Saturday, March 2, 2019

Certain Songs #1469: Paul Westerberg – “Got You Down” | Medialoper

Album: Stereo
Year: 2002

As documented in the now out-of-print DVD Come Feel Me Tremble, Paul supported Stereo/Mono with a solo tour of clubs, theaters and record stories. And so it happened that in late April, 2002. Tim, Kirk, Kassia & I saw Paul play at Amoeba Music in Hollywood, U.S.A.

That was actually one of my first concert experiences as a brand-new native of Los Angeles, and I remember mostly that it was thrilling to see him do a mix of incredibly recent songs, covers and even a couple of ‘mats songs.

He’s got your number
Knows where you’ll be found
But he don’t know everything
Still he’s got you down

And one of the songs he did at that show was probably my favorite song from Stereo, the haunting and lovely “Got You Down,” the namedropping tweetstorm aimed at an friend who is going through a hard time with a relationship.

Like Christopher Columbus
In a world that’s flat
He don’t know everything
Try telling you that

Or Harry Houdini
He has escaped your grasp
That one is hard to hold
Try telling you that

This one is pretty much just Paul and a guitar, maybe two, and gets by because of the gorgeous melody and even more gorgeous singing. You can hear the worry and sympathy in every word, and even resignation: it probably doesn’t matter what he compares her situation to, cos she might not be ready to get back up.

But listen to the way he wraps his voice around “Christo-fer Colummmm-bus” or “Ha-ree Hoo-deeeee-nee” and especially “Ru-doff Val-en-teeeeeeeee-no” and its absolutely and utterly heartbreaking. I just hope that she got out of it OK.

“Got You Down”

“Got You Down” performed live at Virgin Records, 2002


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