A dubious procrastination decision to copy my old CD's to this new external drive, starting with the first binder I grabbed for, resulted in all my old Replacements CD's getting unearthed, and they will thereby rule my life for the next week or so.
Goddamn, the Replacements are good. I know this is a no-brainer to most folks, but it stands being said. Jerri and I were listening to The Rolling Stones last night thinking, sure, the case can be easily made for The Beatles being a better band, but when it comes down to it, I'd pretty much always rather listen to the Stones over the Beatles. Those knucklehead chords at the beginning of "Brown Sugar" are perfect even though I'm sure I've heard then about 10,000 times in my life.
I feel much the same way about The Replacements and the sing song na-na-na-na swang of "I Will Dare" and the drunken foolishness of Hootenanny, the first Replacements album I ever got. It's so loose and fun and goofy and then Paul Westerberg throws in the one-man basement 4-track genius of "Within Your Reach" - the goofy synth, that drum machine and the flanger set on emulsify, it is rock and roll alchemy, crafting gold out of clay. I've heard these songs hundreds of times, and they are all as fresh as they were the first time. And I've wrangled with friends that somehow see The Replacements as "just a rock band" populated by drunken losers whereas contemporaries like REM and Hüsker Dü made Great Strides toward Great Art, and maybe they are right. But in the presence of something "better," I'd still rather listen to The Stones and The Replacements.
(Ed: Thanks, paulwesterberg.net, for the shout out!)