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recommended boston area events

tuesday, december 4th

kelly hogan

@ johnny d's

thursday, december 6th

conor oberst

@ converse hall, tremont st.

thursday, december 6th

jason isbell &

the 400 unit

@ the sinclair

friday, december 7th

the weisstronauts 14th

annual holiday jubilee

with guests tsunami of sound

preacher jack, & the derangers

@ the midway cafe, jp

friday, december 7th


moving mountains


@ the sinclair

saturday, december 8th

patrick watson

@ the sinclair

saturday, december 8th

the faint perform

"danse macabre"


icky blossoms

@ the paradise

sunday, december 9th

band of horses

@ house of blues

sunday, december 9th



@ the paradise

wednesday, december 12th

concrete blonde

jim bianco

@ the sinclair

thursday, december 13th

annual boston christmas cavalcade

benefit for the homeless

featuring tons of artists

(see fb event for details)

@ johnny d's

thursday, december 13th

nada surf

eternal summers

@ the paradise

thursday, december 13th

mates of state

in the valley below

@ brighton music hall

friday, december 14th

forgetters (blake from

jawbreaker's band)

& more tba

@ democracy center, harvard square

sunday, december 30th

sufjan stevens

sheila saputo

@ the royale

monday, december 31st

my morning jacket

@ agganis arena

monday, december 31st

deer tick

two gallants

@ the sinclair

monday, january 7th


@ the paradise

tuesday, january 8th


@ great scott

saturday, january 19th

mission of burma

@ the sinclair

sunday, january 20th

camper van beethoven


@ the middle east down

sunday, january 20th


@ the orpheum

sunday, january 20th

ra ra riot

@ the paradise

sunday, january 27th


@ great scott

tuesday, january 29th

kathleen edwards

sera cahoone

@ brighton music hall

wednesday, february 13th

yo la tengo

@ the paradise

saturday, march 2nd

unknown mortal orchestra

@ brighton music hall

tuesday, march 12th

tame impala

@ house of blues

thursday, march 14th

jukebox the ghost

matt pond pa

lighthouse and the whaler

@ brighton music hall

tuesday, march 26th

yo la tengo

@ the paradise

wednesday & thursday

april 3rd & 4th

they might be giants

@ the paradise

visit tourfilter for more shows

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Very Westerberg Christmas

Former Replacements frontman Paul Westerberg has been on a tear over the past six months or so, releasing random home recordings onto the internet with wild abandon. The semi-disorganized flood of songs (some complete, some in aural collages, some covers, some in just one channel) comes after the fairly long drought that followed his hand injury almost exactly two years ago.

The latest offering comes today, on Christmas Eve, for a mere 74 cents: A trio of tracks including his own version of "Away In A Manger" (incorrectly listed as "Always In A Manger"), a cover of "Streets of Laredo", and "D.G.T.", the title track. Grab the 320kbps Mp3 at Tunecore, along with his accompanying artwork.

I'm loving the seemingly haphazard way he's been messin' around with these internet releases, surprising us first by sharing the stream-of-songness "49:00" (which actually clocked in at 43:55) through and Tunecore for just 49 pennies. That mostly lo-fi, all-Paul experiment was rife with fade-ins, fade-outs, channel-mixing, and covers, but most importantly, some original Westerberg gems. It was at once frustrating and rewarding, more of a PW podcast than an album, and it'll be interesting to see if the great stuff within finds its way into a proper studio and onto a proper release, or if he looks at it as just a snapshot of where he's at and moves on. Depends on how prolific he's being, I suppose.

When it first came out, in a moment of compulsive fandom, I threw together a tracklisting of my own, which I'll share here with one of my faves from the release (which I wouldn't have excerpted had the next part of the story not taken place)...
Mp3: Paul Westerberg - "Devil Raised A Good Boy"

Paul Westerberg - "49:00" tracklisting
01. Terri, Who You Gonna Marry? (3:56)
02. You Rise Up (3:00)
03. Something In My Life Is Missing (3:43)
04. Visitor's Day (3:32)
05. Fast As A Thoroughbred (:16 excerpt)
06. The Devil Raised A Good Boy (3:14)
07. You're My Girl (:23 excerpt)
08. Everyone's Stupid (2:43)
09. What Do You Want? (:22 excerpt)
10. Never Coming Back At All (:42 excerpt)
11/12. (overlapped) Goodnight Sweet Prince
with Carpenter's Hands (2:09)
13. Outta My System (5:15) (demo of old b-side?)
14. Be My Darlin' (3:45)
15. Down on the Farm (:12 excerpt)
16. The Incomparable Miss Sara (:46 excerpt)
17. 100,000 pieces (:25 excerpt)
18. I'm Clean (1:18)
19. It'll Never Die (4:04)
20. cover excerpts (1:59) including: Hello, Goodbye - Beatles / Born to be Wild - Steppenwolf / Lost Highway - Hank Williams / Stupid Girl - Rolling Stones / Eighteeen - Alice Cooper / I Am A Rock - Simon & Garfunkel / Rocket Man - Elton John / Dandy - The Kinks / I Think I Love You - Partridge Family (over a minute excerpt)
21. Stop Runnin' Around (2:11)
Shortly after it was posted, things took an interesting turn as the "49:00" download links vanished without warning, and in their place appeared the single-song "5:05" (which you'll notice makes up the time difference between the 43:55 and 49:00). At first, neither Paul nor his manager dished on the reason behind the switcheroo, but the lyrics of "5:05" hinted at behind-the-scenes legal issues (more speculation on that appeared over at Things I'd Rather Be Doing and the Man Without Ties forum).

In an interview with Brett Milano over at the Rock Band site last month (conducted due to the addition of the 'Mats classic "Alex Chilton" to the game), Westerberg finally spoke about what happened, and about why he's been releasing music this way lately...
Brett Milano: Your last album, you put it out as a download and sold it for 49 cents. Did that work? Did you make anything off of that, or was that not the idea?

Paul Westerberg: (laughs) I've had to pay money for putting that out for one week. We had to pay...(pauses) 10 publishers came after us immediately 'cuz I used all these snippets of songs I recorded. Y'know, it was either pay up or pull the thing, so we pulled it after a week. The XXXX (bleeped out), of course, being the only publishing company that still wants their money to this day for my 8 seconds of my cover of XXXXX (bleeped out). But that was fun, I mean, that was a fun week or two when I was putting those things out.

BM: Why did you choose to do it that way?

PW: Because it was wrong. It did what we used to do, and I'm capable of doing that alone, by accident. It kind of... it just shot everyone down in the world who was putting out their record for $1 a song and it said "Here, I'm going to give you forty-some minutes of music for basically a penny a minute." It turned everything on its head for a week. It was nice for me to grab a big handful of my songs and get them out of my system. I have a list, I crossed fifty songs off there, it's like, ok, fuck those, I don't have to worry about those. Even if you only heard 1 second of it, in my mind it's done. You have to do that from time to time because I write, sort of, all the time.
Which, if he sticks to that thought, means we may never hear 'proper' studio versions of any of those songs. Which is simultaneously cool and a shame.

After "5:05" came and went, something called the "3oclockkreep" appeared, a 23 minute collection of randomness that included a new personal Westerberg fave ("Only Excuses"), collaborations with Tom Waits ("We Know The Night", "Lowdown Monkey"), and a closer that came dangerously close to ripping off INXS's "This Time" ("Finally Here Once"). This one was 4 bucks, remained online, and was eventually followed by another single song release called "Bored of Edukation". That one is also still available on Amazon and Tunecore for 99 cents.

Which brings us to today, and the release of the three-track, 74 cent "D.G.T." EP. Keep 'em coming, Paul. Long as you keep postin', I'll keep buyin'.

featured mp3 download
neil halstead
live in cambridge, ma
on november 14th, 2008
previously: joy formidable - boston 2011

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