Personal History: Throughlines

Last week I was working on a post about The Replacements. It was going to focus on their status as one of my favorite bands and explore the reason why. As part of the writing process, I looked through my archives to see what I’d already written about the band. Turns out there was a Favorite Bands post on The Replacements already – from 6 years ago.

That got me thinking: that’s a long time for them to be a favorite. Are they on the same level for me, though, as The Mary Chain or The Limousines, bands I’ve name-dropped and written about much more extensively?

And if not, why?

I think it comes down to lyrics. Their sound is literally note-perfect for me; I love the grungy guitar and echoing hum of “Can’t Hardly Wait”; I love the slow evocativeness of “Here Comes a Regular.” It’s that rough-hewn feel that made them a favorite in the first place. Yet lyrics are often what seals the deal when I’m falling in love with a band, and I’m not sure I’m always the target audience. “Achin’ to Be” and, of course, “Darlin’ One” are very much “story of my life” types of songs, so it’s little wonder that I love them. A girl thinking about being creative and maybe being hesitant about it at the same time. Those songs explore a tenderness that the rest of The Replacements’ catalogue is…somewhat lacking. See: “Waitress in the Sky.”

I guess that frat rock, or its progeny, just isn’t something I natively reach for.

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