Playin’ at the Talent Show

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It took a good day to recover and post this little retrospective of The Replacements’ show at the Crystal on Friday. I hope you enjoy it…

Simply put—pure fucking joy.

Thanks to the kindness of friends, we were able to get in a bit earlier. Turns out we ended up right in front. Didn’t expect that. The stage was much smaller than I remember. In fact, it was probably the most intimate-feeling show I’ve seen at this venue. Possible reason—I didn’t drink during the show. As it was an all ages show, the Crystal separated the drinkers from the kids. At other shows like Dinosaur Jr. or Archers of Loaf, I ended up at least 20-30 feet away, behind the “beer barrier.” Sober at a Mats show? Well, kinda…and it was worth it!

The Young Fresh Fellows kicked off the antics and didn’t disappoint. I especially liked their cover of Slim Dunlap’s “Loud Loud Loud Loud Guitars.” Their drummer Tad Hutchison is phenomenal! In fact, the whole band was just plain tight! Watch an Instagram video of YFF tearing it up before The ’Mats.

Post YFF, the antsy crowd was kept slightly at bay with Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and other classics on the overheads. Mayhem quickly ensued however, as the lights dimmed and “Surfin’ Bird” by The Trashmen started blasting. Paul comes running out, does a little chicken dance lap around the stage, followed by his mates. You can watch that footage now, if you wish.

They launched straight in with “Takin’ A Ride,” followed by “Favorite Thing”. I don’t have footage of that because I screamed along to the entire song and ruined the audio. However, you can watch a bit of “I Will Dare.” More video highlights to come!

The crowd could not get enough, even after the first encore. I threw a bunch of old used 45s, including Les Paul, Paul Anka, The Partridge Family ( among others, they were supposed to be a gift!) onto the stage, just before Tommy followed the rest of the band offstage. He looked at me, then walked up to the records and just started breaking them and crushing them with his hands. All I could do was laugh.

The band came out for one more, “I.O.U.” off Pleased to Meet Me. Pure rock ’n roll. What a way to end a show!

Does anyone else out there have post-show depression? I miss The ’Mats already. Maybe I should just hit the road and follow ’em? “In my waxed up hair and my painted shoes…” Sigh. I mean, Tommy still owes me $1 for all those records!

The party is NOT OVER!

early-mats-record

In fact, some would say the party’s just beginning…bring your own lampshade to Friday’s show in Portland!

So, I got the above record after a screening of the film “Color Me Obsessed” a while back (thank you Jackpot Records). It’s so f’in great, I don’t even know where to begin. The only other ’Mats I have on vinyl is Tim (from my father-in-law, more on that in another post) and the Songs for Slim LP. The rest of the ’ole collection is on cassette and yes, they still work!

Why is this record so special? Evidently, it was limited to a pressing of 400, and features outtakes from their early recordings (duh!). This one is on blue vinyl, but I’ve seen it online in red/hot pink too. Why you need this record:

mats-notes

Arguably the best track on the damn thing is “If You Get Married,” mainly ’cuz you can’t find that song anywhere else. It’s tender, poignant and still has balls. Also, I AM a girl, and love it when Paul wears his heart on his sleeve. But I digress.

early-mats-back

Please note: this album was not produced by ALEX CHILTON.

Buy this album on Discogs.

We’re in trouble…

 

Yeah, so we’re one week away folks. The Replacements play Portland’s Crystal Ballroom Friday, April 10. I can’t hardly wait.

I’m pretty sure the last show The ’Mats played was Austin City Limits in October 2014. Paul wore overalls and frequently played while laying down on a hammock (click on the above link if you haven’t already). The band was tight, just as they have been since kicking off their reunion tour over a year ago.

Some ’Mats fans still doth protest these reunion tours. “It’s not The ’Mats, Bob’s gone,” they’ll say, or “They’re just in it for the money, fuck this reunion shit.” When I first heard they were doing a festival circuit back in 2013, I kinda had the same reaction. I was really skeptical—most reunion tours suck, frankly. Also, my affection for festivals began and ended after the first Lollapalooza. So, I held out hope for a ’Mats US tour of small clubs.

Then I watched the festival mayhem unfold online. Holy crap, did I miss out!

It began with Riotfest! in Toronto and ended at the aforementioned ACL Fest. What a run! I mean Jesus, did they play a shitty show? You tell me—I wasn’t there. Heck, I even watched them play Jimmy Fallon online (I’d share that clip but NBC has removed it).

Why are they so good (again)? Some idears:

  1. It looks like Paul and Tommy are having fun again (a lot of fun).
  2. Dave Minehan on guitar. The guy fucking rocks. Check out his first band, The Neighborhoods.
  3. Josh Freese on drums. Dude also plays with Devo.

Here’s another clip, going waaayyyy back (not) Riot Fest! Chicago (and yeah, that’s J Mascis from Dinosaur Jr. lurking on the side):

 

So, who’s excited about Friday, April 10 in Portland? That would be me.

“Can’t hardly wait, I can’t wait!”

 

Color us all obsessed

Have you seen Color Me Obsessed? Well, if you haven’t: Stop what you’re doing! Read this post. Click the link at story end. The 2011 documentary by Gorman Bechard is a “different sort of rockumentary.” There’s really no music in it, and no, it doesn’t…

The last, best band of the 80s

cover-musician-matsmusician-spreadmusician-tommy musician-paul-page musician-trash-room

What a great cover. There’s the band, in all their ragged glory.

I bought this issue of Musician magazine in 1989, as soon as it came out. Years later, I learned that Jon Bon Jovi wrote a letter to Musician, asking, “How can the Replacements be the best band of the 80s when I’ve never even heard of them?”

Jon — you answered your own question, ya knob! Go fuck yourself.

But seriously now, this cover story remains significant as it tells the band’s coming of age story—from their early days in the Minneapolis punk/hardcore “scene” to “Professional whats, I don‘t know,” as Paul quips during the interview. I’ve read this story about 50 times, and with each read I learn something new. And I still love staring at that photo of Tommy “shootin’ dirty pool.”

It also marks a turning point for the band. When this issue came out, Don’t Tell a Soul just hit the racks. The Replacements were seemingly on the verge, and this article served to give them a push. Too bad it didn’t work. Or is it?

Coming soon, scans of the full article, so you can actually read the damn thing.