The stealth release of “Poke Me in My Cage” became an actual news story, to the amusement of Josh Freese and Dave Minehan (probably Paul and Tommy too but we haven’t heard from them on it). The Boston Globe reported it since the recording took place in Waltham: New Replacements song leaked online.
No one is quite sure how a new, 24-minute song by the Replacements surfaced online, least of all the band’s guitarist Dave Minehan. The track, a bizarre bit of improvisation recorded in October at Minehan’s Waltham studio, is being widely shared after it was mysteriously uploaded to Soundcloud. (The song was first posted by the Boston-based music blog Bradley’s Almanac.)
“It’s funny the secret life these little things can have,” Minehan told us Tuesday. “They bubble up and scare everyone to death.” Best known as the frontman for the underappreciated Boston band The Neighborhoods, Minehan joined Replacements Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson on the band’s reunion tour last fall, including an appearance at the Boston Calling concert in September. On a whim, he said, the band got together for a few days at Woolly Mammoth Sound in Waltham. “It was kind of, like, ‘Hey, we’re not gonna see each other for a while, let’s fire up the amps and see what happens,’ ” Minehan said. “A lot of really awesome stuff happened. Everything you’d expect.”
He characterized the leaked track — a hootenanny, called “Poke Me in My Cage,” that includes a little jazz and a little spoken word — as “the runt of the litter.” And he cautioned against drawing any conclusions about the band’s future plans based on the song. “This is wonderfully confounding and confusing for those who want to read the tea leaves of the Replacements,” Minehan said, laughing. “I had no idea it was even out there until I started getting texts from far and wide.”
The story was covered by Sterogum (The Replacements – “Poke Me In My Cage”) and Rolling Stone (The Replacements Release 24-Minute Jazz Improvisation), among others and Josh Freese found this situation pretty crazy, per his twitter (and we hope you get the OK to tell the story too, Josh).