Semisonic Debuts Two New Songs at Rare Minneapolis Shows
Last week and over the weekend, '90s power-pop heroes Semisonic reconvened for three shows in their hometown of Minneapolis. Besides treating fans to a cover of the Johnny Nash chestnut "I Can See Clearly Now" and an appropriately funky and guitar-heavy take on Prince's "Erotic City" – a song the trio covered in the late '90s as a b-side to "Singing In My Sleep" – Semisonic also debuted two new songs.
Vocalist/guitarist Dan Wilson introduced the upbeat, quirk-pop song "Basement Tapes" as being about "doing what we do." To preface the second song, "For All Time" – a gorgeous, melodic song which is more meditative – Wilson told an amusing story.
"I was really f--king stoned in college, and I was looking at my records. I was looking at them one after the other on the row – looking, and looking and looking at them. And I finally said to my roommate, 'How did all these amazing records that I love get into one place?' And that's what this song is about."
It's unclear when studio versions of the new songs might surface, although Wilson recently told The Current that he had been writing tunes for the band again.
"For a bunch of years, I would sit down and go, 'I want to write a song for Semisonic.' And then I would write that song, and it wouldn’t sound like the band. It’d just be wrong. It was interesting for me to have to just be honest with myself and say, 'As much as I would like this to be a Semisonic song, it just isn’t.' What is that elusive thing? I really couldn’t figure it out.
"This year, for a couple of strange reasons, I ended up writing more than a handful of songs that seemed very much like Semisonic," he continues. "They caught me by surprise. I’m certainly hoping that there will be some public release or upshot from that, but I’m not sure how that’s going to work."
Listen to Semisonic Perform 'For All Time'
In addition to debuting these songs, Semisonic – whose lineup also includes bassist/vocalist John Munson and drummer/percussionist Jacob Slichter – also performed its entire 1996 debut album, The Great Divide. As a result, sets started with "F.N.T." (which was used, to great effect, in the 1999 film 10 Things I Hate About You) and also included a healthy array of tunes the band has rarely played live. Each night, the encore closed with "Singing In My Sleep," a single from 1998's Feeling Strangely Fine.
On Aug. 4, Wilson is also releasing a solo album, Re-Covered, featuring his versions of songs he's written with and for other artists – including Taylor Swift, Adele and the Dixie Chicks. That record also contains a different version of Semisonic's "Closing Time."
Listen to Semisonic Perform 'Erotic City'
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