About time! Paul Westerberg is finally at it again, issuing mysterious new music under a wonky alias with no real commercial viability -- a sure sign to his diehard fans that he’s alive and well.
The Replacements frontman -- who’s kept a typically low profile since he and bandmate Tommy Stinson finished their reunion tour in 2015 -- just posted a new song online today that sounds like another homemade, lo-fi recording. Or at least we’re about 99.5% sure it’s from him.
The track (posted below) was actually issued under the name Dry Wood Garage, a play on the longtime name of Westerberg's publishing company, Dry Wood Music. There’s even a website with that moniker for its address. All the site features is the song, the short message, “Welcome to the Garage,” and nothing else. Also posted via Soundcloud under the rock-starry moniker User 964848511, the song’s title is listed as “2HAWK_1,” which we're thinking may have just been the file name it’s saved under on Paul’s hard drive.
“With a hawk ripping at his throat,” Westerberg repeatedly sings in the unusually dark and dour tune, played in an odd guitar tuning with no drums but with what sounds like some light string accompaniment.
No surprise, efforts to get an explanation for the song have so far proven futile. Westerberg’s fan site Man Without Ties posted the track with just a simple note: “More to come? Who knows, stay tuned!”
Westerberg’s last surprise was a full album of relatively refined and accessible tunes issued in February 2016 under the band name the I Don't Cares, featuring Boston alt-rock vet Juliana Hatfield as a collaborator. This one sounds like it’s all Paul, and in so many ways.
Coincidentally or not, the song was posted just a few days after the Replacements' Facebook and Twitter accounts suddenly came to life after nearly two years of dormancy. Each account posted a photo of the band circa 1986, with late guitarist Bob Stinson wearing a trenchcoat (and possibly nothing else). It's likely this is the first warning of news to come on a new -- and long overdue -- archive live recording series from the band. Two reasons to stay tuned now!