Color Me Obsessed: ‘They were sort of Morrissey for the Midwest’

So I’ve been trying for a week to write about the night I decided the time had finally come to sit down, drink a Captain Morgan and Diet Coke like it was 1995 and Kelly McKnight had just given me a buck to put in the jukebox with the stipulation that I play something by The Replacements, and watch Color Me Obsessed, a documentary about The Replacements.

Before I get too far, you should that if you’re an Amazon Prime member in the US, you can watch it FREE! Right now for FREE! I know! If you’re not a Prime member you can stream the movie for like $4. If you’re in the UK you can get it at Wienerworld or preorder it from Amazon UK.

Okay, now that you know how to get your hands on this, I will exhort you to do so. For many, many reasons, not the least of which is that you can see my ol’ pal Vodo steal the fucking show in the movie (the quote in the title is from him). I’ll get to that later.

I vow to you now to refrain from typing every other word in all caps with multiple exclamation points as a shortcut way to convey how very much this movie made my heart glow like E.T. Serious, there is glowing in my chest as I type (because I restarted the movie when I sat down to write and honestly I’m doing more re-watching than writing). There’s also a small, tender smile that I can’t erase.

I could list all the people they talk to both local(ish) (Lori Barbero, Grant Hart, Craig Finn, David Carr) and famous (Colin Meloy, Tommy Ramone, David Foley, George Wendt). I could rehash the stories about Oarfolk and Peter Jesperson and getting banned from Saturday Night Live. But all this, this is not news. There is not a lot of new information in this documentary. The new thing I learned? The stamp on the cover of “Stink” was carved from a potato.

Here’s the charm about this movie: It’s a bunch of passionate music geeks talking about something they love. I believe this would be charming even if they weren’t talking about The ‘Mats. However, I am ridiculously biased because I love The Replacements. And I love this movie. It’s kind of hard not to.

At one point in the movie Johnny Rzeznik from The Goo Goo Dolls said, “For me it was just like a paradigm shift. My perspective on music and the world and everything changed in like literally in like a moment. I finally found a band I could completely relate to and make my own.” This was the exact same reaction I had that night at The Cam when I heard “Merry Go Round” for the first time.

And that’s a lot of what watching this movie is like, nodding your head and thinking “yeah, yeah, me too.” Also, if you’re a semi-sane passionate fan you will spend a little bit of time arguing with the TV, like I did with Robert Christgau a few times. I expect this is what sports fans do when they think a ref makes a bad call.

I have more to say about this, specifically about the women in the movie, but I’ll save that for another day. In the meantime, other Misc. Highlights:
Vodo ripping on Glass Tiger and talking about how his Geometry teacher made him a tape and left off “Gary Got a Boner” and then, eventually, saying this:
“Even to this day. I don’t know. It’s hard for me to talk about whether they’re good or not. And sometimes it’s even hard for me to talk about whether I like them or not. Or if they’re simply such a part of me. You know? It’s hard for me to talk. Do I like my parents?. . . I just, I wonder how much of it is them, and like if they hadn’t come around I think we would have had to invent them somehow.”

Carleen Stinson’s story of going to see her pizza chef boyfriend, Bob, play in his band and have him part the crowd for her.

“It made me want to tell the truth in a way that was beautiful,” Matthew Ryan.

Bil MacLeslie talking about the chance encounter with a taper that led to “Shit Hits the Fans.”

“It’s almost shameful to say ‘I Will Dare’, but it’s so obviously a brilliant song,” Brett Milano, writer.

Dave Foley talking about how one of the Kids in the Hall (I can’t remember which one) said they hoped to be The Replacements of comedy.

Jim McGuin of 89.3 The Current writing his mom an angry letter after she said his college band was better than The Replacements.

Every time someone’s voice catches in their throat when talking about how much they love the band or a song.

4 Comments
  • Bob Caldwell
    December 18, 2012

    I didn’t even get through reading your whole post before I went to amazon and ordered a copy of Color Me Obsessed. I felt it was my duty as a midwesterner (I’m from Gary, IN) and as a ‘Mats fan. Okay, now I read it twice. Thank your for inspiring me.
    I’m hoosier_buddy on last.fm. Pleased to e-meet you.
    Bob

  • Brett
    December 18, 2012

    When I saw it a week or so ago I emailed the link to family asking what I want for Christmas. After your review, I’ll be happy if that’s all I get!

    Is it wrong that I FF “Gary’s got a boner” when my kids are in the car? :)

    • Jodi
      December 18, 2012

      Not at all. I’d fast forward through too, but only because it’s not a very good song. I hope you turn up Fuck School for them.

  • Placemat
    December 20, 2012

    I saw it on hulu. It reaallllly makes you want to put on a Mats record.

    I was kinda surprised about the lack of new info. I wanted a new story. More myth.

    I was also bummed that Jesperson’s contribution was so minor. Did they ambush him on the way to lunch?

    “…Boner” as a hidden track did make the record nerd in me laugh.

    & that Paul quote was good. Guitar Mag asked how he got his distinct sound? He answered, “I play a grey guitar.”

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