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Paul Westerberg - 3oclockreep (Cover Artwork)

Paul Westerberg

Paul Westerberg: 3oclockreep3oclockreep (2008)
self-released

Reviewer Rating: 3.5


Contributed by: chrisarenachrisarena
(others by this writer | submit your own)

As the music industry continues its decline, the question of what the best format for distribution of new material has been raised frequently. Should digital releases be completely free? How about donations? High-quality box sets? These are all ideas that have been championed by heavyweights such as.


As the music industry continues its decline, the question of what the best format for distribution of new material has been raised frequently. Should digital releases be completely free? How about donations? High-quality box sets? These are all ideas that have been championed by heavyweights such as Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails, but what about the artist that isn't on nearly the same level as the giants?

Beginning with the sounds of multiple recordings, Paul Westerberg's 3oclockreep opens with "Tell 'Em All to Go to Hell," a bluesy garage tune recorded in Westerberg's own studio. Like early Guided by Voices records, songs bleed together and over each other, creating a collage of distortion and yelling before giving away to a moment of beauty. The songs "It's Ridiculous Everybody Wants to Be Famous" and "Only Excuse Is" both fight their way through other snippets of guitar-heavy songs before prevailing with their majestic yet somber piano chords. The first five tracks of 3oclockreep were all recorded in August of 2008, yet there's something strangely nostalgic about them. It's as if Westerberg is channeling the energy he had 20 years ago, which allows for the new songs to blend well with the last four tracks recorded in 1989 with Tom Waits.

Beginning with a drunken, stumbling version of the classic "If Only You Were Lonely," Tom Waits attempts to sing but instead starts and stops before crumbling to studio ramblings. The tape runs as two geniuses interact and discuss what to play before closing with two blues-based tracks ("We Know the Night" and "Lowdown Monkey Blues") that Waits and Westerberg trade vocals on. It's gritty, sloppy and warm all at the same time. The grit of Waits and the warmth of Westerberg compliment each other to produce two drunken tracks of splendor.

The album closes with "Finally Here Once." Like the opening tracks, it was recorded in August and is by far the clearest and cleanest of all the songs. Though a rough recording, it exhibits even more the brilliance of Westerberg's writing abilities. The whole album does that. It's a breath of fresh air to hear music that relies more on the strength of the songs and the abilities of the writer than of how good the "sound" is. Paul Westerberg proves that no matter how good the quality of a recording, if the songs are strong that is all that matters.

Was any less ever expected?

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
theonetruebill (October 24, 2008)

Ha, says the guy who put out the tribute record, so it's UNBIASED, PEOPLE.

Just kidding, I'd pretty much do anything if Paul told me to.

1234go (October 24, 2008)

There are a total of 4 Westerberg downloads available right now

49:00
5:05
3oclockreep

and the one I missed until recently

Board of Edukation

all great.

xote (October 22, 2008)

Yeah, I have to get this.

chrisarena (October 21, 2008)

Wow, there are two paragraphs I wrote that are definitely not there. Awesome. In those paragraphs it explained a bit about how Paul has been doing a bunch of home recordings lately and just releasing them right away. You can download this album at Tunecore.

DrGunn (October 21, 2008)

goddamn i need to get this. the fact that tom is on here is the icing on the cake.

kneel (October 21, 2008)

"Wait a minute, is this 49:00? Or is this new? How the fuck do I now know about this?"

i'm wondering the same thing.

lostandclowned (October 21, 2008)

yeah, i missed this too.

theonetruebill (October 21, 2008)

Ugh, I found the scoop about this and feel like an ass. It must've been posted during a long work day where I came home and went straight to bed. I'm seriously the biggest 'Mat/Westerberg fan around and TOTALLY missed this.

I'll be downloading/buying when I get home tonight though, that's for damn sure.

preston (October 21, 2008)

"Wait a minute, is this 49:00? Or is this new? How the fuck do I now know about this?"

I posted it as a news item like a month ago...but I guess nobody listened.

theonetruebill (October 21, 2008)

Wait a minute, is this 49:00? Or is this new? How the fuck do I now know about this?

eazyd2 (October 21, 2008)

needs more cowbell.

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