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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 ou 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". You can listen to the tracks below or visit Pitchfork for their full story on the releases. Enjoy!

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:
  • Crawdaddy review of "49:00"
  • Rocky Mountain News review of "49:00"
  • "49:00" review from The Modern Conservative (if, like me, you're a bleeding heart liberal and the name of the site is giving you the willies, check out the review anyway, it's very good)

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:
  • Who You Gonna Marry? - 00:00
  • Kentucky Risin' Kentucky Riser - 03:57
  • Something in My Life is Missing - 06:57
  • Visitor's Day - 10:38
  • Thoroughbred - 14:14
  • Devil Raised a Good Boy - 14:28
  • You're My Girl - 17:38
  • Everyone's Stupid - 18:04
  • You're My Girl (Reprise) - 20:42
  • What Do You Want? - 20:48
  • Never Coming Back - 21:07
  • Goodnight, Sweet Prince - 21:52
  • Guess I'll Be Going Then - 25.47
  • Outta My System - 25:54
  • C'mon, Be My Darling - 29:16
  • Down on the Farm - 33:01
  • 100,00 Pieces - 33:12
  • I'm Clean - 34:24
  • Your Sister - 35:35
  • It'll Never Die - 35:43
  • Short Cover Medley* - 39:46
  • I Think I Love You - 40:41
  • Oh Yeah! - 41:46


  • *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. I got the official back cover art work today and you can find it on the "49:00" page. 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:

  • Pitchfork
  • Listening Post - Part news story, part review, definitely worth checking out
  • The Guardian UK
  • There's no track listing but if you're looking for some help in getting handle on everything that's on there, a kind soul on the message board (Thanks, Hide N Lurkin') has named the tracks and listed the length of each track. Your Titles May Vary but I found this very helpful.
  • Another enterprising person on the message board (thanks, GtrPlyr) has posted some revised (unofficial) art, with the cover Paul made slightly re-sized to fit a jewel case and Paul's liner notes/warning as tray art. Download it here.


July 21, 2008
"49:00" is ready for download!

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:

paul westerberg 49

WARNING: DO NOT LISTEN WHILE OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE

THIS PRODUCT IS NOT FAULTY - ALL SOUNDS ARE INTENTIONAL AND VALID AS A WORK OF ART



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...:

Tim:
- 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:
  • On the last tour and the breakup of the Mats: "Not all bands know it when it's happening, but that last tour was our traveling farewell. It was not very fun, and by the end we knew it. By then, it was Steve [Foley] on drums and Slim [Dunlap], who apparently cared less about the band than he pretended to back then. He and I were already going our own ways. Tommy wanted to go solo. Everyone thinks it was me, but that's not true, really. That's essentially how the band sort of broke up."
  • Pitchfork: Do the Replacements make you any money?
    PW: A little bit. They asked me if they could use "Can't Hardly Wait" for a Toyota commercial. I sort of hemmed and hawed, because basically they don't have to ask my permission. They own the mechanicals, and they own half of the publishing, so if I say no they can do it anyway. That kind of stuff will generate a little income for me, the writer. The records have actually picked up in the last ten years, as far as sales go, so for as much as we put into them we're certainly getting it back. We never made any money on tour. None of us came out of the school of economics. We took it for granted that a rock and roll band gets ripped off.

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:
  • Filter: You've had numerous solo albums. Anything currently in the works?
    PW: I did give at least 60 songs to my manager, Darren. I was at the point where I had to give them to someone or I was going to start erasing them. If I drop dead, he's got, like, five albums in the can. Since doing that, I started writing more...I was talking to Darren about Guitar Hero and Rock Band; we turned it down before because I thought it was stupid. I was watching my son do it - him and his buddies all play it - and I figured, "Why not? What the hell? So, they want 'Kids Don't Follow'...let'em have it".
  • Filter: Has time mellowed you out at all since the "roller coaster" ride of the old days?
    PW: I don't know. Last night I pulled out my son's trumpet and I had a riff from this song, I was saying "Show me this in an A-flat and a B-flat.". I'm still the crotchety bastard I was when I was 19, but in a loving way. I'm manic-depressive, and I seem to be more manic than depressive, which is good, I guess.

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 a Thin Lizzy Dave Edmunds song that the Mats use to cover), so there's something to look forward to! A very few items of interest from an article chockful of them:
  • "At 48, Westerberg has taken up hockey. He spends a couple hours each day at an outdoor rink nearby, skating himself ragged."
  • "Westerberg says now that the chase for commercial success that dominated the band's latter years was ultimately what doomed them. 'The goal became simplistic and unrealistic, which was to have a hit', he says. 'And that's where we died. We weren't made of the stuff that makes popular music.'"
  • Paul on his reaction to first hearing The Sex Pistols: "The song was barely over before I'd gone home and cut my hair off and smashed all my records...hearing Lydon's voice made me think 'Forget all these solos I've been trying to play - I'm gonna sing. I'm gonna lead a fucking band."

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: Here's an interesting link (well, I think so anyway). From the blog of Tony Pierce, it's a transcript of an interview he did with Paul back in 2005 when Paul was promoting the HOF tour, and his LA shows in particular. You should read the whole thing, some fun stuff - my favorite bit is below, for some reason, "I'm not a go-seer of stuff" really made me laugh:

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:
  • Austin360.com review of the reissues, very interesting and I completely agree that a reissue of "The Shit Hits The Fans" would have been an excellent addition.
  • PopMatters has an extensive review of the reissues, which is definitely worth reading, though their 7 out of 10 rating for "Hootenanny" is...curious.
  • iF Magazine review of the reissues.
  • New York magazine interprets the Billboard interviews to mean that the Mats are "close to reuniting". That's an awfully optimistic read of the situation.
  • Idolator interprets the Billboard interviews to mean that "it doesn't sound like the Replacements (or rather, Tommy Stinson and Paul Westerberg) are likely to reunite any time soon" and Idolator is happy about that.
  • Paste interprets the Billboard interview to mean "maybe" there will be a Mats reunion and also reviews the reissues.
  • A non-reissue link - in an interview with the Star-Tribune, Kid In The Hall Dave Foley talks about getting a chance to be in the studio with Paul during the recording of SG. Lucky!


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:
  • Billboard interview with Tommy and Paul. Despite the discouraging title of the article - "The Replacements opt for reissues over reunion", the interview itself doesn't completely rule out the possibility:

    YOU'VE REUNITED TWICE IN THE STUDIO IN RECENT YEARS. YOU'VE SURELY RECEIVED A SIZABLE OFFER OR TWO FROM THE PRODUCERS OF COACHELLA, SO...

    Stinson: We actually talked about it again this year, and I think there was a consensus that, you know, maybe it wasn't the right time (to reunite), or maybe it is the right time. Paul and I were kind of in cahoots talking to them, talking to (his manager) Darren (Hill). There were some things thrown out, and there were other festivals that wanted it too, if we were going to do it. At the last minute, it just didn't seem like the right thing to do, so we didn't do it. But I think Paul and I have something to offer each other still. I think that's pretty obvious when we get together.

    Westerberg: I'm very hesitant about dragging the name out there and what damage we could do to the legend. Whatever we did, someone would want something else. If I went up there straight, they'd want us wasted. If we were f--ked up, they'd want us to be this or that. But, I don't know. The records hold the key to the whole thing. So if I was ever going to play, I'd like to play once the whole shooting match is out, because I don't think I could physically get up there and bellow these 18 songs (from) that first record. That's just sheer youth there. I can't find that in a bottle or a pill. I'm just too creaky for that.


  • Before VH1 became Celeb-Reality TV, (not complaining here, I will be glued to my TV for the "Rock of Love II" reunion/steel cage match tonight), they were actually a music channel. I know! And thusly, they've posted a "10 Great Songs by The Replacements" feature on their web site. Their picks are from the first 4 discs being reissued and are accompanied by some vintage Mats photos.


  • Rolling Stone posted a review of the "Let It Be" reissue, giving it 4 stars. Oddly, in an earlier review, the original issue was awarded 5 stars. So according to Rolling Stone, the addition of the new tracks caused a 20% drop in quality. Uhm....ok.


  • Nj.com glowingly reviewed the reissues, focusing on "Let It Be". "Rhino's remastered, expanded reissues of the Replacements' catalog should help carry their legacy further, while also being a godsend to fans pining for lost songs and better sound. Rhino has revamped the first four indie Replacements albums, with their four major-label releases to follow this fall."


  • Meant to post this link awhile back. Carrie Brownstein (Sleater-Kinney) posted her favorite Westerberg lyrics on her NPR blog. Some great choices (including one of my all-time favorites, "If bein' afraid is a crime, we hang side by side".

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:
matscontest@gmail.com

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":
  • "Raised in the City," live, 1980 - demo*
  • "Shutup," live, 1980 - demo*
  • "Don't Turn Me Down," live, 1980 - demo*
  • "Shape Up," live, 1980 - demo*
  • "You Ain't Gotta Dance," studio demo*
  • "Get on the Stick," studio demo*
  • "Oh Baby," studio demo*
  • "Like You," outtake*
  • "Get Lost," outtake*
  • "A Toe Needs a Shoe," outtake*
  • "Customer," alternate take*
  • "Basement Jam," rehearsal*
  • "If Only You Were Lonely"

    "Stink":
  • "Staples in Her Stomach," outtake*
  • "Hey, Good Lookin'," outtake*
  • "(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock," outtake*
  • "You're Getting Married," solo home demo*

    "Hootenanny":
  • "Lookin' for Ya"
  • "Junior's Got a Gun," outtake - rough mix*
  • "Ain't No Crime," outtake*
  • "Johnny Fast," outtake - rough mix*
  • "Treatment Bound," alternate version*
  • "Lovelines," alternate vocal*
  • "Bad Worker," solo home demo*

    "Let It Be":
  • "20th Century Boy"
  • "Perfectly Lethal," outtake*
  • "Temptation Eyes," outtake*
  • "Answering Machine," solo home demo*
  • "Heartbeat -- It's a Lovebeat," outtake - rough mix*
  • "Sixteen Blue," outtake - alternate vocal*


  • 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.

  • An interview with Jim Walsh (author of "The Replacements: All Over But the Shouting") from OregonLive.com
  • If you've never been able to get your hands on a copy of the bonus track "Wonderful Copenhagen", (from the EU version of SG), you can now but it on iTunes (not to pimp out iTunes, but it is a good place to find off-the-beaten path singles).
  • Check out this clip from "At The Movies With Ebert And Roeper", with guest critic Michael Phillips sitting in for Ebert. They review "U2 3D" and Roeper refers tot hem as the best band of the past 25 years. Phillips says "I don't know about them being the best band of the past 25 years, what about the Replacements...there's a band I'd like to see in 3D".

    Random PW Video from YouTube: PW being interviewed on the set of the "World Class Fad" video for MTV and then grabbing the mike to interview some random people on the set, including the director of the video, Zach Snyder (who later found fame and fortune as the director of "300").


    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.


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