If’n you don’t follow every hiccup and burp anyone ever associated with The Replacements emits, this might be news to you, they’re releasing a big box set of songs and a concert centered around their 1989 album “Don’t Tell a Soul” aka to those in the nerd DTAS.
The $80 package called “Dead Man’s Pop” includes four CDs, one LP, one cassette, and a hardbound book by Bob Mehr about the making of DTAS comes out in September.
The first cryptic message about this project came out Wednesday, and I’m already sick of this damn thing.
Nothing can make you hate something you love like a gob of mindless, uncritical white dudes jizzing thoughtlessly about something. And if there’s something that ‘Mats dudes love to do it’s jizz thoughtlessly about all things ‘Mats related. It’s exhausting and frustrating and I suspect it goes on in other fandoms, but I’m not involved in those.
“We’ll inherit the earth but we don’t want it.
It’s been ours since birth, what’cha doin’ on it?”
Now, I am all for artists getting paid. I really am. If there’s a bunch of suckers who are willing to shell out $80 for a re-done version of a mediocre (at best) album made 30 years ago and a concert so famous amongst die-hard fans that it’s got a name then, right on, Paul, get your dollars.
He won’t be getting mine, because I’ve already bought “Don’t Tell a Soul.” Twice. Plus I got a poster. This is really two more times than DTAS deserves. It is not a great album.
Sure, you might think, the original album is over-produced with glossed up 80s bullshit, but the songs underneath the gloss are not that great.
“My tears fell through the dirt.
As I heaved you to the sky.”
Aside from “Achin’ to Be” the album is filled with songs from bad to forgettable to regrettable. And yet all these fanboys are out there acting as if it’s the greatest thing to happen since, well, they released the Maxwell’s stuff two years ago.
What I wouldn’t give to be able to find out what all these people already lauding “Dead Man’s Pop” had to say about DTAS back in 1989 when it first came out. I can’t tell you what I thought, because in 1989 I was listening to Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation 1814” and was still four or five years from even knowing who The Replacements were.
I’m annoyed because nobody I’ve seen seems to be looking at this critical at all. Why are they suddenly so excited to hear new versions of songs that probably wouldn’t make their ‘Mats top 10? Is it that they love the band so much they don’t even care what the crap is they just want it?
Is there some secret best fan of all time contest that I’m not aware of and am therefore disqualified by being salty about this?
If this were really some sort of loving repackaged homage to DTAS wouldn’t Paul Westerberg be all over this shit? Wouldn’t we have liner notes from him about what these songs meant to him, how he feels they’re still important/relevant? Instead we get (good god) more blathering from Bob Mehr about the ‘Mats? Is there nobody else with thoughts about The ‘Mats? Maybe a woman? Or a person of color? Someone who might be able to bring a different perspective? Because I think we’re full up on what GenX white dudes think about the ‘Mats. Forever.
Confession: I do have a lady boner about hearing “If Only You Were Lonely” featuring Tom Waits. I’m only human after all.