The official announcement
that the Replacements will be headlining at Riot Fest came tonight. As of now, the only details are that Paul and Tommy are playing - no word on who else will be playing with them for these shows (Are we voting? If we are, I vote for Michael Bland and Kevin Bowe). They are headlining 3 shows:
I know what your next question is and it's my next question too - what about other, non-festival shows, taking place in a city near you, such as Boston? Nothing on that yet but let's hope those are in the works too!
May 25, 2013
Life happenings have prevented me from having the time/energy to update the site in the past several weeks so I planned to do an update over this long holiday weekend. That plan is being aided by 1) Paul penning an op-ed for the Times yesterday (!) and 2) it being 45 degrees and rainy today so any outdoor activities are kaput.
Painfully aware of the who-what-when-where hocus-pocus that constitutes the journalistic game, I beg the editors’ pardon because illiteracy is part of my stock-in-trade. I write songs where “orange” rhymes with “gorgeous” and “chin” with “gasoline.”
O.K., and now to explain how it’s done. Well, it’s a little like trying to hit a bottle cap with a wire coat hanger. Every day a songwriter rows out into the deep waters in search of his own personal Loch Ness monster. (Just a matter of time, we insist.) Being a weary subscriber to the old inspiration-perspiration theory, I must say that minus the former, you’ll hit a sweaty dead end every time, yet without this purging of what I call “brain vomit,” you’ll never drain the 99 pieces of hooey before one of pure inspiration writes itself for you.
The other recent news is that the PW-produced first single from The Silks is out. You can listen to the single "Down at the Heel" below, if you have a problem with that player, then
. The Silks' Facebook page says "This will be available as a 7" with a B side featuring Paul Westerberg on lead vocal and guitar! Limited to 300 copies!" But I can't find out exactly how one goes about ordering one. Have at
their FB page
and see if you can find that info (and let me know if you figure it out!). As you might have noticed from the video below, the cover art for this single has a familiar style -looks like Grandpaboy is back in the art business.
March 30, 2013
This sounds very promising! In a new
interview with Time.com, Tommy talked about plans for him and Paul to get together in the studio after he finishes some GnR tour dates (he was interviewed in Abu Dhabi, and preparing for a show tonight in Beruit and for some reason, this line from "spinal Tap" immediately came to mind when I read that: "We toured the world and elsewhere.") Here's what he had to say:
You recently reunited with Paul Westerberg for Songs for Slim. What was it like being in the studio together again after all these years?
It was so much fun. It was so much fun that we talked about doing it again with some original material. In fact, when I get done with this GnR tour, I’m booking a flight to Minneapolis and doing that. Putting some songs down, but not getting stuck on making record — seeing what comes out of it. Neither one of us feels the pressure to become the Replacements again, although we talk about it.
Every time you or Paul mentions in an interview that you might get the Replacements back together, your fans go nuts. Do you really think it will happen?
I think if we think we’re having fun and it made sense and the music we were making was fun, we would do it. If it became too much of a nightmare, we wouldn’t. We want to enjoy ourselves, make some people happy, do our bit — not make a nightmare. Paul has more at stake, as he has more real feelings about it. He’s more reticent. He’s a singer. He doesn’t want to go out and compete with his 25-year old self. He’s 50. But if he could go out and have fun without the pressures and personal demons of competing with himself, I think he would.
Do you think getting back together with Paul was inevitable — or was it only Slim that could have brought you back together?
Paul and I have always played together. We’ve played together for years post-Replacements. I’ve played on his records; he’s played with me. I throw songs at him, he’s thrown them at me. We’re always going to play together when the planets align. We love each other. We have chemistry together and you don’t just get that with just anyone.
March 22, 2013
More Songs for Slim news today. April's release will be in conjunction with Record Store Day (April 20) and wil be availble in retail outlets rather than via auction. It will feature Curtiss A and The Minus 5 covering "Rockin Here Tonight," and Tim O’Reagan and Jim Boquist (with an assist from PW) covering "Cozy".
Also, check out these tour dates for Kevin Bowe & the Okemah Prophets and see if they are coming to your town - Kevin played with Paul on the 2005 tour and on the Songs for Slim EP and has a great CD out, "Natchez Trace".
March 22 - Hoogland Center for Arts in Springfield IL
March 23 - Southgate Revival in Newport KY
March 25 - Club Passim in Cambridge MA
March 26 - Rockwood Music Hall in NYC NY
March 27 - Rock Shop in Brooklyn NY
March 28 - The Saint in Asbury Park NJ
March 29 - Club Cafe in Pittsburgh PA
March 30 - Wise Fool's Pub in Chicago IL
March 5, 2013
It's MP3 Release Day: Today is the day those of us who were not able to get one of the limited-edition Replacements "Songs for Slim" EPs can own the new songs too. The EP is now available on iTunes and Amazon.com. Buy, listen, enjoy!
I did forget to mention last time that you can now buy
Songs for Slim merch, including a t-shirt with the Replacements EP cover - first new Replacements t-shirt since 1991? You need that! And you need to take a look at the picture below, from the
Songs for Slim FB page - Paul and Chris signing all of the EPs, soon to be shipping out to the lucky auction winners.
And finally, I'm passing along some info from 40 Stitches Later, a Michigan band that is organizing a Mats Fest on April 13 in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Visit their site or FB page for more info on attending or participating. Proceeds will benefit Ozone House, so good music + a good cause!
Feb. 17, 2013
I'm a little slow on this one but the next Songs for Slim auction started this week and runs through Friday, Feb. 22. This time, it's Steve Earle, "Times Like This" b/w Craig Finn & Friends, "Isn't It?". March 15 brings Lucinda Williams and Tommy Keene. And I am also late in mententing that Feb. 14 was named Slim Dunlap Dayin Minneapolis.
And here's an interview with Kevin Bowe on the recording of The Replacements EP. Very interesting and entertaning stuff and you need to go read it, but I am just going to steal this bit and post it here because it's references such a great part of the Mats legend. This is Kevin's response to how he met Paul:
We grew up playing the same clubs together. I was in this band. I think this story is out there, but when I was in rehab, they let us out on the weekends to go to these dances, and you've been sober for like 5 minutes, and they let us out to go. It was awful. And one of these ones that I went to, some idiot hired The Replacements to play a 'sober teen dance.' Whatever guy that was, I don't think he had a future as a booking agent. But it was The Replacements first gig ever under the name, "The Replacements."
Kevin and the Okemah Prophets are touring in March and playing at SXSW, check out the dates to see if there's one near you!
Jan. 27, 2013
The unofficial total for the Songs For Slim auction that ended on Friday is north of $100,000 raised! EP #1/250 went for an astonishing $10,000 and it looks like the average winning bid was in the $350+ range. The tracks will be available for digital purchase on March 5 and a 12" vinyl version will go on sale April 16. The next auction will start on February 15 for a split 7": Steve Earle, "Times Like This" b/w Craig Finn, "Isn't It?".
Jan. 16, 2013
The auction started yesterday and is going strong, with bidding on the #1 pressing (of 250) at $10,000 (!). However, do NOT let that discourage you from bidding on one of the other 249 EPs - there are some currently at the minimum $50 bid, so
get in there and start bidding! And then check out these links:
Official info about the auction is now up on the Songs for Slim web site. The auction will start Tuesday, January 15 at 11:00AM ET/8:00AM PT and the items will be posted here. The auction details are as follows: "You will be able to bid on #1/250, and every 3 minutes we will put the next one up, until #250/250 is put up for bidding at 10:27PM that night. Each auction will last exactly 10 days.". Exactly what is up for auction?
• 250 numbered 10” vinyl EPs
• Cover autographed by Paul Westerberg, Tommy Stinson & Chris Mars
• 4 glossy prints of never-before-seen band photos
• Collectors’ poster of Slim
• Print of the full Chris Mars cover painting on the inner sleeve
• Digital download card of entire EP
Refresher on the EP tracks:
1. Busted Up (Slim Dunlap)
2. Radio Hook Word Hit (Slim Dunlap)
1. I'm Not Sayin' (Gordon Lightfoot)
2. Lost Highway (Leon Payne)
3. Everything's Coming Up Roses (Stephen Sondheim/Jule Styne)
"Radio Hook Word Hit" is a Chris Mars track - while he didn't particpiate in the recording of the other 4 songs, he did record his own cover of this Slim tune and also designed the artwork for the EP. The other tracks were recorded in September by Paul and Tommy, with Kevin Bowe on guitar and Peter Anderson on drums. According to the site, after the auction, digital versions will be available to buy and at some point in the future, a regular vinyl version will also be sold.
Here's a Star-Tribune article on the releases, Replacements' "Songs for Slim" EP expected for auction next week. Includes info on the other artists involved with the series: "Other entries in the "Songs for Slim" series will start rolling out in February, with other friends and admirers covering Dunlap’s songs as monthly split 7-inch singles. The first one in the series will be Steve Earle’s version of “Times Like This” b/w Craig Finn’s “Isn't It?” After that comes Lucinda Williams’ “Partners in Crime” b/w Tommy Keene's “Nowhere’s Near.” Some of the other participants to be paired up include Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Jakob Dylan, John Doe, the Jayhawks, Joe Henry, the Minus 5 (with Peter Buck) and Curtiss A."
And now here's a first look at the back of the EP, with the song list!
Jan. 5, 2013
Here's a first look at the cover art for the new Mats EP!
Dec. 31, 2012
Happy Birthday to Paul, born Dec. 31, 1959!
And here's some info/news of interest to PW fans, stuff that I have been meaning to post and finally have the time to. Have a Happy New Year everyone, and let us hope for a more peaceful 2013.
• The Songs for Slim project now has a
FB page, like it so you can find out when the Paul & Tommy EP and other releases are coming out.
• I found these two awesome commics strips about Paul/Grandpaboy on my hard drive today. Looks like they are from 2003 for
CMFT and DMS. Enjoy!
• If you haven't seen it yet, you can now watch the Mats documentary, "Color Me Obsessed"
for free on YouTube. (Plug: Director Gorman Bechard's next file is a documentary on a horrific case of animal abuse that led to changes in Alabam's abuse laws. Find out more here, be aware the picture you will see when you click through is of a happy dog, but one who bears terrible scars.)
• Finally, the ukulele Mats tribute album you have been waiting for is here: "Treatment Bound: A Ukulele Tribute To The Replacements", from the duo Bright Little Field and available on Bar/None Records. Here's an article on Modern American that explains more (assuming you need more information than just Mats tunes + ukulele). You can watch the video for "We're Coming Out" and the label has also made it available to us a free MP3 (right click to download/save as) -- enjoy both!
Nov. 15, 2012
For the past several years. First Ave has been hosting a mats tribute show the day after Thanksgiving and that tradition continues this year on Friday Nov. 23:
89.3 The Current and City Pages "Picked 2 Click" present
A Tribute to The Replacements.
I have two pairs of tickets to give away so Twin Cities folks, send me an email if you want to enter the drawing and and I'll notify the winners on Tuesday Nov. 20.
As everybody who knows the words to “Can’t Hardly Wait” knows by now, there is also a bounty of recordings in the works to benefit Slim. The first will be the Replacements reunion EP that Tommy Stinson and Paul Westerberg recorded a little over a month ago. Ex-'Mats manager and New West Records vice-president Peter Jesperson said yesterday that the 250 copies of the five-song EP -- the fifth track tacked on is a Slim cover by 'Mats drummer Chris Mars -- are on schedule to be auctioned off mid-December. Details of the auction are still coming together.
Starting in January or February, New West will then begin issuing limited-edition (100 copy!) 7-inch singles of Slim tunes re-recorded by the likes of Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, John Doe, Jakob Dylan, Joe Henry, the Jayhawks, ol’ Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and many more. Word is Craig Finn will record his contribution to the single series next week when he’s home for Thanksgiving and the Hold Steady’s two First Ave gigs, Nov. 24-25.
• Best quote: "Misdirection is my path. How many roads must a man walk down before you can call him lost? I'm there, baby."
• Paul is sober ("I'm not drinking now. I certainly know why I used to. I haven't found that nice area where, sober, I can take on the things I used to take on with confidence and a feeling of well-being [when I was drinking]") but probably still smoking ("The piano makes a better ashtray than the guitar".)
• Are you worried that if you go back on tour, you'll start drinking again?
That's not the major flaw. I think, "Oh, I'd have to re-learn the songs, sing lyrics from 20, 30 years ago." I talk myself out of it before I'm even there. And in the same breath, I feel disassociated, like a 15-year-old, in a lot of ways. I want to go back to doing it because it was a form of expression that I could do pretty well. I have a hard time living in the world. I'm a musician. When I'm around guys like me, I feel perfectly fine. When I'm around people who ask, "When are you gonna play again?" I feel uncomfortable.
And here's a link to a
FundRazr that Dan Baird set up for Slim if anyone is looking for a way to help. As Slim's wife Chrissie mentions in the RS piece, their insurance will not pay for any further rehab so they will be paying out of pocket for his care once he's released from the hospital (he is still paralyzed on one side and still on a feeding tube).
October 3, 2012
BIG news today: Paul and Tommy got together last week in MN to record (as hinted at by Tommy on his blog) and the result is a 4-song EP of covers that will be released as a limited edition 10-inch vinyl EP. Very limited - 250 copies will be auctioned off to raise money for Slim Dunlap, who is facing a tough road back from a stroke last February.
Rolling Stone reports that Chris Mars didn't participate (Paul: "I was not surprised, but I was a little disappointed."). Peter Anderson drummed for the session and Kevin Bowe played guitar. The four songs are:
Things said by Paul to Rolling Stone that will send Mats fans into a frenzy:
"Tommy and I strapped on guitars, not a word was said, and bang," says Westerberg. "We still rock like murder."
Does this one-day reunion augur a new tour or album from the Replacements, one of the best American bands of the Eighties? "It's possible," Westerberg says. "After playing with Tommy last week, I was thinking, 'All right, let's crank it up and knock out a record like this.' I'm closer to it now than I was two years ago, let's say that."
Check back for details on the auction!
September 28, 2012
Today we have a free download from Kevin Bowe, courtesy of Rolling Stone. Kevin's song
from his new album Natchez Trace, is the Daily Download, so grab a copy. Not only is it a great song, it includes contributions from both PW and Nels Cline. Kevin explains Paul's contribution:
"We have a long tradition of leaving 'gifts' for each other on the doorstep since he lives close by. I left him a Fender amp once, he left me an Epiphone Casino that I use all the time."
Bowe's gifting system with the former Replacements frontman came in handy when Bowe was preparing his album Natchez Trace, out August 1st on Okemah Prophets. "I had written this song 'Everybody Lies' but it needed a bridge, so I left a recording of it on his doorstep and only a couple of days later, it boomeranged back to me with this very Westerbergian circle of fifths bridge thing, plus some other ideas to 'handsome up' the song, as he put it," Bowe explains."
September 21, 2012
From Paul to you, absolutely free of charge: "My Road Now", a fanastic new piano ballad.
Download, enjoy, share, repeat! (On a PC, right click and then "Save as" to download.)
June 30, 2012
Paul and Tommy will be collaberating on a song for an upcoming benefit album for Slim Dunlap. Tommy mentioned this in
he did while out of the road with GnR (very intereting interview and worth reading for the rest of it too).
has a comprehensive story about the record, which is being overseen by Peter Jespersen:
Slim's wife, Chrissie, and the Replacements' former manager, Peter Jesperson confirm the benefit project, but it's not your run-of-the-mill tribute album.
"Tribute records can be so ubiquitous and don't necessarily sell well," says Jesperson, who was inspired to form the seminal Minneapolis label Twin/Tone Records after seeing Dunlap's pre-Replacements band Thumbs Up. Instead, the covers of Dunlap's original songs, currently being curated by Jesperson, singer Joe Henry, and Stinson, will be released as a series of limited-edition split seven-inch singles, sold via auction to better maximize funds to aid Dunlap's difficult rehabilitation, which isn't covered by insurance.
"As he recovers, slowly, Slim is starting to realize that he has a lot of friends and fans, and this is really helping him want to heal," says Chrissie Dunlap, who revealed in February that her husband's stroke left him paralyzed on his left side, and has since has suffered numerous complications, including four separate bouts with pneumonia.
The singles will be released in the fall and will feature artwork by
Chris Mars. Stay tuned.
June 15, 2012
Chris Mars posted his new song, with proceeds to benefit Slim Dunlap and his family as Slim recovers from a stroke he suffered in February. The download is just $0.99, so please take a moment to download a great song for a great cause: "When I Fall Down".
June 10, 2012
Back in February, I posted about Slim Dunlap suffering a stroke. His recovery continues but as you can imagine (or as you may know all too well from your own experiences), the expense of months of on-going medical care, even with insurance, is staggering. If you're so inclined and would like to help out, you can visit
the FundRazr page set up by Dan Baird on Facebook and make a donation.
Chris Mars posted this on his FB page Friday: "I will be releasing a new song next week dedicated to Bob "Slim" Dunlap and available as a download to benefit him. Stand by for additional details". I am standing by as directed and as soon as I know more details, I will post the info here.
Following up on my last post about Kevin Bowe's new record, have a listen to the song that he wrote with Paul,
"Everybody Lies" (also features guitar by Nels Cline of Wilco). And then have a listen to my favorite track,
"Never Don't Stay"
Kevin's been doing interviews to support the new record, they'd be very interesting and entertaining reading even without the stuff about working with Paul (but that's an extra bonus for us!):
MinnPost - Interview by Jim Walsh where Kevin talks about what's he learned from the other artists he's worked with. See if you can guess who he is talking about here: "He doesn’t want it good, he wants it his way. He’ll trade a whole night of competence for one 30-second burst of spontaneity."
And here's a trip in the Wayback Machine. Thanks to a forum poster for discovering that The Shit Hits The Fans has been uploaded to YouTube. Which contains many many 30-second bursts of spontaneity/insanity.
June 2, 2012
Happy almost summer eeveryone. No PW news to share, but I do have some PW-related music news to post. Kevin Bowe (an Only Friend and Painkiller on Paul's 2005 tour) has released a new album: Kevin Bowe + The Okemah Prophets, "Natchez Trace". Along with his bandmates Peter Anderson and Steve Price, the record includes contributions from Freedy Johnston, The Meat Puppets, Chuck Prophet, Tim O'Regan , Nels Cline, Scarlet Rivera and oh yeah, Paul Westerberg ("Everybody Lies" was co-written with Paul).
If you're in the Twin Cities area, there will be a dual record release party at the Varsity Theater on Friday June 8 fof "Natchez Trace" and for Alison Scott's "Hiding Under the Covers Vol. 2".
• Preview & buy the album on iTunes or CDBaby. "Never Don't Stay" is my favorite so far.
• Have to include this link - this is a great song from The Revelators, a band Kevin had in the 90's. Love this song, listen to a bit of it: Straight Up Love.
Feb. 27, 2012
I wish I had a pleasant reason for posting an update but not this time. Slim Dunlap was hospitalized last Monday after suffering a stroke and then falling and hitting his head ("Twin Cities music hero Slim Dunlap hospitalized by a stroke", Star-Tribune). According to a post update from his wife Chrissie on Facebook's Slim Dunlap Fan Club page last week:
"Bob is in the SICU at HCMC. I am not going to sugarcoat this -- this morning he suffered a right middle cerebral artery stroke. He then fell and hit his head, resulting in a left vertebral artery dissection and a right subarachnoid hemorrhage.
"The good news is that he is sharp and aware, his speech is fine, and all of the nurses and doctors have commented on his unique sense of humor. The bad news is that he cannot move the right side of his body and will be in for some serious rehab. They will be giving him more tests tomorrow to determine the extent of the damage. I will try to post updates as we learn more. Louie will be with him all night and I will be back there tomorrow. We don't need a thing but your good wishes for his full recovery."
The Slim Dunlap Fan Club
on Facebook for more information and keep Slim and his family in your thoughts. The FB site is truly inspiring, he is a man who is well-loved by friends, family and fans.
NOTE: The News page was getting disturbingly long, so I have created News archives for 2006,2007, 2008-09, and 2010-11, so if you're looking for older info, check those out.