Everything you wanted, they were.
So says our friend and Toronto musician Christian D. Christian saw the recently-reunited Replacements play at the Toronto Riot Fest date, and with all the debate flying around on whether the Replacements should reunite (spoiler alert: Too late! They already did), Christian wanted to get his take on things down into words, and he kindly let us post his thoughts.
I’m betting that, like me, a lot of the audience at Toronto’s Riot Fest, never got to see the Mats the first time around. For me, it wasn’t so much about “was it worth the wait”, but rather a chance to see what might have/should have been. Based on those songs, the critical accolades, and the snotty punk attitude, it always seemed like the Replacements should have been goddamned huge. “Best band of the ‘80s”, remember that? Maybe they were ahead of their time or too fucked up to play the game – whatever it was, it never really happened for them.
BUT – the legacy looms large. I grew up on those albums, and the bootlegs, and all the stories of … Continue reading
Alex Chilton died yesterday.
As I suspect was the case with most music-lovers around my age, Chilton wove his way through my life in a non-direct fashion. My first brush with Chilton was through the 1967 hit he had with his young band the Box Tops, “The Letter”. When my father was a younger man, before my arrival, back when he was the sort of person who had friends in bands, he got up at a party and sang a song with his friend’s band – “The Letter”. Anyone who knows my father now would have a difficult time reconciling this fact with the gruff, curmudgeonly Italian-American they know. That is likely the very reason why the song always felt significant to me, that connection to a version of my father that was more like me. That, and it’s a good song. Chilton’s husky, soulful voice is commanding, and the modern sensibility of the song was always a captivating thing to hear in the midst of all the other songs played on the oldie goldies radio stations.
My next, very roundabout exposure to Chilton was the obvious one: the Replacements’ fantastic paean to the singer/songwriter, “Alex Chilton”. … Continue reading