Dec. 12, 2009|
Interesting PW news: He has signed a new publishing deal with Bug Music Publishing. From the press release:
Bug Music Publishing, the largest independent contemporary music publisher in the world, has signed a new publishing deal with Paul Westerberg, solo artist, songwriter and front man of the seminal alt-rock group The Replacements, it was announced today by Bug Music CEO John Rudolph.
Under the terms of the deal, Bug Music and Westerberg have entered into a publishing agreement encompassing Westerberg’s recordings with The Replacements, solo works and future recordings.
“We look forward to working with Paul’s Replacements and solo catalogs,” said Eddie Gomez, Sr. VP of Creative Services, Bug Music. “Paul is a major link in a respected chain of modern songwriters and his songwriting continues to resonate and influence a whole new generation of listeners.”
“To be a musician, performer, and songwriter is a juggling act,” said Westerberg. “Throw in the bowling ball of publisher and it becomes downright work. The good people at Bug Music – I hear only of their imagination and proficiency – have stepped in to facilitate with Dry Wood, Elegant Mule, and Nah Music, leaving me free to augment my juggling feat with the flaming chain saw of snooker.”
I lost the metaphor there with the snooker reference, but sounds like good news overall. Hopefully it's in anticipation of a boatload of new PW tunes that need to be published, right?
The "Let It Be" tribute that took place on Nov. 27 at First ave. sournds like it was a resounding success, read all about it in the Star-Trib. Next up, a "Tim" tribute?
Nov. 7, 2009
Reminder: If you haven't had a chance to find out about the Mats fan documentary "Color Me Obsessed", now's the time to check it out. You can visit their web site, become a fan on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, or help them kick start the project. Or you can just email them. This has the potential to be something great, if enough people get involved and share their stories.
Another reminder: Don't forget about "A Tribute To The Replacements: Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Let It Be", taking place at First Avenue on Nov. 27. The event will also mark the paperback release of Jim Walsh's "The Replacements: All Over But The Shouting" and is a benefit for Twin Cities Music Community Trust. Sounds like a fun night, enjoy yourselves, Twin Cities folks.
Sept. 21, 2009
Sept. 20, 2009
Well what do you know, some honest-to-goodness news to post. And not just any news, but new PW music being released news. On Sept. 22, Paul is releasing a 6-song EP for download (get it here). The EP is called "PW & The Ghost Gloves Cat Wing Joy Boys", costs $3.89 and includes the following tracks:
1. Ghost On The Canvas
2. Drop Them Gloves
3. Good As The Cat
4. Love On The Wing
5. Gimmie Little Joy
6. Dangerous Boys
click here for hi-res cover art
Sept. 7, 2009
Ok, now it's been a REALLY long time since I posted an update. Two reasons: 1) No Paul news whatsoever to report and 2) I've been working a lot for the past couple of months and free time is a bit scarce. Ironically, one of the things that kept me busy at work was a trip to MPLS, which I will be doing a couple of times year now, and which previously would have gotten me thinking I might be able to be out there for some really great PW show, but gee, the possibility of PW playing a show seems pretty remote these days...(that's ironic, isn't it? I like to think I have a better grasp on the word than Alanis Morrisette). So there have been a few semi-Mats-related things I could have posted, but though I have good intentions, I haven't been able to find the time. Case in point, I thought I would have some time over Labor Day weekend to post a few things but it didn't shake out that way, life intruded. And I'm awfully busy being obsessed with "Mad Men" in what free time I do have. I'm thinking about starting a Don Draper site, "Man With Many, Many Ties (All of Which He Looks Impossibly Gorgeous Wearing)".
You can always check the message board for Mats/PW related stuff, kudos (or "kadooz" - shame on those of you who got that reference, stop watching such trashy TV!) to the valiant posters there who keep the PW discussions going despite the fact that we haven't heard one bit of news from or about Paul since late Dec 2008. And I will do a link dump one of these days (soon). Thanks for hanging in there and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there might be some actual news to share at some point this year.
May 9, 2009
It's been quite awhile since I posted an update, mainly because there just isn't much to post. The last we heard from Paul was almost 5 months ago, with the release of the D.G.T. download. But while we wait in hope of some new music or even rumors of new music, here are a few tidbits of PW-related stuff:
• Thanks to everyone who sent info on a Mats song by UK band Art Brut, on their new LP, "Art Brut vs. Satan". And by "Mats song", I mean a song about the Mats, as opposed to a Matc cover. It's called "The Replacements" - sample lyrics: "I can't believe I've only just discovered The Replacements" and "Some of them are nearly as old as my parents!" (ouch).
• "Read about your band...some local page..." The Gaslight Anthem covers "Left of the Dial" admirably in this video from a recent show in Boston.
• I'm pretty sure this movie has come and gone from theaters now, what with the onslaughter of summer blockbusters, but make a note to check out "Adventureland" when it comes out on DVD. Directed by Greg Mottola (director of "Superbad"), it's about collge kids working in an amusement park during the summer of 1987 and has an amazing soundtrack that includes both the Mats and Husker Du. "Bastards of Young" is in the opening sequence but isn't on the soundtrack, but the soundtrack does have "Unsatisifed", along with "Satellite of Love" (Lou Reed), "I'm in Love with a Girl" (Big Star) and one of my favorite guilty pleasure 80s songs, "Your Love" (The Outfield).
March 18, 2009
I'm happy to tell you that a second PW tribute CD has been put together by the folks on the message board - Dead Man Fake: Bring Your Own Lampshade Volume 2 is now available for download. With covers ranging from "I'm In Trouble" to "My Daydream", it covers the entire PW spectrum. Enjoy!
In other PW-related news, Warners released a CD called "Covered: A Revolution in Sound", featuring some of their newer bands covering some of their older bands and Against Me! covers "Here Comes a Regular". You can listen the entire CD on MySpace, including Adam Sandler seriously covering "Like a Hurricane". Scary. And Tommy commented on the (un)likliehood of a Mats reunion a few weeks ago, the probability of which seems to fluctuate every few years. Tommy said: "I just don't know if we have it in us...Why would we do it? Well, they'll pay us really great. Is that the reason to go do it or not? I don't know."
If you like the Justin Townes Earle cover of "Can't Hardly Wait" a few inches down on the page, you'll be pleased to know that it's included on his new album "Midnight at the Movies" .
February 18, 2009
It's been pretty slow around here as of late, so thanks to MAGNET magazine for giving us some Mats content today. First up is a post about the five most over- and under- rated Mats songs. I would beg to differ on their picks for over but I agree with 3 out of 5 of their unders. Next, their excellent 2002 cover story on Paul is now up online. This is one of the best interviews with Paul from that tour and I highly recommend it. Also online is the sidebar to that interview, with Paul's comments on his discography - those of you who have always wondered "WTF?" about the cover of "Tim" will appreciate Paul's comment on that: "The cover is the worst piece of shit. [The label] hired Robert Longo: World Famous Artist. Nobody liked it—I can’t believe that Robert liked it." Hah! Oh and one more thing, and this one made my day. It's a short piece from George Pelecanos, who in addition to being a novelist, was also a writer/producer on "The Wire", which as you know is the greatest show in the history of television. So thanks to MAGNET for all the links and sorry we were kind of tough on your under/overs on the message board , we're just a wee bit opinionated!
January 14, 2009
Thanks to forum poster Schecky for sharing this video of Justin Townes Earle (son of Steve "Walon" Earle) covering "Can't Hardly Wait".
January 11, 2009
Happy belated New Year. Here's hoping we see even more new Paul music this year...and maybe that we even see Paul. I have a few links to share with you on this snowy Sunday:
• This is a lovely cover of "Meet Me Down The Alley" by Alison Scott, a Minneapolis artist who included it on her recent covers CD, "Hiding Under The Covers" (which was produced by Kevin Bowe of Paul's Westerberg's Only Friends). Enjoy!
• Speaking of covers, I'm posting a link to yet another of Bill Janovitz's Cover of The Week songs. This one isn't a Mats cover (it's Blondie's "Dreaming" mixed with "Till The Next Goodbye", which is enough of a reason to get it right there) but the accompanying post includes a Westerberg story. So it's got that going for it.
• If you have any cash burning a hole in your pocket and you don't have a Paul Westerberg First Act Guitar yet, well, now might be the time to get one. They are marked down to $89.99 on the First Act site, such a bargain!
• The latest issue of MAGNET (Nick Cave on the cover) has a look back at some of their most memorable stories, including their PW cover story from 2002. They also posted a nice item on the "D.G.T." release.
• Profilc video maven Blasty posted another great clip on YouTube, this one is PW solo from...I'm gonna guess on this...2005? It's Paul doing "here Comes A Regular" ("here goes a career").
December 6, 2008
• Ground Control magazine posted a review of all of the Mats reissues , from "Sorry Ma" to "All Shook Down", "All For Nothing/Nothing For All" and "Don’t You Know Who I Think I Was?". It's a comprehensive look at the Mats catalog and I recommend it even though they don't give PTMM the proper respect, tsk tsk.
• On Wednesday Dec. 10, WNCI's Dead Air Radio Show will devote their entire program to the Mats and PW. You can join host Paul Sweeney at 90.9FM if you're in the New London, CT area or listen online at www.wcniradio.org. The show runs from 6pm-9pm EST. Enjoy.
• Bill Janovitz (Buffalo Tom) posted a lovely acoustic cover of "Little Mascara" on his blog.
November 24, 2008
"Alex Chilton" is in "Rock Band 2" and in conjunction with that, Paul did a phone interview with Brett Milano that is now posted on the Rock Band site. The interview is about 18 minutes long, and Paul talks about the smell of rock and roll, "Rock Band" (he doesn't played it, but his son does and Paul proclaims it "good technological fun"), "Alex Chilton" (the song and the man), the Mats and hostile audiences ("if you can't beat 'em, kill 'em"), the recent sessions with Tommy, Jim Boquist and Michael Bland, the inevitable reunion question (current status: Playing together was a blast but just him and Tommy only didn't feel just right, he feels they need a third element in the mix to make it work), all the money he lost of "49:00" because of the snippets of cover songs, how much fun he had doing it anyway and how much he enjoyed getting the songs out there.
October 24, 2008
Graeme Thomson's interview with Paul (and Tommy and Peter Jesperson) that I mentioned a few weeks back is up now on The Guardian's web site and it's very interesting. Most unexpected bit of news: Instead, after Glen Campbell covered the Replacements' Sadly Beautiful on his new album, Westerberg is busy writing songs for the next Campbell record - "I called my manager and said, 'Tell Glen I'll be his next Jimmy Webb' and he took the bait". One word: Duet, please! (Ok, two words). Now that is a collaboration I can't wait to hear.
If you have your heart set on another collaboration, namely Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson, well, reply is hazy at the moment: "Certainly Tommy and I could go around as the Replacements and draw 10 times more and make some money," says Westerberg. "But I'm not there yet, I gotta say."
October 18, 2008
A couple of links of interest to post today:
• Crawdaddy has an excellent interview with Peter Jesperson about the reisssues.
Some type of live release is in the works as well, which is very good news:
"There’s talk about a live anthology or series of some kind, but we don’t have that nailed down yet. We’re trying to give ourselves manageable goals here, so we thought, 'Let’s do these eight records and just see how we feel afterwards.' There will be some kind of live thing, but I don’t know what it will be yet, whether a boxed set or going the archives and issuing some kind of Rhino Handmade set."
• Reviews of the both the first and second sets of Mats reissues from iF Magazine.com.
• Juliana Hatfield's new book, "When I Grow Up: A Memoir" includes a chapter on Paul called "My Idol". An excerpt:
"He was tough and street-smart and smart-alecky and rock and roll, but he was also sincere, compassionate, fragile, fractured and tuneful. His sad eyes betrayed an empathy for the suffering of others, and his fans knew that when he sang, he was singing for them as well as himself. He sympathized with all the so-called-losers and outcasts and social misfits - the downtrodden - of the world, but he hung out with movie starts too, because he was so fuckin' cool that movie stars wanted to hang out with him. He was beautifully, perfectly imperfect, and he was our hero.
October 7, 2008
In addition to the photos from Michael Bland, he kindly posted a message on the board about playing with Paul and Tommy a few weeks back (in Soul Asylum's rehearsal space, which some of you picked up on from the equipment). You can read his post here. Some of the songs they played: Folk song covers including "If I Had A Hammer" (covered on Paul & HOF tour in 2005); Mats songs including "a country rendition of 'Alex Chilton'"; some of Paul's new material and one of Tommy's songs. They played for 2 days and Jim Boquist joined them for the second day. It's hard not to get too anticipatory about whether this will lead to anything but according to Paul's manager, Darren Hill, as quoted in Billboard's item about the sessions: There are "no plans beyond that right now." I think we need a maverick up in here to get this show on the road (literally).
October 6, 2008
Thanks to Michael Bland for sharing this and other photos he took when he was playing with Paul and Tommy last week. You can see all of the photos on the message board.
The Star-Tribune published Chris Riemenschneider's interview with Tommy this weekend, he talked about the reissues, including his comments on some specific bonus tracks. Here's the answer to why the distinctly apolitical Mats did a song called "Election Day": "That was the first song we did when we got to Memphis to make that record. It was election day, which meant there was no booze being sold anywhere. And we were thirsty."
It all makes sense now!
October 1, 2008
Here's a lovely bit of news to start October with: Chris Riemenschneider reports in the Star-Tribune that he interviewed Tommy Stinson by phone this week for a feature that will run this weekend about the reissues and Tommeny mentioned that he had been in Minneapolis last week, doing what, you ask? Well, being in the studio with Paul Westerberg and Michael Bland:
He sounded enthusiastic about the sessions and said, “It was a lot of fun.” When I asked if they did any recording, though, he answered, “Nah, that’s getting to first base. We’re sort of still in the dugout chewing gum.” As for the general state of the two former ‘Mats mates relationship, he said, “We’re good friends, and I’m sure we’re going to work together again.”
It feels like they are moving ever so slowly closer to some kind of reunion, doesn't it? Guess we'll just have to wait and see, but that's some damn interesting news.
Sept. 28, 2008
Sunday is Link Round-up Day:
Sept. 23, 2008
The reissues are out today, yay! Also, if you're buying them at an indie store (offline, that is), check and see if they have a promo poster available. Some indie retailers do have posters to give out as a bonus with purchase. The Sire reissues are available on iTunes and you can buy only the bonus tracks if you want. I haven't listened to the iTunes versions, but there is some discussion about them on the message board you may want to check out. And finally today, here's a review from the Louisville Courier-Journal: Rediscover The Replacements.
Sept. 21, 2008
The Sire reissues are coming out on Tuesday, for a refresher on the bonus tracks included on each, pop down the page a bit. Today's Newsday ran a brief interview with Paul and a review of the reissues. Paul, showing infinite patience for answering the same question in every interview (not faulting the interviewer, because it's what we want to know but it must get tedious to be on the recieving end of it), answered the inevitable "Mats reunion?" question with:
"I think we still exist in some sort of fragmented form," Westerberg says. "It's just a question of whether he and I can ever get together again ... that's how close we are, I can't even mention his -- name."
Typical Westerberg. He's talking about his longtime bassist and foil, Tommy Stinson. "One day Tommy wants to sue me, the next he wants to jam. I think he's in the jamming mood this week, but by the time he gets here we might just meet and fight."
Sept. 19, 2008
I hope the various technical woes that have bedeviled the site over the past 2 weeks are finally over (this being the Internet, I doubt we've totally seen the last of them though). But as of now, things are working! So better late than never, I'm posting the link to download "Bored of Edukation" from Tunecore. Sorry for the delay.
A couple of other items of interest:
• The Sire reissues are coming out on Tuesday, yay! Which makes this a very timely piece by Bill Holdship on PTMM. He was originally to write the liner notes for both the PTMM and DTAS reissues, but it was then decided that each reissues should have the liner notes written by a different person and they went with Bill's liner notes for DTAS and former Sire A&R rep Michael Hill took on the PTMM liner notes. Bill interviewed both PW and Jim Dickinson for his liner notes and though they aren't being used for the reissue, he's posted them online at Detroit Metro Times. Includes a great quote from Jim Dickinson: "When you're making a punk record, you can't do it without punks. So I pretty much let 'em do what they wanted."
• An update on the Mats fan documentary, "Color Me Obsessed": Hansi Oppenheimer, who started this project a few years ago, has hooked up with Gorman Bechard to finish the film. If his name is familiar to you, you may have read one of his books, namely "The Second Greatest Story Ever Told", a novel about the daughter of God and featuring guest appearances by Paul and Tommy. Gorman is also a longtime film maker and plans are for the movie to be out in 2010. You can check out a sample of his work here (a little NSFW language about 45 seconds in).
Sept. 13, 2008
A new download is available, one song called "Bored of Edukation". At the moment, it's only available on Amazon.com but a link on Tunecore is coming, so if you either a)just prefer Tunecore and can be patient or b) are outside the U.S. and can't use Amazon MP3 and therefore have to be patient, I will be posting that Tunecore link as soon as I get it. As you can see, the new download features more of Paul's handmade cover art.
Rhino has posted a Listening Party for a handful of tracks for the Sire reissues:
Bastards Of Young • Alex Chilton
• I’ll Be You
• Merry Go Round
• Route 66
• Date To Church
• Ought To Get Love
Sept. 6, 2008
Just a little over 2 weeks until the Mats Sire reissues come out on Sept. 23 from Rhino. Pitchfork has a couple of tracks up: "Kiss Me On The Bus" (demo version - speedy!), "Photo" (a bonus track, which some of you may know as "P.O. Box (Put An Ad In The Paper" because of the chorus "Put an ad in the paper, there's a P.O. box that's waiting, empty as your life and your heart/There's a P.O. box that's waiting for an envelope, a photo and reply"), and a demo version of "Talent Show".
Sept. 1, 2008
A couple of mentions of the new releases, on Stereogum ("Paul Westerberg Offers More Oddly Priced Downloadable Music") and PopCandy.
Thanks to Hide n'Lurkin on the message board for breaking down the content of the "3oclockreep" track, which includes about 10 minutes of outtakes from Tom Waits in the studio with the Mats, circa 1989. This session produced "Date To Church", which appeared on a Sire CD sampler called "Just Say Mao" in 1989, part of their "Just Say Yes" series. And it will be included on the upcoming Sire reissue of "Don't Tell A Soul" (out in just a few short weeks!)
"3oclockreep" (Approx. song title/length):
01 Tell 'Em All, Go to Hell 2:49
02 Mash of Outtakes 0:44
03 It's Ridiculous, Everybody Wants to Be Famous 2:53
04 Only Excuse Is 2:15
05 You're Still Mine 1:05
06 If Only You Were Lonely [Mats in Studio with Tom Waits] 1:00
07 Studio Ramblings [Mats in Studio with Tom Waits] 1:15
08 We Know the Night [Mats in Studio with Tom Waits] 3:06
09 Lowdown Monkey Blues [Mats in Studio with Tom Waits] 5:08
I mentioned awhile back that Glen Campbell was covering "Sadly Beautiful" on his new covers album and that album is out. If you want to take a listen to a snippet of the sing, you can do that on Amazon. He also covers "These Days" by Jackson Browne, which Paul also covered on CFMT. In Mats news, Filter magazine ran a godo feature on them, with interviews, back in May when the first batch of reissues came out. The article and the interview they did with Paul is up on their web site now, definitely worth reading.
August 27, 2008
There he goes again....two new "tracks" from Paul are posted on Tunecore for your downloading pleasure. The tracks/songs are "3oclockreep" (which is 20 minutes long, so I expect something collage-y) and "Finally Here Once" (which is 3:27 minutes, so seems like it's probably a single song). Downloading both tracks will cost you $3.99. If for some nutty reason, you only want to buy one of the tracks, you can get individually as well ( "3oclockreep" for $3.00 and "Finally Here Once" for $0.99). I haven't heard them yet, but the folks on the message board have, so check out their initial reactions. Also: cool picture!
I hate to follow up this fun news with very sad news but unfortunately, there is very sad Mats-related news to report. Steve Foley, who was the drummer for the Mats' last tour (1990-1991) after Chris Mars left the band, died this past weekend at his home in Minneapolis. He was 49. The cause of death is believed to be an accidental overdose of prescription medication. You can read more about Steve in this article by Chris Riemenschneider in The Star-Tribune and in this obituary.
August 10, 2008
A few new links to share with you today:
KCRW's News Collage of the Week covers the "49:00" story:
Litigation is becoming the modus operandi for rock and rollers. In the old days, problems were discreetly solved with quiet negotiations. But when the internet came along, a band suddenly had direct access to their own fanbase. Now bands have democratic distribution. Anyone can release a record. And in the rough and tumble world of independence, artists are often guided by the "do it now and apologize for it later" rule. This means the threat oflawsuits looms ever present.
The latest victim caught in the crosshairs is cult favorite Paul Westerberg. Westerberg, singer and songwriter and the previous frontman of The Replacements, came up with a novel way to launch his new album. The album, titled "49 Minutes" was sold as a single download on Amazon and Tunecore. It was 49 minutes long and sold at the ridiculously low price of .49 cents.
The story generated headlines from all the major press, first for marketing, then for its unusual sound. Critics loved the album, which sounded more like a sound collage. Included in the music, were a few seconds worth of mash ups from other artist songs. Two weeks after it was originally released, Amazon and Tunecore pulled the "49 Minutes" download off their sites. And in its place, Tunecore began offering a different, exclusive Westerberg track titled, "5:05." The new song sells for .99 cents.
Why did the original album get pulled? The most plausible answer is that digital retailers probably received cease and desist notices for "49 Minutes" due to the mash ups. Once they receive a notice, they simply pull the release until they are convinced they have the rights to sell it. Game over, or prepare to suffer lawsuits. It will be interesting to see what Westerberg does next.
August 6, 2008
What a short, strange trip it's been for "49:00". I'm going to do my best to explain what's going on with "49:00" and the new release, "5:05". To put it simply, "49:00" is no longer available for download on either Amazon.com or Tunecore, it was removed from Tunecore last Thursday and from Amazon two days later. Gone, daddy, gone.
No official explanation was given for its disappearance. As one might expect, there's been quite a bit of discussion about possible reasons and you can find some of those discussions on the message board. Since we're not getting an official explanation, speculation is the next best thing!
But wait, there's more. Late last night, a new PW song appeared on Tunecore, "5:05" (yes, it's five minutes and five seconds long). To repeat, this new download is not "49:00", it's an entirely different thing. The cover art is to the right, to get the hi-res, downloadable version of the art, click on the image.
One more thing: When you go to download "5:05", you can choose how much you want to pay for it. You can pay either $5.05 or you can pay $0.99 - whatever amount you decide to pay, you get the exact same song. The only difference (obviously) is how much money comes out on the other end. For more info on "5:05", check out the initial reactions to it on the message board.
August 2, 2008
Some news on downloading "49:00". Up until Thursday, you could download it from Tunecore or from Amazon. Tunecore was set up to accommodate non-US users because Amazon does not allow people outside the US to download from the MP3 store. As of Thursday though, the download was no longer available from Tunecore and Amazon.com was the only source. And now today, while "49:00" is still listed on Amazon, the "Buy" function is disabled for it. So you can't get it there either.
When I have news on what's going on with all this, I'll post an update. At this point, I don't have any info to post on what's the heck is going on.
Got a bunch of links to "49:00" reviews, most are very favorable (and why not?):
July 26, 2008
I'm posting a completely and utterly unofficial track listing for "49:00", generated by discussions on the message board. There is no official list from Paul. The list below was put together by GtrPlyr, and I tweaked it a tad (he says "Kentucky Horizon", I say "Kentucky Risin'"). I like his list because it calls the songs exactly what you think they would be called after listening to them. I can't think of a PW-penned song that you couldn't correctly guess the name of by listening to it once. Ok, I thought of one, "Alex Chilton", but you get the point, which is Paul is not an "Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town"-kind of song titler.
Obviously, there's a whole lot going on after the first 3-4 songs, with overlapping tracks and quick snippets you can barely hear, so while this is a solid guideline to where to find stuff, it's not an exhaustive chronicling of every stray note. And I do think "49:00" is most powerful when it's experienced in one full listen, but practically speaking, a) people want to know where to locate their favorite bits when spinning their iPod wheel and b) there are distinct songs on here and for the purposes of discussing the music, it helps to be able to refer to them by a name. So with all those caveats, here's the list, which is song title and start time:
*The medley includes: "Hello Goodbye" - The Beatles; "Lost Highway" - Hank Williams; "Born To Be Wild" - Steppenwolf; "Stupid Girl" - Rolling Stones; "I'm Eighteen" - Alice Cooper; "I Am A Rock" - Simon and Garfunkel; "Rocket Man" - Elton John; "Dandy" - The Kinks
July 23, 2008
How much do I love "49:00"? Well, I'm sitting here updating the site instead of watching "Project Runway" - believe me, that means I love it A LOT. As of now (9:07PM EDT), Paul is still #1 on the Amazon MP3 Album chart. Take that, "Mamma Mia" movie soundtrack! The release is still getting plenty of mentions in the press, including an excellent piece on PopMatters, which you can find here.
ABCNews.com (who knew?) has what I think is the best article on "49:00" to date because it's actually a review of the album (by Allan Raible), and it's a very thoughtful and (positive) review at that. I've been wondering when/if we would see some full-fledged reviews, since it's a unique and challenging offering to try and review. And now we have one.
July 22, 2008
Wow, what a lot of press "49:00" is getting, it's amazing. I had no idea what to expect when I first heard about this last week - either in terms of how successful it would be or what the music would sound like. And it's been such an awesome surprise on both counts. I can't imagine how I could love this record any more than I do - oh wait, yes I can, if it came with a companion download of the complete versions of all the cover songs at the end of "49:00". Oh, well, next time, right? Here are today's PW-related links:
July 21, 2008
Below are links to some of the coverage "49:00" got today. Also, it reached #1 with a bullet on Amazon's MP3 Album Chart today. Oh and the album kicks all kinds of ass, just FYI.
The Billboard article includes an interview with Darren about how the project came together (one word: quickly!):
"(Paul) finished it on Monday, sent it to me on Tuesday and it was out this weekend," Westerberg manager Darren Hill tells Billboard.com. "It's just wonderful that you can actually do this. The freedom an artist can enjoy these days is fantastic. Can you imagine me pitching this idea to a label?"
Without revealing specifics, Hill says "49" is "just the tip of a really large creative iceberg. Paul has been writing and recording at a furious pace." However, he adds that "there are no plans or talk of doing any performances at the moment."
The interview also reveals that Paul's son Johnny is handling vocals on the last song but that otherwise, it's all Paul, on vocals and instruments (I think we can all recognize Paul's 'distinctive' drumming style at this point...).
Paul didn't provide a track listing for the album (for obvious reasons, once you've heard it) but please chime in on the message board where we're deciphering song lyrics (and what exactly constitues a 'song' on "49:00").
July 19, 2008
Looks like there will be a slight delay in getting the link live (technical difficulties and such) and we're probably looking at a June 49 + 2 availability date (that's Monday) for the download. I'll be sending out an email when the link is up, if you want to be notified that way, you can sign up for the email newsletter.
In the meantime, you can enjoy the cover art and PW-supplied accompanying text. To download the cover art in PDF format, click on the image:
July 18, 2008
Kudos to Dfactor on Waved Rumor for unearthing a great find on YouTube - a 1999 mini-documentary directed by Ondi Timoner (I think it's about 30 minutes long, but that's a guess) called "Seeing Through Paul". It was made to promote Suicaine Gratifaction. Lots of interview footage and lots of music, this is a must-see. It's broken up into 4 clips, and I've posted them here.
July 17, 2008
As if new music from Paul wasn't enough news for the day/week/month, Pitchfork has the track listings for the Sire reissues (due out on Sept. 23), including the bonus tracks. And the bonus tracks are...:
- Can't Hardly Wait (acoustic, Alex Chilton sessions outtake) [previously unreleased bonus track]
- Nowhere Is My Home (Alex Chilton sessions outtake) [bonus track]
- Can't Hardly Wait (electric, Alex Chilton sessions outtake) [previously unreleased bonus track]
- Kiss Me on the Bus (Tom Erdelyi demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
- Waitress in the Sky (outtake, alternate version) [previously unreleased bonus track]
- Here Comes a Regular (outtake, alternate version) [previously unreleased bonus track]
Pleased to Meet Me:
- Birthday Gal (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
- Valentine (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
- Bundle Up (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
- Photo (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
- Election Day [bonus track]
- Alex Chilton (alternate version) [previously unreleased bonus track]
- Kick It In (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
- Route 66 [bonus track]
- Tossin' 'N' Turnin' [bonus track]
- Can't Hardly Wait (alternate version) [previously unreleased bonus track]
- Cool Water [bonus track]
Don't Tell a Soul:
- Talent Show (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
- We'll Inherit the Earth (mix 1) [previously unreleased bonus track]
- Date to Church [ft. Tom Waits] [bonus track]
- We Know the Night (outtake) [previously unreleased bonus track]
- Gudbuy T' Jane (Slade cover) (outtake) [previously unreleased bonus track]
All Shook Down:
- When It Began (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
- Nobody (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
- One Wink at a Time (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
- Torture (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
- Attitude (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
- Happy Town (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
- Tiny Paper Plane (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
- Sadly Beautiful (demo) [previously unreleased bonus track]
- Kissin' in Action [bonus track]
- Ought to Get Love [bonus track]
- Satellite [bonus track]
While in no way diminishing the wonderful job that has been done on these releases by the Mats, Peter Jesperson, Darren Hill and everyone else involved in selecting the tracks, I am disappointed/surprised to see "Trouble On The Way", "Make This Your Home" and Run For The Country" missing from PTMM and (most especially) "Learn How To Fail" missing from "Tim". Pure speculation on my part, but maybe they didn't have recordings of these songs that were of sufficient quality for a release? "Bundle Up" is a great, fun song, but "Learn How To Fail" is a gorgeous, quintessential PW song. OK, enough bitching, it's still a plethora of Mats material and that's all kinds of great.
July 14, 2008
I know it's been awhile since I posted an update but it's been awhile since there's been anything to update you on. And now there is. Nothing major (not just yet anyway...) but I wanted to post a link to Spin's Mats article from the May 2008 issue, which is now available online. If you didn't get the chance to read it in print, definitely check it out now. It was written by Bob Mehr, and he interviewed Paul, Tommy, Chris and Peter Jesperson so it's very comprehensive and as much as you think you may know about the Mats, you'll still learn a few things from it. The digital format of it (sort of a souped up PDF) makes it a bit tough to read, but the flip side is, the pictures included in the article look amazing.
At Geekapalooza (aka E3) today, the complete track list for Rock Band 2 was announced and you'll pleased/horrified/indifferent to learn that "Alex Chilton" made the list (The song, not the man).
May 20, 2008
There's a new interview with Paul posted on Pitchfork. It's a long interview, and while it touches on a lot of the same points that his other recent interviews have, there's some very interesting stuff here. A couple of bits:
Ok, moving on from the horror of CHW possibly being used to sell cars, Filter Magazine has a Mats feature in their most recent issue (Spring 08, with Flight of the Concords on the cover). Paul, Tommy and Peter Jesperson are interviewed. The article is not posted on their web site so I excerpted a few quotes below:
May 10, 2008
Oops. Thank you to those who corrected me on "Trouble Boys", which I said was a Thin Lizzy song. It was covered by Thin Lizzy, but it was originally done by Dave Edmunds (lyrics here) in 1978 and was written by Rockpile guitarist Billy Bremmer (credited as "Billy Murray").
May 8, 2008
In answer to several questions I've gotten from people about the availability of the Mats reissues on iTunes, they will be available, but not for several months. All of the reissues will go on iTunes at the same time, which will be after the Sire reissues are released in September.
The May issue of Spin includes an article on the reissues by Bob Mehr, for which he interviewed Paul, Tommy, Chris and Peter Jesperson. It's not available online, if you want to track down an issue, look for the one with My Morning Jacket on the cover. As noted in the Contributors section of the issue, Bob is working on a Mats biography, titled "Trouble Boys" (the title of
May 4, 2008
Congratulations to John Lee, winner of the 4 Mats reissues and the limited edition 7". This was the most popular contest I've ever run on the site, with nearly 900 entries. Thanks to everyone for entering and I hope to be able to do this again when the Sire releases come out in Sept.
April 30, 2008
Just a reminder: The contest ends on Saturday, May 3 (I goofed and said "Friday, May 3" in the original posting), so if you haven't already entered, you still have a few days left but you better get on it!.
If the current Twin/Tone reissues and the upcoming Sire reissues aren't enough to whet your appetite for Mats stuff, you'll be especially pleased to hear that it looks like we have some live Mats coming our way too. In an interview on Boston.com, Peter Jesperson said "There will be a live box or series eventually but I don’t think there’s much more non-live stuff of releasable quality." Live box set or multiple CD set? That sounds awesome! You can also read more of his thoughts on the reissues in an interview with Goldmine (and check out Goldmine's reviews of the discs).
If you're looking for the limited edition 7" single, I posted a list of the retailers who have (or had) the singles.
I love this bit of news - No Depression reports that Glen Campbell will be covering the Mats' "Sadly Beautiful" on an upcoming album, "Meet Glen Campbell". Other songs he'll be covering include " All I Want Is You" (U2), "Times Like These" (Foo Fighters) and "These Days" (written by Jackson Browne and first recorded by Nico). "These Days" was also covered by Paul, both on his 2002 solo tour and on CFMT. Campbell is scheduled to perform some of this new material at the Stagecoach Festival on May 2. Paul, in turn, will be covering "Wichita Lineman" on his next solo release (I would actually love that).
And finally today, one more review of the reissues, this one from All Music Guide's review, which does an excellent job explaining why I love "Hootenanny" so much.
April 26, 2008
Just a couple of items on the reissues today:
Q: Are you using an iPod to listen to your music nowadays?
paul westerberg: No. No. I still like to pull out 45s and put them on the mono record player in the basement. I love the past and I love what it is. I feel I can learn more from what has come before than what is happening right now and what's happening tomorrow. I'll leave that to someone else who's young and energetic. Somebody gave me a blues compilation, a DVD from England, '62-'69. It's got Little Walker and Skip James and stuff and it's I really enjoy watching that kind of stuff. I enjoy watching the Rolling Stones from that era too. I'm not a modern guy.
Q: And you're definitely a Minnesotan. Are there any spots you're gonna wanna hang out at? Do you have any favorite LA spots?
paul westerberg: No. I go from the bathroom to the living room to the headphones to the telephone. I never go anywhere. There was a time I walked over to the Pink Dot to buy something, a candy bar. No. I'm not a go-seer of stuff.
Teenage Kicks has an extensive three-part interview with Peter Jesperson, it's fascinating not only for the Mats stuff in there (and there is TONS), but for his insight into the music business. Must read, people, must read. Here's a little teaser regarding the Sire reissues:
TK: What surprises are in store for Replacements’ fans with the Sire reissues?
PJ: For the Sire stuff, the Holy Grail part II is where we get to release the acoustic version of “Can’t Hardly Wait.” We were just listening to that yesterday and to me, that’s one of the most stunning performances I’ve ever heard in my life .Of course it’s been bootlegged too, but we’re going off the master tape and it sounds beautiful. After “You’re Getting Married” from the first set, the Holy Grail part II is “Can’t Hardly Wait” acoustic which will be the first bonus track on Tim.
"Climb to the top of this crummy water tower, screaming 'I can't hardly wait'"
April 24, 2008
A clarification about the limited edition 7" single ("I Will Dare" b/w "Color Me Impressed"): You can't buy it as a standalone. It's available only at selected indie retailers and most of them are offering it as a bonus when you buy all of the reissues. A couple of people have reported getting when they only bought one of the reissues, so it seems to vary from store to store. Your best bet is to call around to your local stores to track one down. Also, the artwork of the sleeve that I posted a few days ago shows orange coloring, but the actual sleeve has blue coloring. Of course some are already for sale on eBay, you can check out the listings to see the blue sleeve.
Lots of press about the reissues, most of it centering on the "will they/won't they?" reunion tour question - so I have a plethora of links for you to enjoy:
April 22, 2008
There's nothing better than listening to music in the car on a gorgeous sunny day (especially when it's one of the very first gorgeous sunny days of the season) and it was pretty damn awesome to be driving around this morning with the windows down and the remastered "Hootenanny" blasting.
Billboard posted interviews with both Paul and Tommy today. Paul's interview is quite long and touches on a lot of things - his feelings on the reissues and the Mats in general, the idea of touring again as the Mats, what he's working on now, a typical day in the Westerberg house and most interestingly, the fact that he is contemplating releasing some of his new songs online in some fashion: "Darren [Hill] and I are kicking around the idea of selling the songs online, having like a song of the month club. That might be the best way."
April 20, 2008
A few reissues-related links today:
April 16, 2008
Contest Time! Thanks to Rhino, one lucky winner will receive a full set of the deluxe and remastered Replacements reissues: 'Sorry Ma', 'Stink', 'Hootenanny' and 'Let It Be'. To enter the contest, email your name and mailing address (so we can get them to you) to:
All entries must be in by Friday, May 3, 2008. Please, limit yourself to one entry. And hey, guy who enters every contest using 4 different email addresses to submit the same name and mailing address (you know who you are)? Don't do that this time. I can see through your fiendishly clever ruse.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! Not only will the winner get all 4 CDs, he or she will also get this killer limited edition 7" vinyl single - "I Will Dare" b/w "Color Me Impressed":
WANT. For those of us who aren't the lucky winner, the single will be available through select indie retailers, when/if I get more details on where you can find it, I'll post them.
In other reissue-related news, VH1 has a preview of the reissued "Let It Be" streaming on their site, including 2 of the bonus tracks: A cover of "20th Century Boy" and an outtake of "Sixteen Blue" with alt. vocals. Both are pretty durn sweet. And Jim Walsh has posted his thoughts on the reissues on MinnPost.com, which are sure to get you pumped up for next Tuesday. To a person, everyone I've heard from who has the actual reissues (not just promo CDs), has raved about the great packaging and Jim is no exception: "Painstakingly and lovingly assembled and produced by the band's original producer and manager (and Twin/Tone co-founder) Peter Jesperson, the original recordings are augmented by 27 previously unreleased tracks and tons of photos and memorabilia that flesh out yet again what many have called the best band of the '80s." He also includes some excerpts from the liner notes, I love the stuff he posted from Gina Arnold's "Let It Be" notes.
At the risk of being repetitive...WANT.
Feb. 12, 2008
So much for my snarky comment about waiting since the Mesozoic era for the Mats reissues to actually come out - today comes the news that they are really and truly scheduled for release in April and October - of this year! No, seriously! Billboard says so: Long-Awaited Replacements Reissues Due In April. The highlights:
The Replacements' first three albums and an EP will be reissued in remastered, expanded form this spring, completing a long awaited upgrade of the seminal band's early work. "Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out the Trash," "Stink," "Hootenanny" and "Let It Be" will arrive April 22 via Rhino, Billboard.com can reveal.
Originally released on the band's hometown label, Twin/Tone, the albums were prepped for reissue by Replacements manager Peter Jesperson, with involvement from the surviving band members.
Here is the bonus material for the Replacements reissues (previously unissued tracks marked with *):
"Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out the Trash":
"Let It Be":
The Sire reissues are coming out in October, no details on the bonus material yet, but based on this list, I'd say the Sire bonus material will be Kick. Ass. Can you ask for more than an 'official' Mats recording of "Heartbeat -- It's a Lovebeat"? No, you cannot.
Feb. 10, 2008
Not much news happening lately. Seems like the best we can hope for in 2008 is the Mats reissues (with bonus material!) that are meant to be coming out later this year (of course, I have been hearing that they are coming out "this year" since the Mesozoic era, so I advise against the holding of one's breath). Til we have some real news, here are some links/items of interest for a dreary winter Sunday.
Jan. 10, 2008
Attention PTMM lovers: There's a fantastic new article about the making of the Mats best album (ok, ok, I mean, "what is arguably the Mats best album") up on Gibson's web site, "Torn and Frayed: The Story of the Replacements’ 1987 Classic Pleased to Meet Me". It features extensive recollections from Jim Dickinson and Tjohn Hampton, a longtime engineer at Ardent Studios in Memphis. There's a lot of great stories in the article and you'll also learn the truth about the apocryphal "vomit on the ceiling" story.
More on the Mats: City Pages published the Twin Cities Rock Atlas, a cool map of the rock and roll landmarks around the cities. A couple of Mats mention, as you probably guessed, including the 'Let It Be' house and the C.C. Club.
NOTE: The News page was getting disturbingly long, so I have created News archives for 2006 and 2007, so if you're looking for older info, check those out.