Which songs must be on the Replacements reunion setlist?

Categories: Paul Westerberg
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Lego recreation of Let it Be by Leah Garas for 89.3 the Current
With 22 years for us all to think about it, there are options galore for the Replacements' headlining performance at Riot Fest in Toronto on Sunday. Their first show since 1991 could revisit any number of segments of the band's past -- perhaps even their "Hayday." The settling of time has elevated the culture surrounding certain songs, and others seem far too obvious to include in 2013. Will Paul Westerberg, Tommy Stinson, David Minehan, and Josh Freese rely more on punk or Americana? Will they allow any surprise guests, and will the shit hit the fans?

The only thing that's certain everyone's going to have a different opinion. Gimme Noise asked contributors and local fans -- though one declined, noting "no Chris Mars = no reunion" -- to weigh in on what songs the Replacements should play.

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Tommy Stinson sings lead on Guns N' Roses leaked rarity "Going Down"

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Photo by Steve Cohen
Just in case you've forgotten, Tommy Stinson is a member of two iconic bands of the past half century. In addition to being the founding bassist of the Replacements, he also earns a steady living in Guns N' Roses. As the 'Mats finally reform this coming weekend at Riot Fest, here's a look at another side of Stinson.

Over the weekend, a track attributed to GNR emerged with Stinson ably handling lead vox and an Axl Rose-sounding backup singer ringing out behind him. For a woeful many of us, "Going Down" represents the first time in a while that we've cranked up anything from this band. It's definitely different.

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The Replacements' full band lineup finalized for Riot Fest shows

Let It Be: Iconic Replacements album cover recreated by painters working on historic house More »

The Replacements' full band lineup finalized for Riot Fest shows

Categories: Paul Westerberg
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Photo via Songs for Slim's Facebook

There was no question that Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson were going to be part of the upcoming Replacements reunion shows to be staged at the three Riot Fests in the coming weeks. However, lead guitar and drums were up for grabs. On Friday, the Star Tribune's Chris Riemenschneider reported that those slots are filled.

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Preview the Replacements coffee table book by Jim Walsh

Categories: Paul Westerberg
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Here's an essential bit of Twin Cities lore that'll live out its days as a conversation starter on your coffee table -- or, depending on your living situation, perhaps your milk crates or mini fridge. Ex-City Pages music editor Jim Walsh has assembled another book detailing the Replacements in all their messy glory titled The Replacements: Waxed-Up Hair and Painted Shoes: The Photographic History. This serves as a visual companion to his 2007 book The Replacements: All Over but the Shouting: An Oral History, and comes just as the band is writing a new chapter in their torrid history first with the Songs for Slim EP and with reunion gigs at Riot Fest.

With career-spanning shots of the band from Greg Helgeson, Daniel Corrigan, Jay Blakesberg, Robert Matheu, Marty Perez, and Charles Peterson on display and "flyers, posters, and ephemera from 1975-present," says Walsh, this is the rock 'n' roll scrapbook the Replacements deserve. We have exclusively scored several pages of the 150-page book, edited by Dennis Pernu, which follow below.

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The Replacements post brief rehearsal footage -- no sign of Har Mar

Categories: Paul Westerberg
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When the Replacements hit the stage for Riot Fest dates in Toronto, Chicago, and Denver, it's a safe bet that they'll be toting "Alex Chilton." Why? Well, the guys -- whoever they are aside from Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson -- posted a clip from a practice space featuring a tiny bit of the song.

The footage showed up on the band's new Facebook page Thursday. By their own admission the Replacements' entry into social media hasn't been a full-on plunge. "Keep checking back here at the official band page of The Replacements for a bevy of inactivity and a disturbing lack of content!" is the tagline the site offers.

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Wilco cover the Replacements' "Color Me Impressed" with Tommy Stinson

Categories: Paul Westerberg
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Photo by Erik Hess
Wilco in Duluth in 2012
If the excitement for Wilco's upcoming show with Bob Dylan at Midway Stadium wasn't already causing minor hyperventilation among the local Americana set, this past weekend's events added a new dimension. The accomplished Chicago band, fronted by the newly gleeful Jeff Tweedy, put on their own music festival in Massachusetts called Solid Sound and did their fans a solid by performing an entire set of unique covers.

They did Daft Punk's "Get Lucky," and they did an 11-minute version of Television's "Marquee Moon." But Tweedy and company also paid tribute to the reformed Replacements with a Hootenanny-era jam, "Color Me Impressed." And if that isn't enough for ya, Tommy Stinson was there onstage to hammer it home.

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The Replacements WILL REUNITE live at Riot Fest

Categories: Paul Westerberg
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Photo by Steve Cohen
We predict a Riot?
Over the past year or so, fans of the Replacements have seen more collaborative activity from the principal members than there has been in quite some time. The Songs for Slim EP project reminded us what it's like to hear a band powered by Paul Westerberg, Tommy Stinson, and a few close friends, and it turned up the amps on the "what if" scenarios that have floated around for the past two decades since the band broke things off in 1991.

On Wednesday, organizers of Riot Fest, a weekend festival happening September 13-15 in Chicago, revealed that the 13 question marks on their poster just below Fall Out Boy and Blink-182 stand for the Replacements. Additionally, the band is one of the headliners at the Riot Fests being staged in Toronto (August 24-25) and Denver (September 21-22). 

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On the Replacements' long shadow, and achin' to be out of it

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Artwork by Chris Strouth

Makes No Sense At All captures the visions, ramblings, and memories of Chris Strouth, a Twin Cities-bred master of music, film, and everything else.

The Catholic Church figured out something during the Middle Ages: If you build a church to look like a castle, the serfs will feel safe in its massive shadows. So churches moved from modest affairs to great sprialing towers so that the people would feel as comforted within the structure as they did with the royal overseers.

We hang out in shadows today still, but they tend to be more personal. Now, it's the shadow of the Longhorn Bar, of Hüsker Dü, and of the Replacements -- really, of the the generation that came before. We stay close enough to these artifacts to duck in if we're ever attacked by a new generation filled with ambivalence for our legacy.

What makes the Replacements difficult for me is that in the '90s I worked for the label that launched them: Twin/Tone, or as it was known, the TRG (Twin/Tone Records Group). I was there during the non-famous years: post-Suburbs, post-Soul Asylum, post-Babes in Toyland, and of course post-Replacements.

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Tommy Stinson and Paul Westerberg plan studio time later this year

Categories: Paul Westerberg
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Tommy Stinson and Paul Westerberg

In a lengthy interview with Time, the Replacements and Guns N' Roses bassist Tommy Stinson gives a detailed update on where he's at and where he's been. Though the article has some dated facts -- it refers to a City Pages columnist who is no longer with the paper and Sean Combs as P. Diddy -- but Stinson was clearly put in a comfortable situation to share a ton of information before a GNR tour date in Abu Dhabi.

A key bit: Stinson, who recorded some covers under the Replacements name for the EP to benefit bandmate Slim Dunlap, plans to head to Minneapolis when he wraps the tour dates with Guns N' Roses and head back into the studio with Westerberg. According to the band's schedule, this could be as soon as mid-June.

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The Replacements' Songs For Slim auction raises over $100,000 for Slim Dunlap
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Why Muzak, as a concept at least, will never die

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A visual representation of Paul Westerberg, Muzak-style.
Makes No Sense At All captures the visions, ramblings, and memories of Chris Strouth, a Twin Cities-bred master of music, film, and everything else.

Muzak just joined the ranks of words like aspirin, brassiere, cellophane, escalator, granola, kerosene, linoleum, trampoline, yo-yo, & zipper. These were brands that became the colloquialism for the thing itself, and the word lives on well after the brand itself has gone to that great Piggly Wiggly in the sky.

As of February 5 of this year, Muzak is no more. It has now been absorbed into its newest parent company Mood (formerly Mood Media). While a lot of people have taken the time to make terribly clever headlines like "The Death of Muzak," or "The Day the Muzak Died," it really isn't dead. You can breathe a sigh of relief that next time you call your cable providor -- your half-an-hour wait can still be a jazzy, super-schmaltzy trip on the A Train.
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