"What a ridiculous and great song." Dan Wilson made that spot-on assessment on his blog a couple weeks ago about the Vic Chesnutt nugget "Soft Picasso," which the Semisonic frontman re-recorded for the "Minnesota Remembers Vic Chesnutt" charity album. To help hype the record and the organizations it benefits (Life Works MN and Sweet Relief), Wilson is offering the cover song as a free download via his Facebook page.
You can also hear Trampled by Turtles bandleader Dave Simonett's stirring version of "Gravity of the Situation," which kicks off the Chesnutt tribute record, over at the Current 89.3 site, where it was the Song of the Day yesterday.
Obviously, the noble thing to do upon enjoying either of these tracks is to pre-order all of the album, which lands Tuesday via cool nonprofit Rock the Cause. Other participants include Charlie Parr, Haley Bonar, Ben Weaver, the Rank Strangers, Andrew Broder and Luke Redfield. Click here to read our initial report on the disc (more to come next week). For those who don't know, Chesnutt was a wheelchair-bound, cult-loved Georgia songwriter who commited suicide in 2009 as his health worsened.
Rock the Cause is also hosting a releae party for the album next Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Grain Belt Brewery Bottling House with Weaver and some of the other contributors (Eliza Blue, Alpha Consumer, Wendy Lewis), plus a few more acts who aren't even on it but want to help and/or honor Chesnutt (Adam Levy, Farewell Milwaukee). Click here for details on the party, also a fundraiser.