t Hardly Wait” knows by now, there is also a bounty of recordings in the works to benefit Slim. The first will be the Replacements reunion EP that Tommy Stinson and Paul Westerberg recorded a little over a month ago. Ex-'Mats manager and New West Records vice-president Peter Jesperson said yesterday that the 250 copies of the five-song EP -- the fifth track tacked on is a Slim cover by 'Mats drummer Chris Mars -- are on schedule to be auctioned off mid-December. Details of the auction are still coming together.

Starting in January or February, New West will then begin issuing limited-edition (100 copy!) 7-inch singles of Slim tunes re-recorded by the likes of Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, John Doe, Jakob Dylan, Joe Henry, the Jayhawks, ol’ Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and many more. Word is Craig Finn will record his contribution to the single series next week when he’s home for Thanksgiving and the Hold Steady’s two First Ave gigs, Nov. 24-25.


October 9, 2012

Turns out Paul's quotes in the Rolling Stone article about the Paul & Tommy recording news were just a tease. RS posted a full-fledged interview with Paul today, Q&A: Paul Westerberg on the Replacements Reunion and Being a Middle-Aged Rocker. Lots to mull over, here, a few things that caught my attention:

• Best quote: "Misdirection is my path. How many roads must a man walk down before you can call him lost? I'm there, baby."

• Paul is sober ("I'm not drinking now. I certainly know why I used to. I haven't found that nice area where, sober, I can take on the things I used to take on with confidence and a feeling of well-being [when I was drinking]") but probably still smoking ("The piano makes a better ashtray than the guitar".)

Are you worried that if you go back on tour, you'll start drinking again?
That's not the major flaw. I think, "Oh, I'd have to re-learn the songs, sing lyrics from 20, 30 years ago." I talk myself out of it before I'm even there. And in the same breath, I feel disassociated, like a 15-year-old, in a lot of ways. I want to go back to doing it because it was a form of expression that I could do pretty well. I have a hard time living in the world. I'm a musician. When I'm around guys like me, I feel perfectly fine. When I'm around people who ask, "When are you gonna play again?" I feel uncomfortable.

And here's a link to a FundRazr that Dan Baird set up for Slim if anyone is looking for a way to help. As Slim's wife Chrissie mentions in the RS piece, their insurance will not pay for any further rehab so they will be paying out of pocket for his care once he's released from the hospital (he is still paralyzed on one side and still on a feeding tube).


October 3, 2012

BIG news today: Paul and Tommy got together last week in MN to record (as hinted at by Tommy on his blog) and the result is a 4-song EP of covers that will be released as a limited edition 10-inch vinyl EP. Very limited - 250 copies will be auctioned off to raise money for Slim Dunlap, who is facing a tough road back from a stroke last February.

Rolling Stone reports that Chris Mars didn't participate (Paul: "I was not surprised, but I was a little disappointed."). Peter Anderson drummed for the session and Kevin Bowe played guitar. The four songs are:

• Slim's own "Busted Up "
• "Everything's Coming Up Roses" (this is from the musical "Gypsy", if you don't know it, watch Patti Lupone's version from the Tonys and ponder what a Mats-y version is gonna sounds like...)
"I'm Not Sayin'" - Gordon Lightfoot (Paul was asked in an interview once about what music he would want at his funeral and he mentioned "If You Could Read My Mind" also by Gordon Lightfoot)
"Lost Highway" - Hank Williams

Things said by Paul to Rolling Stone that will send Mats fans into a frenzy:

"Tommy and I strapped on guitars, not a word was said, and bang," says Westerberg. "We still rock like murder."

Does this one-day reunion augur a new tour or album from the Replacements, one of the best American bands of the Eighties? "It's possible," Westerberg says. "After playing with Tommy last week, I was thinking, 'All right, let's crank it up and knock out a record like this.' I'm closer to it now than I was two years ago, let's say that."

Check back for details on the auction!


September 28, 2012

Today we have a free download from Kevin Bowe, courtesy of Rolling Stone. Kevin's song "Everybody Lies" from his new album Natchez Trace, is the Daily Download, so grab a copy. Not only is it a great song, it includes contributions from both PW and Nels Cline. Kevin explains Paul's contribution:

"We have a long tradition of leaving 'gifts' for each other on the doorstep since he lives close by. I left him a Fender amp once, he left me an Epiphone Casino that I use all the time."

Bowe's gifting system with the former Replacements frontman came in handy when Bowe was preparing his album Natchez Trace, out August 1st on Okemah Prophets. "I had written this song 'Everybody Lies' but it needed a bridge, so I left a recording of it on his doorstep and only a couple of days later, it boomeranged back to me with this very Westerbergian circle of fifths bridge thing, plus some other ideas to 'handsome up' the song, as he put it," Bowe explains."


September 21, 2012

From Paul to you, absolutely free of charge: "My Road Now", a fanastic new piano ballad.
Download, enjoy, share, repeat! (On a PC, right click and then "Save as" to download.)

Two more things:
• You can now pre-order your copy of the "Color Me Obsessed" DVD on Amazon and get a jump on the Nov. release date.
• Steroegum counted down the Mats albums from worst to best. Shockingly, some people in the comment section disagree with their rankings.


June 30, 2012
Paul and Tommy will be collaberating on a song for an upcoming benefit album for Slim Dunlap. Tommy mentioned this in an interview he did while out of the road with GnR (very intereting interview and worth reading for the rest of it too). SPIN has a comprehensive story about the record, which is being overseen by Peter Jespersen:

Slim's wife, Chrissie, and the Replacements' former manager, Peter Jesperson confirm the benefit project, but it's not your run-of-the-mill tribute album.

"Tribute records can be so ubiquitous and don't necessarily sell well," says Jesperson, who was inspired to form the seminal Minneapolis label Twin/Tone Records after seeing Dunlap's pre-Replacements band Thumbs Up. Instead, the covers of Dunlap's original songs, currently being curated by Jesperson, singer Joe Henry, and Stinson, will be released as a series of limited-edition split seven-inch singles, sold via auction to better maximize funds to aid Dunlap's difficult rehabilitation, which isn't covered by insurance.

"As he recovers, slowly, Slim is starting to realize that he has a lot of friends and fans, and this is really helping him want to heal," says Chrissie Dunlap, who revealed in February that her husband's stroke left him paralyzed on his left side, and has since has suffered numerous complications, including four separate bouts with pneumonia.


The singles will be released in the fall and will feature artwork by Chris Mars. Stay tuned.


June 15, 2012
Chris Mars posted his new song, with proceeds to benefit Slim Dunlap and his family as Slim recovers from a stroke he suffered in February. The download is just $0.99, so please take a moment to download a great song for a great cause: "When I Fall Down" .


June 10, 2012
Back in February, I posted about Slim Dunlap suffering a stroke. His recovery continues but as you can imagine (or as you may know all too well from your own experiences), the expense of months of on-going medical care, even with insurance, is staggering. If you're so inclined and would like to help out, you can visit the FundRazr page set up by Dan Baird on Facebook and make a donation.

And Chris Mars posted this on his FB page Friday: "I will be releasing a new song next week dedicated to Bob "Slim" Dunlap and available as a download to benefit him. Stand by for additional details". I am standing by as directed and as soon as I know more details, I will post the info here.

Following up on my last post about Kevin Bowe's new record, have a listen to the song that he wrote with Paul, "Everybody Lies" (also features guitar by Nels Cline of Wilco). And then have a listen to my favorite track, "Never Don't Stay" .

Kevin's been doing interviews to support the new record, they'd be very interesting and entertaining reading even without the stuff about working with Paul (but that's an extra bonus for us!):

MinnPost - Interview by Jim Walsh where Kevin talks about what's he learned from the other artists he's worked with. See if you can guess who he is talking about here: "He doesn’t want it good, he wants it his way. He’ll trade a whole night of competence for one 30-second burst of spontaneity."
CityPages interview
MPR interview

And here's a trip in the Wayback Machine. Thanks to a forum poster for discovering that The Shit Hits The Fans has been uploaded to YouTube. Which contains many many 30-second bursts of spontaneity/insanity.


June 2, 2012
Happy almost summer eeveryone. No PW news to share, but I do have some PW-related music news to post. Kevin Bowe (an Only Friend and Painkiller on Paul's 2005 tour) has released a new album: Kevin Bowe + The Okemah Prophets, "Natchez Trace". Along with his bandmates Peter Anderson and Steve Price, the record includes contributions from Freedy Johnston, The Meat Puppets, Chuck Prophet, Tim O'Regan , Nels Cline, Scarlet Rivera and oh yeah, Paul Westerberg ("Everybody Lies" was co-written with Paul).

If you're in the Twin Cities area, there will be a dual record release party at the Varsity Theater on Friday June 8 fof "Natchez Trace" and for Alison Scott's "Hiding Under the Covers Vol. 2".

• Preview & buy the album on iTunes or CDBaby. "Never Don't Stay" is my favorite so far.
• Have to include this link - this is a great song from The Revelators, a band Kevin had in the 90's. Love this song, listen to a bit of it: Straight Up Love.


Feb. 27, 2012
I wish I had a pleasant reason for posting an update but not this time. Slim Dunlap was hospitalized last Monday after suffering a stroke and then falling and hitting his head ("Twin Cities music hero Slim Dunlap hospitalized by a stroke", Star-Tribune). According to a post update from his wife Chrissie on Facebook's Slim Dunlap Fan Club page last week:

"Bob is in the SICU at HCMC. I am not going to sugarcoat this -- this morning he suffered a right middle cerebral artery stroke. He then fell and hit his head, resulting in a left vertebral artery dissection and a right subarachnoid hemorrhage.

"The good news is that he is sharp and aware, his speech is fine, and all of the nurses and doctors have commented on his unique sense of humor. The bad news is that he cannot move the right side of his body and will be in for some serious rehab. They will be giving him more tests tomorrow to determine the extent of the damage. I will try to post updates as we learn more. Louie will be with him all night and I will be back there tomorrow. We don't need a thing but your good wishes for his full recovery."


Please visit The Slim Dunlap Fan Club on Facebook for more information and keep Slim and his family in your thoughts. The FB site is truly inspiring, he is a man who is well-loved by friends, family and fans.



NOTE: The News page was getting disturbingly long, so I have created News archives for 2006,2007, 2008-09, and 2010-11, so if you're looking for older info, check those out.