Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Hillary's VP Pick Tim Kaine & Pavement's Stephen Malkmus Salute The Replacements

The Replacements  are getting some much deserved love as of late. Hillary's VP pick, Tim Kaine, has said (see below) that they made his favorite album....and Pavement's Stephen Malkus performed the Replacements song Androgynous October 1, 2016 at The Chapel in San Francisco for the 50th birthday celebrations for Pavement's Spiral Stairs (Scott Kannberg)...

Perfect song for today's trans bathroom wars...

Androgynous (The Replacements) (from the album Let It Be, 1984)

Here comes Dick, he's wearing a skirt Here comes Jane, y'know she's sporting a chain Same hair, revolution Same build, evolution Tomorrow who's gonna fuss And they love each other so Androgynous Closer than you know, love each other so Androgynous Don't get him wrong and don't get him mad He might be a father, but he sure ain't a dad And she don't need advice that's sent at her She's happy with the way she looks She's happy with her gender Mirror image, see no damage See no evil at all Kewpie dolls and urine stalls Will be laughed at The way you're laughed at now Now, something meets boy, and something meets girl They both look the same They're overjoyed in this world Same hair, revolution Unisex, evolution Tomorrow who's gonna fuss And tomorrow Dick is wearing pants And tomorrow Janie's wearing a dress Future outcasts and they don't last And today, the people dress the way that they please The way they tried to do in the last centuries...

"Esquire" article on Tim Kaine & The Replacements....

What We Can Learn From Tim Kaine's Favorite Album

Our Democratic VP nominee's favorite music says so much.

Tonight is the Vice Presidential Debate. Since one of its two participants is a virulent, lemon-faced homophobe who thought it was a good idea to hitch his political wagon to Donald J. Trump, it's a bit of an open-and-shut case for me. But even if it weren't—even if the race were as close inside my head as it somehow is in the country at large—Tim Kaine would have the edge for one simple reason.
Tim Kaine has said publicly that Let It Be by the Replacements is one of his favorite albums. A man who has strong opinions on "Sixteen Blue" could soon be the second-most powerful person in America. This election season never ceases to surprise.
Granted, like anything any politician says, this could be nothing but pandering. But I doubt it. First off, he made this statement during an interview on an R&B radio station in Virginia, an area and a format where few would be swayed by his choice. And the Replacements' following album was their major-label debut, sold many more copies, and is actually titled Tim. (Plus, who would any of this even be a pander to, besides me and eight of my friends?) By choosing Let It Be, Tim Kaine is telling the world his heart is pure.

Here's why this matters: a Replacements fan understands the concerns of the American middle class. The Replacements spent their too-brief career being the truth behind the stories America likes to tell itself about itself. Upward social mobility is possible here, but too often we're held in place by forces beyond our control: our class, our education, our culture. As Bob Mehr's gorgeous Replacements biography Trouble Boys demonstrates (over and over, in heartbreaking ways that will make you consider pouring all of your alcohol down the drain), the boys were programmed to fail from the beginning. Paul Westerberg started his career as a janitor, and, at least for a while, seemed determined to end it that way.

Let It Be's triumphant "We're Comin' Out" tells you the band has "one more time to do it all wrong, one more night to get it half right," and the rest of their career lived out that worldview. The Replacements were poised after Tim and Pleased to Meet Me to be the biggest indie band in America, but they chose instead to drink and fight and cede their position to the much more cerebral R.E.M. They got themselves on Saturday Night Live, and got themselves banned for life immediately thereafter. They had a shot, and they threw it. One cannot take public service seriously without engaging the psychology behind our country's self-destructive streak, and the story of the Replacements gives you a good, hard look at it.
Behind the booze and the noise, Let It Be contains wisdom and truth. "Androgynous" showed a more nuanced understanding of gender and sexuality in 1984 than Mike Pence has been able to muster in 2016.
There has never been a more concentrated, more compassionate dose of teen angst than "Sixteen Blue."
Nor a more satisfying primal scream than "Unsatisfied."
This might be cheating, because it's on Tim, but the line, "I used to live at home, now I stay at the house," from "Here Comes a Regular" is the most succinct, heartbreaking insight into lower-class economic insecurity ever recorded.
Contrast all of this with Mike Pence, whose Facebook page lists his favorite music as: "Contemporary Christian, Country, Classical, and anything by Earth Wind and Fire," the last of which he probably only likes because their name reminds him of the apocalypse. Mike Pence is a guy who has had a Jimmy Buffett greatest hits compilation in the CD player of his Ford F-150 for 11 years and always skips past "Why Don't We Get Drunk and Screw." Mike Pence really looks forward to doing the "ba-ba-baaaa" part in "Sweet Caroline." Mike Pence and his taste in music are wrong for America.
To love the Replacements is to love our country for what it is, to understand both the hope and the hopelessness at its heart. I trust a Replacements fan, and so should you.
Really, I'm just pointing this out in the hopes that maybe someone will hear "I Will Dare" for the first time today, and that it will change their life the way it did mine and Tim Kaine's.
Download Let It Be today. The 'Mats could probably use the extra buck.

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