As previously stated, I’ve been a little salty about The Replacements in general, and their legion of slack-jawed, don’t know other bands exist and women are allowed to make music now too fanboys specifically.
Nothing can make you hate something you love like a gob of mindless, uncritical white dudes jizzing thoughtlessly about something.
When you have a favorite band you can take their music for granted. It’s like how you take your shoulders for granted until you hurt one and then you’re acutely aware of the importance of shoulders, and you regret not giving thanks every damn day for unhurt shoulders.
I felt that today for The Replacements’ “Tim.”
I don’t listen to the ol’ ‘Mats very often anymore. It’s a combination of learning other bands exist and that women are allowed to make music now too and, well, I’ve listened to every record they ever made about 193,188,912 times. Their songs are embedded into my DNA, carved into my bones, as much a part of me as my crooked teeth and extraordinary height. I don’t know if I could accurately define myself with words had I not discovered The Replacements.
However, I still take them for granted. But when “Swingin’ Party” shuffled up in a list of songs algorithmically linked with The Highwomen’s “Crowded Table” I got that tickle of nostalgia and put on “Tim.”
Before Westerberg even gets to the first “Well” in “Hold My Life” I was transported to 1996 and listening to “Tim” on my Walkman (which I STILL have incidentally, it’s in the drawer of my TV stand) and cleaning The Rock Spring after close. The Rock was a restaurant most of my family worked at during some point in their life. My grammu, my parents, and all of us sisters. I think even my brother-in-law Ben might have worked there at some point. This fun fact has nothing to do with The Replacements.
God damn, is there really any song that’s a better soundtrack for a 23-year-old Minnesota girl working not one, but two shitty jobs that she did not need to go to college for than “Hold My Life?” I don’t think so. That song resonated with me right down to the ineffable bits best described as my soul.
So I listened to “Tim” today and it felt good and sad and reminded me why they’re my favorite band. Listening to it gives me the same feeling I get when I look up at that one guy from college and am utterly delighted that he’s long-married to a woman who keeps her hair short, never seems to wear makeup, and who seems totally rad. It’s the feeling of “oh yeah, I was right. This is a good’un.”
One more fun fact: My imaginary band name “Jodi & The Sweet Georgia Breezes” comes from the song “Left of the Dial.”