Sunday, November 2, 2008

Singles Going Single # 79 - Grandpaboy (Paul Westerberg) 7" (1997, Soundproof/Monolyth)

While many fans of The Replacements savor Paul Westerburg's post-Mats solo material, no one is in denial over the contrasts between the two. Yes, his clever wordplay and philosophy remain firmly tethered to the aesthetics of Minneapolis' fab-four, but there was something a little different afoot. In fact, his stark, confessional Suicane Gratification in 1999, and 2002's likeminded Stereo albums proved to be sheer gold mines, chockablock with his most affecting ballads to date.

Then there's his decidedly more whimsical side. In 1997, he had a bright idea to create an alter-ego dubbed Grandpaboy, ostensibly to house his rawer, louder, and arguably raunchier songs. Crazy thing is, this single and a simultaneously issued Grandpaboy ep, whether coincidentally or nor, serve as the perfect precursor to his recent web-exclusive releases, e.g. 49:00 formally available through Amazon.com. I supposed you'd actually have to hear 49:00 to know what I'm talking about, but anyway... Although two more Grandpaboy albums were to follow in the '00s, I still think this single (and for that matter the ep) stand as the most enjoyable and representative efforts Westerberg has recorded under his assumed moniker. "I Want My Money Back" is rip-roaring, impulsive, and was most likely recorded on the fly given it's tossed-off sense of abandon. The flip, "Undone," takes a calmer path, veering towards a country angle, with some faintly plucked banjo pickin' going on in the background. Just FYI, these two tracks are credited to Winthrop Marion Percival V on the back sleeve. Hmmm...
A. I Want My Money Back
B. Undone

5 comments:

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jim kosmicki said...

I'll listen to this, but it's going to have to be darn good to be better than the first Grandpaboy EP -- that is my favorite Westerberg disc ever.

Robert Cass said...

Thanks for this! When "Mono" came out in 2002, I liked the rumor that it was really a secret Replacements reunion.

Peter said...

Great to finally hear this complete single, which was one of the few gaps in my Westerberg collection. Thanks for sharing.

Brushback said...

I finally have a program that'll open .rar files, so this is the first thing I've actually downloaded from your blog after years of reading. Just thought I'd leave a note!