Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy Birthday Mr. Westerberg

Happy Birthday to Paul (born Dec. 31, 1959), who shares his birthday with an eclectic group including Henri Matisse, Anthony Hopkins, Simon Wiensenthal, John Denver, Val Kilmer and Donna Summer. Which reminds me that Donna Summer was nominated (though not voted in) for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. But that still makes her one step closer than the Mats, who were not even nominated. I firmly believe that John Denver will be voted into the HOF before the Mats will. It's a mean old world.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Boston Drafts Westerberg

Seems like a good time for another round up of links, lots of press for "All Over But The Shouting". Hope everyone is having a delightful holiday season and has remembered to ask Santy Claus for a new PW CD in 2008.

  • Read "Why The Replacements Saved My Life" by Jim Connelly on his blog, Medialoper.

  • Mr. Paul Westerberg tops the list of Minnesotans whom The Boston Globe thinks should relocate to Boston. Extra credit to the Globe for a "Nowhere Is My Home" reference.

  • Crawdaddy interview with Jim Walsh and book review. Includes a link to the infamous Shaved Eyebrows interview on YouTube.

  • Review of the Nov. 28 Mats Tribute show/Book launch party at First Ave in Mpls.

  • Dallas Observer "All Over But The Shouting" book review.

  • Austin Statesmen book review: "The Clash liked to call themselves the only band that mattered, and Johnny Rotten might have snarled "We don't care," but these four mess-ups from Minneapolis were truly the only band that mattered, and they truly didn't care."

  • Minnesota Public Radio feature on "All Over But The Shouting". Includes a slide show with some classic Mats images, including their star at First Ave and the band rehearsing in the Stinson basement.
  • Monday, November 19, 2007

    Link Round-Up Day

    Things have been pretty quiet, Westerberg-wise, since the show in September, but here are a few items of interest:

  • Blender lists The 100 Greatest Indie-Rock Albums Ever and "Let It Be" comes in at #3.

  • Bob Dylan included a Mats song in a recent Theme Time Radio Hour on XM (Theme: Smoking. Mats Song: "More Cigarettes"). Click here for an MP3 of Dylan intro-ing the song.

  • Star-Tribune review of "All Over But The Shouting" and excerpt from the book.

  • City Pages review of "All Over But The Shouting".

  • Idolator's review of "All Over But The Shouting".
  • Tuesday, October 23, 2007

    "The Replacements: All Over But the Shouting" Out Now

    "All Over But the Shouting: An Oral History" was scheduled to be out on Nov.15, but it looks like it hit stores early, so check your favorite bookstore for a copy.

    Harp Magazine has both a review of the book and an interview with author Jim Walsh.

    Thursday, October 18, 2007

    Jimmy Reed Tribute on "Austin City Limits"

    Check your local listings for ACL's upcoming episode (week of 10/27) featuring a tribute to Jimmy Reed. This is Westerberg-related because of Paul's oft-demonstrated regard for Reed. In fact, here's a trivia question for you:

    Answer: This Jimmy Reed song title appears in the lyrics of "Can't Hardly Wait".
    Question: What is __________________________?

    Austin City Limits: October 27: Tribute to Bluesman Jimmy Reed
    Joined by blues luminaries James Cotton, Delbert McClinton and others, guitarist Jimmie Vaughan pays tribute to blues legend Jimmy Reed, composer of the classics "Ain't That Loving You Baby," "Big Boss Man" and "Baby What You Want Me to Do."

    Tuesday, October 16, 2007

    Interview Videos From "The Craft"

    Frustrating! Nearly a month after the Paul Westerberg/The Craft show, the video of the performances from the show have still not been posted. However, the some of the interview portions have been posted on the RRHOF site. You can continue to check The Craft site, where some performance videos will be posted......eventually.

    Saturday, October 13, 2007

    Wayback Machine: Paul Westerberg 1996 Interview

    Check out this interview with Paul from 1996. He was interviewed by Russell Hall for "Performing Songwriter" magazine, where much of this interview appeared. But at the time, Russell was kind enough to supply us with the full transcript of the interview. Here's an excerpt:

    Which come easier for you, ballads or rockers? Actually, I think I know the answer to that.
    PW: Do you? Which do you think?

    Well, I would assume that the rockers come easier.
    PW: No. If the question is, "Which comes easier, great rock 'n' roll or a great ballad?", I think . . . (pauses) I think I can write a ballad pretty easily, but great rock 'n' roll, to me, is almost impossible to write, alone. With a band, it's a different story. And that's the whole gist of my career right now. I used to be able to write great rock 'n' roll easily, because I had a great rock 'n' roll band. Now I don't have one, so I would have to answer your question by saying that, yes, the ballads are easier because there's no one to bounce things off of. There's no one to throw a drumstick at me.

    More Paul Westerberg on Jools Holland

    The second of Paul's two appearances on "Later With Jools Holland" is playing on, which is available through On Demand (I have Comcast On Demand and can find it by going to the On Demand menu and picking: Music > > Later With Jools). It's the episode entitled "Tom Petty & Others". This performance of "It's A Wonderful Lie" is from 1999 and is the only TV performance Paul did to promote "Suicaine Gratifaction".

    Saturday, October 6, 2007

    Westerberg Interview - The Craft

    You can listen to just the interview portion of The Craft show here, many thanks to Small Town Vice from the board for providing this.

    "Let It Be" on "Sound Opinions"

    Listen to the podcast of "Sound Opinions" doing a "Classic Album Dissection" of "Let It Be", with guest Jim Walsh. Grab the file here, the Mats discussion begins at about 18 minutes in. It's funny to hear them talking about this record as a "lost" classic since pretty much none of "us" (those who care enough about PW and the Mats to be reading this) think of it as an obscure album, but rather, as music that's practically encoded in our DNA at this point.

    Wednesday, October 3, 2007

    The Replacements: All Over But the Shouting

    Jim Walsh, author of the upcoming oral history of the Mats, "The Replacements: All Over But the Shouting" will be a guest on "Sound Opinions", a syndicated public radio show featuring Chicago writers Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talking music. The Oct. 5 show will be a "Sound Opinions Classic Album Dissection", this time focusing on "Let It Be". You can get more information, like what stations the show can be heard on and how to listen to it online at the show's web site.

    Speaking of web sites, the Mats book has its own MySpace page. There's lots of stuff to check out there, including a list of Jim's upcoming appearances, a bunch of glowing blurbs from the back cover ("The Replacements were superheroes: They rescued a whole planet from ’80s music. Jim Walsh’s loving, engrossing oral history is the book they deserve."— Nick Hornby), and a few choice excerpts from the book.

    Those of you in MPLS should keep Nov. 28th open for the book release party at First Avenue, with Twin Cities bands doing Mats covers. Bands include: We’ll Be You (featuring Jon Eller, Kevin Bowe, Steve Price and Jerry Anderson), The Alarmists, The Honeydogs, Birthday Suits, One For The Team, and many, many more.

    Monday, October 1, 2007

    Paul Westerberg/The Craft BitTorrent

    For those of you who have an account on DimeADozen (aka EZTorrent), the audio for Paul Westerberg -slash- The Craft show has been uploaded as a torrent. If you don't have an active account, it can be tough to get in because they cap the site at 100,000 members, but do keep trying. I got my account a few months ago after a day or two of trying. (If all of this is sounding like a lot of mumbo jumbo to you, check out the DimeWiki for more info on BitTorrent in general and Dime in particular).

    If you aren't able to get the show via BitTorrent, visit the Message Board, where some of us will be weeding out copies of the show the old-fashioned way: on CD.

    Friday, September 28, 2007

    Westerberg Video Two-fer

    More big thanks to JimP for uploading two more videos from The Craft show to YouTube: "Everyone's Stupid", a new song, written from the point of view of a kid whose parents are divorcing; and "Make The Best of Me", an unreleased Mats song that Paul said the band rejected for being "too spiritual". Enjoy!

    Everyone's Stupid

    Make The Best Of Me

    Tuesday, September 25, 2007

    Paul Westberg: The Craft 9.24

    The Paul Westerberg -slash- The Craft show at First Avenue: Amazing. Here's everything I have on it at the moment, more to come and the video will be online soon so you can see it for yourselves! For now, a big thank you to JimP for uploading this video of "Let The Bad Times Roll" from the show:

    The night was a mix of songs and interview, with a total of 10 songs played, including one new song and one unreleased Mats song. The set list:

    Let the Bad Times Roll
    It’s a Wonderful Lie
    Everyone’s Stupid (This is the new song, written from about a friend of his son's whose parents were divorcing, written from the kid's point of view)
    Lush & Green
    Make the Best of Me (An unreleased Mats-era song that he noted the band rejected as "too spiritual")
    What a Day (For a Night)
    World Class Fad (never a favorite of mine, but this was maybe the best-performed song of the night)
    Dyslexic Heart
    Can’t Hardly Wait
    Skyway (encore)

    My favorite quote of the night was "I would sort of divide what we did between the songs that ache and the songs that rock. Sometimes they did both. But the ones that ached mattered a little more to me than say, 'One Good Dose of Thunder'". Check out more quotes from the show courtesy of Rob van Alstyne at Reveille. (Paul responding to host Warren Zanes comparing him to legendary recluse J.D. Salinger in terms of taking himself out of the spotlight post-Suicaine: "It was more 'Catcher in the Slump' than 'Catcher in the Rye'"). My favorite moment of the night? Paul, cig firmly in mouth, playing a bit of "I Want You Back" by the Jackson 5.

    What the reviewers had to say:

    Spin - Review + great pictures, plus man/woman on the street interviews asking "Fill in the blank: Paul Westerberg makes me want to _____." The best answer is from Paul's cousin: "Paul Westerberg makes me want to call my pharmaceutical rep."
    The Star-Tribune - "Westerberg 'Craft' gets at some details but quiets his music" by Chris Riemenschneider. More here in the S-T blog.
    Reveille Magazine - Review + tons of pictures from Steve Cohen, who always does such an amazing job shooting PW shows.
    Billboard - "Zanes had Westerberg pick four favorite songs -- the Beatles' "Hello, Goodbye," the Rolling Stones' "Tumblin' Dice," the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" and Jimmy Reed's "You Got Me Running" -- and talk about them. One of the night's highlights was when Westerberg, after saying "I wish I could play it," spontaneously played the J5 smash as an instrumental on acoustic guitar."

    Most importantly, here's what the fans had to say: Check out the message boards for show reviews (the good, the bad and everything in between) and pictures. Thanks to everyone who posted about the show, if you went to the show and want to add your thoughts, please do!

    Thursday, September 20, 2007

    More Westerberg from 1993

    For those of you with On Demand service on your cable provider, you should check out whether you have access to the channel. (I have Comcast On Demand and can find it by going to the On Demand menu and picking: Music > > Later With Jools).

    And the reason you would be checking this out is because Paul's 1993 appearance on "Later With Jools Holland" is currently playing on this channel (through Oct. 15). Paul and the 1993 touring band (Dave Minehan, Darren Hill and Josh Freese) do 2 songs, "World Class Fad" and "Things". Paul says that this is only their second show together so that explains the lyrical misfires on "Things". Very rocking WCF!

    Wednesday, September 19, 2007

    Moshing With Paul

    I found this video via JukeboxGraduate, it's from Westerberg's 1993 tour and until I watched it, I had forgotten that there was crowd-surfing and stage-diving during those shows, and a wee bit of moshing. It's pretty funny to watch and a great performance of "Left Of The Dial" to boot.

    Monday, September 17, 2007

    Pleased To Meet Paul Westerberg

    Some good news for people who haven't won tickets for the PW "The Craft" show on Sunday: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has a package of 4 front row tickets up for auction, the package includes the opportunity to meet Paul (lucky!) and (to quote the eBay posting), "a host of other surprises…". Ooooooo! Bidding as of this post is incredibly low at $242, which works out to $60.50 per person, which is like... the bargain of the century! So get 3 friends together, pool your money and bid!

    9/19/07 7:30pm ETA:
    The top bid is now $630, but for front row seats and a meet and greet, I still think it's a bargain!

    Sunday, September 16, 2007

    "His favorite color is plaid"

    Fun thread on the message board detailing Paul's sartorial adventures in plaid. Check out the links below for some truly silly pictures of the plaided-up Mats and the Young Fresh Fellows goofing around on tour, from (I think) 1987. (Thanks to Cold Fingaz for the links).

    Saturday, September 15, 2007

    Paul Westerberg: The Artist As An Old Man

    I know it's hard to believe since none of us has aged a day (right?)...but it has actually been 10 years since GrandpaBoy first emerged from his holler. In honor of this momentous anniversay, I searched high and low (ok, I searched my hard drive) and I found a bunch of GB art from the original Monolyth web site. That site has long since gone to the Internet graveyard so I'm re-posting the images here. Enjoy!

    Friday, September 14, 2007

    And The Winners Are...

    Congratulations to the winners of the tickets to "The Craft" concert:

    Mary Mitchel
    Paul Vecchio
    Monica Schultz
    Michelle Maynard
    Kim Splaine
    Charles Ford
    Jim Portesan
    Geoffrey McDonald
    Kevin Gohl
    Stacy Lillyman

    Thanks to everyone who entered, I wish I had 400 pairs of tickets to give away.

    Wednesday, September 12, 2007

    Paul Westerberg vs. Ryan Adams

    No, not another PW/RA slap fight in the press. Crawdaddy has a great article by Greg Gaston posted today entitled "Shaggy Dogs: Paul Westerberg vs. Ryan Adams". It shows an all-too-rare appreciation of Paul's last few albums:

    Westerberg’s voice, still scuffed, still broken, still can take your breath away with a life’s worth of stunning self-knowledge: "Every time I didn't follow my dreams, I lost the map / I live my fantasy instead / Till I found it was a trap / Gave a life, got a living / Hey, that’s all right / All is forgiven” (“All That I Had”).

    Friday, September 7, 2007

    Hide 'n Seeking for PW Tickets

    Thanks very much to Paul's management for offering up 10 pairs of tickets for The Craft show, to be given away through the site.

    The winners will be selected at random from all the correct contest entries. The contest is pretty simple (if you know your bacon from your fingernails). Click here for all the contest details and good luck!

    Tuesday, September 4, 2007

    I'm In Love (With That Song)

    Keeping in mind the nature of the upcoming show in Mpls (Paul will play songs and also be interviewed, probably talking about some/all of the songs he plays), what songs would you like to hear him play?

    You can vote on this in poll form here: Paul Westerberg - The Craft Poll

    Basically, you rate songs you would LOVE to hear in this format highly (i.e. 10) and songs you would not like to hear as much, lowly (i.e. 0) and anywhere in between. Note that yes, there are songs missing from the poll. I didn't want the poll to be any longer than it already is (it's LONG) so I went off polls that I did in the past in winnowing the list and also common sense (by which I mean, "Dope Smokin' Moron" isn't included....). Your feedback is much appreciated!

    "Paul Westerberg to the rescue"

    I posted this clip on the Message Board last week and thought I'd share it here too. It's from "Mystery Science Theater 3000" (aka MST3K), if you don't know about the show, here are the basics: The show featured several puppets and one human making fun of bad movies and the show was made in Mpls. For more info, check out Satellite News.

    Anyhow, this clip is from the movie "Aliens in L.A.", featuring the egregiously-voiced Kathy Ireland. The PW reference is at around 6:25 (counting down). There were several other Mats-related references throughout the series. It was a great show (I still have my fan club t-shirt) and many episodes are available from Rhino.

    Monday, September 3, 2007

    Paul Westerberg Live in MPLS!

    Awesome news - Paul is playing live in Mpls on Sunday, September, 23! This is part of "The Craft" concert series, produced by Miller Genuine Draft and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. One catch, you have to win tickets through a Mpls radio station, Cities 97. The show will be hosted by Warren Zanes, so there will be Paul performing and Paul talking, a Storytellers kinda thing. Get your butt on over to the Cities 97 site and fill out the entry form/quiz. Good luck to all!

    Some consolation for those of us not in attendance: Videos from the show will be streamed online at a later date as well (though obviously being there is much, much, much, much better).

    What Is This?

    This is a blog companion to the Man Without Ties/Paul Westerberg site (which I started almost 12 years ago, my god, it can't possibly be that long, but yes, it was Nov. 1995 when I put the first page up). Why does the site need a blog, when there is already an entire web site and message board? Well, it's really for technical reasons. By putting up the latest news and info on a blog, as well as on the regular News page, it allows for this site to be tracked by blog search sites like Technorati, which helps new people find the site and it also allows readers to subscribe to updates via RSS, which is a major plus.

    Is it going to be a pain to update two sites? I think (hope) it will be a very minor pain and that the advantages will outweigh the disadvantages. If you're interested in the full MWT surround sound experience, please visit the main site (Man Without Ties) and if you're interested in connecting with other fans, visit the MWT Message Board and sign up to join in the conversation (or just lurk). You can very easily get all the PW news you can use via those two sites, this blog is just intended to put it into a more Web 2.0-y format.