Thursday, October 4, 2012

Replacement Reunion It Isn't...But A Replacement Documentary It Is

There’s lots of rumbling today about a Replacements “reunion,” of which a covers album featuring Paul and Tommy does not make.

And don’t even think about suggesting that Slim Dunlop was anything more than a hired gun, meant to give Reprise a better return on their investment. It was their last chance at turning Westerberg into the singer/songwriter genius that he was, but didn’t ask for.

God, I miss the Mats. I really do.

But I don’t like the idea of selling me something that isn’t, especially when Paul seemed to be doing quite fine on his own, at least from a creative standpoint.

So the reports that the band is getting back together doesn’t shake me as much as this documentary about one of the Twin Cities trifecta of great bands (Huskers and, yes, Soul Asylum are the others) slated for release in November.

Collective “Aw” please, as you ready the spiel.

Color Me Obsessed, the first documentary about famed 80's indie-rock band The Replacements,will be released in a two-disc DVD set (with 6 hours of extras) on November 20 via MVD Entertainment Group.

Told through the eyes of fans, friends, and contemporaries, Color Me Obsessed breaks from the traditional music documentary format of music and performances. Not looking to make a VH1/where-are-they-now style documentary, director Gorman Bechard took a unique approach, "I decided to present the band in a more iconic way," he explains. "I thought, people believe in God without seeing or hearing him but rather through the passion, faith, and stories of others. After watching Color Me Obsessed, I'm pretty sure music fans will believe in The Replacements in much the same way." Telling the band's story was a project close to the heart for Bechard. Like many who were weaned on punk music he latched onto this brash young Minneapolis band with fervor. Dubbed "the last best band" by Spin Magazine, their live shows could be miraculous or downright disasters. Their fans, unwaveringly faithful. As critic's darlings, their albums were wrought with angry guitars and passionate well-written lyrics that hinted at potential commercial success.

Yet, somehow, the band managed to continually shoot themselves in the foot. Their relative obscurity was a motivating factor in presenting their story on film. "The Replacements should have been the next Rolling Stones," Bechard says, "And to the people who loved them, I think they were." Combining over 140 interviews with rockers (Colin Meloy of The Decemberists, Craig Finn of The Hold Steady, Tommy Ramone, Grant Hart and Greg Norton of Husker Du, all three members of Goo Goo Dolls), journalists (Robert Christgau, Legs McNeil, Ira Robbins, Greg Kot, Jim DeRogatis), and fans both famous (Tom Arnold, Dave Foley, George Wendt) and not, Bechard delivers the obsessive tale of the most influential band you've never heard of, The Replacements. And though containing not one note of their music, Color Me Obsessed is a documentary that really rocks.


Cousin J said...

Slim had a pretty bad stroke back in February or March of this year. Chris Mars put out a single with proceeds to benefit Slim and Paul & Tommy are working on a collaboration for an album Peter Jesperson is putting together to help pay Slims medical bills. Probably as close as we'll get...

Todd Totale said...

I didn't even bother to look into it, so I had no idea that it was merely a benefit for Slim. Of course, whenever you get Tommy and Paul in the same room together, people call it a Mats reunion, which is why I jumped to conclusions here. Get well, Slim and that documentary sounds good, no?

Cousin J said...

I can't hardly wait to see it! I know...bad pun. Whatever. It looks awesome. So glad I got to see them live. (Don't Tell a Soul - Coronado Theater Rockford 1989) I went solo. No one I hung out with at the time had any idea who they were. Probably a million stories like that all over. 'Tim' might be a desert island disc for me.