He hasn't toured or issued a physical album in the past five years, but Paul Westerberg hasn't been entirely inactive. Here are his decidedly random and often surprising goings-on:
September 2006: Issued his last "real" album, the soundtrack to the animated fuzzy-creature feature "Open Season" -- suitable work for a dad, and for someone looking to take some time off. (It paid well.)
October 2006: Wal-Mart began selling the Paul Westerberg model First Act guitar for $159.99. Price eventually drops to $79.99.
June 2007: Performed a short, loving set at the Fitzgerald Theatre for Minnesota Public Radio's "Fakebook" episode on his wife, Laurie Lindeen, promoting her memoir "Petal Pusher."
September 2007: Filmed an episode for the (now sadly buried) Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-affiliated series "The Craft" at First Avenue, featuring a live interview and 10 songs. He hasn't been onstage since.
July 2008: Issued "49:00," a bizarre, 44-minute "album" of unedited, overlapping but sporadically brilliant home recordings sold only as a single-track MP3 on Amazon.com for 49 cents.
2008-09: Three similar Amazon-only download EPs followed, including "PW & the Ghost Gloves Cat Wing Joy Boys" with the original "Ghost on the Canvas."
March 2010: Wrote a tribute to "mentor" Alex Chilton in the New York Times Op-Ed page. "Those who fail to click with the world and society at large find safe haven in music," he wrote.
May 2010: Sang two songs atop the visitors' dugout at a vacant Target Field for the travelogue documentary "40 Nights of Rock 'n' Roll" (still unreleased, but snippets quickly hit the Internet).
August 2011: Alzheimer's-afflicted Glen Campbell issued his presumed farewell album with "Ghost on the Canvas" as title track.
October 2011: Ellen DeGeneres' website debuted the "Ghost on the Canvas" music video with Westerberg in a cameo modeled on the Replacements' famed "Bastards of Young" clip.