I think it’s time to declare Paul Westerberg’s “Folker” the perfect cool, gray Fall album. The album came out something like two years ago, but today I can’t seem to get enough of it. I’ve listened to it two times straight through and am about halfway through the third listen.
Is it lame to get nostalgic for two years ago? Because I’m getting a little misty here, just thinking about all the people that have come into my life because of this record and all the good times I enjoyed, again because of this record. I hear this record and I think of warm November nights and meeting people who up until that point were only goofy screennames like Areg and Elegant Mule — Wolfdog.
What is it about autumn that makes me want to fall to my knees and give thanks?
I’m having a little soiree for my Westernerd posse in a few weeks. I might torture them by putting Folker on repeat. Ironically, when we all gather together we rarely talk about ol’ Paul. Instead we talk about bad 80s music, Jewel, and the Humpty Dance.
Folker might be one of those records that only hardcore PW fans dig. It’s totally lo-fi with a nice mix of heartbreakers and ass-shakers, leaning a bit to the heartbreaker side. Which is okay with me, because I love the heartbreakers.
It’s this album more than any that made me realize how bad Westerberg’s voice is. It cracks and wheezes all over the place, and each time it gets raspy my heart soars and my pulse quickens. It’s all his imperfections that make me love his music.
This is one of those times where my words are failing me. Perhaps it’s still too soon to write about this record and that time. If I could I would take you all inside of me, and you could feel how my heart is beating a little differently listening to him sing, “Anyway’s all right on a now or never night. Waiting for that fool, the one that cuts your hair, to tell you what to do, and remind you I will dare.” And when I closed my eyes you could see me seeing the TTHM for the first time in ages and how I got nervous and bite the insides of my cheeks because I didn’t know what else to do.