The Replacements

Can’t Hardly Wait

The Replacements – Can’t Hardly Wait

Now that my son is into having physical copies of the music he likes, he gave us a list of things he wants for Christmas that is all records or CDs. I managed to get out by myself for a bit today and went down to our local record store to pick up one or two things.

I was hoping to find something used that wasn’t too much money to go along with the new (reissued) album I grabbed for him. Something he wouldn’t know to ask for but that he might like anyway. Then I spied the small section of cassettes and since he has that Walkman, I thought maybe I could find a stocking stuffer. Much to my surprise, there was a cassette of R.E.M.’s Document and The Replacements’ Pleased to Meet Me. All cassettes were $2 a piece or 6 for $10. I didn’t see six that I wanted so I just went with those two.

I brought them up to the counter and told the owner that I was getting the cassettes for my son’s stocking and he said, “oh, I’ll just throw those in for free. He’s a great kid, smart. He’s been down here checking out all the things he’s interested in, took pictures so he could make a list, it’s great to see kids still getting into it.” I’ve got to say, that really made my day. Parenting these days is a real challenge and I’ll take any signs that the kids are alright.

Left of the Dial

The Replacements – Left of the Dial

By now you’ve probably heard that Tim Kaine is a Replacements fan. He included two Mats songs on his Spotify playlist, “I Will Dare” and “Bastards of Young” (I approve of this message!). He definitely earned a couple of points in my book for that. He’s still not as far left of the dial as I’d like to see but I can understand the reasoning behind picking a moderate Democrat from a swing state who speaks Spanish. This year is all about securing the White House and if that’s going to help, I’m thinking a vice president who can sing along to “Androgynous” is by far a better pick than a guy who would like nothing more than to outlaw anything that has even a hint of an LGBTQ undertone.

Alex Chilton

The Replacements – Alex Chilton

Late last night the news broke that The Replacements (well, Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson at least) are doing three reunion shows at Riot Fest in Toronto, Chicago, and Denver. Earlier this past spring they released Songs for Slim, a benefit album to raise money for former Replacements guitarist Slim Dunlap, who had suffered a stroke. Both of these news items were cause for a lot of excitement amongst ‘Mats fans since the band broke up 22 years ago.

I am a big Replacements fan. I even like All Shook Down, their last album which is basically a Paul Westerberg solo affair. It’s not my favorite (Let it Be is, which I wrote about for Still in Rotation on Midlife Mixtape), but I’ll pop it in the CD player now and then. But it’s the mid-80s albums I like best, when they had enough experience under their belts to write some of the greatest songs ever, yet still had enough piss and vinegar to write songs like Gary’s Got a Boner and make a video like the one above.

I saw the Replacements twice back when I was in college and I have always been pretty happy to have those shows in my concert catalog. I didn’t give a lot of thought to the idea of a reunion since they constantly seemed on the verge of self-destruction anyway. I counted myself lucky to have been in the right place at the right time to have been able to witness the sloppy glory that one of their live shows could be. So would I go now to a reunion show? Hell yes, I would. I can’t imagine they’d get up to the same antics but I’d be there for the songs, and to see Paul and Tommy play together again.

The three appearances announced yesterday are nowhere near me so I’m still imagining that I won’t get to see them play live again and those shows in 1987 and 89 are going to be it for me. I’m good with that. Maybe if I’d never had the chance to see them earlier I’d be scoping out plane tickets about now. Instead I’ll watch from a distance and no doubt there will be articles posted and videos to watch.

Speaking of Alex Chilton, there’s a new movie coming out that I’ll try to catch when I’m down in New York at the beginning of July called Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me. The trailer looks great.