If, like most normal people, your holiday wish list included a 25-minute jazz improv track ostensibly about a porcupine, The Replacements have you covered. After a pretty successful year of well-received reunion shows, fans were anxious to see what the band had to offer next. In a recent Rolling Stone interview, they hinted about a new album, but they really haven’t offered up much in the way of new recorded material since 2013’s Songs for Slim benefit covers EP, and their shows over the summer didn’t touch on any new tracks. But now, like a virgin birth or candles somehow staying lit for eight straight nights, a miracle has occurred, and it is called “Poke Me In My Cage.”
Uploaded with no real fanfare earlier this week to the band’s otherwise barren Soundcloud page, the track is a weird, chugging improv that has all of the typical ”buck your expectations” attitude of classic Replacements, including a lovely image of a porcupine as its header photo and hashtags claiming the track to be “#Jazz” and “#PorcupinePiss.” No vocals pop up until about the 16-minute mark, when singer Paul Westerberg begins bellowing about “porcupine piss” and asking the listener to “poke me in my cage one more time.” According to the session info, the track was recorded at Woolly Mammoth Sound in late October, with Westerberg, Tommy Stinson, and current Replacements drummer Josh Freese credited as writers. Current guitar player David Minehan is credited with engineering the track. The Soundcloud page also features a photo of Paul and Tommy in the studio, to further warm your heart.