Articles Tagged: Paul Westerberg

Certain Songs #1477: Paul Westerberg – “Kentucky Risin'”

Album: 49:00 of Your Time Life
Year: 2008

The only thing I know for sure about “Kentucky Risin'” is that it might not even be called “Kentucky Risin'”. And as a matter of fact, with the exception of the cover songs — you could say that about everything else on 49:00 of Your Time Life.

That’s because when Paul released it in late July, 2008, he just stuck the whole thing up there as a big 43:55 file (nope, 49:00 is not 49 minutes long) (unless you combine it with the “5:05” single), and let the rest of us sort it out. Because of the amount of music and the price point, only two platforms — Amazon & Tunecore — even bothered to put it out.

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Certain Songs #1476: Paul Westerberg – “Who You Gonna Marry?”

Album: 49:00 of Your Time Life
Year: 2008

After the 2002-2004 onslaught of music from Paul Westerberg, things got relatively quiet for awhile. At least in terms of releasing new music. But he still kinda stayed in the public eye. In 2005, there was Besterberg, a kinda sorta best-of that spanned his solo career to date (which had 8 Certain Songs out of 20), and in 2006, that was followed by an absolutely dynamite Replacements best-of called Don’t You Know Who I Think I Was (which will have 16 Certain Songs out of 20 when I get there next year) that actually featured two new Replacements songs, both which sounded like Paul solo songs that Tommy happened to play on.

That was followed by the soundtrack Open Season, which featured a handful of good-not-great songs that were fine. But still no new music in the vein that he’d tapped just a few years previously. And when news came out in 2006 that he’d fucked up his left hand with a screwdriver while trying to get wax out of a candle and had to relearn guitar.

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Certain Songs #1475: Paul Westerberg – “Breathe Some New Life”

Album: Folker
Year: 2004

In an interview with future biographer Bob Mehr, Paul Westerberg said that he intentionally intended Folker to flow together in a way that none of his other records ever had, and boy did he succeed.

That said, the ongoing musical and thematic consistency of Folker meant that it was slightly more difficult to pick out individual tracks as standouts, a thing that was much easier on Come Feel Me Tremble when he followed the coulda-been-rockabilly “Knockin’ Em Back” with the fuzzed out “Pine Box” with the acoustic “Meet Me Down The Alley.”

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Certain Songs #1474: Paul Westerberg – “Lookin’ Up In Heaven”

Album: Folker
Year: 2004

“Hey, what about Dead Man Shake?” That’s a question that I’m sure some Paul Westerberg fans might be asking, as they’ve noticed I’ve skipped from Come Feel Me Tremble to Folker.

It’s a good question, and for the uninitiated, Dead Man Shake was released at the same time as Come Feel Me Tremble, but it had two concepts. One, it was released as Grandpaboy, which is fine, and two, the concept was blues-rock, which wasn’t. The result was an album filled with the kind of songs that would never make any of my mixtapes, compilation CDs or best-of playlists, though I did like the John Prine cover.

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Certain Songs #1473: Paul Westerberg – “Hillbilly Junk”

Album: Come Feel Me Tremble
Year: 2003

Because of the lo-fi sound as well as the seemingly tossed-off nature of the songs from Paul Westerberg’s basement tapes period, you might not notice just how much work he put into a lot of the songs.

After all, it wasn’t like he had a whole band down there with him, which meant that even a darkly funny Chuck Berry knockoff like “Hillbilly Junk” had to be thought through, especially when you realize just how many instruments were on the damn thing.

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