Tag Archive | the Replacements

Sorry Ma, Let Tim Hootenanny: An Unsolicited Ranking Of Replacements Albums

1. Let It Be (1984)

It’s all here: stirring romance (“Androgynous,” “Answering Machine”), exhilarating throttle (“We’re Coming Out,” “Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out”), utter tomfoolery (“Gary’s Got A Boner”), tremendous production. And that Kiss cover? How dare they move us via the songwriting of Paul Stanley?

2. Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash (1981)

You can feel the wood splintering as this album busts through. A triumph of zip gun punk melting into rock n’ roll branded by the nascent Westerberg’s candor and wit. It’ll make you believe again and again and again.

3. Hootenanny (1983)

Chaotic and chicken fried the same way their live act could be (“Lovelines” is just Paul reading the newspaper over the band’s noodling), is this the truest representation of the ‘Mats? A rambling rush glued together by smudges of incredible melody that club soda sure as hell ain’t gonna get out.

4. Pleased To Meet Me (1987)

Stripped to a three piece with mounting pressure to quote-unquote make it and these dude still deliver massive kick. Every song’s a potential FM hit. We can recognize why this didn’t happen. Society at large basically doesn’t give a rip about Big Star or covered bridges.

5. Tim (1985)

Overcomes the handicaps of an enormously ugly album cover and flat soda production with truly monolithic songwriting. “Bastards of Young,” “Left of The Dial,” “Here Comes a Regular”—legends unto themselves.

6. Stink (1982)

A dip into hardcore punk. According to these dizzy Midwesterners, the genre needs harmonica (“White & Lazy”) and power ballads (“Go”). Plenty savage and fun. Bob Stinson’s leads go off like tracer missiles.

7. The Shit Hits The Fans (1985)

Most artists would bury a recording of a bad gig. The Replacements released this one as quickly as possible. Such is their charm. After a few listens you grow accustom to only hearing sixty seconds of every song that strikes the band’s fancy (including hits by Zeppelin, U2, and R.E.M.).

8. Don’t Tell A Soul (1989)

Their most naked stab for chart glory. Desperation doesn’t taste too bad coming from these guys. That said, they should have gone whole hog and asked Paula Abdul to do something.

9. All Shook Down (1990)

This one gets an asterisk since Paul recorded it as his solo debut and the label railroaded him into filing it under Replacements. Lots of acoustic pop not very removed from the ‘Mats DNA…but definitely not the trouble boys.

Unsolicited Mumblings On The Replacements Playin’ J Fallon

– just noticed the ad Fallon’s holding for their show at the tennis stadium Photoshops the PTMM arms into tennis jackets; nice one

– the new guitarist has Goo Goo Doll hair/air; at least he fits sonically

– I hope I rock a t-shirt as well as Westerberg when I’m fifty

– they sound great, but I’d still like to hear a reunion with Mars back on drums

– the ending tease was cruel; my heart leapt that they might play another

Current Fashion Role Model

Tommy Stinson, seen here performing at the final Replacements gig, July 4, 1991. Not sure what you’d call this look (power pop bohemian?) but I want to dress like it every day. Photo by Bob Ingrassia; click here to see another one of Bob’s ‘Mats photos and a little write up about his experience attending this storied event. Yes, they played “Within Your Reach.”

“…And All Of A Sudden, You’re Kurt Loder!”

“Norm Macdonald Live” can be pretty hit or miss; this episode with David Koechner is total hit, possibly the best they’ve done. Discussion of / jokes about the Replacements, “SNL” lore you haven’t heard a squillion times, and Norm’s frighteningly accurate Nixon impression. As always there are some NSFW moments, but the toilet humor seems to be developing a deft hand. Is Norm starting to care, slightly?

Whatever the case, I give it five stars, Jim Bob says check it out.

Unsolicited Replacements Documentary Review

Color Me Obsessed
Starring: a bunch of Replacements fans
Directed by Gorman Bechard
2012

Julien Temple’s year 2000 Sex Pistols documentary The Filth & The Fury is artistically notable in that it refuses to show the band members in present day, cloaking their physical wear and tear in literal shadows and only allowing the Pistols to be seen via 1970s news footage and home movies. Gorman Bechard goes a few steps further with his Replacements narrative Color Me Obsessed—the old bird doesn’t show any photos or movies of the band at all (save the final frames of the movie). Bechard also doesn’t use any of the Replacements’ music, instead allowing the entire story of these ramshackle indie rock pioneers to be told via the talking heads of fans and friends. It’s an odd gambit but one fitting of the Mats who are, in fact, one of the last rock groups to have a legend cushioned by endless too-good-to-be-true second hand anecdotes that remain unverifiable thanks to their existence in a pre-Internet age.

Yes, upon the release of their landmark third album Let It Be, the Replacements attempted to erase their first two albums from history by throwing what they thought were the master tapes of those records into the Mississippi River. No, humble guitarist Bob Stinson did not tell his future wife Carleen about his successful underground rock group, introducing himself to her as a mere pizza cook. Yes, Tupac Shakur was horrified when Tom Arnold told him the Replacements had been banned from “Saturday Night Live” for defecating in a cooler backstage and sending it to the first floor of 30 Rockefeller Center. No, no one can agree which Replacements album sucks more, Don’t Tell a Soul or All Shook Down. Yes, Matt Pinfield is as annoying as you remember him.

It’s hard to say how effective or captivating Color Me Obsessed would be to the strange alien who’d never heard a lick of Replacements music. There is certainly a linear tale here, no different than if a group of bar flies were piecing together a tall tale for you, and the emotion behind the testimonials will surely pique some virgin’s interest in tracking down a worn vinyl copy of Hootenanny. For those of us already enraptured by the tough but tender “aw shucks” songwriting of Westerberg and Co. this doc is required viewing, if only for reassurance that their are plenty of other schlubby white folks out there still gritting their teeth to “Hayday” and “Bastards of Young.”

FINAL SCORE: Three raspy former MTV veejays (out of four).

Chris Mars Too “Totally Into Painting” To Join ‘Mats Reunion

From the mealy mouth of Replacements singer Paul Westerberg (left) comes news that the group’s founding drummer Chris Mars “really didn’t want any part” of the band’s September reunion to record an EP of covers for the financial benefit of ailing guitarist Slim Dunlop. Dunlop was partially felled by a cerebral artery stroke in February; Westerberg and bassist Tommy Stinson decided to reform the ‘Mats last month to help their ill friend. Quoteth Pauly O on the drummer sitch:

I was not surprised, but I was a little disappointed. I’d talked to [Chris], I thought maybe he might come down and play with us. That’s fine, he’s totally into painting, and doesn’t want to return to the skins.”

Is Mars still miffed they scrapped most of his work in favor of session drumming for that last Replacements album he was on, Don’t Tell a Soul? Who knows, maybe there’s something else going on (whatever the issue, it appears related to the guy’s former instrument—the last time the Place Mats reassembled, for two new tracks tacked onto the 2006 greatest hits release Don’t You Know Who I Think I Was?, they had to hire freelance drum god Josh Freese ’cause Chris only wanted to sing).

At any rate, that aforelinked Rolling Stone chat with Westerberg is a great reminder of the deft voice rock music’s been missing since Westy’s semi-retirement. Also, please note Paul’s reaction to Color Me Obsessed, the ‘Mats documentary currently farting about the festival circuit:

I recognized most of the people, and some of them I thought, How dare you, you shameful so and so? Why don’t you get a life? I was embarrassed by it more than anything, I guess. Wouldn’t you be, if a movie described every little intricate thing about your life? That thing, the R band, the ‘Mats, they don’t even really belong to us anymore.”

The four song Replacements reunion EP comes out later this year on ten inch vinyl (limited edition, of course) that will be auctioned off online. Just like the old days!

Get Well, Slim

Slim Dunlap, who took over as lead guitarist of the Replacements after Bob Stinson was bounced out of the group in 1987, suffered a devastating right middle cerebral artery stroke Monday morning that landed him in Minnesota’s Hennepin County Medical Center. Although reports on Tuesday described Dunlap as being “sharp and aware” with his speech intact, the musician cannot move the right side of his body and faces a long road to recovery. Here’s hoping Slim feels better ASAP. He’s a talented, smart dude (evidence of the latter can be found throughout the oral history All Over But The Shouting).

Ten Songs The Roots Could Have Played For Michele Bachmann Instead Of “Lyin’ Ass Bitch”

Maura Johnston at the Village Voice wrote a piece about the Roots/Michele Bachmann controversy today, the gist of which was basically, “Hey, why didn’t they play that Megadeth song ‘Liar’ instead of Fishbone’s tune what unnecessarily insults gender?” Maura has a point, and it’s great to see such a super hip music journalist pay service to one of Megadeth’s more obscure numbers. Yet I can’t entirely sanction “Liar” because it’s a smear against founding Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland that goes off the deep end by attacking every member of Poland’s immediate family. And I quote: “Your sister is a junkie, gets it anyway she can / your brother’s a gay singer in a stud leather band.”

Hey, we understand you were totally cheesed off, Dave Mustaine, but who cares if Chris Poland’s brother fronts/fronted a Village People revival act? What does that have to do with Chris hawking your equipment for drugs? Besides, didn’t you blow Megadeth’s advance for Killing Is My Business on crack cocaine? Let he who be without judgment cast the first stone, you son of a carpenter.

But I digress. There are scores of less sexist/gender offensive songs about liars the Roots could have played as Michele Bachmann trotted out to make nice with Jimmy Fallon. Here are ten of those songs.

1. Rollins Band – “Liar”

There’s no arguing Hank’s untruther classic would have been vastly more recognizable to the viewing audience than Fishbone’s “Lyin’ Ass Bitch.” Also, who wouldn’t want to hear ?uestlove’s Henry Rollins impression? Who wouldn’t want to see that normally rather subdued cat rip his shirt off and writhe around on the polished floors of Studio 6B, unleashing all the torment of his inner coffee house poet?

2. Sex Pistols – “Liar”

I don’t think we’ve ever learned who Johnny Rotten is railing against in this one. Couldn’t have been Thatcher—she didn’t take office until over a year after the Sex Pistols broke up. Since I’m a hot dog-eatin’, baseball-lovin’ American, I’ll jump to my most logical conclusion of Richard Nixon.

3. Yngwie Malmsteen – “Liar”

I was just as surprised as you to learn any Yngwie Malmsteen song had lyrics or singing. I thought his career was just one continuous thirty year guitar solo. Turns out no, Yngwie actively employs someone to yelp between his hot licks. Middle-aged Sam Ashe employees would have known this one.

4. Bikini Kill – “Liar”

“You profit from the lie, you profit from the lie” seems like an apropos refrain for any politician.

5. Queen – “Liar”

I think Freddie Mercury was contractually obligated to say “Mama” in every song he ever sung. This one’s a little different from the rest as it’s coming from the perspective of the liar. That Queen, always so introspective despite their flamboyant fashions.

6. The Replacements – “Shut Up”

The ‘Mats could have proven a dicey selection, for Bachmann hails from the same general area as Paul Westerberg’s legendary outfit (Minnesota). Do you think she’s heard enough of their material to recognize it? Ah, if she has, I bet she’s more on the Don’t Tell A Soul tip than anything pre-Slim Dunlap. It’s hard to suggestively eat a corn dog to anything off Sorry, Ma.

7. Three Dog Night – “Liar”

Granted, it’s not much of a jazzy TV show entrance theme, but that chorus really gets the point across, doesn’t it?

8. Rocket From The Crypt – “Return Of The Liar”

Actually, this should be what NBC plays every time Leno makes his “Tonight Show” entrance. OOOHH, DISS.

9. The Queers – “You’re Tripping”

People don’t use “tripping” enough in this particular context. Seems like it kinda burned out after 1991. Everyone said it back then. Yo, White House Chief of Staff John Sununu be trippin’! At any rate, the Queers seem to nail Bachmann and her line of thought rather bluntly here (“Can’t you see? / This ain’t 1943!”). Plus, Joe King would have earned like a twelve cent royalty check he could have used as a down payment on some heroin. Now that’s what I call supporting the arts!

10. The Crucifucks – “You Give Me The Creeps”

And the final word goes to Doc “23” Dart: “If you’re so fucking clever, why is everyone laughing at you?” “You Give Me The Creeps” would have been totes worth it just to see how many publications would censor the name “Crucifucks” the next day. I can almost taste FOXNEWS’s stiff discomfort (it tastes like jerky). Gutter punks would have hailed the Roots as the new Crass and Jimmy Fallon as punk rock television Jesus. Can you imagine a world where Jimmy Fallon is even cooler than he is now? It’s a world where Jon Stewart never even existed (UPDATE: Jimmy Fallon has apologized to Michele Bachmann for his band’s little indiscretion; guess he’s not as revolutionary as we thought).