TVD Recommends:
Color Me Obsessed,
a film about The Replacements, at the Black Cat, tonight

Anyone who is a music geek has a band, THAT band, the one that sucked you into the vortex of music nerd-dom, making you never want to return to the other side. For a whole bunch of people (including yours truly), this band was The Replacements.

Some cite the band’s fuck-all attitude as the draw; others say it was due to the often poetic lyrics of lead singer Paul Westerberg. Some found their clownishness most appealing, others loved the fact that that they wore their outcast stature in the music world of the ‘80s and early ‘90s as a badge of honor. Whatever the reason, The Replacements were, and remain, very special to a great number of people.

The Replacements, or the Mats as they were often called, came out of Minneapolis, and were influenced by a wide spectrum of music, from the classic rock of Slade, to the power pop of Big Star, to the punk stylings of Johnny Thunders and The Ramones. It wasn’t the same-old, same-old being dished out musically at the time with the Mats.

How they came across live depended as much on the amount of alcohol they ingested earlier as it was about whether they simply wanted to mess with the audience. As such, shows would vary—either a total train wreck or the very reason rock ‘n’ roll came into being. You never knew what you were going to get with the Mats, which was one of the things folks most loved about them.

In Color Me Obsessed, the first documentary on The Replacements, director Gorman Bechard tells their story through a variety of interviews, combining over 140 discussions with fellow musicians (Colin Meloy of The Decemberists, Craig Finn of The Hold Steady, Tommy Ramone, Grant Hart and Greg Norton of Hüsker Dü, all three members of Goo Goo Dolls), journalists (Robert Christgau, Legs McNeil, Ira Robbins, Greg Kot, Jim DeRogatis), and fans.

Bechard, currently at work on a live concert film about another influential group, Archers of Loaf, didn’t include interviews with the band, or even their music. Says Bechard, “I really wanted to come up with a different way to tell this band’s story. Here’s a band that bucked tradition and spit in the face of success every single chance they got. They’d either fall flat on their face or be the most brilliant thing in the world. And I think this sort of follows in that tradition… I wanted to address everything about the band, so you’d walk away from this knowing about as much as you could know about the band.”

Color Me Obsessed: The Potentially True Story of the Last Best Band, The Replacements plays tonight at the Black Cat Backstage. Doors are at 9:00 PM. A Q&A with Bechard will follow. $8

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