Glen Campbell – “Sadly Beautiful”

Year: 2008

Album: Meet Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell’s cover of “Sadly Beautiful,” one of the great late-career Replacements tracks, will break your heart when you hear it transformed into a country ballad with a lot more strings. This is also a reminder that Paul Westerberg is one of the great ballad songwriters of any genre (see also his unreleased demo for “You’re Getting Married”).

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Remember When The Replacements Made A Claymation Music Video?

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The Replacements were great at many things, but music videos were not one of them. But can you blame them? For an 80s punk rock band with no money and only a modest cult following that also had no money, making music videos was not a priority. They couldn’t even perform their own songs live half of the time, let alone stand in one place to film a video.

Their only notable music video might be “Bastards Of Young”, but it’s not as profound as some might suggest and it had a lukewarm reception on TV. How different do you think history would be if MTV picked up a good Replacements video and broadcasted it to the masses? It’s strange to think that this band, with plenty of incredible music already under its belt, existed in the golden age of MTV and still couldn’t make it big. Some will say that The Replacements actively avoided fame by making bad videos, but this theory doesn’t work because they would eventually sign with a major label with an intent of gaining more money and resources to somehow “make it big”. It’s fun to talk about the ‘Mats in how sloppy they were back when being a sloppy indie back was endearing, but a sloppy mainstream band trying to act professional is just sad.

I bring up Replacements music videos because I recently came across one that I didn’t know existed, and what is hilarious to watch in 2015 must have been horrifying to watch in 1990.

Yes, the same band that gave us “Unsatisfied” is now hanging out in a claymation world playing banjos and trying to play it off as cool. Oy.

Some context: “When It Began” is off The ‘Mat’s final album, 1990’s All Shook Down, though this was not the same band that made Let It Be or Tim. Bob Stinson was already long gone for his alcohol abuse, so the giant void he left inspired (or forced) Westerberg to write different songs that would make his new shiny major label happy. Defenders will say that he was growing up, but haters will say that he was over the hill.

I belong to the former; I really enjoy All Shook Down for what it is (it’s the best Paul Westerberg solo album he never made), and I think he was sick of playing the same loud fast music that he was known for. Bob was gone, and this was a different band.

This video has charm now because time has allowed us to look back at old memories and laugh, but imagine if you were coming of age in 1990 and this was your first taste of The Replacements. You’d probably think they sucked.

Funny how some things work out.

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In Case You Missed It: You Can Stream The New Ryan Adams Album (That Isn’t His Upcoming Self-Titled Release)

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Devoted Ryan Adams fans know that the alt-country musician’s true music love isn’t the country-rock that made him famous (apparently he hates all country music not associated with the Grateful Dead). Instead, Adams loves noisy hardcore punk rock via Husker Du, The Replacements, and so on. He’s even recorded a sci-fi metal concept album and produced a hardcore Fall Out Boy EP (no, that’s not a typo).

So it wasn’t too surprising when earlier this year Adams released the vinyl-only 1984, which is 10 tracks and 30 minutes of blustering hardcore yet melodic punk. What is surprising, however, is that now the rest of us can hear the album below. It’s a treat for fans, a surprise for newcomers, and proof of this man’s mad genius.

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Playlist: Zach Braff’s iPod

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This new playlist combines many of the songs from the Garden State and Scrubs soundtracks in addition to some other songs that I think match Braff’s great range of taste in music. There are also some songs on here from his new movie Wish I Was Here released in limited release July 18th.

 

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20 Songs For July 2013 (Via Spotify)

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July was a very busy month for me, but I still managed to distract myself by listening to a lot of music throughout my summer school finals (very hard to do right?).

This month’s playlist includes a special 4th of July song from Bruce Springsteen, deep cuts from The Replacements and Stones, and I finally get around to listening to Songs: Ohia and The Microphones.

Here are my 20 songs for July 2013.

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Extra! Extra!: The Replacements Announce Reunion Shows (And Nostalgic Indie-Rock Fans Weep For Joy)

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The Replacements, one of the most celebrated indie-rock bands of all time (and one of my favorite bands), have announced that they are reuniting at Chicago’s Riot Fest along with two shows in Denver and Toronto.

Uh…..

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The above picture was my, along with every young and old hipster’s, reaction to the news.

This is huge.

Now my inner fan boy wants to ramble on about how incredible and meaningful this reunion will be for a lot of people, but I’ll save you the long reading. Exaggerations aside, it’s fair to say that a lot of modern bands are playing music now because when they were first starting out they were probably listening to The Replacements.

Now keep in mind that these guys haven’t played with each other since their infamous final show back in Chicago on the Fourth of July in 1991 and that this band was notorious for being either the greatest or worst band live (depending on their states of mind). Also, this band has been glorified over the years by a lot of people who were probably in elementary school when the band broke up. But even if the shows aren’t that great, this is still a huge moment for indie-rock fans everywhere.

For the full details on the shows, click here. And in the meantime, do yourself a favor and listen to some Replacements, preferably Let It Be and Tim.

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Playlist: 20 Songs From May 2013 (Via Spotify)

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In May we said goodbye to a legend from the 60s, we all listened to new albums from Daft Punk, The National and Vampire Weekend (and they were all good!), and I listened to a lot of Brit-Pop (more specifically I listened to a lot of music from the Brit-Pop era).

Here are my 20 songs from May 2013.

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Playlist: 20 Songs For January 2013 (Via Spotify)

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A new year means five more songs for my monthly random Spotify playlist.

As usual, these are the songs I listened to the most over the past month, including new music and oldies. This month’s collection includes all the 2012 music that I missed and discovered on every “End of Year” list throughout the Internet (Divine Fits, The Mountain Goats) and a bunch of old school classics (Ella Fitzgerald, Everly Brothers).

Here are my 20 songs for January 2013.

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Playlist: 15 Songs For March 2012 (Via Spotify)

This month’s playlist is all over the place.  Most of these songs are oldies, but there are a few new tracks here.  I have some Springsteen, Death Cab, Magnetic Fields, The Men, and everything else in between.

Here are my 15 songs for March 2012.

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