Wednesday, July 23, 2008
paul (was) a dead man
if you'd asked me yesterday what i expected from a new paul westerberg record, i'd probably begin with 'not a listen from me'. his last release "folker" was so tepid, half-assed, and generally unlistenable, that i still stare in scorn at the cd when i pass it. but hell, yesterday, i didn't even know about this new westerberg release.
i don't know the origins of this record. i have an inkling. apparently he gave a bunch of songs to his manager (recorded god knows when). according to the "liner notes", he plays everything. guess mr. epstein said "PRINT"!
leave it to westerberg to release his most exciting record in eons for 49 cents (money quote-- "worth every penny"). fuckit, 2nd money quote, "it's the most 'mats-like record he's released since 1987" (grandpaboy?, save "lush and green", that stuff was garbage). and i'm not one of those who was wishing for a 'mats like experience. i thought "stereo/mono" was fuckin brilliant, but just got tired of that 'hit record, play something' template. was gettin tired.
the format works for him. 49 minutes ... one long mp3 file. his slapped together tunes sound like a great (well, good) college radio show. tunes meld into others, overlap at times ... appear for seconds (p dub as GBV?). and on some of the tunes, he's TRYING. he's really going for some amazing angles. on most post-mats records he's doing the same thing over and over, this one, he's taking chances vocally ... sometimes for seconds ... but, i'll take it.
the last few minutes are awe-inspiring, endin classic rawk montage is hilarious. and we finally get a definitive (half) take of the partridge fam's "i think i love you". finale with his kid is great.
the good news is we haven't heard him shred on the guitar like this in a while. always forget what a great gtr player he is.
i'll be honest, there's alot of crap on here. singer-songwriter BS that he's been farting with for 20 years. this should probably be called "20 minutes". in true westerberg fashion, alot of the greatest hooks are in the song snippets.
BUT, i like this record alot.
we'll end with paul's money quote from the record
"i'm on the brink today of writin somethin memorable"