When the Replacements reunion tour ended in June, it wasn’t the end of the band’s well-deserved and well-played money-grabbing run that concerned fans most. It was the fear that we might not see or hear from frontman Paul Westerberg for another decade – and if he we did hear from him, it probably would be singing alone from his basement.
Just a few months later, though, Westerberg has already re-emerged with new music, and with a new collaborator to boot: Juliana Hatfield. The Minneapolis and Boston alt-rock vets recently teamed up to record under the whimsical name the I Don’t Cares and dropped an even more light-hearted single over the weekend, “1/2 2 P.” They have a full album in the can, “Wild Stab,” which will be released “soon.”
How serious the two playful songwriters are about their project remains to be seen. With lyrics that wordplay off “The ABC Song” and the peculiar hook, “Your voice makes me have to pee,” the single doesn’t exactly scream Grammy Award eligibility or even radio play. Still, it’s a fun new start for Westerberg, whose last proper album was 2004’s “Folker.” Hatfield’s appreciation of his talent is certainly serious, too. The former Blake Babies leader and singer of the 1993 hit “My Sister” even wrote a fan letter to him when she was a teenager.
The I Don’t Cares’ single can be purchased as a $.99 download or streamed with a Spotify membership (embedded below).
Coincidentally or not, a video also recently surfaced that shows Hatfield’s longtime collaborator Evan Dando of the Lemonheads singing Westerberg’s 1993 solo gem “Things” on a beach. If nothing else, at least the Bostonians are offering good encouragement to stay out of the basement.