Wednesday, December 24, 2008
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 Amazon.com 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"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?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'.
live in cambridge, ma
on november 14th, 2008
previously: joy formidable - boston 2011
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