Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Songwriting: Portland. Talent Show.

Many times, rather than labor over it, the smith will melt the song down to it's constituant parts and recast it. The creator might take the constituant parts and wield them in an entirely different way: "It's not a sword now, it's a pen."

Paul Westerberg was first working the specific ingredients of this song as "Portland," which my ears hear as anger and resignation directed at the other members of the formarly-fun bumper-car he was being jostled in.

The Replacements: Portland

I think it was a sound editorial decision to cut the song (it ended up on the All For Nothing, Nothing For All compilation, as an outtake), 'cause it was too 'present' and vicious.

But it was also afflicted with hookiness and hum-ability! Westerberg, the smith, recast the song as "Talent Show".

Opposite from upset resignation, "Talent Show" harkens the butterfly-in-stomach, optimistic/worried feeling of 'way back when'... when they could'a been. Of course, like just about everything about The Replacements, it fizzled.

This bookend version of the song, then, is from the band's last show:

The Replacements: Talent Show