THE READERS RESPOND!
Normally this would go in the "Comments" section of the blog, but because newsletter reader Michael Wells didn't post it there, and because we think it's a response worth reading, here it is:
I loved your store and very much enjoy the blog but I gotta take exception with your recent slagging of Paul Westerberg.
The 4 records he released 2002-04 on Vagrant (totally DIY, playing every instrument, recorded in his basement) "Folker", "Come Feel Me Tremble", "Stereo" and, especially, "Mono" are terrific and inspired. Things may have fallen off a bit during his major label solo outings but there's good stuff on them, as well. "Open Season" was a one-off cartoon soundtrack. "Let It Be", it ain't but it's not a "proper" PW release. No one's claiming it to be. And I maybe a fanatic, but some of that's even not half bad. "Love You in the Fall", for instance. His last two tours have been absolutely the equal of great Mat gigs in my opinion. Veering dangerously and without warning from disaster to redemption, ultimately.
I fucking love the guy, what can I say? I think he's an inspiration. Like for fuckups around the globe. I like you guys, too, so I guess that's why I'm leaping to his defense. At least he hasn't take up the goddamn lute.
Also, don't know if you saw this, he had some horrific accident over the holidays and put a freakin' screwdriver through his hand. Like impaled it. The left hand. His fretting hand. His doctor said he wouldn't play guitar for a year. So, if ya wanna look it one way, maybe this'll give him time to rethink direction and make another "Let It Be". Don't forget, tho', "Gary's Got A Boner" was on there as well...
In friendly disagreement,
Michael, we still think Paul's recent records, while better than 1999's godawful Suicaine Gratifaction, are lifeless and boring. But maybe it's wrong to bash a guy when he's got a screwdriver rammed in his hand. Especially after he reunited the Replacements for two fun new songs on their recent best-of compilation. Get well soon, Paul!